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NEWS RELEASE

Judicial Branch, State of New Hampshire

 
December 31, 2019
   

Supreme Court to expand electronic filing in 2020
Changes will affect almost all appellate filings, leading to greater efficiency

CONCORD, NH - As part of its plans to expand the scope of electronic filing (e-Filing), the Supreme Court today announced that recent amendments to the Court’s Rules and Supplemental Rules regarding Electronic Filing will bring changes regarding notices of appeal and self-represented parties. 

   The amendments, which take effect on January 1, 2020, will require notices of appeal and other case-initiating documents (appeal petitions, interlocutory appeals, petitions for original jurisdiction, and motions to extend time to file an appeal document) to be filed electronically.  The amendments will also require self-represented parties and non-lawyer representatives to file documents electronically in Supreme Court cases commenced on or after January 1, 2020.

   According to Tim Gudas, in-coming Clerk of the Supreme Court, “The expansion of e-Filing to virtually all filings and all filers lays the groundwork for increased efficiency and improved access to justice by streamlining the case-initiation process, allowing self-represented parties to view their cases and to file during non-business hours, and establishing a reliable and verifiable method of electronic service to and from self-represented parties.”

   The recently adopted amendments will change e-Filing procedures as to cases commenced in the Supreme Court on or after January 1, 2020, but not for cases commenced before that date, as the following summary shows:

Cases Commenced in the Supreme Court prior to August 6, 2018

   Attorneys, self-represented parties, and non-lawyer representatives must submit all documents conventionally (non-electronically).  Parties must also serve and be served conventionally.  At the request of a party, or on the Supreme Court’s own motion, a case may be converted to e-filing.

 Cases Commenced in the Supreme Court on or after August 6, 2018, but prior to January 1, 2020

   Attorneys must submit all documents through the Supreme Court’s e-filing system, with the exception of case-initiating documents.  Self-represented parties and non-lawyer representatives must submit all documents conventionally.  Attorneys must serve documents on each other through the e-filing system.  Self-represented parties and non-lawyer representatives must serve and be served with documents conventionally.  However, a party may file a written motion with the Supreme Court to request permission for a self-represented party or a non-lawyer representative to submit documents in the case through the e-filing system.  If the Court grants the motion, or decides on its own motion to require a self-represented party or a non-lawyer representative to submit documents in the case through the e-filing system, that self-represented party or non-lawyer representative will thereafter be treated as a registered e-filer in the case for all purposes, including the electronic filing and electronic service of documents.

Cases Commenced in the Supreme Court on or after January 1, 2020

   Attorneys, self-represented parties, and non-lawyer representatives must submit all documents, including notices of appeal or other case-initiating documents, through the Supreme Court’s e-filing system.  Every person who is registered in the e-filing system must serve and be served with documents electronically.  Certain self-represented parties, including incarcerated persons and those who have been placed under guardianship, are exempt from e-filing.  Other self-represented parties may file a request to be excused from e-filing on the basis of hardship.

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Media Contact:
Carole Alfano, Esq.
Communications Manager
NH Judicial Branch
One Charles Doe Drive
Concord, NH 03301
603.271.2646 (ext. 0243)