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General Laws

Section 17. The court administrator, in consultation with the chief justice of the trial court shall have charge of the daily care, operation and routine maintenance of court facilities owned by the commonwealth, and of long-range planning and capital budget requests for such court facilities.

In carrying out said duties with respect to court facilities, the court administrator shall be governed by statutes applicable to facilities management and capital planning and budget requests by state agencies, including but not limited to: sections thirty-eight A to forty-three L, inclusive, of chapter seven; sections seven A to seven K, inclusive, and sections twenty-six A and twenty-six B of chapter twenty-nine; and sections forty-four A to forty-four M, inclusive, of chapter one hundred and forty-nine. Notwithstanding any other general or special law to the contrary, the court administrator, in consultation with the chief justice of the trial court shall assign and allocate space occupied by the judicial branch in court facilities owned or leased by the commonwealth, and the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance shall assign and allocate space in such facilities which said chief justice determines is not needed by the judicial branch; provided, however, that the court administrator, in consultation with the chief justice of the trial court shall resolve any disputes regarding the assignment and allocation of space. In carrying out said duties with respect to court facilities, the court administrator, in consultation with the chief justice of the trial court, shall also regularly consult with the court facilities council established in section six of chapter twenty-nine A. The court administrator, in consultation with the chief justice of the trial court shall, subject to appropriation and to available resources, provide a separate and secure waiting area or room in each division or court within the superior, probate and family, juvenile, Boston municipal and district court departments of the trial court for victims, family members and witnesses during court proceedings, as provided by clause (i) of section three of chapter two hundred and fifty-eight B. Said court administrator, in consultation with the chief justice of the trial court shall, subject to appropriation and to available resources, include provisions for a safe and secure waiting area or room for all new construction and renovations of court facilities in said departments.

The court administrator, in consultation with the chief justice of the trial court may charge a county, city or town an occupancy fee for the use of any portion of court facilities owned by the commonwealth. The amount of any such occupancy fee shall be limited to the cost of maintenance, repairs, and utilities attributable to the proportion of the usable floor space of such court facility occupied by such county, city or town. In the event the parties are unable to agree on the amount of the occupancy fee, the director of court facilities in the division of capital asset management and maintenance shall, after hearing if requested by either party, establish such fee. All such fees shall be paid into the General Fund of the commonwealth. The court administrator, in consultation with the chief justice of the trial court, acting jointly with the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance, may terminate the occupancy of a portion of such court facilities by a town, city or county only after a process of negotiation with such town, city or county, and only after giving such town, city or county at least one year’s advance notice of such proposed termination.

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