TITLE LI
COURTS

CHAPTER 502-A
DISTRICT COURTS

Jurisdiction

Section 502-A:14

    502-A:14 Civil Causes. –
I. Exclusive Jurisdiction. All district courts shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction of civil cases in which the damages claimed do not exceed $1,500, the title to real estate is not involved and the plaintiff or defendant resides within the district. In all such actions as herein provided the parties shall be heard by the justice or special justice and the findings of fact shall be final, but questions of law may be transferred to the supreme court in the same manner as from the superior court or as provided in RSA 502-A:17-a.
II. Concurrent Jurisdiction. All district courts shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the superior court of civil actions for damages in which the damages claimed do not exceed $25,000, the title to real estate is not involved and the plaintiff or defendant resides within the district where such court is located. In all such actions, unless trial by jury is claimed as provided in RSA 502-A:15, the parties shall be heard by the justice, associate justice or special justice, who shall make findings of fact which shall be final. Questions of law may be transferred to the supreme court in the same manner as from the superior court.
II-a. Expanded Concurrent Jurisdiction. The supreme court shall have the authority to increase the concurrent jurisdiction as provided in paragraph II of those district courts it selects, after consultation with the individual district courts, to hear civil actions in which the damages claimed do not exceed $50,000, the title to real estate is not involved, and the plaintiff or defendant resides within the district where such court is located. In all such actions, unless trial by jury is claimed as provided in RSA 502-A:15, the parties shall be heard by the justice, associate justice or special justice; who shall make findings of fact which shall be final. Questions of law may be transferred to the supreme court in the same manner as from the superior court.
III. Transfers To Superior Court. If the defendant upon entry of any action under this section within 5 days of the entry thereof or such additional time as the district court may for good cause allow file in the district court a brief statement setting forth that:
(a) There is pending in the superior court a cause arising out of the same transaction or situation on which the district court action is based, or
(b) That the defendant has a claim arising out of the same transaction or situation in which his claim for damages exceeds $1,500, and
(c) Accompanies his brief statement with an affidavit under oath supporting the same, then no further proceeding shall be had in the district court, but the cause shall be at once transferred to the superior court for the county in which the district is located to be heard and tried as if originally entered in the superior court, the original entry fee and cost of transferring the action to be paid by the plaintiff but recoverable as costs if the plaintiff shall prevail. If no petition to remove is filed, the cause shall be heard by the justice or special justice in the district court and the findings of fact shall be final, but questions of law may be transferred to the supreme court in the same manner as from the superior court.

Source. 1963, 331:1. 1965, 327:1, 2. 1967, 438:2. 1969, 234:3, 4. 1972, 13:1. 1973, 261:1. 1979, 273:1. 1983, 382:1, 2. 1991, 47:2, 3. 1992, 284:37, eff. Jan. 1, 1993.