Chief Justice Leigh I. Saufley of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court will tour courthouses in Washington and Penobscot counties next week.
Next month, she will visit court facilities in Somerset and Kennebec counties
At each location, she will be accompanied by local legislators.
“These visits provide an opportunity to directly address issues related to rural access to justice, and the condition of Maine’s courthouses,” Mary Ann Lynch, spokeswoman for the judiciary, said in a press release announcing the visits, “as well as providing an opportunity for Maine’s elected representatives to visit the courthouses.”
Saufley is scheduled to be at the 4th District Court in Calais at 10 a.m. Monday. She then will head to the District and Superior courts in Machias for a 1 p.m. tour. Sen. Kevin Raye, R-Perry, and Rep. Anne C. Perry, D-Calais, will accompany the chief justice.
One topic that Saufley and legislators are expected to discuss is the $12 million renovation to the Machias courts approved by the Legislature.
Saufley is scheduled to visit the Penobscot Tribal Court on Indian Island at 9 a.m. Tuesday with Rep. Wayne Mitchell, the Penobscot Nation’s representative in the Legislature. She also will tour 3rd District Court in Newport at noon with Rep. Joshua Tardy, R-Newport.
The chief justice will meet with staff at 12th District Court in Skowhegan at 8 a.m. Oct. 6 and at the Somerset County Superior Court an hour later. The chief justice will tour 7th District Court in Waterville at noon the same day with Sen. Lisa Marrache, D-Waterville. Saufley and Senate President Elizabeth “Libby” Mitchell, D-Vassalboro, and then tour the Kennebec County Courthouse at 2 p.m.
Last year, the Legislature approved a $60 million upgrade to the court facilities in Augusta that would combine the District and Superior court clerks’ offices in a facility to be built behind the Kennebec County Courthouse. Renovations also are planned for the Superior Court.