For Immediate Release   Contact: Laura Kiernan
   Public Information Officer
   271-2646 x359

CONCORD—Belknap County deputy register of probate Lorraine V. Robie, who oversees guardianship cases for hundreds of former residents of the Laconia State School, received the "Spirit of the Judiciary Award" from Supreme Court Chief Justice David A. Brock February 20th at a ceremony attended by the full court.

Robie, who worked at the state school as a payroll clerk before she came to the court system in 1985, was described by probate register Estelle Dearborn as a "very compassionate and caring person…" who is always "willing to go the extra mile when necessary." Dearborn said Robie’s sensitivity toward everyone the court serves is clear when she talks with people under a guardian’s care who are upset or disturbed about their own case.

"She always takes the time to try to make them feel that someone cares and listens…" Dearborn said. In nominating Robie for the Spirit of the Judiciary Award, Dearborn said "She unselfishly gives of herself and her time when necessary." She added "The Judicial Branch is fortunate to have such a dedicated public servant."

A mother and grandmother, Robie in an interview that she wants the people in the care of guardians to know that "they have someplace to turn and that the court is interested in what’s happening to them."

Robie oversees records in more than 400 cases in which the court is supervising the care of mentally and sometimes also physically impaired persons through court appointed guardians. Most of those cases involve former residents of the state school, which closed its doors 10 years ago.

In addition to supervising the guardianship cases, Robie is also coordinator of a volunteer monitoring program in which senior citizens, recruited by the New Hampshire Chapter of the AARP, regularly visit residents and their guardians.

Robie credited the staff at the Belknap County Probate court with helping her do her job.

"There is quite a camaraderie here," Robie said, "We all work together to achieve success."

The Spirit of the Judiciary Award was established in December 1999 and is awarded each month to recognize examples of outstanding public service by Judicial Branch employees.