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Wednesday, March 6, 2013


THE 2013 NH REPORT On the Study of citizens legal needs

This Study is severely slanted, here are just some of the red flags we will point out as we pour through this one.

First the following clearly shows how out of touch the New Hampshire Judicial Branch and committee who conducted this sutdy, is with reality.

pg 25. Why don’t self-represented litigants have an attorney?

Percent of Respondents Selecting Each Category
Can’t afford it                  
None     Few       Some      Many      Most
0%       2%           7%       25%        67%
Think they can do it on their own    
None     Few       Some      Many      Most                            
1%     15%          51%     25%          8%
Tried to contact legal aid but did not receive help     
None     Few       Some      Many      Most 
11%     33%          33%     20%          4%

Are you kidding me? Really the main reason 100% of the public proceeding to court pro se (self-represented) is not because they simply can't afford an attorney?

Table 4: Data from Survey of NH Court Personnel (2011). The table above presents the responses of those who deal with pro se litigants on a daily basis are included in this table (n=175). Question wording: “Based on your experience with self-represented litigants, why do you think they lack attorney representation?”

The Better question would be directly to those pro se litigants "Why are you proceeding as a self-represented litigant?  

The answer is not surprising - most can not afford an attorney, the cost of a GAL, the simple costs of filing a case, and the numerous copies and mailings 8 copies for an appeal plus the original and costs for access to legal research. 

Based on the Reasonable Person Analysis not the Judicial and court personnel, these stats alone would look more like say oh 

Can’t afford it - Most                  

Think they can do it on their own  - Zero most know they can't do it, I get calls and emails just to explain how to read the rules and what papers to fill out. The people are left with no other choice but to go pro se.                               

Tried to contact legal aid but did not receive help - Most - the wait is terrible over an hour, must be beyond indigent, limited hourly availability, and they do not cover the majority of issues,  and if you opt to leave a message it is more often reported as not being returned.  

211 = resources 
Pro Bono/AKA Free Attorney's 603-224-5387

Disability Rights Center  800-834-1721

Consumer experiencing deceptive practices call the Attorney Generals Consumer Protection Department 603-271-3641

Lawyer Referral 603-229-0002 

Reduced Rate Attorney 603-715-3290

Free Legal Answers every 2nd Wednesday of every month
1800-868-1212 from 6-8 pm  only 

Labor Issues call 603-271-3171

Discrimination - 603-271-2767

Domestic Violence - 866-644-3574

So Legal Aid, absolutely they refer you everywhere else...

The Point? We have to eliminate waste and fraud  and the court's need to get back to simplifying matters and becoming efficient. Being accountable and requiring accountability from those who do not follow orders - start to penalize them monetarily in the family arena for not following orders, that you actually make and not recommendations unwritten from the bench and you will make up the funding legislators have every right to withhold.  

Just a thought...

1 comment:

  1. This study also fails to mention how Litigants are denied Free and Low income Legal representation when fighting cases against NH DCYF. The State will NOT supply a Lawyer to go after one of it's own agencies, especially DCYF, no matter how much evidence you have against them. If you can find a Lawyer in NH to go up against them in the first place, it would be a miracle, as other Lawyer's who have attempted such a feat have either been disbarred or suspended.
    Like I've said time and time again, DCYF is accountable to NO-ONE! And our Judicial system isn't helping matters in the Family Law department.