490-F:7 Circuit Court Judges; Number.
I. Except as provided in paragraph II, the number of judges and masters in the circuit court shall not be less than the number of authorized judicial and master positions in the former district court, probate court, and judicial branch family division, as well as any superior court judicial officer or marital master equivalent not yet transferred to the former judicial branch family division on the effective date of this chapter but necessary to complete the family division implementation as set forth in RSA 490-D.
II. Upon the retirement, resignation, disability, or removal of a part-time justice or special justice of the former probate or district courts, the position shall be eliminated, unless within 30 days of such retirement, resignation, disability, or removal the supreme court certifies in writing to the governor that due to population, caseload, and available judicial resources, the position needs to be continued in the circuit court.
III. Upon the retirement, resignation, disability, or nonrenewal of appointment of a marital master, the position shall be converted to a full-time judicial position, provided that the fiscal committee of the general court approves and further provided that sufficient funds have been appropriated for the salary and benefits of the full-time judicial position. Once converted to a full-time judicial vacancy, the governor may nominate and the council may confirm any qualified person pursuant to part 2, article 46 of the New Hampshire constitution.
IV. The supreme court, after reviewing population, caseload, judicial time, and efficiency, available judicial resources, the needs of the circuit court, and other relevant criteria may request the governor and council to designate a sitting part-time judge as a full-time judge. The court may recommend certain judges; however, the governor and council shall not be bound by that recommendation. Upon designation, that judge shall become full-time. Prior to making its request, the supreme court shall receive the approval of the fiscal committee of the general court and there shall be funds in the court's budget specifically appropriated for the salary and benefits of an additional full-time circuit court judge.
Source. 2011, 88:1, eff. July 1, 2011. 2013, 89:1, eff. June 20, 2013.