The New Hampshire Access to Justice Commission was created by the NH Supreme Court with the purpose of implementing changes to improve citizens' access to the courts.
The Commission's specific duties are as follows:
- Foster the development of a statewide integrated civil legal services delivery system;
- Identify and assess current and future needs for access to justice in civil matters;
- Consider the legal needs and access to the civil justice system of persons whose income and means are such that they do not qualify under existing assistance programs and whose access to civil justice is limited either by the actual or perceived cost of legal services; develop and implement initiatives designed to meet these needs, such as limited representation and limited appearances by attorneys and identification of types of services that could be provided by nonlawyers;
- Work to increase resources and funding for access to justice in civil matters and to ensure that the resources and funding are applied to the areas of greatest need;
- Develop and implement initiatives designed to expand civil access to justice;
- Work to reduce barriers to the justice system by addressing existing and proposed court rules, procedures, and policies that negatively affect access to justice in New Hampshire;
- Monitor the effectiveness of the statewide system and services provided and periodically evaluate the progress made by the Commission in fulfilling the civil legal needs of low-income New Hampshire residents;
- Provide long-range, integrated planning among the numerous legal assistance providers and other interested agencies and entities in New Hampshire;
- Coordinate civil access to justice, foster the development of a statewide, integrated civil legal services delivery system, and design and implement new programs to expand access to justice opportunities;
- Work toward securing funding for civil access to justice;
- Have the authority to apply for, obtain and administer grant funds and to hire, set the compensation of, and direct such persons as may be necessary to assist the Commission in its work;
- Develop and implement other initiatives designed to expand civil access to justice, such as increasing community education, enhancing technology, developing assisted pro programs, and encouraging greater voluntary participation of the private bar in providing pro bono legal assistance to low-income people in New Hampshire.
For more information see the Supreme Court Order.