As reported in the Concord Monitor on May 13th, the New Hampshire Legislature has proposed new legislation that will undue the centralized management that has been put in place in the New Hampshire Court systems over the past year. The proposal will not undue the newly implemented circuit court system, but it will eliminate the centralized management that is running the administrative side of New Hampshire’s courts presently.

House Speaker O’Brien has indicated that they have received complaints from Judge’s about their inability manage courthouse staff under the new system. He has also indicated that police prosecutors have complained about the Judge’s in place are no longer familiar with their communities. These concerns resulted in the proposal being submitted on Friday to undue the centralized management system.

 Judge Edwin Kelly fired back on Monday, stating that the new system has saved approximately $2.3 million dollars in the last ten months. Judge Kelly wrote, “We know change is not easy and that some people will be unhappy, but that is certainly no reason to suddenly abandon innovation, ignore the demonstrated success of the new system and turn back the clock, which is what this legislation would do.” Judge Kelly referenced how, “In 2010 the New Hampshire Supreme Court formed an Innovation Commission consisting of business leaders, legislators, members of the public, court staff and others. The charge was challenging, but clear: re-create the administrative model of the judicial branch using 21st-century business practices and take advantage of technology where possible to dramatically cut costs while also assuring full access to justice for all citizens.” Judge Kelly believes that the newly formed system meets those goals, but the battle still rages.

How do you feel about the proposal to change our Court system again? Let your legislatures know whether you support or oppose the legislation, as the best laws are the ones with all of the public’s input.

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