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Bar News - May 18, 2016


New Hampshire Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules

The New Hampshire Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules will hold a PUBLIC HEARING at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, June 3, 2016, at the Supreme Court Building on Charles Doe Drive in Concord, to receive the views of any member of the public, the bench, or the bar on court rules changes which the Committee is considering for possible recommendation to the Supreme Court.

Comments on any of the court rules proposals which the Committee is considering for possible recommendation to the Supreme Court may be submitted in writing to the secretary of the Committee at any time on or before June 2, 2016 or may be submitted at the hearing on June 3, 2016. Comments may be e-mailed to the Committee on or before June 2, 2016, at rulescomment@courts.state.nh.us.

Comments may also be mailed or delivered to the Committee at the following address:

N.H. Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules 1 Charles Doe Drive Concord, NH 03301

Any suggestions for rules changes other than those set forth below may be submitted in writing to the secretary of the Committee for consideration by the Committee in the future.

Copies of the specific changes being considered by the Committee are available on request to the secretary of the Committee at the N.H. Supreme Court Building, 1 Charles Doe Drive, Concord, New Hampshire 03301 (Telephone 271-2646). In addition, the changes being considered are available on the Internet (in the Appendix to the Public Hearing Notice).

The changes being considered concern the following rules:

I. New Hampshire Rules of Evidence

(These proposed amendments to the New Hampshire Rules of Evidence were submitted to the Advisory Committee on Rules by a Committee co-chaired by Professor John Garvey and Judge David Garfunkel. In an August 3, 2015 report to the Court, the Rules of Evidence Update Committee (NHRE Update Committee) made a number of recommendations to amend the rules after considering whether changes that have been made to the Federal Rules of Evidence should also be made to the New Hampshire Rules of Evidence. Reprinted in the attached appendices are all of the New Hampshire Rules of Evidence, with the exception of Rules 501-512, relating to privileges. The Rules of Evidence Update Committee did not undertake a review of Rules 501-512 because those rules were not modeled on the Federal Rules of Evidence and therefore were not a part of the Committee’s targeted review. The Committee’s proposals regarding the rules can generally be grouped into three categories: the first group includes those rules the Committee believes should not be amended or adopted; the second group includes those rules the Committee believes should be restyled but which do not include substantive changes to the rules; and the third group includes those rules which the Committee believes should be both restyled and amended in substance. For ease of reference, the three categories are listed below and references are made to the appropriate appendices where the language of each rule and the proposed amendment is set forth).

  1. Based upon its review of the New Hampshire Rules of Evidence and the Restyled Federal Rules of Evidence, the Rules of Evidence Update Committee believes that certain of the New Hampshire Rules of Evidence need not be amended. See Appendices A, H, M, Q, U, V, W, X, Y, MM, TT, MMM, NNN, OOO.
  2. Based upon its review of the New Hampshire Rules of Evidence and the Restyled Federal Rules of Evidence, the Rules of Evidence Update Committee believes that certain of the New Hampshire Rules of Evidence should be restyled to mirror the Federal Rules of Evidence, but need not be substantively amended. See Appendices C, E, F, G, J, K, L, N, O, S, Z, AA, BB, CC, EE, FF, GG, HH, II, JJ, LL, RR, SS, VV, YY, ZZ, AAA, BBB, CCC, DDD, EEE, FFF, GGG, HHH, III, JJJ, KKK, LLL.
  3. Based upon its review of the New Hampshire Rules of Evidence and the Restyled Federal Rules of Evidence, the Rules of Evidence Update Committee believes that certain of the New Hampshire Rules of Evidence should be restyled to mirror the Federal Rules of Evidence, and should also be substantively amended. See Appendices B, D, I, P, R, T, DD, KK, NN, OO, PP, QQ, UU, WW, XX, WW.

II. Payment of Fines. New Hampshire Rules of Criminal Procedure 29(e).

(A proposal to amend District Division Rule 2.7 (now New Hampshire Rule of Criminal Procedure 29(e)) was jointly submitted to the Advisory Committee on Rules by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire, Judge King and Judge Kelly. The proposal is designed to address concerns raised relating to the process for the use of incarceration as a means of enforcing the collection of fines. It aims to assure “that no person in New Hampshire is jailed for nonpayment of fines when the reason for nonpayment is an inability to pay.” An alternative proposal to amend Rule 29(e) was submitted by Justice Lynn. The Advisory Committee on Rules is requesting comment on both proposals).

  1. Delete and replace New Hampshire Rule of Criminal Procedure 29(e) and Strafford and Cheshire County Rule of Criminal Procedure 29(e), as set forth in Appendix PPP.
  2. Delete and replace New Hampshire Rule of Criminal Procedure 29(e) and Strafford and Cheshire County Rule of Criminal Procedure 29(e), as set forth in Appendix QQQ.

III. Circuit Court – District Division Rules 5.4, 5.7 and 5.9. Landlord and Tenant

(These proposals would amend District Division Rules 5.4. 5.7 and 5.9 to change the rules that govern the procedure followed in landlord-tenant actions when the tenant defaults by either not filing an appearance or failing to appear for trial).

  1. Amend District Division Rule 5.4, as set forth in Appendix RRR.
  2. Amend District Division Rule 5.7, as set forth in Appendix SSS.
  3. Amend District Division Rule 5.9, as set forth in Appendix TTT.

IV. New Hampshire Rules of Criminal Procedure - Discovery

(This proposal would amend New Hampshire Rule of Criminal Procedure 12(a) and Strafford and Cheshire County Rule of Criminal Procedure 12(a) to make discovery automatic in misdemeanor cases).

  1. Amend New Hampshire Rule of Criminal Procedure 12(a), as set forth in Appendix UUU.
  2. Amend Strafford and Cheshire County Rule of Criminal Procedure 12(a), as set forth in Appendix VVV.

New Hampshire Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules By: Robert J. Lynn, Chairperson and Carolyn A. Koegler, Secretary April 21, 2016

Supreme Court Rule 42(9) requires all NH admitted attorneys to notify the Bar Association of any address change, home or office.

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