N.H. Courts Now Accepting Electronic Filings For Domestic Violence Protection
New Hampshire Circuit Courts are now accepting electronically filed petitions for protection from domestic violence and stalking.
Before the COVID-19 crisis, the courts required an in-person filing at a local courthouse.
Domestic Violence Program Manager Sarah Freeman says with courts limiting the number of people inside, domestic violence and stalking filings have dropped by about 20 percent.
“And so we’re hoping that this additional option of electronic filing will ensure that people who may not be able to leave their home because of child care issues, because of concerns about their health status, that they’ll still be able to get this initial emergency relief,” says Freeman.
The pilot process debuted on May 26. During the first phase of the process, the only way to access electronic filing will be through a Crisis Center of Family Justice Center, who will provide the appropriate online forms.
“The reason for that is this is a new process,” says Freeman. “We want to make sure it works for everyone: it works for the plaintiff and it works for the defendant.”
But, she says, the process will not be any different from defendant’s point of view.
Plaintiffs can still file for the protections in person at any Circuit Court location.