Bar News - August 19, 2015
Court News: Judicial Branch to Upgrade Attorney e-Filing Pathway
By: Gina Belmont
Enhancements to File and Serve Coming This Fall
The NH Judicial Branch plans to upgrade “File and Serve,” the interface lawyers use for electronic case filing in the Circuit Court, starting in September.
As of early August, nearly 300 law firms were registered to file documents in the system.
The fall 2015 upgrade will improve the “look and feel” of the site as well as some functionality of some screens. An example of a “look and feel” change:
After the upgrade, the first screen a lawyer or firm professional will see upon log in will look like the second screen shot accompanying this article. Some of the other enhancements with this upgrade will include:
- Allowing users to add Firm Service Contacts to parties on cases via the Case Search and Filings page.
- The removal of the dependency of the Microsoft Silverlight Plugin for Google Chrome users.
- A working link to the document download page for the Administrative Service Copy URL token for filings that include multiple documents.
- A requirement that a location be selected when creating a new template.
This upgrade will take place from Sept. 1 through roughly Nov. 1. All enhancements will be implemented at the end of the upgrade phase.
During the months of September and October, filers using File and Serve who also use the Google Chrome web browser will need to switch to a different browser, such as Internet Explorer 10 or 11 or Firefox, as no version of Google Chrome will be supported during this transition.
Mac users may use Safari as well. Once the upgrade is complete, Google Chrome will once again be supported for electronic filing through File and Serve. In the event that switching to a different browser during this period is impractical, you may consider filing a paper exception request as allowed by New Hampshire Circuit Court – Electronic Filing Rule 1(b)(4) which states, “For good cause, the court may permit a limited exception to the mandate of electronic filing by allowing a party to initiate a case conventionally or by allowing a party or other person to file a document in an existing case conventionally.”
To assist lawyers and their office professionals in becoming familiar with the changes associated with this upgrade, several webinars will be offered starting in mid-September and will continue until a few weeks after the upgrade has gone into effect in early November.
For the dates/times of the informational webinars, please see the TRAIN section of File and Serve (using the link for attorneys on the NH Judicial Branch Electronic Services page at www.courts.nh.state.us.). Dates/times for the webinars are scheduled for posting by the end of August.
Gina Belmont is the senior administrator of the NH Circuit Court.
The screen capture image above shows the existing e-filing interface on the NH Judicial Branch File and Serve website. Starting in September, upgrades will streamline the appearance of the page and increase functionality as shown below.
The court plans to roll out e-filing for guardianship cases in the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 8th and the remainder of the 10th Circuits on Oct. 22.