New Circuit Court Video: A guide for Tenants and Landlords
How the New Hampshire Eviction Process Works
CONCORD—A step by step video guide to the eviction process, designed to explain what happens when a landlord wants to evict a tenant from rental property, is now available on the New Hampshire Judicial Branch website.
The video, narrated by Circuit Court Judge John Pendleton, includes subtitles in English, as well as French, Portuguese, Arabic, and Spanish, and a written transcript so that all New Hampshire residents have equal access to information about their legal rights and responsibilities when an eviction seems likely or when they have received an eviction notice.
“Legal procedure can be complicated, so providing a basic understanding of the eviction process will help ensure that people who need or desire to access the courts feel that they can do so,” said Heidi Rose Mader, a Circuit Court Staff Attorney who assisted with the project. “The video provides a neutral overview of what to expect from both a landlord and tenant’s perspective, making the process more approachable and understandable for everyone involved,” Mader said.
The 16-minute video explains that before going to court, parties can try to resolve disputes through the Judicial Branch Eviction Diversion Program, a free state-wide, landlord-tenant mediation program.
“The video walks people through the eviction process so that they understand what their alternatives are before a court case is filed, such as mediation through the Eviction Diversion program, and what would happen if the issue was not resolved before the court case was filed,” Margaret Huang, the Judicial Branch Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator said.
Since the Eviction Diversion Program began statewide operation in November 2021, administrators have been contacted by 946 households and mediated 249 disputes. Participant response to the mediation process has been overwhelmingly positive, with more than 94% of survey respondents saying they would use mediation again if needed.
“Through talking with people who called or emailed the Eviction Diversion Program, we discovered that people involved in evictions often had many misconceptions about how the process worked,” Huang said “This was particularly true of landlords and tenants who were going through the eviction process for the first time.”
Circuit Court Chief Administrative Judge David D. King noted that the court process, particularly in landlord-tenant cases, can be difficult to navigate for self-represented litigants.
“The video guide to how eviction works in New Hampshire is part of our continuing effort to look for innovative ways to make process easier to understand for those without attorneys,” King said. He added that free mediation through the statewide Eviction Diversion Program-which began as a pilot project in just two court locations --- has proven to be beneficial for both landlords and tenants, reduced the time and expense of court hearings, and in some cases, allowed tenants to remain in their housing.
To access the Eviction Diversion Program, call 603-271-6418 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.