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Bar News - September 16, 2011

Morning Mail: Considering Rights

I read with great interest Amanda Terkel’s article on how state budget cuts imperil Americans’ access to courts in the August 19, 2011 edition of the NH Bar News. Justice Broderick is right on when he says that nobody seems worried about the least powerful people in our society, who lack the political clout to assert their interests.

Ironically, I then read the Court’s Corner, where our court leaders set forth their new plan to present their case to the legislature to merge the southern and northern districts of the Hillsborough County Superior Court in the Manchester courthouse. That merger is now being proposed to allow “the Circuit Court to completely occupy the Spring Street courthouse in Nashua.” This came as a surprise to me, as I had been under the impression that the proposed merger was about cost savings.

We need to start thinking about the rights of the least powerful citizens. How will the merger of these courts impact those people? How will those without transportation or financial means access justice?

Giving the new Circuit Court exclusive residency in the Hillsborough South courthouse seems like a weak rationale for a decision that will so negatively impact those who can least afford it.

Scott Flegal

NHLAP: A confidential Independent Resource

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