Bar News - December 16, 2011
Circuit Court Orders
Administrative Order 2011 Ė 17
(This order supersedes Circuit Court Administrative Order 2011- 03 and Circuit Court Administrative Order 2011-15)
Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 54, it is ordered as follows:
1. No cameras or audio equipment may be used in the lobby or other public, non-courtroom, area of any courthouse, except when the presiding judge after consultation with the Administrative Judge and the appropriate office responsible for providing security at the courthouse, determines that a designated staging area is appropriate under the circumstances of a given case. A designated staging area means, any place within the lobby or other public non-courtroom area of any courthouse where cameras or audio equipment may be located. If it is determined that a staging area is appropriate, no cameras or audio equipment will be permitted in any area outside the designated staging area. Court Security Officers shall have the authority to enforce this order by requiring anyone who violates it to leave the courthouse.
2. The provisions of District Court Rule 1.4, Family Division Rule 1.29 and Probate Court Rule 78, made applicable to the Circuit Court, related to the use of cameras, broadcasting equipment and recording devices during courtroom proceedings shall be strictly enforced. No person shall photograph, record or broadcast any court proceeding without providing advance notice to the presiding justice that he or she intends to do so. A written request shall be provided to the clerk, or his or her designee, on a form prescribed by the court in accordance with the provisions of District Court Rule 1.4, Family Division Rule 1.29 and Probate Court Rule 78. The form is available on the Judicial Branch website (ww.courts.state.nh.us); through the Judicial Branch Court Communications Office; or from the Clerk of any Circuit Court.
3. The Circuit Court acknowledges its obligation to provide open access to court proceedings and its responsibility to provide the public with a dispute resolution forum that is safe, dignified and free from unnecessary disruption. The court is also obligated to ensure that the public can conduct their business and observe court operations without fear of intimidation, annoyance or embarrassment;
4. In order to ensure the goals stated in paragraph (3) are met, members of the public entering the court facility for purposes of observing a scheduled event(s) in the courtroom will be expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and will be expected to refrain from any conduct which disrupts the proceedings. When the conduct of a person interferes with another personís access to the court or opportunity to conduct business in a professional and dignified manner, or when the personís behavior is otherwise disruptive to the proper administration of justice, the court, as a last resort, may exercise its contempt powers.
5. This order is issued in order to ensure uniformity of procedures throughout the Circuit Court.
December 1, 2011 Edwin W. Kelly, Administrative Judge
New Hampshire Circuit Court
Administrative Order 2011 Ė 16
Hearings Conducted by Video Conference
This order is meant to improve the efficiency of the courts and other state and local entities and enhance the administration of justice in the state of New Hampshire.
I. In those courts where video conferencing equipment has been installed and where compatible equipment is available at the other end of the audiovisual feed, there shall be a presumption that, subject to the coordination of scheduling among the courts, the following matters will be conducted through the use of video conferencing equipment which shall, at a minimum, operate so as to enable the court and all parties to view and converse with each other simultaneously:
a) Criminal arraignments where the defendant is incarcerated;
b) Hearings on nondispositive motions in all case types where any party is incarcerated;
c) Pretrial or status conferences in all case types where any party is incarcerated;
d) Plea and sentencing hearings in misdemeanor and violation level offenses where the state and defendant have entered into a plea agreement and the defendant is incarcerated;
e) Hearings in any uncontested non-criminal matter where either party is incarcerated;
f) Payment and other enforcement of judgment hearings where either party is incarcerated;
g) Uncontested surrender of parental rights pursuant to RSA 170-B:9 where the surrendering parent is incarcerated;
h) Execution of consent to adoption where the parent consenting to the childís adoption is incarcerated;
i) Hearings on Petitions for Name Change where the petitioner is incarcerated;
j) Child support establishment, modification or enforcement hearings where either party is incarcerated or any other such case where court efficiency dictates the use of video conferencing equipment for the conduct of the hearing from a remote location;
II. The following proceedings may be conducted through the use of video conferencing equipment in the sole discretion of the court:
a) Hearings, including trials, on any violation level offense where the defendant is incarcerated;
b) Hearings, including trials, on any non-criminal matter where either party is incarcerated.
c) Hearings, including trials, on any other matter allowed by law (See, for example, RSA 516:37 relative to video testimony by forensic scientists and analysts from the Department of Safety forensic laboratory and RSA 516:38 relative to the testimony of expert witnesses in motor vehicle violations).
III. Nothing in this Order is meant to prohibit the use of video conferencing equipment in any other proceeding or portion of a proceeding, including trials and testimony by expert and other witnesses in the sole discretion of the court.
IV. Nothing in this order is meant to prohibit the use of teleconferencing equipment in appropriate cases where video conferencing equipment is either unavailable or impractical to use. Furthermore, pending full implementation of video capability at all court and correctional facilities, the presumption shall be that hearings subject to the provisions of paragraph I, with the exception of criminal arraignments where the defendant is incarcerated and plea and sentencing hearings in misdemeanor and violation level offenses where the state and defendant have entered into a plea agreement and the defendant is incarcerated, will be conducted telephonically. The latter two categories of hearings may, in the courtís discretion, be conducted telephonically pending full implementation of video capability at all court and correctional facilities.
November 30, 2011 Edwin W. Kelly, Administrative Judge
New Hampshire Circuit Court