This is not legal advice, just notes and no-legal opinion. You should get a lawyer and understand the risks of challenging the court, and being alive without a lawyer.


Section 490-D:1

490-D:1 Judicial Branch Family Division Established. – The general court hereby organizes, constitutes, and establishes the judicial branch family division. The goals of the family division are the respectful treatment of all citizens by justices, marital masters, and other family division staff, the prompt and fair resolution of family issues by justices and marital masters specially selected and trained to deal effectively with such issues, the use of alternative dispute resolution to reduce the adversarial nature of proceedings involving families, and the assignment of all family matters of a single family to one family division justice or marital master located in a family division court that is geographically accessible to the family.

Source. 2005, 177:14, eff. July 1, 2005.

490-D:2 Jurisdiction. –
Notwithstanding any law to the contrary and except for the limited need to allow an existing case to proceed with the same judge who had presided over it before the implementation of the judicial branch family division, following implementation of the division at a division site in accordance with RSA 490-D:5, jurisdiction over the following matters shall be exclusively exercised through the judicial branch family division as procedurally jurisdiction was previously exercised in the superior, district, and probate courts:
I. Petitions for divorce, nullity of marriage, alimony, custody of children, support, and to establish paternity.
II. Actions for support or custody for children of unwed parties.
III. Actions under RSA 169-B, relating to delinquent children except for concurrent jurisdiction with the district court to enter temporary detention orders under RSA 169-B:11, III and 169-B:12, IV(b).
IV. Actions under RSA 169-C, relating to abused and neglected children except for concurrent jurisdiction with the district court to enter orders under RSA 169-C:6, VI and RSA 169-C:6-a.
V. Actions under RSA 169-D, relating to children in need of services except for concurrent jurisdiction with the district court to enter orders under RSA 169-D:8, I, RSA 169-D:9-a, and RSA 169-D:10.
VI. Actions under RSA 173-B, relating to protection of persons from domestic violence except for concurrent jurisdiction with the district division to enter temporary protective orders under RSA 173-B:4.
VII. The adoption of children in abuse and neglect cases pursuant to RSA 169-C, termination of parental rights cases pursuant to RSA 170-C, and guardianships of the person of minors pursuant to paragraph VIII. Jurisdiction over private, agency, and international adoptions shall remain with the probate court.
VIII. The guardianship of the person of minors. In cases involving the guardianship of both the person of a minor and the estate of the same minor, jurisdiction shall remain with the probate court.
IX. The termination of parental rights.
X. The change of names of persons who apply therefor in matters relating to jurisdiction in paragraphs I-IX.

Section 491:13

491:13 Trials by Court. – Causes which the court has authority to refer shall, as far as practicable, be tried by one or more justices of the court, unless one of the parties objects.

Source. 1855, 1659:26. GS 189:4. GL 208:4. 1881, 55:1. PS 204:8. PL 316:10. RL 370:11.

Section 491:14

491:14 Equity Procedure. – Suits in equity, petitions for divorce, nullity of marriage, alimony, custody of children, allowance to wife from husband’s property, new trials, redemption and foreclosure of mortgages, writs of mandamus and quo warranto, and other similar proceedings may be heard upon oral testimony or depositions, or both; or when both parties consent, or service having been made and a notice of the time and place of the hearing having been given, when both parties appear, such suits may be heard by any justice of the court at any time, but nothing contained in this section shall be construed as limiting the power of the court to have issues of fact framed and tried by a jury, according to the rules in equity, or the course of such proceedings at common law.

Source. 1870, 2:1. GL 208:3. PS 204:9. PL 316:11. RL 370:12. RSA 491:14. 1992, 284:12, eff. Jan. 1, 1993.

RSA 491:15 Findings

491:15 Findings. – The court or justice trying causes under RSA 491:13 and 491:14 shall, if either party requests it, give his decision in writing, stating the facts found and his rulings of law, which shall be filed and recorded.

Source. 1855, 1659:27. GS 189:5. 1870, 2:3. GL 208:5. PS 204:10. PL 316:12. RL 370:13.

author avatar
Robert Tanguay
Author of "Incentives and the Environment" and founder of EmissionsTax.