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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

January 27, 2006

N.H. Bill would create Teeny Claims Court

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 11:16 am

Former judge and retired lawyer Robert H. Rowe is a Member of New Hampshire’s

lower legislative body — and he has some explaining to do.  Here’s a description of

his House Bill 1234 (text), from the legal reform group HALT‘s eJournal (Jan. 25,


New Hampshire

“In an outrageous move, Representative Robert H. Rowe introduced

House Bill 1234 to cut in half the current small claims dollar limit

from $5,000 to a mere $2,500, which would be the fourth lowest limit

in the country. No state has ever lowered its dollar limit, and if the bill

were approved it would do serious harm to legal consumers by denying

the remedy of small claims court to all but the most trivial of cases.”

courthouse1 …………………………………. courthouseSF


That’s right: while legislatures around the nation are increasing dollar limits

in small claims courts, in reform efforts that would help increase access to

civil justice by making these “peoples’ courts” available for the disputes most

likely to arise in modern consumer and tenant transactions, Rep. Rowe

wants to decrease a dollar limit that is already below the national average

for small claims jurisdiction — the first such rollback in our nation’s history.

Go to HALT’s Small Claims Reform Project for more info

on this important movement, including Report Cards and

background materials on each state.  Also, see Your

Editor’s Prairielaw article “Supersize Small Claims” and

a thorough discussion, with relevant links. at Crime &

Federalism, “small claims, big potential,” Jan. 24, 2005).  

Rep. Rowe is an author (e.g., Quest for Liberty, a historical novel, and

Walking Tour of Amherst Village.), and he lives in the historic Jones

Tavern in Amherst. 



Action Alert: On Feb. 9, 2006, there will be a public

hearing on HB 1234, in Rm. 208, LOB, 10:30 AM,

in Corcord, NH. [directions]  You can also write Rep.

Rowe at P.O. Box 1117, Amherst, NH  03031-1117. 

I just might try to be there, to hear Mr. Rowe explain his reasoning for

gutting New Hampshire’s small claims courts.



snow pile flip  HB 1234 has put me in a sober mood, just right

for some Andrew Riutta poetry:


a hillside

overlooking the cemetery—

distant orchards  





in the scent of summer
a homeless man






cat burial . . .

the snow

up to my waist




snow pile




old stomping grounds

the river still follows

its path




“old stomping grounds” – from Full Moon Magazine (2005) 

“deep” – Haiku Harvest (Fall-Winter 2005)

p.s. Off topic: Is Denise Howell, coiner of “blawg,” right to suggest

it is a waste of time to worry over the use of that term (see her

I, Sandwich Dominatrix,” Jan. 25, 2006), and/or scroll down to

our response at our original post on making the word “blawg” obsolete.”


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