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NEWS RELEASE

Judicial Branch, State of New Hampshire

 
For Immediate Release:
July 1, 2014
   

Small Claims filing process going on-line
Pilot programs in Concord and Plymouth courts start July 30; accessibility and savings cited

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:
1st Circuit - District Division - Berlin
1st Circuit - District Division - Colebrook
1st Circuit - District Division - Lancaster
2nd Circuit - District Division - Haverhill
2nd Circuit - District Division - Lebanon
2nd Circuit - District Division - Littleton
2nd Circuit - District Division - Plymouth (pilot program starting July 30)
3rd Circuit - District Division - Conway
3rd Circuit - District Division - Ossipee
4th Circuit - District Division - Laconia
5th Circuit - District Division - Claremont
5th Circuit - District Division - Newport
6th Circuit - District Division - Concord (pilot program starting July 30)
6th Circuit - District Division - Franklin
6th Circuit - District Division - Hillsborough
6th Circuit - District Division - Hooksett
7th Circuit - District Division - Dover
7th Circuit - District Division - Rochester
8th Circuit - District Division - Jaffrey
8th Circuit - District Division - Keene
9th Circuit - District Division - Goffstown
9th Circuit - District Division - Manchester
9th Circuit - District Division - Merrimack
9th Circuit - District Division - Milford
9th Circuit - District Division - Nashua
10th Circuit - District Division - Brentwood
10th Circuit - District Division - Candia
10th Circuit - District Division - Derry
10th Circuit - District Division - Plaistow
10th Circuit - District Division - Portsmouth
10th Circuit - District Division - Salem
10th Circuit - District Division - Seabrook

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

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