The New Hampshire House passed House Bill 252 with amendment last Wednesday. This bill removes a few gotchas that trip up pro se litigants who file Right-to-Know complaints in court without a lawyer. This bill makes it easier for documents filed with the complaint to be admitted as evidence, and it makes sure documents, such as the answer to a complaint, are provided before a court hearing.
HB 252 was studied by a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee over the summer. That subcommittee recommended an amendment that was approved by the full committee and reported Ought to Pass with Amendment, unanimously, 17 to 0. The amendment and committee report were approved by a voice vote as part of the consent calendar by the full House.
The amendment changes the language of HB 252 to add this language to RSA 91-A:7:
All documents filed with the petition and any response thereto shall be considered as evidence, subject to objection or ruling, or both, by the court. All documents submitted shall be provided to the opposing party prior to a hearing on the merits.
This bill, as amended, ensures that all documents submitted with or in response to a petition for a right-to-know dispute be considered as evidence in that case.
HB 252 now goes on to the Senate.