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Should the public be informed when a complaint has been made against a NH judge?

News Date

Judge Paul Moore has been absent from the 9th Circuit Court in Nashua since mid-October, and officials aren’t saying why.

Reports in October cited by the Union Leader said Moore may have been removed from the bench, was escorted out of the building and placed on administrative leave for reasons that were not revealed to the public.

Officials are not commenting on any aspect of Moore’s status, such as whether a complaint has been filed or if the New Hampshire Judicial Conduct Committee is investigating a report of alleged misconduct.

“The Judicial Branch has no additional information to provide regarding Judge Moore. Its last comment to the media remains accurate — Judge Moore is a circuit court judge and state employee who is on the state payroll.”

- Carole Alfano, a communications manager for the New Hampshire Judicial Branch

The Judicial Conduct Committee

New Hampshire's Judicial Conduct Committee investigates alleged misconduct by judicial personnel, from a judge down to a court stenographer. The committee consists of three judges, a clerk of court, two lawyers, and five lay persons. The committee may issue a warning, dispose of a grievance against a judge by informal agreement or adjustment, or recommend that the court impose formal discipline.

However, the committee keeps the initial report of any misconduct confidential. A complaint becomes public at the point that it is either dismissed, resolved by way of informal resolution, or has a statement of formal charges and notice of hearing filed with the committee and served upon the judge.

Does the public have a right to know about complaints from the beginning?

Proponents of informing the public about complaints from the start argue that the dealings of the Judicial Conduct Committee and the status of judges should be open to as much public scrutiny as possible, since judges are public servants who wield a great deal of power over other citizens.

Opponents say having too much public scrutiny could have a chilling effect on the ability of judges to act independent of outside influence. Others argue that accusations of misconduct shouldn’t be made public before they’ve been proven valid.

What do you think? Should the public have more information about the status of judges and whether any kind of allegation or complain has been filed against them with the Judicial Conduct Committee?


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I have to say when I woke up this morning and heard on the news that "Mr. Moore" was under investigation, I had the biggest smile on my face. To see that Karma actually caught up to judge Moore, I was beside myself. I spent five years in in front of this power hungry imp. I experienced nothing but corruption, biased towards fathers and blatant disregard for the truth. His joyful willingness to be the savior on the white horse saving the Damsel in Distress and damming the fathers, based on no fact only Buzz words that are overly common to the females in Family Court. Mr. Moore there's someone knocking on your door I do believe it's karma.

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