New Hampshire


All New Hampshire Courts, Rules and Laws are based on and ruled by the State Constitution; Superseded by the United State Constitutions.


New Hampshire State Constitution

I found this on the history of the the Court page, regarding the Supreme Court, here
“The law states the Supreme Court Chief Justice will have the advice and consent of the Chief Justice of the Superior Court. They are both required to seek cooperation from others interested in the administration of justice including other justices and judges, court clerks, the court accreditation committee, the state and local bar associations, and the judicial council. “

I have great respect for the legal system of the United States, and see Justice as one of the most important facets of society. Without justice, our world would not be where it is today.

I am a citizen, father, entrepreneur, author and reside in New Hampshire. I am not a lawyer; this is not legal advice, rather, my notes and opinions in the pursuit of justice, and a better world – Freedom.

I am interested in the administration of justice.

Robert Tanguay


New Hampshire Legal Resources

NH Family Court Rules

NH Supreme Court Rules

NH Domestic Violence Court Protocol

NH Domestic Violence Guides

New Hampshire Laws (Statutes -RSA)



NOTICE: This is not legal advice, rather non-professional opinion, personal experience and the court rules published by our government. You should consult with an attorney and understand the legal risks and prejudices.

Relevent New Hampshire Laws

RSA Revised Statutes Annontated - Laws

Section 490:1

 490:1 Justices. – The supreme court shall consist of 5 justices appointed and commissioned as prescribed by the constitution. On the effective date of this section, the administrative position of chief justice shall be held by the justice with the most seniority on the court for a period of up to 5 years. Each succeeding chief justice shall serve for a period of up to 5 years and shall be the justice with the most seniority of service on the court who has not yet served as chief justice. A justice may decline to serve as chief justice; however, no justice shall be permitted to serve successive terms as chief justice. In the event that all 5 justices have served a term as chief justice, succeeding chief justices shall serve rotating 5-year terms based on seniority.

Section 490:3

 490:3 Disqualification; Temporary Justices. –
I. The provisions as to the disqualification of justices of the superior court apply to justices of the supreme court. Whenever a justice of the supreme court shall be disqualified or otherwise unable to sit in any cause or matter pending before such court, the chief or senior associate justice of the supreme court may assign another justice to sit according to the provisions of paragraph II of this section.


490:8 Trial of Facts. – Questions of fact pending before the court may be heard and determined by one or more justices, or by a master or referee as the court may order.

Source. PS 315:6. RL 369:6.

Section 490:8-a

 490:8-a Publication of the Status of Cases. –
I. Beginning with notices of appeal filed on January 1, 2002, the supreme court shall make available to the public a record of cases pending before the court. The record shall be by calendar year, with the current year recording all cases filed with the court in that year. The record for prior years shall only document cases pending. Cases pending shall be those cases in which a decision has not been made as to accepting the notice of appeal or the accepted appeal has not been decided. The record shall be updated and printed quarterly and shall be available not later than 15 days after the end of each quarter. This report shall list the following data:
(a) Name and docket number.
(b) Date of acceptance or rejection of the notice of appeal and if the appeal was accepted or rejected.
(c) Date of oral argument.
(d) Date of decision.
II. At the end of each calendar year, all cases for which the notice of appeal was rejected and all cases decided shall be removed from the list.


490:24 Entry Fees. –
I. For the benefit of the state, there shall be paid to the clerk for the entry of every reserved case, bill of exceptions, petition, appeal, or other action, for the filing of every motion or other document supplementary to the entered case, and for any service rendered by the clerk, such fees as shall from time to time be established by the court. The clerk shall set aside 6 percent of each entry fee paid into the court for deposit into a special escrow account established under RSA 490:26-c and 30 percent of each entry fee paid into the court for deposit into the judicial branch information technology fund established under RSA 490:26-h. The proceeds of fees for motions to appear in court pro hac vice shall be paid into the law library revolving fund established in RSA 490:25, III.
II. [Repealed.]

Source. 1919, 111:3. PL 315:27. RL 369:22. 1951, 224:8. RSA 490:24. 1970, 48:6. 2003, 319:16. 2007, 234:1, 2. 2008, 92:1. 2009, 144:111, eff. July 1, 2009. 2013, 88:2, eff. July 1, 2013.

 490:26-a Court Fees and Fines; Credit Card Payments. –
I. The supreme court shall establish by rule an equitable fee schedule for all courts in the state.
II. (a) Except as provided in subparagraph (b), a $25 surcharge shall be added to each civil filing fee for all courts. This surcharge shall be deposited in the general fund.
(b) The following shall be exempt from the surcharge under subparagraph (a):
(1) Actions relating to children under RSA 169-B, RSA 169-C, and RSA 169-D.
(2) Domestic violence actions under RSA 173-B.
(3) Small claims actions under RSA 503.
(4) Landlord/tenant actions under RSA 540, RSA 540-A, RSA 540-B, and RSA 540-C.
(5) Stalking actions under RSA 633:3-a
II-a. The supreme court may establish by rule an equitable fee of not less than $25 to be added to a fine whenever a court extends the time for the payment of the fine. An equitable fee assessed by a court under this paragraph shall be paid prior to or simultaneously with the payment of the fine.
III. All court fees, surcharges, and fines paid into any court may be paid by credit card in lieu of cash payment.

Source. 1981, 562:1. 2005, 281:2. 2007, 263:77. 2008, 53:1. 2009, 144:192, eff. Aug. 28, 2009.

Section 490:32

 490:32 Judicial Performance Evaluations. –
I. The chief justice and a majority of the supreme court, in consultation with the administrative judges of the superior and circuit courts and other nonjudicial branch officers as established by court rule, shall design and implement by court rule, a program for performance evaluation of judges. The sole purpose of this program shall be the improvement of the performance of individual judges and of the judiciary as a whole. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, all information compiled through this program shall be confidential, except as otherwise provided in this section.
II. The program for performance evaluation shall be as inclusive as practicable and shall include, but shall not be limited to, a questionnaire, to be designed by the supreme court, and a self-evaluation form to be completed by the judge. The supreme court shall strive to achieve uniformity among court evaluation questionnaires, recognizing that the questionnaires for each court may differ due to the jurisdiction of the courts. Questionnaires shall be available to attorneys, parties, witnesses, jurors, court personnel, and others who have appeared before a judge during the evaluation period, for the purpose of evaluating the performance of the judge. The questionnaire shall include, but shall not be limited to, questions relative to the judge’s performance, temperament and demeanor, judicial management skills, legal knowledge, attentiveness, bias and objectivity, and degree of preparedness. Completed forms shall be returned to the administrative judge, unsigned, within 30 days of issuance. All responses shall remain confidential.
III. The program for performance evaluation shall ensure that each judge is evaluated a minimum of once every 3 years. If a judge fails to achieve an overall satisfactory judicial evaluation, a follow-up evaluation shall be conducted in 18 months.
IV. The chief justice of the supreme court shall evaluate the administrative judges of the superior and circuit courts.
V. (a) The chief justice and a majority of the supreme court, in consultation with the administrative judges of the superior and circuit courts, shall establish judicial evaluation standards, and shall design or determine appropriate programs for judges who need improvement in achieving the judicial evaluation standards. The supreme court shall establish disciplinary rules and may initiate disciplinary action when appropriate. If a judge fails to achieve an overall satisfactory judicial evaluation in the second of 2 consecutive evaluations, or purposely fails to complete assigned programs, the judge’s right to confidentiality shall be waived.
(b) Upon consideration of nomination for another judicial appointment, a judge’s evaluations shall be made available to the governor upon request. Upon nomination, such evaluations shall be made available to the executive council upon request. The contents of such evaluations shall be kept in strict confidence by the governor and executive council except as otherwise provided in this section.
(c) Judicial performance evaluations shall be retained by the judicial branch for the duration of the judge’s tenure.
VI. The supreme court shall prepare a report on the implementation of the performance evaluation program described in this section within one year of the effective date of this section and submit such report to the governor, the speaker of the house, the president of the senate, and the chairpersons of the house and senate judiciary committees. Such report shall be made available to the public. The supreme court shall annually file a report on the evaluation process, including, but not limited to, the number of evaluations performed by each court, the percentage of responses received, and a summary of the overall evaluation results and all actions taken to correct inadequacies and deficiencies. The annual report shall be submitted on or before June 30 of each year to the governor, the speaker of the house, the president of the senate, and the chairpersons of the house and senate judiciary committees. Such report shall be made available to the public.

Source. 2000, 53:2. 2001, 267:4, eff. July 1, 2001. 2012, 72:1, eff. July 22, 2012. 2014, 5:1, eff. April 14, 2014.

Section 490:33 to 490:35

 490:33 to 490:35 Repealed by 2005, 177:18, I, eff. July 1, 2005 at 12:01 a.m. –

Section 490:31

 490:31 Court-Ordered Costs; Authorization for Payment of Expenses. – In those instances where the courts have the authority to order services to be rendered and the responsibility for payment is unclear, the court shall assume said responsibility.

Source. 1989, 243:2, eff. May 24, 1989.
 – Collaborative Law Act


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.

Section 491:15

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.









Section 514:1

 514:1 Default. – If a defendant on whom process has been duly served neglects to appear at the court to which the same is returned his default shall be recorded, and judgment shall be rendered against him for such damages as upon inquiry the plaintiff appears to have sustained.



Section 514:3

 514:3 Continuance to Notify Defendant. – If no personal service has been made on a defendant in an action which may be entered without such service the court, on suggestion thereof, may order the action to be continued and notice of the pendency thereof to be given by publication, by mail in a registered letter, by personal service or otherwise, as they think proper; and, upon satisfactory evidence that the order has been complied with, the notice shall be sufficient.

Source. RS 186:5, 6. CS 198:5, 6. GS 207:3, 4. GL 226:3, 4; 223:5, 9. 1883, 92:1. PS 222:3. PL 334:3. RL 390:3.

Section 514:7

 514:7 Review. – Such review may be brought at any time within two years after the rendition of the judgment, and the plaintiff in such review may have the benefit of all pleas and advantages which he might have had in the original action.

Section 514:9

 514:9 Amendments. – Amendments in matters of substance may be permitted in any action, in any stage of the proceedings, upon such terms as the court shall deem just and reasonable, when it shall appear to the court that it is necessary for the prevention of injustice; but the rights of third persons shall not be affected thereby.


Section 514:14

 514:14 Notices. – The court shall order notice to be given, in such manner as due process of law requires, of any petition, complaint, libel, application, or motion in writing filed therein, and no judgment, decree, or ruling shall be rendered thereon absent compliance with such order.

Source. RS 186:20. CS 198:20. GS 207:18. GL 226:18. PS 222:13. PL 334:14. RL 390:14. 2006, 37:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2007.


[Art.] 72-a. [Supreme and Superior Courts.] The judicial power of the state shall be vested in the supreme court, a trial court of general jurisdiction known as the superior court, and such lower courts as the legislature may establish under Article 4th of Part 2.
November 16, 1966

[Art.] 73. [Tenure of Office To Be Expressed in Commissions; Judges to Hold Office During Good Behavior, etc.; Removal.] The tenure that all commissioned officers shall have by law in their offices shall be expressed in their respective commissions, and all judicial officers duly appointed, commissioned and sworn, shall hold their offices during good behavior except those for whom a different provision is made in this constitution. The governor with consent of the council may remove any commissioned officer for reasonable cause upon the address of both houses of the legislature, provided nevertheless that the cause for removal shall be stated fully and substantially in the address and shall not be a cause which is a sufficient ground for impeachment, and provided further that no officer shall be so removed unless he shall have had an opportunity to be heard in his defense by a joint committee of both houses of the legislature.
June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 changing president to governor.
Amended 1966 spelling out procedures for removal from office

[Art.] 73-a. [Supreme Court, Administration.] The chief justice of the supreme court shall be the administrative head of all the courts. He shall, with the concurrence of a majority of the supreme court justices, make rules governing the administration of all courts in the state and the practice and procedure to be followed in all such courts. The rules so promulgated shall have the force and effect of law.
November 22, 1978



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Business Law

Family Law

NH Legal matters may not be able to be resolved outside of court. The law is complicated in New Hampshire, and you should seek professional legal help form an NH Attorney. Completely understand the risks. Intrinsically, the New Hampshire law is based on simple constructs, however, it’s application is very difficult. This is not legal advice

Parts of New Hampshire Law

Laws and Statutes

In New Hampshire, this includes the RSA’s (Revised Statutes Annotated) are basically the laws in NH. This includes the criminal and civil codes.

NH Family Advocates

This can include Domestic Violence and Father’s Rights Advocates – groups and organizations in New Hampshire.

Business Law

Business Law in New Hampshire handles a number of disciplines and can involve any the court rules and laws including NH Circuit (small claims), Superior, and Supreme Courts.

NH Family Law

Family Law is heard in the lower Circuit Courts in New Hampshire, which were formed in 2011. The Family Division was formed in 2005. Typically, lawyers tend to specialize in Family Law including custody and Domestic Violence.

Family, Circuit Courts & Rules

The Family and Circuit Court Rules are the rules for the lower courts that handle small claims, criminal misdemeanors, family and domestic cases.

NH Superior Courts & Rules

The New Hampshire Superior Court seems to handle all Civil complaints of $25,000 and above, along with Felony and Jury trials. Please do your own research or contact an attorney.

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