New Hampshire’s court consolidation legislation starting to take effect; layoffs expected today

New Hampshire’s legislature moved in April to consolidate its District, Probate, and Judicial Branch Family Division into a newly created limited jurisdiction court called the Circuit Court (details here and here). While the Circuit Court won’t go into effect until July 1, the layoffs start June 2 (i.e. today).

Speaking to a American Bar Association task force last Thursday, Supreme Court Chief Justice Linda Dalianis said 73 reductions (34 laid off June 2, 28 to retire, rest left voluntarily) are on top of more than 100 vacant positions gone unfilled (h/t New Hampshire Bar).

While the original proposal was for the consolidation to be phased in over a decade, and compared to Vermont which had several months for its 2010 court consolidation, the New Hampshire legislation passed (HB 609) pushed the consolidation into this June/July 2011 time frame.