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Hamzy said the provision has never been repealed and cannot be ignored.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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