As New Hampshire Bar Association President and practicing attorney at Tenn And Tenn, P.A., James J. Tenn emphasizes in a New Hampshire Bar Association News article the impact attorneys can have if they become more actively involved in speaking out about how cost reductions are hurting the justice system. While the closing of New Hampshire courts is a response to the financial crisis in the state, lawyers are concerned about an increase in court delays, fewer available court dates, and other inconveniences for timely cases that individuals are relying on to be resolved promptly.
Courthouses throughout New Hampshire shut their doors on April 2, 2010, and again on April 30 as a part of the NH Supreme Court’s response to the state’s current financial calamity. The courthouses will close again on May 28 as well as on additional dates yet to be disclosed. On these days of closure, judicial branch employees take unpaid furloughs to help with the state legislature’s decision to lower judicial expenditures by at least $3.1 million dollars by June 30, 2011, as part of an anticipated state expenditure decrease of $25 million dollars.
The judicial branch plans on closing NH courts 17 days in 2010 and an additional number of days in 2011. James J. Tenn reminds attorneys and citizens alike how critical the preservation of access to justice is even during challenging times presented by a struggling economy. In the article, Mr. Tenn states, “The proper administration of justice requires that our court system remain accessible. Adequate funding is needed to ensure that sufficient staff is on hand to keep our courts open and the process moving.”
In stressing the importance of citizens of New Hampshire having access to a process of justice, Mr. Tenn asserts that furloughs should be a temporary measure, not an ultimate solution to a budget problem.
To learn more about what you can do to help the courthouses stay open and provide the people with access to justice, please visit the Why We Care website created by the New Hampshire Bar Association to gather and distribute information about the harmful consequences of limited funding upon our judicial system.