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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 Tuesday, May 26, 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 as previously scheduled?

No, oral arguments scheduled for March 25 and 31 and April 9, 14 and 22, 2020, were postponed. The Supreme Court is in the process of working cooperatively with the parties in the postponed cases to reschedule them for oral argument, which will take place via videoconferencing over the next two months. 

The cases set to go before the Supreme Court can be found at the recently released Supreme Court oral argument calendar here: https://www.courts.state.nh.us/supreme/orals/index.htm.

6. Why is the Supreme Court planning to use videoconferencing?

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 fourteen cases that had been scheduled to take place in late March and early April. Rather than further delay those cases until oral arguments can be held in the courtroom, the Supreme Court has begun rescheduling the cases for remote oral arguments via videoconferencing. These will take place every Wednesday starting April 29 until all of the postponed cases have been heard, probably by mid-June.

7. How is the Supreme Court using videoconferencing to conduct business?

The Supreme Court will be holding oral arguments remotely through Cisco Webex videoconferencing software. These videoconferences will then be livestreamed through the court’s livestream.com account and will be 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 are 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 March 27, 2020 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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