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NEWS RELEASE

Judicial Branch, State of New Hampshire

 
For Immediate Release:
August 4, 2014
   

NH's on-line jury management system celebrates first year
New program operating successfully across all 11 Superior Courts

CONCORD - The Superior Court announced today that its new on-line jury management system is celebrating its first year of operation this month. The software system, which debuted in Grafton County, is now successfully in place at all 11 Superior Courts across the state. More than just reducing paper and postage costs, on-line process is saving judges, trial lawyers and court staff significant amounts of time, as well as making the process more user-friendly for jurors.

The Chief Justice of the Superior Court, Tina L. Nadeau, shared how pleased she is with the program’s success over the past year saying, "We are seeing so many benefits from jurors completing their questionnaires electronically. The process can be done from home, a local library or at dedicated computer terminals in each Superior Court location." She added, "To date, the court has not had to mail a single paper questionnaire to any juror. That tells me our new system is working."

Nadeau also thanked the lawyers who provided feedback as the process rolled out. "We made many adjustments based on their experience with the new system. Their comments were thoughtful and productive," she said. Lawyers and self-represented litigants are now reviewing completed juror questionnaires electronically. As a result, parties on both sides are no longer required to travel to the courthouse to review paper copies of questionnaires.

Judges are benefitting too. Nadeau noted her Superior Court colleagues are now ruling on jurors’ requests for excusals, deferrals and postponements on-line, rather than ruling on paper. "These types of rulings are a big part of a judge's job prior to starting a trial. We understand it can be very stressful for potential jurors to have to wait to hear back regarding the consideration they are requesting. We now have a way to make things easier and faster for everyone involved," she said.

The new system is also creating better time management opportunities for court staffers. From August, 2013 to the present, some 19,903 summons letters have been mailed to jurors from a centralized printing service on the West Coast. "That's 19,903 envelopes that didn’t have to be stuffed by the staff at the local trial courts," said Nadeau.

In conjunction with the new jury management system, the Superior Court also opened a centralized jury center located at the Hillsborough County Superior Court, Southern District in Nashua. Staffers there are responsible for creating the pools of jurors who are summoned for jury service and for responding to jurors who have questions about their service.

Additional highlights regarding NH’s on-line jury management include:

  • Jurors with questions about their service can now receive an automated update on their status or speak directly to a staff member by calling the Jury Center, instead of contacting the local court. During the past year, staff members have answered over 8,500 juror calls.
  • The new jury software runs a check of the jurors’ addresses through the National Change of Address Service before the summons letters are mailed. This feature results in greater juror yield.
  • The new jury management system allows the local court to send their jurors email reminders of their jury service dates.

Contact:
Carole Alfano
Public Information Officer
calfano@courts.state.nh.us
603-271-2646 ext 2359

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