February 20, 2009

West Palm courthouse besieged by mice

Nearly everyone at the Palm Beach County Courthouse has a mouse tale to tell since a rodent population boom began, the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post said Friday.

Something has caused the number of mice infesting the building to balloon to the point they are a common site scampering around during trials and even falling out of the ceiling.

They're so cute, joked case manager Nancy Dixon. We like to put a positive spin on our mice.

The Post said the rodent problem has gotten to the point that employees bang on their cubicle walls before they enter each morning to scare off any interlopers, and women check their purses before leaving for the day to make sure there are no stowaways.

I no longer leave files out. I'm afraid they'll get eaten, Jill Mitchell, another case manager said.

One mouse made itself at home in Judge Krista Marx's courtroom, scurrying around for an hour during a burglary trial. Marx told the newspaper she had to ignore the disorderly mouse because making a scene might have distracted the jury and given the defendant grounds for a new trial.

She now presides with a mousetrap armed at her feet, the Post said.