NH Judicial Branch Announces Court System Changes and Ongoing Measures Related to Domestic Violence Cases
Concord, NH—The New Hampshire Judicial Branch announces implementation of court system changes as recommended by the Judicial Branch Task Force on Domestic Violence in its March 2022 report.
Committee on Domestic Violence Established
Implementing the first Task Force recommendation (Recommendation 1.1), the Supreme Court established the New Hampshire Judicial Branch Committee on Domestic Violence. The Committee is charged with coordinating implementation of Task Force recommendations within the Judicial Branch, as well as regularly reporting to the Supreme Court and the public on its progress.
The Committee membership is:
- Dianne Martin (Chair), Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts
- Hon. Kimberly Chabot, Circuit Court Judge
- Jean Kilham, Judicial Branch Domestic Violence Program Manager
- Anne Zinkin, Supreme Court Supervisory Law Clerk
- Karen Gorham, Superior Court Administrator
- Kathleen Tripp, Circuit Court Clerk
“With our colleagues in the New Hampshire Judicial Branch, the Committee on Domestic Violence is working hard to implement these important recommendations,” noted Dianne Martin, Chair of the Committee, and Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts. “The Committee is also collaborating with external stakeholders to successfully implement the recommendations directed outside the Judicial Branch. Together, we will implement these court and community system changes to improve the handling of domestic violence cases.”
Tracking System and Webpage Created
The Committee has completed its initial charge to catalogue all 41 of the recommendations of the Task Force and to identify those directed at the Judicial Branch. A tracking system has been developed, and a webpage created, so that the work of the Judicial Branch and the Committee can be transparent, and progress can be measured and reported to the public and external stakeholders. The link to the website is here: https://www.courts.nh.gov/resources/committees/nhjb-committee-domestic-violence
Other Recommendations Implemented to Date
Additional Task Force recommendations implemented to date include:
- Non-precedential final orders in domestic violence and civil stalking cases are publicly available on the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s website at https://www.courts.nh.gov/our-courts/supreme-court/orders-and-opinions/case-orders (Recommendation 3.1)
- Domestic violence and civil stalking forms, as well as information about the related court processes, can now be easily reached from the New Hampshire Judicial Branch home page by using the “I want to…” drop down menu. (Recommendation 4.2)
- Final orders of protection clearly and visibly include the deadline for filing a motion to extend the order. (Recommendation 4.3)
- Notice of the consequences of a domestic violence criminal conviction related to the possession and ownership of firearms has been added to the Superior Court Acknowledgement of Rights form. (Recommendation 4.4).
- Quarterly meetings between the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and court administration continue to be convened. (Recommendation 6.3)
- Additional funding for data collection related to domestic violence and civil stalking has been requested through a grant application. (Recommendation 7A.1)
Work That Lies Ahead
Work on implementing additional recommendations is ongoing. The Judicial Branch will provide regular updates and members of the public are invited to track progress and learn more about the New Hampshire Judicial Branch Committee on Domestic Violence by visiting the website at https://www.courts.nh.gov/resources/committees/nhjb-committee-domestic-violence. Members of the public are also invited to provide comments and suggestions to the Committee by e-mail to DVCommitteeComments@courts.state.nh.us. Please be aware that submissions will not be confidential.