Judge David D. King Honored as 2021 Innovator of the Year by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
CONCORD, NH—Judge David D. King, Chief Administrative Judge of the New Hampshire Circuit Court, has been named the 2021 Innovator of the Year by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ). Judge King was recognized by the NCJFCJ at their annual conference in St. Louis, Missouri. Among his accomplishments, King was lauded for leading the formation of the Family Division, a single court division devoted to all family and juvenile justice issues in New Hampshire.
Judge King also established a central call center to streamline communications with helpful and knowledgeable staff. He and his team brought electronic filing to cases in the state, which included the centralization of probate filings and guardianships to an online process.
“Judge King has been instrumental in reimagining New Hampshire’s courts into one integrated circuit court which includes a family division that allows judges to specialize in the unique needs that families present in court,” said Judge Hiram Puig-Lugo, NCJFCJ president. “We applaud him for his progressive thinking to help keep families together and improve children's lives in the face of the pandemic, reorganization of staff and processes, and state budget cuts.”
During COVID-19, Judge King and the circuit court staff worked with the Statewide Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence to implement a new system to file e-petitions for protective orders with the help of an advocate. King designed and implemented the technology systems needed for the continuation of pleadings and hearings during the crisis with limited resources. He also oversaw the expansion of Alternative Dispute Resolution to small claims cases with a 95% settlement rate during the pandemic.
“All of these innovations have allowed judges and court professionals to service the complex needs of children and families in New Hampshire,” said Judge Susan B. Carbon of the Ninth Circuit Court Family Division in Manchester and NCJFCJ past president in her nomination of Judge King. “It is a testament to his leadership that access to justice has prevailed in the face of this daunting crisis. I, alongside with my colleagues, believe that he is a champion and visionary for children and families. He has been instrumental in implementing many positive changes in the New Hampshire court system.”