Justices, Jurisdiction, Sessions, Etc.
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.
Source. RS 171:1. CS 181:1. 1855, 1659:1. 1859, 2211:4. 1874, 97:1. 1876, 25:1. GS 189:1. 1877, 25:1. GL 208:1. PS 204:1. 1901, 78:1. PL 315:1. RL 369:1. 1945, 174:3. RSA 490:1. 1978, 33:1. 2001, 50:1, eff. Dec. 31, 2003.
490:2 Repealed by 2003, 311:10, I, eff. July 1, 2003.
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.
II. Upon the retirement, disqualification, or inability to sit of any justice of the supreme court, the chief justice or senior associate justice of the supreme court may assign a justice of the supreme court who has retired from regular active service or, if a retired supreme court justice is unavailable, shall assign a justice of the superior court who has retired from regular active service to sit during supreme court sessions while the vacancy continues. The selection of a retired supreme or superior court justice shall be on a random basis. However if no retired supreme or superior court justice is available, then the selection of a replacement justice shall be made on a random basis from a pool of full-time justices of the superior court. In the event that no superior court justices are available, then the selection of a replacement justice shall be made on a random basis from a pool of full-time justices of the district and probate courts. The clerk of the supreme court shall maintain a list of superior, probate, and district court judges who are willing to serve as temporary supreme court judges.
II-a. If a vacancy occurs within 7 days of the scheduled oral argument of a case, the chief justice of the supreme court may assign to the case a temporary justice on a non-random basis if the assigned justice was assigned randomly to another case scheduled at the same monthly argument session or if the assigned justice is the chief justice of the superior court.
II-b. The chief justice of the supreme court may assign to a cause or matter as a temporary justice on a non-random basis a justice of the supreme court who sat in the cause or matter while it was pending before such court and who retired before the decision thereof. This paragraph shall not apply to any subsequent hearing of the same cause or matter.
III. A justice assigned to sit temporarily on the supreme court pursuant to paragraph II of this section shall have all the authority of a supreme court justice to hear arguments, render decisions, and file opinions. No justice shall be assigned to sit on the supreme court in the determination of any cause or matter upon which the justice has previously sat or for which such justice is otherwise disqualified nor without such justice's consent.
Source. PL 315:19. RL 369:17. 1947, 110:1. RSA 490:3. 1978, 33:2. 2004, 112:1. 2007, 46:1, eff. May 21, 2007.
The supreme court shall have general superintendence of all courts of inferior jurisdiction to prevent and correct errors and abuses, including the authority to approve rules of court and prescribe and administer canons of ethics with respect to such courts, shall have exclusive authority to issue writs of error, and may issue writs of certiorari, prohibition, habeas corpus, and all other writs and processes to other courts, to corporations and to individuals, and shall do and perform all the duties reasonably requisite and necessary to be done by a court of final jurisdiction of questions of law and general superintendence of inferior courts.
Source. RS 171:2, 3. CS 181:5, 6. 1855, 1659:1, 10. 1859, 2211:3. GS 189:1. GL 208:1. 1885, 42:1. PS 204:2. 1901, 78:7. PL 315:2. RL 369:2. RSA 490:4. 1971, 341:1, eff. Aug. 24, 1971.
490:4-a Law Enforcement Officers; Wearing of Firearms.
Notwithstanding any other rule, regulation or order to the contrary, law enforcement officers shall be permitted to wear firearms in any courtroom in the state.
Source. 1975, 72:1, eff. June 7, 1975.
490:5 Jurisdiction; By Special Provisions.
The supreme court shall have jurisdiction of all other proceedings and matters to be entered or heard therein by special provisions of law.
Source. RS 171:5. CS 181:8. 1855, 1659:11. GS 189:2. 1870, 2:1. GL 208:2. 1885, 42:3. PS 204:3. PL 315:3. RL 369:3.
490:5-a New Hampshire Court Accreditation Commission.
There is hereby established the New Hampshire court accreditation commission consisting of 12 members as follows: one shall be appointed by the governor, one shall be a member of the house appointed by the speaker, one shall be a member of the senate appointed by the senate president, one shall be the commissioner of administrative services or designee, one shall be the commissioner of safety or designee, one shall be the director of security for the administrative office of the courts, one shall be a county sheriff appointed by the president of the New Hampshire Sheriffs' Association, and 5 shall be appointed by the supreme court. Of the 5 members appointed by the supreme court, one shall be a justice of the supreme court or a designee of the supreme court, one shall be a justice of the superior court, one shall be a justice of the circuit court, one shall be a lawyer of experience in the trial of cases at all court levels, and one shall be a layman. The supreme court shall designate one of the members as chairman.
Source. 1971, 382:1. 1987, 307:1. 1989, 371:1, eff. July 1, 1989. 2010, 157:1, eff. June 17, 2010. 2019, 236:1, eff. Sept. 10, 2019.
490:5-b Term; Compensation; Retirement.
The members of the commission shall each serve for a term of 3 years and shall receive no compensation for the performance of their duties hereunder, but they shall be reimbursed for mileage and other reasonable expenses actually incurred by them in visiting any court as provided for herein. Such reimbursement shall be made from the receipts of any court so visited on presentation of an invoice detailing the subject expenses. The mileage allowance shall be the rate then in effect as to other state officials and employees.
Source. 1971, 382:1. 1987, 307:2, eff. Jan. 1, 1988.
The commission shall operate under the supervision of the supreme court and shall perform such duties as directed by the supreme court to include:
I. Prescribing minimum standards for all courts with respect to size, adequacy of facilities, security, decor and design, judicial chambers, conference rooms, stenographic and clerical assistance, decorum, parking facilities, respect for the rights of the public, law enforcement personnel, and the accused, and such other features as the supreme court shall direct;
II. Regularly causing every superior, probate, district, and municipal court in New Hampshire to be visited and inspected;
III. Periodically reporting its findings, conclusions, and recommendations for improvements to court facilities and procedures to the supreme court;
IV. Reviewing for the supreme court the adequacies of court facilities and reporting its findings and recommendations to the supreme court for its consideration in January of each year.
Source. 1971, 382:1. 1981, 256:1; 562:7. 1983, 381:5; 383:37. 1985, 404:8, I. 1989, 371:2. 2006, 44:1. 2007, 306:1, eff. July 13, 2007.
490:5-d Rating; Accreditation.
The commission shall rate each court inspected as herein provided as "accredited-excellent", "accredited-satisfactory", "not accredited" or give each court a rating established by the commission which substantially reflects these rating categories, in accordance with the criteria set forth in RSA 490:5-c. The commission rating shall be a matter of public record and shall be transmitted in written form to each court.
Source. 1971, 382:1. 1981, 256:1, eff. Aug. 14, 1981.
490:5-e Notice of Nonaccreditation.
Written notice of an intention to rate or designate a court as "not accredited" shall be mailed by the commission to the presiding justice of the court, to the owner of the facility, if the owner is not the state, and to the person responsible for the maintenance and repair of the facility, if that person is not also the owner. Notice shall be mailed not less than 90 days prior to the date the official rating or designation is ordered.
Source. 1971, 382:1. 1985, 404:4, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.
There shall be one general term of the supreme court in each year to be held in Concord for the purpose of hearing arguments, making orders, rendering decisions and filing opinions.
Source. 1901, 78:3. PL 315:4. RL 369:4. RSA 490:6. 1970, 48:4. 1973, 214:1. 1981, 328:1, eff. Aug. 16, 1981.
490:6-a Emergency Powers.
I. The chief justice of the supreme court or, if the chief justice is unavailable, the most senior associate justice available, shall have the power, upon the request of the governor, attorney general, or the chief justice of the superior court or the administrative judge of the district or probate court or the judicial branch family division, or on his or her own motion, in the event of a declared state of emergency, as defined in RSA 4:45, to enter such order or orders as may be appropriate to suspend, toll, or otherwise grant relief for a period of up to 21 calendar days from time deadlines imposed by otherwise applicable statutes and rules of procedure regarding speedy trial procedures in criminal and juvenile court proceedings, all civil and equitable court process and court proceedings, and all appellate court time limitations. Such order or orders may be renewed by a majority of the justices of the supreme court as justice may require; provided, however, that any such renewal with respect to applicable statutes shall be effective only upon the concurrence of the governor.
II. The general court may terminate any order entered pursuant to paragraph I of this section to the extent that it deals with applicable statutes by concurrent resolution adopted by a majority vote of each chamber. The justices' authority to renew such an order to the extent that it deals with applicable statutes shall terminate upon the adoption of a concurrent resolution under this paragraph.
Source. 2008, 346:1, eff. July 7, 2008.
Sessions of the court shall be held by at least 3 supreme court justices. A lesser number, or the clerk, if no justice attends, may adjourn the sessions from day to day until 3 justices attend. If one or more of the justices present is disqualified to sit in any case, one or more temporary justices may be assigned in accordance with RSA 490:3; provided that at least 3 justices, either full-time or temporarily appointed, must sit, participate, and decide.
Source. 1855, 1659:15. GS 192:7. GL 211:7. PS 207:7. PL 315:5. RL 369:5. RSA 490:7. 1978, 33:3. 1999, 176:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2000.
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.
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.
Source. 2001, 268:1, eff. July 1, 2002.
490:9 Repealed by 1981, 328:3, III, eff. Aug. 16, 1981.
490:10 Repealed by 1981, 328:3, IV, eff. Aug. 16, 1981.
490:11 Repealed by 1981, 328:3, V, eff. Aug. 16, 1981.
490:12 Repealed by 1981, 328:3, VI, eff. Aug. 16, 1981.
490:13 Repealed by 1981, 328:3, VII, eff. Aug. 16, 1981.
490:14 Repealed by 1981, 328:3, VIII, eff. Aug. 16, 1981.
490:14-a Penalties for Frivolous Appeals.
If upon the hearing of any appeal, reserved case or bill of exceptions, it clearly appears that the appeal, reserved case or bill of exceptions is frivolous, immaterial or intended for delay, then the court, upon motion of a party or its own motion, may award against the moving party double the amount of the costs incurred by the prevailing party beginning with the entry of the appeal, reserved case of bill of exceptions, and also interest at the rate of 12 percent per annum on any amount which has been previously found due or for which a verdict has been recovered or which the moving party has been ordered to pay.
Source. 1971, 456:12, eff. Aug. 29, 1971.
490:15 Repealed by 1981, 328:3, IX, eff. Aug. 16, 1981.
490:16 Repealed by 1981, 328:3, X, eff. Aug. 16, 1981.
490:17 Repealed by 1961, 221:7, eff. July 1, 1961.
The justices shall be entitled to receive their actual personal expenses when absent from the court in the performance of their official duties. A justice who resides more than 50 miles from the court may be reimbursed for money paid for office rent. The justices shall not be reimbursed for mileage to commute from the justice's residence to the court except for any mileage in excess of 50 miles each way. A temporary justice shall be entitled to receive the same expenses and reimbursements, except for office rent, for the period of such service.
Source. 1901, 78:14. 1905, 107:1. 1913, 141:2. 1917, 212:1. 1919, 77:1. 1921, 147:1; 148:1. PL 315:16. RL 369:16. RSA 490:18. 1978, 33:4. 2004, 91:1. 2009, 60:1, eff. Aug. 2, 2009.
490:18-a Revolving Funds Authorized.
The administrative office of the courts is authorized to establish revolving funds for the purposes of the printing and sale of forms, publications and educational materials; and such funds shall not lapse.
Source. 1983, 383:17, eff. Jan. 1, 1984. 2010, 193:1, eff. June 21, 2010.
Clerk and Messenger
The court shall appoint a clerk, who shall be removable at pleasure. He shall perform all the duties herein specifically required of him and such other duties as usually appertain to that office. His salary shall be in full compensation for the performance of all duties as clerk, pursuant to the court's compensation system.
Source. 1901, 78:10. PL 315:20-23. RL 369:18. 1953, 265:1. RSA 490:19. 1970, 48:5. 1983, 383:18, eff. Jan. 1, 1984.
The court may appoint a messenger, who shall perform such duties with reference to the courtroom and apartments occupied by the justices as they may prescribe, and who shall receive such compensation as the court shall certify to be just and reasonable.
Source. 1901, 78:11. PL 315:24. RL 369:19.
Costs; Entry Fees
490:21 Repealed by 1989, 243:3, I, eff. May 24, 1989.
490:22 Repealed by 1989, 243:3, II, eff. May 24, 1989.
490:23 Repealed by 1989, 243:3, III, eff. May 24, 1989.
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.
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.
Law Library; Buildings and Facilities
490:25 Powers and Duties Relative to the Law Library.
The supreme court shall provide a law library, which shall consist of the books and related materials, equipment, and furniture now in the law library at the supreme court building, with such additions as may be made thereto, for the use of the supreme court and other members of the judiciary, the attorney general, members of the legislature, officials of state government, the legal profession of New Hampshire, and the people of the state agreeing to the rules established by the supreme court. In addition to the other powers, duties and responsibilities provided by law, the supreme court may:
I. Make all necessary rules and regulations for the proper control and use of the law library;
II. Receive and accept at any time such sums of money as may be donated for the purpose of purchasing books or other supplies, equipment, or facilities for the law library, to be held by the state treasurer from which payments shall be made in accordance with the stipulations of the donor, upon approval by the supreme court; and money so received shall be converted into a continuous fund or funds which shall not lapse;
III. Receive and accept at any time funds from the sale or exchange of books, pamphlets, maps, manuscripts, and other related material, or from the sale of data base services, barcodes, cataloging records, magnetic tapes, laser discs, video tapes, or related or similar material, or from fees and fines as established by the law library and approved by the supreme court. Any funds accruing to the law library from such sources and as provided under RSA 490:24, I; RSA 490-D:12, II; RSA 499:18, II; RSA 502-A:28, II; and RSA 547:27-c, II shall be paid into the state treasury and held in a continually appropriated fund which shall not lapse for the use of the law library upon approval by the supreme court;
IV. Enter into any agreement or compact with any other state or states, with the United States, and with library trustees, law schools and other agencies, public and private, for the purpose of improving law library facilities and services on the basis of mutual advantages and thereby providing more efficient or economical law library service and for the purpose of facilitating the use of law materials;
V. Receive, accept and administer any money granted by the federal government or other agencies, private or otherwise, for providing, equalizing, or strengthening a law library service in New Hampshire, including computerization of its services. Any gift or grant from the federal government or other source as hereinbefore provided shall be deposited in the state treasury and credited to a special fund which shall be continually appropriated and shall not lapse.
Source. 1979, 391:1. 1994, 7:4. 2008, 92:2. 2009, 273:2, eff. July 31, 2009 at 12:01 a.m. 2011, 88:24, eff. July 1, 2011.
490:26 Building and Facilities.
The supreme court shall control all space, facilities, and equipment in the supreme court building and shall employ sufficient numbers of persons to provide custodial services and general maintenance supervision for the building. The commissioner of administrative services shall provide any additional maintenance and repair to keep the building in suitable repair and condition for use by the supreme court and law library, subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
Source. 1979, 391:1. 1989, 371:3, eff. July 1, 1989.
Court Fees, Fines, Forms, and Personnel
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.
490:26-b Court Personnel and Compensation System.
I. The supreme court shall establish a uniform personnel classification and compensation system and salary and grievance procedures for all nonjudicial court personnel not covered by a collective bargaining agreement under RSA 273-A. The compensation system shall be approved by the legislature prior to becoming effective. The salary and grievance procedures for employees not covered by a collective bargaining agreement under RSA 273-A shall be established by administrative order of the supreme court.
II. If court employees exercise their rights under RSA 273-A, their wages, benefits, and other conditions of employment shall be negotiated through their bargaining agent. Once a petition for certification covering court employees has been filed, the terms and conditions of their employment shall remain in force and preserve the status quo until either an election has been conducted or an initial contract has been negotiated, whichever is the last to occur. If they choose not to organize under RSA 273-A or are unsuccessful, their wages, benefits, and terms and conditions of employment shall be determined by the provisions of RSA 490:28.
Source. 1981, 562:1. 1983, 383:68. 2001, 170:4, eff. Jan. 1, 2002. 2012, 247:31, eff. Aug. 17, 2012.
490:26-c Escrow Fund for Court Facility Improvements.
I. Six percent of each entry fee collected in the supreme, superior, and circuit courts shall be deposited in escrow for judicial branch facility improvements. Moneys in the escrow fund shall be used for improvements to judicial branch facilities by the department of administrative services as recommended and approved by the supreme court.
II. The state treasurer shall establish procedures for deposits to and expenditures from the escrow fund for court facilities. The escrow fund shall be a dedicated capital reserve fund for the improvement of existing court facilities, or those facilities acquired pursuant to an act of the general court.
III. The funds on deposit in the escrow fund for court facility improvements shall be invested by the state treasurer in obligations of the United States government, in government agency obligations, in obligations which are legal investments for savings banks and trust companies, and in all types of savings accounts or certificates of deposit of both state or federally chartered institutions.
Source. 1981, 562:1. 1982, 9:2. 1985, 404:5. 1989, 371:4. 2007, 234:3, eff. July 1, 2007. 2013, 160:1, eff. July 28, 2013.
The judicial branch administrative council appointed pursuant to supreme court rule 54 shall establish such forms for all courts as are necessary for the effective administration of justice.
Source. 1985, 341:5. 2007, 48:1, eff. July 1, 2007.
490:26-e Guardians Ad Litem.
The supreme court may establish the following relative to guardians ad litem appointed pursuant to statutory authority or any court order:
I. Standards and requirements for registration and training as a guardian ad litem.
II. Standards for practice, including but not limited to ethical rules.
III. Disciplinary procedures for violating ethical rules and requirements established under this section.
IV. Penalties for violating ethical rules and requirements including, as the court may deem necessary, fines or disciplinary action, or both.
Source. 1993, 216:1, eff. June 9, 1993.
490:26-f Guardian Ad Litem Services.
I. Unless otherwise provided by law, whenever a guardian ad litem is appointed or ancillary services are approved pursuant to statutory authority or court order and the responsible party or parents are indigent, the state of New Hampshire shall be responsible for compensation for such services from the general fund.
II. Notwithstanding other provisions of law to the contrary, the state, by the judicial council, may contract with any person qualified under the supreme court rules to provide guardian ad litem, ancillary, or legal services pursuant to statutory authority or court order, or with any organization approved by the supreme court to provide guardian ad litem, ancillary, or legal services. No such contract shall be effective for longer than 2 years.
III. Any guardian ad litem or guardian ad litem program shall be subject to supreme court competence and performance regulations.
IV. Notwithstanding other provisions of law to the contrary, the supreme court and executive departments statutorily responsible for compensation of guardian ad litem, ancillary, or legal services, when the responsible party or parents are indigent or the court otherwise appoints a guardian ad litem or such attorney, are authorized to effectuate budgetary transfer of funds appropriated for such services between and among themselves as they deem necessary.
V. The executive director of the judicial council, the commissioner of the department of health and human services, or the judicial branch, as may be appropriate, may authorize payments to such persons or organizations provided for under this section.
Source. 1993, 216:1. 1994, 212:2. 1995, 310:182. 1997, 351:7, eff. July 1, 1997.
490:26-g Guardians Ad Litem; Failure to File Required Reports.
A guardian ad litem who, without good cause, fails to file a report required by any court or statute by the date the report is due may be subject to a fine, established by supreme court rule, of not less than $100 and not more than the amount of costs and attorneys fees incurred by the parties to the action for the day of the hearing. The guardian ad litem shall not be subject to the fine under this section if, at least 10 days prior to the date the report is due, he or she files a motion requesting an extension of time to file the report. The court clerk shall report a guardian ad litem who fails to file a report by the date the report is due to the guardian ad litem board. The court clerk and the guardian ad litem board shall make such report available to the public.
Source. 2006, 235:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2007.
490:26-h Judicial Branch Information Technology Fund.
I. Except as provided in paragraph IV:
(a) Thirty percent of each entry fee collected in the supreme, superior, and circuit courts and 16.67 percent of the penalty assessment collected pursuant to RSA 106-L:10 shall be deposited in the judicial branch information technology fund.
(b) Moneys in the fund shall be nonlapsing and continually appropriated to the supreme court for maintenance and infrastructure renewal of judicial branch information technology, including both hardware and software, as recommended by the director of the administrative office of the courts and approved by the supreme court.
II. The state treasurer shall establish procedures for deposits to and expenditures from the judicial branch information technology fund. The fund shall be a dedicated fund for the improvement of judicial branch information technology.
III. The funds on deposit in the judicial branch information technology fund shall be invested by the state treasurer in obligations of the United States government, in government agency obligations, in obligations which are legal investments for savings banks and trust companies, and in all types of savings accounts or certificates of deposit of both state or federally chartered institutions.
IV. The judicial branch shall submit a written report 60 days after the close of each fiscal year of the income and expenditures of the judicial branch information technology fund to the fiscal committee of the general court and the state treasurer. If such report is not submitted, any balance in the fund shall lapse to the general fund and the percentage of each entry fee which is designated for the judicial branch information technology fund under paragraph I shall be deposited in the general fund.
Source. 2009, 144:108, eff. July 1, 2009. 2012, 247:32, eff. Aug. 17, 2012. 2013, 88:1, eff. July 1, 2013. 2017, 206:19, eff. Sept. 8, 2017.
490:27 Probate Court Fees.
I. Probate court fees as established by the supreme court under RSA 490:26-a shall be paid to the clerk of the applicable circuit court established in RSA 490-F for the benefit of the state.
II. The sum of $5 shall be added to each entry fee collected in the probate courts and shall be deposited in the mediation and arbitration fund established under RSA 490-E:4.
Source. 1981, 310:1. 1983, 383:19. 2002, 198:2. 2005, 246:3. 2007, 344:3, eff. July 1, 2007. 2011, 88:9, eff. July 1, 2011.
Faxed or Electronic Warrants and Orders
490:27-a Validity of Faxed or Electronic Warrants and Orders.
Search warrants, arrest warrants, detention orders pursuant to RSA 169-B, placement orders pursuant to RSA 169-C or RSA 169-D, or domestic violence temporary and final orders may be applied for and issued by facsimile or electronic transmission. The original documents, including the warrant application, the warrant, and the supporting affidavit must be received by the court having jurisdiction over the matter within 5 calendar days. The requesting agency shall forward a copy of the application, warrant, supporting affidavit and any other documents to the issuing judge or magistrate by the next business day. For purposes of this section, any oath required in the issuance of said warrants or orders may be taken by the judge or magistrate telephonically or by other means of telecommunication or electronic communication, and may include the use of an electronic signature. The issuing judge or magistrate shall be responsible for memorializing the substance of any oral statements under oath supplementing the affidavit, as provided in RSA 595-A:4.
Source. 1996, 244:1. 2005, 76:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2006.
490:28 Benefits of Nonjudicial Employees.
I. Except as provided in a collective bargaining agreement under RSA 273-A, full-time nonjudicial employees of the judicial branch shall, effective January 1, 1984, receive all fringe benefits and salary increases as provided for classified state employees including membership in the state retirement system, health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance coverage, and annual and sick leave benefits. Annual and sick leave benefits accumulated by said employees, as a result of service prior to January 1, 1984, shall be transferable under such guidelines as may be established by the supreme court unless covered in a collective bargaining agreement under RSA 273-A.
II. Any full-time judicial branch employee who transfers from the judicial branch to state service in the executive branch or the legislative branch, without a break in service, may transfer all earned annual leave, sick leave, longevity pay, and bonus time already accumulated in the judicial branch, to the receiving branch of state government. The maximum amount of accumulated annual and sick leave that may be transferred shall be limited to the amount of annual and sick leave that employees of the receiving branch may accumulate, the rate of accrual shall be according to continuous years worked and, upon transfer, the employee's rate of accrual shall be the rate of accrual of the receiving branch. No leave granted at the outset of service, or without a relationship to the length of employment shall be included in earned leave.
Source. 1983, 381:3. 2001, 170:5, eff. Jan. 1, 2002. 2010, 11:1, eff. July 6, 2010. 2011, 93:1, eff. July 26, 2011.
The provisions of RSA 490:28 shall apply to all individuals who are state employees as of the effective date of this section, who previously transferred from the judicial branch to the executive branch.
Source. 2010, 11:2, eff. July 6, 2010.
490:29 Retirement of Nonjudicial Employees.
I. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all full-time nonjudicial employees of the judicial branch shall, effective January 1, 1984, be eligible for membership in the New Hampshire retirement system. Employees who elect to become members of the New Hampshire retirement system shall not be eligible for membership in the local retirement system, except that nothing herein shall prevent an employee from returning a vested interest in a local retirement system. The 6 month probationary period normally in effect shall be waived for all full-time nonjudicial employees who are employed by the court system on January 1, 1984. All nonjudicial personnel hired after January 1, 1984, shall become members of the New Hampshire retirement system following the normally required probationary period.
II. Any such employee who is currently a member of a retirement system other than the New Hampshire retirement system may elect in writing to remain in the local retirement system by notifying the supreme court and the local governing body on or before December 1, 1983. Employees so electing shall be considered employees of the local governing body for inclusion in the local retirement system only. The state, after such election, shall pay into the local retirement system monthly all sums which would otherwise become payable by the local governing body into the local retirement system as its contributory share toward the retirement of said employee; provided, however, that the contributory share shall not exceed the average percentage of the local governing body's annual contributions for all employees for the 3 years preceding January 1, 1984. The state shall withhold from the salary of any such employee the employee's contributory share into the local retirement system and shall pay monthly the amount so withheld to the local governing body for deposit in the local retirement system on behalf of such employee. Employees electing to continue as members of local retirement systems shall not be eligible for membership in the New Hampshire retirement system.
III. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, all fulltime nonjudicial employees who elect to become members of the New Hampshire retirement system may purchase prior service credits for those years during which they were employed as full-time court employees. Prior service credit in the New Hampshire retirement system equal to the membership service in a local retirement system may be purchased upon certification that the member is not eligible for benefits from the local retirement system.
IV. All full-time nonjudicial employees who have prior service as a full-time court employee of a county or municipality prior to January 1, 1984 may include such full-time court service in the calculation of creditable service as a state employee under RSA 21-I:30, VI(b).
Source. 1983, 381:3; 382:22. 2008, 4:1, eff. May 24, 2008. 2012, 175:5, eff. July 1, 2012.
Committee on Judicial Conduct
490:30 Repealed by 2001, 267:5, eff. Jan. 1, 2002.
490:30-a Access to Information; Hearings on Confidential Cases.
I. In this section, "committee" means the committee on judicial conduct established by rules of the supreme court.
II. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a person subject to the code of judicial conduct may provide to the executive secretary of the committee, for the use of the members of the committee and its staff and agents in the performance of their official duties, any tapes, transcripts, records of proceedings, information, files, and other documents which would otherwise be confidential. No member, staff, or agent of the committee shall disclose such information except in the course of official duty.
III. In any hearing before the committee, the committee may, by majority vote, conduct the hearing in a session not open to the public with respect to any part of the complaint involving the conduct of a person in a case required by law to be confidential. In such circumstances the committee shall make available to the public a summary of the nature of the complaint, the names of the person complained against, and the complainant, and the decision of the committee.
Source. 2005, 129:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2006.
Costs of Court-Ordered Services
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.
Judicial Performance Evaluations
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.