Judicial Branch, State of New Hampshire
| For Immediate Release:
July 1, 2014
Small Claims filing process going on-line
CONCORD - The state's Circuit Court announced today that small claims case filings are going on-line. Two pilot courts, in Plymouth and Concord, will switch to a paperless process starting July 30th. The Judicial Branch's goal is for all 32 district division locations that accept small claims to do so exclusively on-line by the end of the year.
In 2013, the Administrative Office of the Courts reports that 13,118 small claims were filed and 8,898 claims were re-opened for a total of 22,016, making small claims the most often filed civil case type filed throughout the circuit court. While the majority of small claims are brought by self-represented individuals, attorneys may file as well. Under current state law, an individual or entity may bring a small claims action for up to $7,500. That amount will increase to $10,000 in July, 2015.
The Administrative Judge of the Circuit Court, Edwin W. Kelly, has been spearheading the on-line move. He noted the extraordinary technical challenges and thousands of work hours that have defined the project over the past two and a half years, adding, "These pilot programs in Plymouth and Concord are an important part of our larger NH e-Court Project which will save costs, reduce paper, decrease case processing time and increase management efficiency throughout our court system."
"By leveraging on-line opportunities with small claims," Kelly said, "we will create a much better product for the public. We are committed to making small claims more accessible and transparent. In doing so, we hope to take the mystery out of the process for both plaintiffs and defendants. And by going on-line, we can meet the public's needs where they are, whether that means sitting at home late at night filing a claim electronically or going to their local courthouse or library during regular business hours to access a computer terminal."
The Judicial Branch hosted two small claims electronic filing familiarization and testing sessions in June. Judy Kinney, a small claims case filer on behalf of Waterville Estates, shared her enthusiasm about the new process saying, "I love being able to file on line. It will make things easier and faster and you can track the activity of a case. This will save me so much time."
List of all 32 Circuit Court District Divisions where Small Claims cases are filed: