THE JUDICIAL COUNCIL
494:1 Judicial Council.
There is hereby established a judicial council which shall consist of the following:
I. The 4 members of the judicial branch administrative council, appointed pursuant to supreme court rules.
II. The attorney general or designee.
III. A clerk of the superior court, selected by the chief justice of the superior court.
IV. A clerk of the circuit court, selected by the administrative judge of the circuit court.
V. The president-elect of the New Hampshire Bar Association.
VI. The chairperson of the senate judiciary committee or a designee from such committee appointed by the chairperson.
VII. The chairperson of the house judiciary committee or a designee from such committee appointed by the chairperson.
VIII. Eight other members appointed by the governor and council, 3 of whom shall be members of the New Hampshire Bar Association of wide experience who have been admitted to practice in the state for more than 5 years, and 5 of whom shall be members of the public who are not lawyers.
IX. Five other members appointed by the chief justice of the supreme court, 3 of whom shall be members of the New Hampshire Bar Association of wide experience who have been admitted to practice in the state for more than 5 years, and 2 of whom shall be members of the public who are not lawyers.
Source. 1945, 169:1, par. 1. 1951, 245:1. RSA 494:1. 1969, 395:1. 1971, 14:1. 1975, 330:1. 1981, 552:1. 1992, 284:16. 1995, 9:43, eff. June 11, 1995. 2015, 114:1, eff. Aug. 7, 2015.
494:2 Appointment and Tenure of Office.
The term of each member except the members of the judicial branch administrative council, the attorney general, the president-elect of the New Hampshire Bar Association, and the chairpersons of the senate judiciary committee and the house judiciary committee shall be for 3 years and until a successor is appointed and qualified. Vacancies shall be filled for the remainder of the term in the same manner and from the same group as the original appointment. Each member of the judicial branch administrative council, the attorney general, the president-elect of the New Hampshire Bar Association, and the chairpersons of the senate judiciary and house judiciary committees shall be ex officio members and shall serve during their term of office.
Source. 1945, 169:1, par. 2. 1951, 245:2. RSA 494:2. 1969, 395:2. 1971, 456:5. 1975, 330:2. 1981, 552:2. 1992, 284:17. 1995, 9:44, eff. June 11, 1995. 2015, 114:2, eff. Aug. 7, 2015.
494:3 Duties of the Council.
It shall be the duty of the judicial council:
I. To serve as an institutional forum for the on-going and disinterested consideration of issues affecting the administration of justice.
II. To survey and study continuously the administration of justice within the state and the organization, procedure, practice, rules and methods of administration and operation of the courts of the state.
III. To devise ways of simplifying judicial procedure, expediting the transaction of judicial business, and of improving the administration of justice.
IV. To recommend and provide general information to the general court, to the supreme court, to the superior court, to the circuit court, to any public official, department or agency or to the state bar association, either upon request or upon the council's own motion, such changes in the law or in the rules, organization, operation or methods of conducting the business of the courts, or with respect to any other matter pertaining to the administration of justice, as it may deem desirable.
V. To serve as a catalyst for the discussion of legal and judicial issues through seminars, forums and special studies, and any other means, within the limits of available state and private funding.
VI. To administer the indigent defense delivery system and ensure its quality and cost effectiveness, pursuant to RSA 604-A and RSA 604-B.
VII. To provide legal and guardian-ad-litem services in child protection cases, pursuant to RSA 169-C:10, RSA 604-A, and RSA 170-C:13.
VIII. To provide legal services for indigent proposed wards in guardianship proceedings brought under RSA 463 and RSA 464-A.
Source. 1945, 169:1, par. 3. RSA 494:3. 1992, 284:18, eff. Jan. 1, 1993. 2015, 114:3, eff. Aug. 7, 2015.
494:4 Biennial Reports.
The council shall report to the governor and council biennially on its activities and shall submit with the report its recommendations, if any, for improving the administration of justice. The biennial report, and any and all other reports, studies and recommendations may be printed, based upon available funding, and made available to members of the general court, the supreme, superior, probate and district and municipal courts and to the public.
Source. 1945, 169:1, par. 4. RSA 494:4. 1992, 284:19, eff. Jan. 1, 1993.
The regular meetings of the council shall be held in January, April and October of each year, and at such other times as the council or its chairman may determine.
Source. 1945, 169:1, par. 5. 1951, 245:3. RSA 494:5. 1975, 107:1. 1981, 552:3. 1992, 284:20, eff. Jan. 1, 1993.
494:6 State and Other Officials; Cooperation.
The judges and clerks of the courts of the state, sheriffs, county attorneys and all state, county or municipal officers shall render to the council such reports as it may request of matters within the scope of its duties.
Source. 1945, 169:1, par. 6. RSA 494:6. 1959, 12:1, eff. May 10, 1959.
494:7 Organization of Council; Expenses.
The council shall elect a chairperson and a vice chairperson from among its members. The council shall appoint an executive director who shall be qualified by reason of education and experience and who shall serve at the pleasure of the council. The executive director's annual salary shall be that prescribed by RSA 94:1-a. The executive director shall serve as a secretary when the council is meeting. The council may make all necessary rules and regulations for its own procedures and the conduct of its meetings. The meetings of the council shall be held in compliance with the provisions of RSA 91-A, the right-to-know law. Members of the council shall receive no compensation for their services, but shall be allowed their actual expenses while attending to the business of the council, and the council shall be allowed its expenses to be paid out of any funds appropriated for that purpose.
Source. 1945, 169:1, par. 7. RSA 494:7. 1992, 284:21, eff. Jan. 1, 1993. 2015, 114:4, eff. Aug. 7, 2015.