Mediation New Hampshire Bill Sets $5 Filing Fee for Mediation of Small Claims (Web)

July 12, 2005.  In New Hampshire, Senate Bill 63-FN-A, a brief bill establishing a court mediation fund, prompted both Governor John Lynch and New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice John Broderick to come out in support of the court mediation option to New Hampshire Litigants.  
 
In New Hampshire, starting September 1, 13 small claims courts will now charge a $5 filing fee for their mediation option, which can be taken prior to litigation.  Statewide expansion of the program is hoped for by 2006.  In 2003, the New Hampshire small claims court system had 18,000 claims filed seeking as much as $5,000. (SB 63) 
 
Supreme Court Justice John Broderick supports the program and idea, stating “I hope we can expand this thought throughout this system in other courts and in other ways.”   Governor John Lynch also supports the program, stating “I think mediation is so important for our Court system.  It will allow us to resolve things more quickly and simply for the people of New Hampshire.” (http://nsnlb.us.publicus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/frontpage)
 
New Hampshire Supreme Court Justice Joseph Nadeau, on behalf of Justice Broderick, led the charge in implementing the program.  Nadeau believes mediation yields a much higher satisfaction rate than that of traditional litigation.  When asked about the program, Nadeau said, “The solutions are longer lasting, the parties are happier.” (http://nsnlb.us.publicus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/frontpage)