Statement by the New Hampshire Supreme Court Regarding the Report of the Task Force on Domestic Violence Cases in the New Hampshire Judicial Branch
CONCORD, NH— The New Hampshire Supreme Court issued the following statement regarding the release of the Report of the Task Force of Domestic Violence Cases in the New Hampshire Judicial Branch:
“The Task Force on Domestic Violence Cases in the New Hampshire Judicial Branch was created by our order dated December 9, 2021. We directed it to conduct a systemic review of domestic violence cases in the New Hampshire court system and to report its conclusions and recommendations in seven categories. The Task Force has met its charge. The report sets forth extensive background information, a summary of the information and testimony received by the Task Force, and recommendations in each of the seven categories.
The Court thanks the Task Force members and its Chair, our colleague Associate Justice Anna Barbara Hantz Marconi, for their exceptional efforts. It is obvious that the report is the result of a great deal of time, effort and consideration. The Court is especially grateful for the collaboration across the wide spectrum of perspectives represented by the Task Force membership.
We have conducted an initial review of the report. Many of its recommendations are directed at the Judicial Branch. Some of those recommendations can be undertaken in the short term. Others may require more deliberation and planning, and others will require the cooperation of other government officials and stakeholders. We are committed to considering the recommendations and to being transparent about the Judicial Branch’s progress.|
To that end, the Court has immediately adopted Recommendation 1.1 and has created a Domestic Violence Committee as a standing committee in the Judicial Branch. It will be chaired by Dianne Martin, the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, and will include judges, administrators and court staff. The Committee will report directly to the Supreme Court. Its initial charge is to catalogue all of the Task Force recommendations. It will monitor the implementation of all of those recommendations that have been adopted or approved by the Judicial Branch.
New Hampshire has an exceptionally strong trial bench. Our colleagues in both trial courts are deeply committed to applying the facts to the law fairly and impartially, and to treating all those who come before them with dignity and respect. They are supported by court personnel who are hardworking and highly dedicated in their service to the people of New Hampshire. The circumstances they face can be challenging: emotions often run high, and the volume of cases is significant. In fact, across all case types, the Circuit Court held 174,000 hearings last year. As a judiciary, we are ready to meet the challenges ahead and, if there are opportunities to improve, we will pursue them, thereby making New Hampshire’s strong judiciary even stronger.”