October 6, 2009

Hamzy: State can't close Bristol courthouse

State judicial officials may not have the power to close Bristol’s courthouse.
“They can’t do it,” said state Rep. Bill Hamzy, a Plymouth Republican whose 78th District includes northwestern Bristol.
Two decades ago, when another governor was eyeing the city’s courthouse, lawmakers pushed through a measure that remains on the statute books that declares the judicial department must operate a courthouse in Bristol.
A section in the law governing the state’s superior courts says “the court shall not sit less than 40 weeks in Bristol and Stamford,” which doesn’t appear to offer much wiggle room.
Hamzy said the provision has never been repealed and cannot be ignored.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I know what can’t happen,” Hamzy said Tuesday.

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Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Way to fight for us.

This court house is worth fighting for. Let's go Nicastro, Wright, etc. This is not a republican or democrat issue it is a Bristol issue.

Anonymous said...

Hamzy for Governor!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I think this was an amendment done by Ed Krawiecki when he was a legislator

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Bill! A law on the books doesn't do us any good unless somebody knows it's there. Thanks for pointing it out.

chris wilson said...

My comment is not really relative to this topic but all budget cutting. We can't cut payroll because of union contracts, we cannot cut services because the local community screams and hollars, we cannot regionalize services for the same reason. Tell me then how is government supposed to reduce costs? Everyone says that government should get smaller but not my program!

Regardless of party we must come to grips that our revenue stream is less than it was and we must reduce our level of expenditures.

Every time a suggestions is made one is tar and feathered! I guess we get the government we deserve!

I think i've come to the conclusion we wouldn't recognize a political leader if we saw one. No wonder we get the kind of government we do! Disappointing!

Odin said...

What a bunch of hypocrits we are. We condemn politicians like Sarah Palin for taking tax dollars for "bridge to nowhere" boondoggles (and spending it on something else so she could SAY she did not accept money for the bridge), but when it's OUR boondoggle we defend it tooth and nail. Central Connecticut does not need four courthouses (including Middletown and Hartford) within 15 miles of the capital.

Anonymous said...

The best thing would be that the court house is no longer, And this is why the town has been bitching about more space for city hall there it is and it won`t cost the tax payers any more money.

Anonymous said...

4:20

The city gets about $150,000/yr rent and saves countless dollars by the police not having to go out of town to testify or take prisioners..

Anonymous said...

Closing the courthouse is the best thing that can happen to downtown Bristol. As it is now, the courthouse is limited service anyway.

For most things, other than your criminal case, you already have to go to New Britain. Want a restraining order? New Britain. Have a beef with your landlord and want to make a complaint? New Britain. Are you a landlord trying to evict a non-rent paying tenant? New Britain. Want to file a small claims lawsuit? New Britain.

The only cases heard in Bristol are criminal cases. So, if you close the courthouse, you get rid of all the scum that hangs around there all day. It detracts from the downtown and makes it less appealing.

As a bonus, it will open up space for the police department or City Hall expansion, both of which are in various stages of planning.

It's a win-win! Close it!

Anonymous said...

Umm, Bill Hamzy didn't do anything to uncover this, so don't make it sound like he did anything. It's been well-publicized (including on this very blog) the last time the court closing issue was brought up earlier this year that Ed Kraweicki had gotten that law passed a long time ago when he was a State Rep. requiring a court house in Bristol to stay open. If Bill Hamzy wants to be helpful, he should pressure Governor Rell to reconsider. Anything short of that is is meaningless talk.

Anonymous said...

you get rid of all the scum that hangs around there all day


Yes God forbid the scum have things like the presumption of innocence and the benefit of an impartial judicial system.

But not to hijack this topic if Hamzy is so freakin concerned about this he would have been at Rell's door for months on this. After all he's in her political party, is supposedly cited as a leading republican in the house, but it was Rell who just vetoed the exemption on budget cuts for the judicial branch.

A press comment sounds nice Bill, but back those words up with some action for once.

Anonymous said...

3:47 Also prices should drop so people can afford to pay through the nose to keep businesses alive.

Anonymous said...

I thought the Sheriff’s Department transported prisoners....and as far as officer testimony, why don't they just do video Skype it in, if it's even needed. Every court has high-speed internet access now.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Wilson

Payroll can be cut, it just takes nerve to do it.

Increase productivity, thru technology, and reduced time off.

Stop adding feel good programs.

Unpopular decisions are the difficult part of politics, but the people DO NOT support those tha are willing to stand up and make the difficult decisions. You know that.

Anonymous said...

There is probably a way to skirt this law (there always is) by simply having one court related case heard or entertained in an office in city hall once a week for 40 weeks a year. The Bristol court is only an arraignment court, no trials are held there. As another poster stated earlier, just about everything else the public needs i.e.rstraining orders, eviction processing, etc. one has to go to New Britain anyway. On any given day, there are at least two empty court rooms in New britain so space is not an issue. The Bristol courthouse does not service the public as much as residents may think. On another level, if the city of Bristol is ever going to have a viable downtown, the court must close or at least move out of the downtown area, for the obvious reasons already stated. Who is going to invest money in downtown Bristol with all of the unproductive citizens of the community hanging around across the street? If I was a politician, I am not sure I would jump on board with this fight. Let the court go. It is counter-productive to the development of the downtown. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Where are Bristol's other representatives on this issue?

Anonymous said...

The court employees were told today by a high level manager of the Judiciary that it is highly unlikely (15% chance) that the court will actually close. This is a political pressure move by Rell to get the budget cuts she wants.

Anonymous said...

This court brings no buisness to Bristol JUST SAVES MONEY FOR THE LAWYERS. LET IT GO.

Anonymous said...

11:48 Can't you read the paper ?

Anonymous said...

8:53

Why don't you tell me>

Anonymous said...

Some fight I thought Hamzy voted against keeping the Court house open........What a hypocrite!

Anonymous said...

9:50 Why ? Can't you read?Probably not!

good for all said...

wilson knocks politicians but he supported the raises for the school teachers and administrators for this year. is he going to ask for them back? don't think so.

Anonymous said...

8:49

I can read and write, and someone wanted information I had I would share it.

What is YOUR problem????

Anonymous said...

Idiot I don't have to share a newspaper with you. Buy the Bristol Press instead of insinuating. Same ol republican crap !