Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Massachusetts Court Reform Law

A court reform bill was signed into law by Governor Patrick earlier this month (Chapter 93 of the Acts of 2011). The legislation provides for the hiring of a court administrator to act as the administrative head of the Trial Court. The court administrator will be responsible for court personnel, security and facilities. The position of the Chief Justice for Administration and Management will be renamed Chief Justice of the Trial Court. The Chief Justice will be the policy and judicial head of the Trial Court. Any disputes between the court administrator and the Chief Justice of the Trial Court will be settled by the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The statute also provides for the Probation Department to remain within the judicial branch. Although most of the statutory changes will take effect on July 1, 2012, the legislation allows the court administrator to be hired before this date.