Hurricane Harvey

Wheels of justice in Texas slowed down by damage from Harvey

Damaged courtrooms. Delays in trials. Backlog of cases. A lack of jurors.

Hurricane Harvey's winds and cataclysmic rainfall have slowed criminal cases in Houston and other Texas communities where heavily damaged courthouses forced officials to move court proceedings into whatever space was available, including shuttered shorefronts and even a cafeteria.

Defense attorneys and prosecutors are worried what that could mean for victims and for jailed defendants waiting for their day in court. In Houston, the nation's third largest city, there are 40,000 such cases pending at any one time.

"It is a challenge in a hurricane-ravaged, ground zero place to find a...