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 2009 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.