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Bar News - July 19, 2013

Court's Corner: Cheshire County Has Attorney Access System

When the new Cheshire County courthouse, pictured here under construction, opens at the end of 2013, attorneys with county-issued credentials will be able to enter the courthouse through a separate lane at the door.
Cheshire County Sheriff Eli Rivera, a former police prosecutor for the city of Keene, recently worked with the Cheshire County Bar Association to set up a system that allows attorneys who frequent the county court to bypass the weapons screening at the entrance.

Attorneys must submit a form that attests that they are in “good standing,” in which they agree to not bring any contraband items into the courthouse and to allow a search of their person if requested. The attorneys also must obtain a picture ID issued by the Cheshire County House of Corrections.

At the current Cheshire courthouse, there is only one entrance, so attorneys must still wait in line to enter the building but can bypass the screening with the display of their cards. When the new county courthouse opens at the end of this year, it will be possible for attorneys to use a separate lane, used by police officers and county employees, that will bypass the lines at the door.

The county ID does not provide expedited access to the Circuit Court, which is currently at Keene City Hall. That court will be housed in the same building as the superior court, once the new building opens.

Rivera said allowing attorneys who regularly practice in Cheshire County courts to have expedited access to the county courthouse is a professional courtesy that should be extended to “officers of the court.”

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