LUFKIN — A Lufkin Chamber of Commerce official confirms the city's courthouse is no longer being consider for closure.
At the time of consideration, Lufkin's facility was 45th on a list of 60.
It used to be the Post Office in downtown Lufkin. But in the 80s it became the Ward R. Burke Federal Courthouse.
A transformation that officials tell KETK was helped made possible by the famous Texas politician Charlie Wilson.
But now because the courthouse doesn't have a resident judge, it's on a list of 60 Federal Courthouses across the United States that also don't have resident judges -- and may close.
David Maland, the U.S. District clerk for the Federal courts in East Texas tells KETK it's a ranking based on how much use the court is getting -- number 1 being the least used.
"When it all shook out, our Lufkin facility was 45th on a list of 60. Which really is a better place to be," Maland said.
KETK spoke with a local attorney just down the road a ways...he definitely doesn't think closing the Federal Courthouse is the answer.
"I think it's a shame...because it's gonna create more problems for people to do things they need to in federal court," said Lufkin attorney John Tatum.
Tatum says East Texans should be able to have access to the justice system in Lufkin.
"The couple of Federal cases I had...at least you can go over there and have a hearing here with the judge on a teleconference. So it's just easier. Now we're gonna have to drive to Beaumont with $4.00 in gas," Tatum said.
David Maland says they have until the 13th of April to give feedback to the 5th Circuit in New Orleans...
He says they will make the case that the courthouse should remain open.
"We've got a pretty active case pattern and we're a growing district. Otherwise, we'll have to build some new place for a judge to stay in the future and that will cost more money than keeping Lufkin open for a while," Maland said.
Maland also tells KETK that there are 4 other courthouses in the 5th circuit that are ahead of Lufkin on the list -- so he says that looks pretty good for Lufkin.