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Lindsey-Flanigan Justice Center is new, but Denver civil court's still booked at the Sheraton

Denver's new Lindsey-Flanigan Justice Center, which opened July 6, has 35 courtrooms, 48 conference rooms and modern art installations spread across its 317,000 square feet. And while it will be used by judges, lawyers and parties in all kinds of criminal, drug and juvenile cases, most people dealing with garden-variety civil claims won't see it.

That's because the Denver County Court's civil division will continue to operate inside the yellowed, Kafka-esque, hyper-bureaucratic digs on the fourth floor of a building attached to the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel at 1515 Cleveland Place.

There are plaques on the walls here engraved with stern warnings about not asking clerks for legal advice, and the rooms are walled with countless manila folders and files that seem to suggest digital record keeping has not yet conquered the territory.

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County Court Division Supervisor Rita Trujillo doesn't know why her division wasn't moved to the new building, but she says the civil division, along with the parking and traffic divisions, will relocate to the old City and County Building next July.

That building provoked the construction of the Lindsey-Flanigan in the first place, although Trujillo says part of the City and County Building is currently being remodeled.

For now, make sure to check the civil division website before showing up, however. Apparently none of the funds from the $136 million Lindsey-Flanigan project trickled down: The division will cut its weekly hours throughout the year.

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