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What are New Hampshire Small Claims Cases and Class Action Lawsuits?

New Hampshire small claims cases are civil issues like contract dispute, property dispute, entitlements, or claims that involve debts, damages, interest, or cost that is not more than $10,000. The small claims court in the state is not a separate court but a guideline for filing for small claims. Individuals and entrepreneurs without legal representation can file their claims through an uncomplicated legal system. The Small Claims Court in the District Division of the Circuit Court, is designed to be a simple, fast and informal way of suing for money in New Hampshire. Whereas, a Class Action Lawsuit in New Hampshire allows several indebted or wronged people to file the same claim against an organization. The people involved in the lawsuit can come from different states, but when the people’s harm is different, the court has to sort the harm into different classes. A class action can be filed with the State’s Superior Court or the Federal District Court in New Hampshire.

What is a Class Action Lawsuit in New Hampshire?

A Class action lawsuit in New Hampshire is the process of dispute resolution of matters that concern a group of people who have been wronged by a social or business entity in one court case. A class action can be used to resolve a lot of civil issues and disputes concerning;

  • Compensation of employees issues
  • False and misleading advertising
  • Extortive bank charges
  • Hospital incompetency
  • Defective drugs
  • Security frauds

How do I File a Claim in a New Hampshire Small Claims Court?

A petitioner must be eighteen years old to file for a claim in a small claims court. Filing a New Hampshire claim is made easier with the Turbo Court website, where e-filing is made possible for self-representing petitioners. However, a petitioner must become familiar with the court procedures and rules, which can be found on the TurboCourt site. The petition forms can be obtained, filled, and submitted for filing for a fee of $60. In filling out the forms, a petitioner must provide the necessary documents relating to the case and accurate information, including the defendant’s mailing address or the registered agent’s address. To get registered agent information, a petitioner can check the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office.

Once a claim is filed, the defendant has thirty days to respond to the petition. Claims that are worth up to $5,000 are subject to mediation. However, once the issue cannot be settled through mediation, the judge then schedules a trial known as a Hearing on the Merits.

Do I Need a Small Claims Lawyer?

There may be no need for a lawyer in a small claims issue because the amount in question is small. However, having a legal adviser places a petitioner at an advantage. These are some of the areas where a lawyer can be useful in a small claims case;

  • Assessment of the case; a lawyer can help point out the weaknesses and strengths of the case.
  • Preparation of the case; a lawyer can help a petitioner prepare for the case by providing convincing arguments and explanations. A lawyer will point out the kinds of evidence that cannot be admitted in court.
  • Advising; a lawyer can keep providing advice on each step to take.

While it may not be necessary to get a legal representation in a small claims court, having a legal adviser will place a petitioner in an advantageous position.

How do Class Action Lawsuits Work in New Hampshire?

Typically, a class-action lawsuit in New Hampshire is usually complicated because of the complexities. A class action involves several persons versus a big organization or public corporation. According to the New Hampshire Court Rules, a class action lawsuit must meet the following requirements before the court can go ahead with a class action proceedings;

  • The class must have enough membership that makes it impossible for the court to treat as one person.
  • The complaint must be common to all members of the class.
  • The claim of the class’s legal representative must be consistent with the complaint of all members of the class.
  • The legal representative of the class must represent the class fairly and adequately.
  • The class action is superior, which implies that a class member cannot separately file the same complaints again.

After a class action is filed, the court gives an order allowing class-action once it meets the requirements. The order will describe the class limiting membership to those who did not request exclusion from class. After a class action is certified, the attorneys have to ensure that all potential members of the class are informed. This can be done through the media, sending letters out, or making phone calls. Potential members have three options;

  • Opt-in, which implies filing for compensation if the class action is in favor of the plaintiff.
  • Opt-out, which implies retaining the right to file a separate lawsuit against the defendant.
  • Do nothing and lose the right to be compensated or file an individual lawsuit against the defendant.

Class action lawsuits normally take a long time, depending on the intricacies involved in the case.

Is a Class Action Better Than a Single Party Suit?

A class action is better than a single party suit in a situation where many people are involved in the wrong perpetrated by the defendant organization or corporation. In the case of a class action, a member does not have to bear the lawsuit’s financial cost, whereas, in the case of a single suit, the plaintiff has to bear the financial cost. More so, a good end will compensate all class members, such that no one is left out. But in a single party suit, when the resolution is in the favour of the plaintiff, the compensation is high, such that it pays for all the litigation expenses and still has more to hold unto. Moreso, a class action lawsuit takes longer time for resolution than a single party suit. In a class action lawsuit, a favourable resolution is only favourable to the lawyers but a favourable resolution is favourable to both the plaintiff and the legal representative in a single party suit.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching more straightforward, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the document or person involved

Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party websites may vary.

What Cases are Heard by Small Claims Courts in New Hampshire?

Cases that can be heard by the Small Claims Court in New Hampshire are cases that do not include damages or compensation worth more than $10,000. Some of the cases are;

  • Landlord/Tenant; Cases like an eviction notice, demand for rent.
  • Domestic violence; small claims courts can hear criminal violations that can be punishable by the sentencing of not more than one year.
  • Family; Issues that involve child adoption, guardianship, Children In Need of Services, juvenile delinquency, abuse and neglect of children, termination of parental rights can all be heard at the small claims court.
  • Contract dispute involving $10,000 or less
  • Traffic violations
  • Violations of State laws or County ordinances, Etc.
  • Criminal Records
  • Arrests Records
  • Warrants
  • Driving Violations
  • Inmate Records
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanors
  • Bankruptcies
  • Tax & Property Liens
  • Civil Judgements
  • Federal Dockets
  • Probate Records
  • Marriage Records
  • Divorce Records
  • Death Records
  • Property Records
  • Asset Records
  • Business Ownership
  • Professional Licenses
  • And More!