491:7-a Business and Commercial Dispute Docket.
I. Without limiting the jurisdiction vested in any court in the state, and subject to the appointment of a presiding justice by the governor with the consent of the executive council as provided in this section, the supreme court may establish by court order not inconsistent with this section, a business and commercial dispute docket in the superior court which shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine business and commercial disputes, as described in this section, when:
(a) The parties have consented to the jurisdiction of the business and commercial dispute docket by agreement or stipulation;
(b) At least one party is a "business entity" as defined in paragraph II;
(c) No party is a consumer as that term is defined in paragraph II; and
(d) If money damages are sought, the amount in controversy exceeds $50,000 or such other greater amount as the supreme court determines by rule.
II. In this section:
(a) A "business entity" means a corporation, a statutory trust, a business trust or association, a real estate investment trust, a common law trust, any other unincorporated business, including a partnership, whether a general or a limited liability partnership, or limited partnership, including a limited liability limited partnership, a limited liability company, a professional association, or a joint venture.
(b) A "consumer" means an individual who purchases or leases merchandise primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.
III. The governor with the consent of the executive council may appoint the first presiding justice of the business and commercial dispute docket, who shall be qualified by reason of such person's knowledge and experience in business and commercial law matters. The chief justice of the superior court, following the appointment or designation of the initial presiding justice, may designate such additional justices to preside over business and commercial docket cases, as necessary, based upon caseload, disqualification of the presiding justice, or efficient allocation of judicial resources.
IV. The presiding justice of the business and commercial dispute docket shall be an associate justice of the superior court and shall be entitled to the compensation and benefits provided to all such justices under applicable law, including, but not limited to, RSA 491-A:1 and RSA 100-C.
V. The workload of the presiding justice of the business and commercial dispute docket shall be the matters before that docket. The presiding justice may be assigned to any other matter within the jurisdiction of the superior court or sit by designation on any other court in the same manner as any other associate justice of the superior court, as determined to be necessary by the chief justices of the superior and supreme courts.
VI. Subject to the provisions of this section, all civil actions in which the principal claim or claims arise from or involve the following shall be assigned to the business and commercial dispute docket for all purposes, including motion practice, discovery, injunctive relief, alternative dispute resolution, and hearing on the merits with or without a jury:
(a) Claims arising from breach of contract or fiduciary duties, fraud, misrepresentation, business tort, or statutory violations arising out of business dealings or transactions.
(b) Claims arising from transactions under the Uniform Commercial Code.
(c) Claims arising from the purchase, sale, and lease of commercial real or personal property or security interests therein.
(d) Claims related to surety bonds.
(e) Franchisee/franchisor relationships and liabilities.
(f) Malpractice claims of non-medical professionals in connection with rendering services to a business enterprise.
(g) Real estate title petitions.
(h) Shareholder derivative actions.
(i) Commercial class actions.
(j) Commercial bank transactions.
(k) Actions relating to the internal affairs or governance; dissolution or liquidation rights obligations between and among owners, including shareholders, partners, or members; or liability or indemnity of managers, including officers, directors, managers, trustees, or members or partners functioning as managers, of corporations, partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies or partnerships, professional associations, business trusts, joint ventures, or other business enterprises.
(l) Business insolvencies and receiverships.
(m) Other complex disputes of a business or commercial nature.
Source. 2008, 124:1, eff. June 3, 2008.