Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Courts to reduce public access

In a sign of these difficult economic times, the Massachusetts Trial Court announced yesterday that it would be curtailing the hours during which many of the state's courts would be accessible to the public, both over the phone and on a walk-in basis. For example, all Probate Courts will stop waiting on customers and stop answering the telephone at 3 pm each day. Similarly, many district courts, including those in Lowell and Lawrence, will cut back on the hours they are open to the public. This does not mean that the court employees will work less time. Instead, they will use the non-public time to catch up on necessary paperwork such as docketing new pleadings and filing papers. Both of these things may seem trivial by themselves, but without them being done in a timely manner, the efficient operation of the courts and all who use them is greatly reduced. There is no comparable measure being considered for the registry of deeds. A down economy may cause an increase in court activity (especially for criminal law and divorce) but it tends to create a lull in the real estate market, so we've been quite capable to keeping up with all new recordings.

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