Date: November 26, 2002 Contact: Laura Kiernan
Court Information Officer
(603)-271-2646 x359





MANCHESTER---Paulette L. Dumais, who retired from the Hillsborough North Superior Court last week after 17 years as the receptionist, telephone operator and cashier, received a Spirit of the Judiciary Award from Chief Justice David A. Brock on November 18 for her outstanding commitment to public service.

In nominating Dumais for the award, court clerk John Safford said that in her job on the frontline at the courthouse, Dumais "dealt with the whole spectrum of humanity," answering their questions, giving them directions, listening to their concerns and always treating them with respect and care.

"She does her job with a smile. She makes no judgment and deals with each person as if they were the only one that mattered without letting on that there are three other phones lines ringing and four others in line at the counter," Safford said.

The Spirit of the Judiciary program was established three years ago by the Chief Justice to recognize judicial branch employees for their dedication to the court system and its mission to provide fair and efficient justice for the citizens of New Hampshire.

"These devoted employees are the backbone of the court system and we could not meet our responsibilities to the people of New Hampshire without their help and support. The Spirit of the Judiciary Award program is just one way for us to say thank you," Brock said.

Chief Justice Brock presented Dumais with the award during a ceremony at the Hillsborough County North courthouse. Associate Supreme Court Justices John T. Broderick and Linda S. Dalianis, also attended as well as Chief Justice Walter L. Murphy of the Superior Court and Judge James J. Barry Jr., the presiding judge in Hillsborough North Superior Court, and Judges Carol Ann Conboy and Robert J. Lynn.

Dumais, who lives with her husband Norman in Manchester, started working at Hillsborough North, the state’s busiest trial court, in April 1985, after raising four children. While she was looking forward to retirement, Dumais said, she knew she would miss her job because "it is never dull." She said she has seen many changes, from the introduction of computers to lawyers becoming judges, clerks going and coming, and even the Hillsborough Superior Court splitting into two branches, one remaining in Manchester and a new "Hillsborough South" opening in Nashua. Her colleagues considered her a friend, confidant and teacher.

Other recipients of the Spirit of the Judiciary Award in 2002 are Carroll County deputy clerk Gail Richards; Sullivan County deputy register of probate Terrena L. O’Connor; Patricia Paquette, the bookkeeper at Plymouth District Court; Kelly Otis, the supervisor of the criminal and administrative departments at Merrimack County Superior Court; and Marjorie Lang, the office administrator at Rockingham County Superior Court.