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Bar News - November 19, 2010

Family Law: Merrimack Family Division To Open in December


The new Merrimack Family Division will open on December 10 and will be co-located with the Merrimack District Court on Baboosic Lake Road in Merrimack. The remaining caseload in the Hillsborough Superior Court South marital department will be transferred and heard at the Merrimack Family Division as of December 10.

Merrimack District Court Judge Clifford R. Kinghorn, Jr. will serve as the family division judge for this location. Marital Masters David Forrest and Alice Love will each sit half-time at this family division. Marital Master Bruce Dalpra will complete the marital master team for this location. To expedite child support cases, Hearing Officer Lauren Thorn will be assigned two days per week at this location.

The clerk of the Merrimack Family Division will be Lynn Kill Kelley. Lynn is the clerk of the Merrimack District Court who will be adding the family division responsibilities to her current duties. She has been a clerk since 1985. Recently, Lynn successfully oversaw the relocation of the Merrimack District Court to its new facility. Cheryll-Ann Andrews will oversee the coordination, transfer, scheduling, staff supervision, and case processing for this large marital department. Cheryll has extensive experience working with families and their legal matters, including years as a case manager in Brentwood and Derry, and recently as deputy clerk of the Franklin Family Division.

Many efforts are underway to ensure a smooth family division opening. To assist the Hillsborough South marital department complete its work, family division staff from around the state will work together at Hillsborough South between November 15 and December 3, to out-process a backlog of court orders. Similarly, to reduce a backlog of lengthy contested matters that are awaiting hearing dates, several family division judges and marital masters from around the state will be sitting for a few days each at Merrimack Family between opening day and the end of March. These judicial officers will be absent from their own courts on those days in order to assist with this effort in Merrimack. With the reduction in judge-days because of budget cuts, and with a high statewide vacancy rate among clerical staff, the implementation of these two plans will temporarily impact other family division locations. \As painful as those impacts might be, however, in good conscience I cannot allow the Merrimack Family Division to open without this aggressive support.

Should you have questions about the opening of this family division, I encourage you to contact Lynn Killkelley or Cheryll Andrews, at 603-424-9916, or Gina Apicelli at 603-271-6418.

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