The New Hampshire Judicial Council Duties
The duties of the Council are as follows:
- To serve as an institutional forum for the on-going and disinterested consideration of issues affecting the administration of justice.
- 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.
- To devise ways of simplifying judicial procedure, expediting the transaction of judicial business, and of improving the administration of justice.
- 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.
- 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.
- To administer the indigent defense delivery system and ensure its quality and cost effectiveness, pursuant to RSA 604-A and RSA 604-B.
- 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.
- To provide legal services for indigent proposed wards in guardianship proceedings brought under RSA 463 and RSA 464-A.
In addition to the duties defined in RSA 494 the Judicial Council is charged in several other statutes with duties relating to the delivery of indigent defense representation and related services consistent with RSA 604-A and RSA 604-B. Payments to attorneys and legal service providers in cases where an individual has been found to be indigent are paid by the Judicial Council.
RSA 490:26-f charges the Judicial Council with authority for payment of guardian ad litem bills. These guardian ad litem appointments can be in probate matters such a guardianships of minors and adults, and representation by both attorneys and GALS in Termination of Parental Rights matters pursuant to RSA 170-C. Guardians ad Litem and mediators appointed pursuant to RSA 461-A are also paid by funds appropriated to the Judicial Council when either parent qualifies for the court fund.
Beginning July 1, 2009 payment responsibility for attorneys representing parents in Abuse & Neglect cases and guardians ad litem appointed in delinquency cases also became the fiscal responsibility of the Council. Payments for any matters relating to CHINS cases remain the responsibility of DHHS.