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COURTHOUSE ADVISORY COMMITTEE

The Courthouse Advisory Committee (CHAC) is a tri-branch working group created to study the the facilities the court system operates. Group members include representatives from the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches of Maine State Government, members of County or Municipal government, and representatives of stakeholder interests. The specific names are listed in the membership roster. Members serve three-year terms, renewable at the discretion of the Chief Justice.The committee will make recommendations concerning maintenance, renovation, upgrade and possible closures of courthouses to all three branches of State government. The committee is tasked to:

      • Review information about the facilities and the related budgeting issues;.
      • Identify barriers which prevent safe and accessible availability of justice, including, but not limited to, circumstances of disrepair, inadequacy of secure space, and ADA issues;
      • Develop joint solutions to remove fiscal and physical barriers, including methods for funding renovations, maintenance, and space acquisition;.
      • Assess current courthouse locations and make recommendations for change consistent with facilitating court operations and functioning within operating budgets; and
      • Provide input to assist in establishing priorities for future renovations and construction projects.

The goals of this Committee are:

      • Develop proposals regarding the future course of the relationship between the State and Counties with regard to court facilities in county owned buildings, particularly with respect to responsibilities of the entities pursuant to 4 M.R.S.A. § 115;
      • Develop a budgeting plan that will allow the Judicial Branch to provide safe and accessible justice within the court facilities of the State of Maine; and
      • Make recommendations for setting priorities regarding new construction, renovations, or possible closings of court buildings.

The committee met several times in 2008.