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Frequently Asked Questions about the New Hampshire Supreme Court Operations During COVID-19

1. Is the NH Supreme Court conducting business during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes, the Supreme Court is open for business, but is conducting all business virtually (i.e., by telephone, videoconference, or comparable means, or through the electronic filing system) except in emergency matters that cannot be addressed through such means. 

2. Is the Courthouse open to the public?
No, the Supreme Court building will be temporarily closed to in-person public access until at least August 17, 2020. Nevertheless, the Court is still conducting business virtually. 

3.   Is the Law Library Open?
The Law Library is not physically open during this time; however, the law librarian and staff are providing assistance remotely.  You can contact them at 603-271-3777 and email lawlibrary@courts.state.nh.us.

4. Is the Supreme Court clerk's office still available to receive and docket filings?
Yes, the clerk’s office is still available to receive and docket filings during its normal business hours (8:30 am to 4:30 pm). In recognition of the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court has expanded the allowable methods of submitting filings. 

  • In any Supreme Court case, an attorney, a self-represented party, or a nonlawyer representative may submit a filing for docketing either electronically through the court’s e-filing system, or by mailing the paper filing to the clerk’s office, or by placing the paper filing in the drop box that is located in front of the Supreme Court building. The mailing address for filing is New Hampshire Supreme Court, One Charles Doe Drive, Concord, NH 03301.

5. Is the NH Supreme Court continuing to hear oral arguments?
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments via remote videoconferencing from April 29 through July 1, 2020.  The Supreme Court is in the process of developing oral argument schedules and procedures for September.
Once the September schedules are established, they can be found at the Supreme Court oral argument calendar here: https://www.courts.state.nh.us/supreme/orals/index.htm.

6. Why did the Supreme Court use videoconferencing for oral arguments?
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Judicial Branch’s suspension of most “in person” court proceedings, the Supreme Court postponed oral arguments in numerous cases that had been scheduled to take place in late March and early April. Rather than further delay those cases until oral arguments could be held in the courtroom, the Supreme Court scheduled remote oral arguments via videoconferencing.

7. How did the Supreme Court use videoconferencing to conduct business?
The Supreme Court held oral arguments remotely through Cisco Webex videoconferencing software in nineteen cases. These videoconferences were livestreamed through the court’s livestream.com account and were recorded for later reference through the website. This link on the New Hampshire Judicial Branch website will take viewers to the link for livestreaming. The livestream platform can accommodate all interested viewers.

8. What actions has the NH Supreme Court taken to extend court deadlines in light of the COVID-19 pandemic?
The Supreme Court extended deadlines set forth in court rules, court orders, statutes, ordinances, administrative rules, administrative orders or otherwise that were set to expire between March 16 and April 6, 2020, to April 7, 2020.  However, Supreme Court filing deadlines that were set to expire on or after April 7, 2020, have not been extended, tolled or suspended by the emergency orders, but may be extended upon motion in accordance with Supreme Court Rules. The Supreme Court’s most recent emergency order states that the Supreme Court “will liberally consider any reasonable requests for extensions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

9. Where can I get answers to specific questions about my case?
You can request information or assistance regarding a Supreme Court case by calling (603) 271-2646 to reach the clerk’s office during normal business hours.

 

 

 

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