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Bar News - January 20, 2016

Court News: Court Admin Reconsiders Security Policy


After receiving a complaint from an attorney and reexamining state law, court officials have changed the security policy at NH Circuit Court locations. As a safety measure, all who enter will now be subject to security screenings.

Donald Goodnow, director of the NH Administrative Office of the Courts, said at a meeting of the NH Bar Association Committee on Cooperation with the Courts in December that an initial reading of RSA 159:19 led to the earlier security policy, which exempted county attorneys, the NH Attorney General’s Office staff and law enforcement officers from security screenings at local courthouses.

But upon reexamination of the law, and after discussions with the bar, Goodnow said, the policy was changed in early December.

All attorneys and others who enter circuit court locations in New Hampshire will now be screened through a metal detector as a safety precaution.

The intial complaint was lodged by attorney Emmanuel Krasner, whose irate reaction to the initial policy also was submitted to Bar News and published last month. Krasner’s letter prompted other attorneys to write in support of his position. Those letters can be found here and here.

The county sheriff’s offices oversee security at NH Superior Courts. Some sheriffs, notably Hillsborough County Sheriff James Hardy, have worked with the Bar Association to provide expedited entry with a Bar ID card, while others have more informal policies.

If you are in doubt about the status of any meeting, please call the Bar Center at 603-224-6942 before you head out.

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