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MEDIA ADVISORY
Judicial Branch, State of New Hampshire
CONTACT:
Laura Kiernan
Communications Director
lkiernan@courts.state.nh.us
603-271-2646 ext 2359

Court Fees Effective July 1 Will Help Generate State Revenue

CONCORD---The New Hampshire Supreme Court today adopted rules that create new court fees and increase others to generate as much as $2.8 million annually in revenue for the state. The court order detailing the fee changes, most of which are effective July 1, 2009, was posted today on the Judicial Branch website.

Chief Justice John T. Broderick Jr. said the court's decision to change the fees came after state lawmakers asked each branch of state government to find ways to increase state revenue during a severe economic downturn. The Judicial Branch had suggested generating more revenue through fee changes during recent budget negotiations with House and Senate members.

“We have agreed to keep almost 60 staff positions open during the next biennium and will manage with reductions in our operations to meet the new biennial budget,” Chief Justice Broderick said. “In order to keep the system functioning and avoid even further reductions, we felt we had to ask court users to shoulder some of the economic strain on our state during this very difficult time, " the Chief Justice said. "We view our decision as a necessary step we had to take to assist the state in meeting its budget.These are unprecedented economic times,” he added.

The bulk of the revenue generated by the change in court fees, about $2 million, will go directly into the state's general fund which is used by the legislature to finance state government. State lawmakers, in the newly approved FY10-11 budget, agreed to create a dedicated fund to maintain and renew the existing Judicial Branch Information Technology infrastructure, much of which is outdated. About $800,000 of the revenue increase will go to that dedicated fund.

The changes include an increased fee for records research which will be effective August 1. All other fee changes will be effective July 1.