RETIRED JUDGES; JUDICIAL REFEREES
493-A:1 Senior Active Status; Retired Status.
I. Any full-time justice of the supreme, superior, district, or probate court who retires or has retired from regular active service prior to age 70 pursuant to RSA 100-C or any predecessor judicial retirement plan or system, may elect to take either senior active status or retired status for the period prior to the time when the justice reaches age 70. A justice who desires to be designated on senior active status shall make such election by providing written notice to the chief justice or administrative justice of the court from which he or she retired. The first such election shall be made not later than 30 days prior to the date the justice's retirement becomes effective and shall be valid for one year from the date of the justice's retirement. Thereafter, a justice who desires to remain in senior active status shall provide a similar notice on an annual basis to the chief or administrative justice of the court from which the justice retired not later than 30 days prior to the anniversary date of the justice's retirement. Judges retired on the effective date of this section shall make the first such election not later than 30 days after the effective date of this section. Each election shall be valid for a period of one year, except that an election made for the year in which the justice reaches age 70 shall terminate on the day before the justice turns 70. A justice who desires to be designated on retired status may do so at any time following his or her retirement from regular active service by providing written notice of this election to the chief or administrative justice of the court from which the justice retired; provided, however, that once a justice elects to be designated on retired status such election shall be final and the justice shall not thereafter be allowed to return to senior active status.
II. A senior active justice shall have all the powers of a justice in regular active service and may serve on the court from which he or she retired or on any other court in which he or she is authorized by law to serve.
III. A justice who elects to be designated on senior active status shall not, during the period while such designation is in effect, engage in the practice of law, but such justice may serve as a teacher or professor of law at an educational institution.
IV. In the case of a retired full-time justice, in good standing, of the New Hampshire supreme, superior, district, or probate court who forgoes a retirement service allowance pursuant to RSA 100-C:5, VII and who elects to take senior active status under paragraph I, the justice may serve as provided in paragraph II with compensation under RSA 493-A:1-b limited to per diem payment and expenses. No person who retires under the provisions of this paragraph shall be considered a "retired employee," as defined in RSA 21-I:30, for purposes of eligibility for state-paid medical and surgical benefits.
Source. 1961, 174:1. 1971, 210:2. 1995, 277:12. 2005, 292:3. 2008, 314:2, eff. Aug. 31, 2008.
493-A:1-a Judicial Referees.
I. Any full-time justice of the supreme, superior, district, or probate court who is mandatorily retired from either regular active service or senior active service upon reaching age 70, and any part-time district or probate court justice who is mandatorily retired upon reaching age 70, shall thereafter be eligible to serve as a judicial referee on the court from which he or she retired or on any other court in which his or her service as a referee is authorized by law.
II. A judicial referee may be assigned to take testimony, receive and review evidence, and make recommendations for findings of fact and conclusions of law in any court specified in paragraph I by the chief justice of the supreme court or superior court, from which the referee retired, or the administrative justice of any other court from which the referee retired. All recommendations of judicial referees shall be approved by a justice in regular active service or senior active service of the court to which the referee is assigned. The judge approving such recommendations shall certify that he or she has read the recommendations and agrees that the judicial referee has applied the correct legal standard to the facts determined by the judicial referee. A judicial referee shall not preside over jury trials and shall not enter final orders in any case.
III. Nothing in this section shall prevent a retired justice of the supreme, superior, district, or probate courts from sitting as a temporary justice of the supreme court when selected to do so pursuant to the procedures specified in RSA 490:3.
Source. 2005, 292:4, eff. July 1, 2005. 2010, 320:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2011.
Any retired full-time justice of the supreme, superior, district, or probate court who serves after retirement as a senior active status justice or a judicial referee shall be allowed his or her expenses and a per diem compensation determined by the supreme court upon recommendation by the judicial branch administrative council and based on the daily equivalent of the annual salary the retired justice would then be earning pursuant to RSA 491-A:1; provided however, that in any calendar year the total of the service retirement benefits that the retired justice receives pursuant to RSA 100-C:5 plus the compensation provided by this section shall not exceed the annual salary the retired justice would then be earning pursuant to RSA 491-A:1.
Source. 2007, 263:70, eff. July 1, 2007.
493-A:1-c Retired Justices Over 70 Years of Age.
No justice who has reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 years shall serve as a judge in any judicial capacity, except as a judicial referee pursuant to this chapter.
Source. 2011, 221:1, eff. Aug. 27, 2011.
493-A:2 Repealed by 2003, 311:10, III, eff. July 1, 2003.
493-A:3 Findings and Rulings.
All questions of law with respect to findings and rulings of a judicial referee assigned to the superior court, including the question of the sufficiency of the evidence to support such findings, may, in the discretion of said court, be transferred to the supreme court without hearing or ruling by the superior court.
Source. 1961, 174:1, eff. Aug. 14, 1961.