Housing court to remain in New Britain

NOTE: Front page story in New Britain Herald

By Brenda Maguire

State judiciary officials announced Thursday that the New Britain Housing Court, which serves many Central Connecticut communities, will remain open to hear cases involving housing disputes.

The state Judicial Department was considering closing the court, which is on Franklin Square, as part of a cost-cutting move.

Under such a plan, all cases would have been moved to Hartford.

All three employees at the housing court in New Britain are scheduled to retire this week, which had further prompted officials to close the court.

“We’re very pleased that they’re planning on keeping the housing court in New Britain,” state Rep. Tim O’Brien said.

The department plans to have an assistant clerk from another court move to New Britain. It has yet to be decided from which courthouse the assistant clerk will come.

In addition, the civil clerks at the New Britain court will be trained in housing cases so they can act as a backup if needed.

The department is still deciding the date that the assistant clerk will move to New Britain.

“It will be seamless and they won’t have to go anywhere else to have cases heard,” said Rhonda Stearley-Hebert, spokeswoman for the Judicial Department.

The department plans to have interim staff for the month of October at the New Britain court, which will stay in place until the assistant clerk moves in.

“We understand they’re in tough budget restraints and we’re glad the people of New Britain will continue to be served,” O’Brien said.

The New Britain court serves its host city, Bristol, Southington, Plainville, Plymouth, Berlin and Newington.

It handles cases involving evictions, appeals, discrimination in the sale or rental of property, violations of health or safety standards, and other matters.

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