Family and probate court satellite office to open in Belchertown

  • Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 10/24/2019 3:36:06 PM

BELCHERTOWN — In an attempt to mitigate long travel times to the Hampshire Probate and Family Court in Northampton, a part-time satellite registry office will open in Eastern Hampshire District Court beginning Nov. 7.

The satellite office will be open to the public on the first and third Thursdays of every month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will provide general information to visitors, such as probate and family court forms, along with estate administration services. Those whose cases necessitate a judge will still have to travel to the court’s Northampton location at 15 Atwood Drive, said Hampshire Register of Probate Michael J. Carey.

“The eastern region of Hampshire County, it does present some difficulties in transportation … For some citizens, it can eat up a good chunk of the day,” Carey said. “It certainly won’t be able to eliminate entirely the need to drive to Northampton, but it will reduce some of the trips people would have to take.”

Belchertown’s new probate court office will mostly assist self-representing citizens in administrating and accepting forms and information about probate estates, divorces, adoptions, guardianships and legal name changes, among other services, Carey said.

Carey said he personally reviews all of the forms that come through the court regarding probate estates and said he sees a lot that originates from the eastern part of the county.

The new office will be located in the space currently occupied by the Franklin-Hampshire Counties Juvenile Court, Carey said, noting the juvenile court will maintain its current court schedule. Carey said he and juvenile court Clerk Magistrate Christopher D. Reavey found certain days of the month that would not interfere with court proceedings.

“We’re hoping people would get started in the right direction,” Carey said of serving people in eastern Hampshire County with the new satellite office. 

For now, Carey said he is waiting to see how busy the satellite office is before the court makes a determination on any expansion of hours. Eastern Hampshire District Court is located at 205 State St. in Belchertown. 

Michael Connors can be reached at 

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