judicial seal

NEWS ADVISORY

Judicial Branch, State of New Hampshire

CONTACT:
Laura Kiernan
Communications Director
lkiernan@courts.state.nh.us
603-271-2646 ext 2359

SCHEDULE SET TO REDUCE JURY TRIALS
FOLLOWING COURT BUDGET CUTS

 

CONCORD, July 15 --The Superior Court has implemented a schedule that will cut jury trials by one-third statewide through June 2011. The cancellation of jury selections in all 10 counties will save approximately $280,000 needed to help meet required reductions in the Judicial Branch budget.

Trials that were expected to be conducted during times when jury selection has now been cancelled have been rescheduled to later dates. Criminal trials in which a defendant has a constitutionally protected right to a speedy trial, will have priority over civil trials on the court schedule.

The cancellation of jury trials is one of several measures taken in order to meet reductions in its FY 10-11 Judicial Branch operating budget. All judges, marital masters and staff have already taken 4 of up to 14 unpaid furlough days in order to produce $3.1 million in spending reductions enacted by the legislature in March. The court system is shut down on those days, except for emergencies. In addition to eliminating months of jury trials, in order to meet an additional $1 million cut in its budget required by the legislature in June, the Judicial Branch has dramatically reduced the number of "per diem" judges in the District and Family Courts, maintained 62 non-judicial positions vacant, virtually eliminated the use of senior status judges and asked Governor Lynch not to fill 9 judicial vacancies.

At the same time, several New Hampshire court locations, facing case backlogs and staff shortages, have adjusted their office hours to allow employees uninterrupted time to process court orders and related case materials. For further information about court schedules, check the Judicial Branch website at www.courts.state.nh.us.

The following jury selection schedule will be implemented at the 10 Superior Courts:

Belknap County – No jury selection in August 2010, December 2010, February 2011, April 2011

Carroll County – No jury selection in September 2010, February 2011, April 2011, June 2011

Cheshire County – No jury selection in August 2010, November 2010, January 2011, April 2011

Coos County – No jury selection in September 2010, March 2011

Grafton County – No jury selection in September 2010, November 2010, March 2011, May 2011.

Hillsborough-North – No jury selection for 8, two-week periods commencing September 27, 2010; November 8, 2010, January 10, 2011, February 22, 2011, March 21, 2011, April 10, 2011, May 16, 2011, June 20, 2011.

Hillsborough-South – No jury selection August 9-16 2010, December 2010, February 2011, April 2011 and for the first two weeks of June 2011.

Merrimack County – Jury panels will be selected for 6 weeks of service on July 19, 2010, September 27, 2010, January 3, 2011, March 7, 2011. A jury panel will be selected on May 16, 2011 for 4 weeks of service. The remaining 14 weeks of previously scheduled jury trials have been cancelled.

Rockingham County – No jury selection in July 2010, November 2010, February 2011, May 2011.

Strafford County – No jury selection in July 2010, November 2010, March 2011, May 2011.

Sullivan County– No jury selection in September 2010, January 2011.


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