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Bar News - February 19, 2014

Court News: Court to Host Public Info Session on e-Court Rules March 14

A set of proposed rules released by the state court for public comment will apply to the pilot project for small-claims cases set to roll out later this year, and also form the foundation for operating rules for the stateís vision of a paperless court system.

In conjunction with the release of the pilot rules, the Judicial Branch has scheduled an informational session for 12:30 p.m. Friday, March 14, to give members of the public, bench and bar the opportunity to comment on the rules and learn more about the progress of the NH e-Court project.

The pilot rules for small claims cases will eventually extend to the overall NH e-Court Project, which seeks to move all New Hampshire court filings online within the next few years. Small claims cases will be the first case type to go paperless later this year in Concord and Plymouth circuit courts.

The proposed electronic filing rules make the use of the courtís new electronic filing system mandatory, except in extraordinary circumstances and extend the court day to 11:59 p.m. The rules include provisions that allow filings to contain in-text hyperlinks to external sources or other portions of a document, outline the process for filing confidential documents or documents containing confidential information, and detail procedures for electronic service of documents, among other changes.

At the information session, the committee members who drafted the proposed rules will make a presentation to the Advisory Committee on Rules and will hear comments and answer questions by those in attendance.

The 42-page PDF containing the proposed e-Court rules, related amendments and appendices is available online.

Comments on the proposed NH Circuit Court District Division Small Claims Electronic Filing Pilot Rules and related amendments may be submitted in writing to the secretary of the rules committee at any time on or before March 14, or may be submitted at the public information session. Comments may be emailed to the committee on or before March 14 at Comments may also be mailed or delivered to the committee.

Any suggestions for rules changes, other than those to the proposed New Hampshire Circuit Court District Division Small Claims Electronic Filing Pilot Rules and related proposed amendments to existing rules, may be submitted in writing to the committee secretary for future consideration.

Paper copies of the proposed rules and rule amendments are available on request to the secretary of the committee, who can be reached by phone at 603-271-2646.

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