EFFECTIVE Monday May 24, 2021

Effective Monday May 24, 2021 the Strafford County Courthouse will be phasing in reopening to the public. The building remains closed to the public, with the following exceptions:

  • Individuals who need to do business with Circuit and Superior Court clerk’s offices;
  • Individuals involved in court hearings permitted by the New Hampshire Supreme Court Order updated May 14, 2021;
  • Individuals with pre-approved business with County or State personnel; and
  • Individuals who need to conduct business with the Registry of Deeds.

For those entering the Courthouse, you are asked to conduct a self-assessment of COVID-19 risk factors to ensure the health and safety of yourself and personnel. Questions are posted at the entrance to the building. If you can answer yes to the questions, please do not enter the building.

Face Coverings are required throughout the building. If you do not have your own, please obtain one from the court security team at the entrance. Social distancing continues to be encouraged.

All essential State and County personnel will be allowed into the building to conduct business. Please be supportive and patient as we work together to fight this pandemic and keep our personnel safe. We thank you in advance for your support and cooperation.

Based on the potential devastating effects of the Coronavirus (Covid-19), we are taking all steps suggested by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to deter the disease’s progress. Strafford County’s Team has been working diligently and the closure of the Courthouse was determined the best course of action to continue to protect staff from the likely spread of the Corona virus (Covid-19).

                                                                        Raymond F. Bower

                                                                        Raymond F. Bower

         County Administrator


Mental Health Court

Mental Health Court:  is a 3-phase intervention program designed for adults with pending criminal offenses and who are eligible for appropriate services with Community Partners or qualifying Mental Health Agencies. It is a collaborative effort between the 7th Circuit Court District Division—Rochester, Strafford County Community Corrections, Strafford County Commissioners, and Community Partners. By working together, these agencies seek to provide court supervision, community monitoring, case management, and mental health treatment geared toward supporting and helping defendants maintain a more healthy lifestyle. Mental Health Court involves frequent court appearances, and random drug testing on a case by case basis,as well as group and individual counseling.

Mental Health Court awards incentives for healthy, appropriate behavior and imposes sanctions for negative behavior. Participants who do not comply with the regulations and conditions of MHC may be subject to sanctions  up to and including termination from Mental Health Court.

Mental Health Court has been in session since June of 2007.  Visitors are welcome with prior authorization.  Please contact Mental Health Court Director Blair Rowlett.


Program Goals

*Reduce the recidivism rates among people with mental health diagnoses.

*Promote engagement in treatment and improve quality of life.

*Increase community awareness and safety.

*Provide defendants with proper coping skills in regards to their individual mental health issues and live a more productive life.

*Provide outreach and support to defendants throughout the judicial process.


Presiding Justice of the

Strafford County Mental Health Court

Honorable Susan W. Ashley

Hon. Susan W. Ashley was appointed as Special Justice for Rochester Circuit Court on June 7, 2006, was designated as a Family Division Judge on January 4, 2008 and as a Circuit Court Judge on July 1, 2011.  She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Hampshire in 1990 and her Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School in 1993.  Her previously employment includes positions as a Judicial Clerk for the New Hampshire Superior Court, Deputy County Attorney for Strafford County, Deputy Clerk for Strafford Superior Court and New Hampshire Judicial Branch Family Division Administrator.  Judge Ashley implemented the Strafford County Employability Program, the only child support program in New Hampshire to supervise parental accountability while supporting obligors in finding and maintaining employment.  She collaborates on the Bridge Project with Dartmouth Medical School’s Trauma Interventions Research Center and child protection and juvenile justice agencies in New Hampshire, to establish a trauma-informed juvenile justice system, including screening all delinquency cases for potential trauma treatment.  Currently, Judge Ashley presides over Mental Health Court in the 7th Circuit Court—Rochester District Division. 

State of New Hampshire Judicial Branches and Information


Program Contact Information:

 Blair Rowlett, Mental Health Court Director

Phone:  603-749-0832 ext 5182

Fax:  603-740-2955