On March 16, 2020, in response to the emergency orders issued by the Governor relating to attempts to reduce the infection rate from the Covid-19 virus, the New Hampshire Supreme Court, cancelled all trials and hearings that require people to appear at the courthouses in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Supreme Court is the Court that has the responsibility of supervising the operation and administration of each court in New Hampshire. For now, the suspension of trials and in-person hearings is set to last through Monday, April 6, 2020. It is expected that the New Hampshire Supreme Court will reassess any need to continue suspending trials and hearings that have to be attended by the parties, witnesses, and juries.
There are exceptions to the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s March 16th suspension of trials and hearings that require in-person attendance. The order does not apply to trials or hearings that involve public health issues relating to Covid-19, constitutional rights of individuals already in jail, domestic violence protection or stalking hearings, the immediate safety of children, involuntary commitments, certain emergency relief involving landlords or their tenants, or requests for temporary emergency injunctive relief.
So, even though the news media might report that the New Hampshire Supreme has closed the courts, the Courts are still open. You still have access to the Courts. The Court’s March 16th Order does not affect the ability to file documents with the Courts and most courts have the ability to conduct telephonic scheduling conferences and hearings. Most importantly, is the factor that the judge in each court has the ability to make a ruling that a particular request or case requires immediate attention by that Court. Some examples include needing to attaching or “freeze” a person’s bank account or some other piece of property so they can’t sell it, give it away, or hide it. Another example would be the need to stop the purchase/sale of a piece of real estate. If you need to protect your enforce your legal rights or protect your property, New Hampshire Courts remain open and accessible to you.