Rockingham County Attorney
State of New Hampshire

 

 

 

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WELCOME........TO THE

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE

"The mission of the Rockingham County Attorney's Office is to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Rockingham County by providing justice professionally, effectively and efficiently."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to view a message from the Rockingham County Attorney and the Chiefs of Police. 

Paid for by fines imposed on establishments that have over-served their patrons.

Rockingham County Attorney, Jim Reams, was elected in 1998 to head the office where he began his legal career over twenty years ago.  The County Attorney and his Deputy oversee a staff of 37 in the Superior Court office.  Attorney Reams has re-organized the Rockingham County Attorney's staff of 17 Assistant County Attorneys into 3 litigation teams covering all of the geographical regions of the county.

The County Attorney is responsible for prosecuting most Felonies and all Misdemeanor Appeals that occur in Rockingham County. While the County Attorney is a constitutional officer, the Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer for the State of New Hampshire. The County Attorney is, in the absence of the Attorney General, the chief law enforcement officer in the county.  He has the responsibility for and exercises general supervisory control over the enforcement and prosecution of the criminal laws of the State.  In Rockingham County, the County Attorney prosecutes for 37 Police Departments, the Sheriff's Department, the New Hampshire State Police and various State agencies.

The County Attorney continues to be proactive in providing assistance to police departments during the earliest stages of a case.  Prosecutors are available to answer questions from law enforcement regarding investigations and charging decisions 24 hours a day.   All prosecutors are periodically scheduled to be "on call" or otherwise known as the "Duty" Prosecutor at nights and on weekends. The "Duty" prosecutors answer an average of 300 calls per year.   Prosecutors are "exempt" employees who do not receive overtime or other consideration for this added duty.  The prosecutors recognize that this is an important function that results in better investigations, better prosecutions, and protection of the rights of the citizens of Rockingham County.

The year 2010 was another challenging one for the County Attorney's Office.  We investigated, prosecuted and obtained convictions in some very significant and statewide precedent-setting cases. 

             State vs.

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DISTRICT COURT

While the County Attorney is responsible for criminal prosecution in his County, police departments have traditionally prosecuted their own cases at the District Court level in New Hampshire.  The County Attorney's Office provides assistance to departments when requested and occasionally for short periods when departments have been without personnel.  The County Attorney has assumed complete responsibility for District Court prosecution under circumstances where the individual department or municipality reimburses the county for the associated cost of providing that service.  This is done because the County Attorney does not provide district court prosecutors for all towns in Rockingham County.  The Plaistow District Court prosecutor position was filled in 2003 with 6 towns having entered the contract.  The County Attorney also provides prosecution for certain towns in the Candia District Court area including Nottingham and Candia.  In 2007, the Exeter District Court prosecutor position was filled with 2 towns having entered the contract, Exeter and Fremont.

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VICTIM/WITNESS COORDINATORS

The County Attorney's Office has three full-time Victim/Witness Coordinators.  The Coordinators work primarily on victims of felonious crimes.  They provide information and assistance to people affected by crimes with compassion and professionalism.  Coordinators guide victims through the criminal justice process and work to ensure that the victim's rights are protected in accordance with RSA 21-m:8. Each of the Victim/Witness Coordinators averaged over 485 telephone conferences and more than 66 office conferences with victims of crimes each month.

One of the three Coordinators continues to be grant funded through the Violence Against Women Act.  This grant limits the types of cases that this Coordinator may work on.  The County has been fortunate that the federal funds still pay the majority of this employee's salary.  It is important to maintain the level of services demanded by the Victim Bill of Rights.  With the increasing caseload, it will be necessary to add an additional full-time Coordinator in the near future.

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INVESTIGATORS

The investigators reviewed approximately 385 cases during 2009.  They review all cases involving victims.  Additionally, they reviewed and validated almost 300 cases pending in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), which is used by law enforcement to locate defendants evading justice.  Other duties of the investigators include but are not limited to assisting law enforcement agencies in follow-up investigations, locating missing witnesses and conducting some interviews.  In addition, the investigators handled 13 complaints against individual Police Departments, performed background checks for prospective employees and also fielded 32 walk-in contacts during 2009.

The entire staff of the Rockingham County Attorney's Office are dedicated and compassionate professionals who are committed to the mission of this office.  They have and will continue to do what it takes to get the job done.  The citizens of this County can be assured that the staff of this office serves them well.  The office would also like to thank the Commissioners, as well as the entire delegation for their support in rebuilding the Rockingham County Attorney's Office.

 
 

Updated:  08 May 2012