Judge Concepcion Bracamonte presides over the newly reopened Patagonia Municipal court. Photo by Robert Gay

Judge Concepcion Bracamonte resumed in-person operation of the Patagonia Municipal Court on Friday, Oct. 16, after a three-month closure because of COVID concerns.

Even though Patagonia case numbers remain low, robust precautionary measures were in place, including furniture spacing, limiting attendance to under ten people, masks, distancing, temperature testing and symptom questioning administered by members of the Arizona Rangers.

Besides the Judge and her clerk, in attendance were Town Attorney Bobby Yu and Public Defender Mark Larkin.

During the closure, the Courtroom, which doubles as Town Council Chamber, has been renovated, with construction of a wheelchair accessible ramp and a curving mesquite bench and counter built by Kevin McKay, with lumber milled from local trees. The centerpiece of the remodel is a massive mesquite-planked counter with a transparent, watery “resin river” of Sonoita Creek pebbles filling a space between the planks.

Town Manager Ron Robinson explained that a wall bracket behind the bench will be used to hang a 72-inch TV screen, allowing projections of several types.