Judicial Branch, State of New Hampshire
603-271-2646 ext 2359
Civil Filing Fees to be increased July 1
CONCORD, June 26--The New Hampshire Supreme Court issued an order today increasing filing fees in civil cases, generating $1.3 million in revenue needed for maintenance of the New Hampshire e-Court system now under development. The order detailing the fee changes, effective July 1, 2013, was posted today on the Judicial Branch website.
The bulk of the revenue generated by court fees goes directly into the state's general fund which is used by the legislature to fund state government. In 2009, the legislature agreed that 14 percent of that revenue would be deposited into the Judicial Branch Information Technology Fund "for maintenance and infrastructure renewal of judicial branch information technology." This year, lawmakers agreed to increase that percentage to 30 percent, to cover the anticipated additional maintenance costs related to the court system's new electronic filing system. During hearings on that bill, court officials agreed that court fees would be increased to generate the funds needed for IT maintenance without a reduction in the amount deposited by the judicial branch into the state's general fund.
"The NH e-Court system will benefit attorneys and members of the public who will no longer have to travel to a courthouse to file paperwork or review documents," Chief Justice Linda Stewart Dalianis said. "We appreciate the legislature's willingness to work with us to generate the ongoing funds needed to improve the administration of justice for all citizens of our state," Dalianis said.
Phase I of the NH e-Court Project, which will include construction of the infrastructure necessary for e-Court throughout New Hampshire courts, will begin with small claims e-filing later this year.
The Judicial Branch generated $5.7 million in civil filing fees in the last fiscal year; the increase in civil filing fees is expected to bring that total up to $7 million for the upcoming fiscal year, with the additional $1.3 million deposited into the dedicated IT Fund. The increases apply to "entry" fees charged when a new civil case is filed and to motions filed to "reopen" cases after a judicial decree has been issued in a case, as well as to other court fees. The increases in New Hampshire's court fees will be in line with civil filing fees currently in place in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont.