THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

SUPREME COURT OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

O R D E R

Pursuant to Part II, Article 73-a of the New Hampshire Constitution and Supreme Court Rule 51, the Supreme Court of New Hampshire approves a technical amendment to Supreme Court Rule 39(3)(a) as set forth in Appendix A; a technical amendment to Supreme Court Rule 50-A(1) as set forth in Appendix B; a technical amendment to Superior Court Rule 169(V) as set forth in Appendix C; amendments to Superior Court Administrative Rule 1-6, IV, on a temporary basis, as set forth in Appendix D; amendments to District Court Rule 3.3 (III), on a temporary basis, as set forth in Appendix E; and technical amendments to Probate Court Rule 91 as set forth in Appendix F.

These amendments shall take effect immediately. The temporary amendments in Appendices D and E shall be referred to the Advisory Committee on Rules for consideration of whether they should be adopted on a permanent basis.

October 12, 2005

ATTEST: ___________________________
Eileen Fox, Clerk of Court
Supreme Court of New Hampshire

 

APPENDIX A

Amend Supreme Court Rule 39(3)(a) to correct an error by deleting the second "of" in the phrase "clerk of of court position", so that said subsection as amended shall state as follows:

(a) The terms of the current members serving on July 1, 2005, shall continue until, and expire at the end of, the dates set forth below.  The appointing authority who shall fill any vacancy for each current member is also set forth below.

Current Member                     Expiration Date    Appointing Authority

Alfred Catalfo, III, Esquire        July 1, 2005        Bar President (public member position)

Harland W. Eaton                    July 1, 2005        Governor

Elizabeth Lown                       July 1, 2005        House Speaker

Jay Rosenfield                        July 1, 2005         Senate President

Hon. Raymond A. Cloutier       July 1, 2006         Supreme Court (probate court judge position)

Hon. Douglas S. Hatfield       July 1, 2006        Supreme Court (district court judge position)

Wilfred L. Sanders, Esq.        July 1, 2006         Bar President (attorney member position) 

Dr. Robert O. Wilson               July 1, 2006         Governor

Hon. Patricia C. Coffey          July 1, 2007         Supreme Court (superior court justice position)

Lawrence W. O'Connell          July 1, 2007        Supreme Court (public member position)

Dana Zucker                        July 1, 2007         Supreme Court (clerk of court position)

          Each member serving on July 1, 2005, shall continue to serve as a member until his or her successor is appointed.  The initial term of the first eleven members appointed after July 1, 2005, which may include appointments of members who were serving on July 1, 2005, shall be for a three-year term. 

 

APPENDIX B

Amend Supreme Court Rule 50-A(1) to clarify its application to inactive attorneys by deleting the first full paragraph of said section and replacing it, so that said section (1) as amended shall state as follows:

(1) In order to assure compliance with the requirements of Rule 50 and in order to ascertain that the records and accounts described in Rule 50 are properly maintained, all attorneys licensed to practice in the State of New Hampshire, whether in private practice or not, other than those in inactive status, shall individually or through their firm organizations file an annual Certificate of Compliance and, unless they have filed a Notice of Declination under Rule 50(1)F, Authorization to Financial Institutions on or before August 1st of each year. For purposes of this rule, an attorney shall not be considered to be "in inactive status" if the attorney's New Hampshire Bar Association membership status was active at any time during the one-year period beginning on June 1 of the year preceding the reporting year and ending on May 31 of the reporting year. The Certificate of Compliance shall certify to one of three things:

A. That the attorney does not maintain a trust account and does not have in his possession any assets or funds of clients;

B. That client funds maintained by the attorney are held in accounts in full compliance with the requirements of Rule 50; or

C. That the attorney is willing to submit to a spot compliance audit to his trust accounts at his own expense.

A prescribed Certificate of Compliance form will be sent to the attorney annually by the New Hampshire Bar Association with the attorney's annual dues assessment. The self-certification may be completed by the attorney or by a private accountant employed for this purpose by the attorney. The completed Certificate of Compliance forms shall be filed with the New Hampshire Supreme Court by delivery to the New Hampshire Bar Association by August 1st of each year. The self-certification procedure shall be supplemented by annual compliance checks by an accountant selected by the Supreme Court. The accountant's purpose in conducting a compliance check will be to determine whether the minimum standards set forth in Rule 50 are being maintained. All information obtained by the accountant shall remain confidential except for purposes of transmitting notice of violations to the Professional Conduct Committee or the Supreme Court. The information derived from such compliance checks shall not be disclosed by anyone in such a way as to violate the attorney-client privilege except by express order from the Supreme Court. The certification and authorization or declination requirements of this rule shall not apply to any full-time judge, full-time marital master, or full-time supreme, superior, and district court clerk or deputy clerk, except that the certification requirement shall apply where such judge, marital master, clerk, or deputy clerk was in the active practice of law at any time during the twelve (12) months immediately preceding August 1st of any year.

The Authorization to Financial Institutions shall be signed by an authorized signer for the accounts listed. The completed authorization shall be returned to the New Hampshire Bar Foundation by August 1 of each year.

 

APPENDIX C

Amend Superior Court Rule 169(V) to correct an error by changing "(III)(A)(1)" to "(III)(A)(i)", so that said subsection as amended shall state as follows:

   (V)  Pursuant to RSA 490:24, II, the sum of $20.00 shall be added to the fees set forth in paragraphs (III)(A)(i), (III)(C), and (III)(F) above.

 

APPENDIX D

Amend Superior Court Administrative Rule 1-6, IV, on a temporary basis, by adding a new subsection (l), so that said section as amended shall state as follows:

IV. To perform the following acts and issue such orders as provided for in the superior court rules, in addition to those rules where the clerk’s authority is already specifically delineated:

(a) To enter default and continue for judgment pursuant to Rule 14.

(b) Upon withdrawal of counsel to set a date for the filing of a new appearance pursuant to Rule 20.

(c) To discontinue cases pursuant to Rule 52.

(d) To allow the withdrawal of court documents pursuant to Rule 56.

(e) To enter final judgment pursuant to Rule 74.

(f) In conjunction with the presiding justice, to enter scheduling orders pursuant to Rule 96-A.

(g) To enter orders regarding service by publication pursuant to Rule 128 and Rule 180.

(h) To enter default pursuant to Rule 131 and Rule 139.

(i) To dismiss marital cases which have been pending for two years pursuant to Rule 210.

(j) To waive the waiting period in marital cases pursuant to Rule 207.

(k) To non-suit or dismiss non-jury cases which have been pending for three years pursuant to Rule 168.

(l) To waive the records research fee in Rule 169 when a request for record information is made by a member of the media consistent with the public's right to access court records under the New Hampshire Constitution.

The signature of the clerk or the attorney deputy clerk taking any action enumerated in paragraph IV shall appear on the appropriate document involved along with the statement "Acting pursuant to Superior Court Administrative Rule 1-6." In the event that a motion to reconsider or an objection is filed concerning the action taken, the matter shall be scheduled for a hearing before a justice.

APPENDIX E

Amend District Court Rule 3.3(III) on a temporary basis by adding a new subsection (G) so that said section as amended shall state as follows:

(III) Records Research Fees

(A) Record information must be requested in writing and include the individual's full name and, if available, the individual's date of birth.

(B) A fee of $10.00 per request will be assessed for electronic (computer) searches of less than ten names.

(C) A fee of $25.00 per request will be assessed for electronic (computer) searches of ten or more names.

(D) Extensive electronic (computer) searches requiring more than one hour will be assessed $25.00 per additional hour or portion thereof.

(E) A fee of $25.00 per hour or portion thereof will be assessed for manual searches. The fee is based on this hourly rate and not the number of names per request.

(F) Charges for requests requiring a combination of manual and electronic searches on the same party will be assessed according to the fee schedule for both categories.

EXAMPLE: One request for electronic search with seven names = $10.00. Additional requirement that one or more of those seven names be manually researched as well = $25.00 per hour or portion thereof. Assuming the manual research is completed in less than one hour, then the total fee = $35.00.

(G) The Clerk may waive the records research fee when a request for record information is made by a member of the media consistent with the public's right to access court records under the New Hampshire Constitution.

 

APPENDIX F

Amend Probate Court Rule 91A. and B. to change two statutory references in light of recent amendments to RSA chapter 170-B, so that said sections A. and B. as amended shall state as follows:

   A. Unless the Court orders otherwise, for purposes of RSA 170-B:7, VI, any one of the following documents, which indicate that the child is a foreign adoptee (IR-3 status) or the subject of a foreign guardianship awarded for the purpose of the child's adoption in the United States (IR-4 status), will be accepted by the Court as evidence that the parental rights of the parents of the proposed adoptee have been voluntarily or involuntarily terminated by the proper authorities in a foreign country:

        1. An attested or certified copy of the adoptee's Certificate of Citizenship issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

        2. An attested or certified copy of the proposed adoptee's alien registration card indicating either IR-3 or IR-4 status.

        3. An attested or certified copy of the proposed adoptee's passport issued in his/her country of birth, with the U.S. Visa stamp affixed indicating either IR-3 or IR-4 status.

     B. Unless the Court orders otherwise, for purposes of RSA 170-B:27, II, any of the documents specified in section A above, except those bearing an IR-4 status, are acceptable documentation and satisfactory evidence to establish the validity of a foreign adoption.