During the pandemic and resulting reduction in the number of case hearings held in person, the New Hampshire state courts have engaged remote processes to handle many ongoing and new matters. Hearings are often held by phone or video conference. Each of these methods have particular benefits, limitations, and challenges of implementation, and there is significant variation across courts in their experience and utilization of these platforms.
The New Hampshire Judicial Branch has convened an interdisciplinary committee composed of representatives from all parts of the Court system. HNMCP will conduct a project to explore stakeholder experiences, approaches to, and perspectives on remote hearings and the role they may play in ensuring access to justice and serving as a dispute resolution option that courts could offer. Potential final products include recommendations, resources, and/or training materials to improve stakeholder use of and value gained from remote hearings.
This project follows up on initial assessment work that HNMCP engaged in during the summer of 2020. The focus of that work was reviewing existing court-provided resources designed to help parties and attorneys engage in remote hearings, and developing recommendations for how the court could adapt or supplement those resources to support remote hearings as an accessible, viable, and effective option.