“It’s just a fact we are established there,” he said.
Over the past decade, Peabody has been designated as the site of special court sessions, including the “Gun Court” that handled a large number of Lynn-area gun cases, and hosted jury trials for Salem while the new courthouse was being built.
“For me, it seems like good-government policy,” said Finnegan, a former state representative from Newburyport in the 1990s.
The bill, filed at the start of the legislative session last year, is still in committee, Speliotis said. It was held up when former Chelsea state Rep. Eugene O’Flaherty gave up his chairmanship of the House Judiciary Committee to become Boston’s chief legal counsel. After its March 20 deadline passed, the bill has been given more time to report out.
Getting the change in jurisdiction may not be easy, because it might touch off requests for changes in other court jurisdictional lines in other parts of the state, Speliotis said.
“I think I have to have the political stars to line up,” Speliotis said. “It’s not an easy task.”
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.
Fiscal 2013 court filings
Salem District Court — 12,630
Peabody District Court — 6,863
Source: Massachusetts District Court