PUBLIC SAFETY AND WELFARE
169-B:1 Applicability of Chapter, Purpose.
This chapter shall apply to delinquent children as defined in RSA 169-B:2. This chapter shall be liberally interpreted, construed and administered to effectuate the following purposes and policies:
I. To encourage the wholesome moral, mental, emotional, and physical development of each minor coming within the provisions of this chapter, by providing the protection, care, treatment, counselling, supervision, and rehabilitative resources which such minor needs.
II. Consistent with the protection of the public interest, to promote the minor's acceptance of personal responsibility for delinquent acts committed by the minor, encourage the minor to understand and appreciate the personal consequences of such acts, and provide a minor who has committed delinquent acts with counseling, supervision, treatment, and rehabilitation and make parents aware of the extent if any to which they may have contributed to the delinquency and make them accountable for their role in its resolution.
III. To achieve the foregoing purposes and policies, whenever possible, by keeping a minor in contact with the home community and in a family environment by preserving the unity of the family and separating the minor and parents only when it is clearly necessary for the minor's welfare or the interests of public safety and when it can be clearly shown that a change in custody and control will plainly better the minor.
IV. To provide effective judicial procedures through which the provisions of this chapter are executed and enforced and which recognize and enforce the constitutional and other rights of the parties and assures them a fair hearing.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1995, 302:1, 2; 308:99. 1999, 305:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2000.
In this chapter:
I. "Adult lock-up or jail" means a locked facility, used primarily to house adults charged with or convicted of violating criminal law. This includes police lock-ups, county correctional facilities, and any facility used by county sheriffs, state police, or local police to securely detain adult offenders and accused offenders.
II. "Alternative to secure detention" means any local program, approved by the court, police, probation, or the department of health and human services, which offers a less restrictive alternative to secure detention for minors. Such programs include, but are not limited to, youth attender, crisis home placement, group homes which have entered into agreements with the department of health and human services to provide such care, truant and runaway programs, and alcohol and drug detoxification programs.
III. "Court" means the district court, unless otherwise indicated.
" means a legal status created by court order wherein the department of health and human services has placement and care responsibility for the minor.
" means a person who has committed an offense before reaching the age of 18 years which would be a felony or misdemeanor under the criminal code
of this state if committed by an adult, or which is a violation of RSA 318-B:2-c, II or III, and is expressly found to be in need of counseling, supervision, treatment, or rehabilitation as a consequence thereof. No person under 13 years of age shall be subject to proceedings under this chapter unless such person has committed a violent crime as defined in RSA 169-B:35-a, I(c). This provision shall not be construed to limit the filing of a petition for any minor child under RSA 169-D.
IV-a. "Diversion" means a decision made by a person with authority which results in specific official action of the legal system not being taken or being postponed in regard to a juvenile and, in lieu of such inaction or postponement, providing an individually designed program for delivery of services for the juvenile by a specific provider or a plan to assist the juvenile in finding a remedy for his or her inappropriate behavior. The goal of diversion is to prevent further involvement of the juvenile in the formal legal system. Diversion of a juvenile may take place either at prefiling as an alternative to the filing of a petition, or at arraignment.
Court approved diversion program
" means a program that has been approved by the administrative judge of the judicial branch family division and has been approved to accept court referrals. An approved diversion program is a community based alternative to the formal court process that integrates restorative justice practices, promotes positive youth development, and reduces juvenile crime and recidivism.
" means a decision made by a person with authority which results in specific official action of the legal system not being taken or being postponed in regard to a juvenile and, in lieu of such inaction or postponement, providing an individually designed program for delivery of services for the juvenile by a specific provider or a plan to assist the juvenile in finding a remedy for his or her inappropriate behavior. The goal of intervention is to prevent further involvement of the juvenile in the formal legal system. Intervention for a juvenile may take place either at the adjudicatory or dispositional level.
" means the care of a minor in physically restricted facilities and shall not include placement at residential treatment or evaluation facilities, staff-secure shelter facilities, or foster care homes.
V-a. "Home detention" means court-ordered confinement of a minor with the parents or other specified home for 24 hours a day unless otherwise prescribed by written court order, under which the minor is permitted out of the residence only at such hours and in the company of persons specified in the court order establishing the home detention.
" means a person under the age of 18.
VII. "Non-secure detention" means the care of a minor in a facility where physical restriction of movement or activity is provided solely through facility staff.
VIII. "Conditional release" means a legal status created by court order following an adjudication that a minor is delinquent and shall be permitted to remain in the community, including the minor's home, subject to:
(a) The conditions and limitations of the minor's conduct prescribed by the court;
(b) Such counselling and treatment as deemed necessary, pursuant to methods and conditions prescribed by the court, for the minor and family;
(c) The supervision of a juvenile probation and parole officer, as authorized by RSA 170-G:16; and
(d) Return to the court for violation of conditions of the release and change of disposition at any time during the term of conditional release.
IX. "Restitution" means moneys, compensation, work, or service which is reimbursed by the offender to the victim who suffered personal injury or economic loss.
" means an alternate permanency plan in the event that a child cannot be safely reunified with his or her parents.
" means when a minor, as the result of a delinquent petition, is removed from a biological parent, adoptive parent, or legal guardian of the minor and placed in substitute care with someone other than a biological parent, adoptive parent, or legal guardian. Such substitute care may include placement with a custodian, guardian, relative, friend, group home, crisis home, shelter care, or a foster home.
" means a court hearing for a minor in an out-of-home placement to review, modify, and/or implement the permanency plan or adopt the concurrent plan.
" means a plan for a minor in an out-of-home placement that is adopted by the court and that provides for timely reunification, termination of parental rights or parental surrender when an adoption is contemplated, guardianship with a fit and willing relative or another appropriate party, or another planned permanent living arrangement.
" means a drug prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner, to treat illnesses that affect psychological functioning, perception, behavior, or mood.
" means the involuntary administration of any medication, including psychotropic medication, for the purpose of immediate control of behavior.
Serious threats to school safety
" means acts involving weapons; acts involving the possession, sale, or distribution of controlled substances; acts that cause serious bodily injury to other students or school employees; threats to cause bodily injury to students or school employees, where there is a reasonable probability that such threats will be carried out; acts that constitute felonious sexual assault or aggravated felonious sexual assault under RSA 632-A; arson under RSA 634:1; robbery under RSA 636:1; and criminal mischief under RSA 634:2, II and RSA 634:2, II-a.
Shelter care facility
" means a non-secure or staff-secure facility for the temporary care of children no less than 11 nor more than 17 years of age. Shelter care facilities may be utilized for children prior to or following adjudication or disposition. A shelter care facility may not be operated in the same building as a facility for architecturally secure confinement of children or adults.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1987, 402:7. 1988, 197:1, 14. 1989, 285:1, 2. 1994, 212:2. 1995, 302:3, 4; 308:100-102; 310:181. 1999, 305:2. 2000, 294:9. 2001, 162:1. 2007, 236:1; 325:7. 2010, 175:1. 2013, 198:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2014; 249:17, eff. Sept. 22, 2013. 2014, 215:3, 4, eff. July 1, 2015. 2017, 248:8, eff. Sept. 16, 2017. 2021, 182:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2022; 227:6, eff. Oct. 24, 2021.
169-B:2-a Parental Responsibility.
I. In each case brought pursuant to this chapter, on the date of the arraignment, the court shall identify the parent or parents of the minor or, in their absence, the guardian or other person charged by law with the responsibility for the welfare of the minor. It shall be the obligation of such parent or guardian to:
(a) Personally attend and assure the attendance of the minor at all hearings of the court.
(b) Personally attend and assure the attendance of the minor at all meetings with the department of health and human services and collateral support service agencies occasioned by the action.
(c) Fully participate in all services ordered by the court including, but not limited to, substance abuse treatment, parenting classes, mediation, diversion, and community service.
(e) Supervise the minor's compliance with all orders of the court and conditions of release and probation including, but not limited to, curfew, school attendance and general behavior.
II. Failure to supervise and otherwise accept responsibility as required by this section may be treated as criminal contempt of court punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and 90 days' imprisonment. It shall be a defense to any such charge of contempt that the parent, guardian or such other person or persons having custody and control of the minor made reasonable efforts to comply.
Source. 1999, 305:3. 2010, 175:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2011. 2020, 26:29, eff. July 1, 2020.
The court shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over all proceedings alleging delinquency.
Source. 1979, 361:2, eff. Aug. 22, 1979.
169-B:4 Jurisdiction Over Certain Persons.
I. The court shall have jurisdiction over any minor with respect to whom a petition is filed under this chapter after the minor's eighteenth and before the minor's nineteenth birthday for an alleged delinquency offense committed before the minor's eighteenth birthday.
II. The court may retain jurisdiction over any minor during the period after the minor's eighteenth birthday as justice may require for any minor who, prior to the minor's eighteenth birthday, was adjudicated delinquent and:
(a) For whom the department has recommended extension of the court's jurisdiction;
(b) Who has, prior to the minor's eighteenth birthday, consented to the court's retention of jurisdiction; and
(c) Who is attending school for the purpose of obtaining a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma and is considered likely to receive such diploma.
III. At the request of the prosecutor or the department, the court may retain jurisdiction over the minor for a period of up to 2 years following the completion of any appeal if the petition was filed after the minor had attained the age of 17 years. Notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 169-B:19, III, when jurisdiction is retained pursuant to this section, the court may sentence a person to the county correctional facility for a term that may extend beyond the person's eighteenth birthday.
IV. The court shall close the case when the minor reaches age 18 or, if jurisdiction is extended pursuant to paragraph II, when:
(a) The minor revokes the minor's consent in writing and such revocation has been approved by the court;
(b) The minor ceases to be enrolled as a full-time student during sessions of the school;
(c) The minor graduates from high school or receives a general equivalency diploma;
(d) The minor attains 21 years of age; or
(e) The department revokes its consent in writing; whichever event shall first occur. The court shall approve the minor's revocation of consent if it finds that the minor, in seeking to do so, is acting intelligently, knowledgeably, and in acceptance of the legal consequences.
V. Notwithstanding paragraph III, when the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that closing the case would endanger the safety of the minor, any other person, or the community, or the court finds that there is a high probability that continued provision of treatment services is necessary to rehabilitate the minor, the court may retain jurisdiction over any minor:
(a) Who has been found to have committed a violent crime as defined under RSA 169-B:35-a, I(c);
(b) Who has been petitioned to the court on 4 or more occasions and adjudicated delinquent in 4 separate adjudicatory hearings which alleged misdemeanor or felony offenses; or
(c) Who is subject to the jurisdiction of the court prior to the minor's eighteenth birthday and for whom the department has filed a motion with the court requesting that the court retain jurisdiction under this subparagraph; provided that the department's motion is filed within the 90 days prior to the minor's eighteenth birthday and provided further that the court's jurisdiction pursuant to this subparagraph shall continue until the minor's nineteenth birthday.
VI. A minor may be subject to the extended jurisdiction of the court for a period of time no longer than that for which an adult could be committed for a like offense or the minor reaches the age of 21, whichever occurs first. For purposes of this section, the time shall be calculated from the date of the original dispositional order.
VII. In any instance in which the statute of limitations has not tolled and no juvenile petition has been filed based upon acts committed before the minor's eighteenth birthday, the state may proceed against the person in the criminal justice system after that person's eighteenth birthday.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1992, 11:1. 1995, 302:5, 6; 308:103; 310:175. 2002, 170:1, 2. 2004, 79:2. 2006, 190:1, eff. July 1, 2007. 2014, 215:5-9, eff. July 1, 2015. 2015, 260:4, 5, eff. July 1, 2015 at 12:01 a.m.
I. Proceedings under this chapter may be originated in any judicial district in which the minor is found or resides, or where the offense is alleged to have occurred.
II. By the court, upon its own motion, or that of any party, proceedings under this chapter may, upon notice and acceptance, be transferred to another court as the interests of justice or convenience of the parties require.
III. When a minor who is on conditional release moves from one political subdivision to another, the court may transfer, upon notice and acceptance, to the court with jurisdiction over the political subdivision of the minor's new residence, if such transfer is in the best interest of the minor.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1987, 402:8. 2003, 253:1, eff. July 14, 2003.
169-B:5-a Filing Reports, Evaluations, and Other Records.
All reports, evaluations and other records requested by the court from the department of health and human services, school districts, counselors, and guardians ad litem in proceedings under this chapter shall be filed with the court and all other parties at least 5 days prior to any hearing, unless the court sets a different deadline upon the request of any party or agency providing the information. Once filed with the court and given to all other parties, the report, evaluation or other record need not be refiled during the proceeding. Failure to comply with the provisions of this section shall not be grounds for dismissal of the petition.
Source. 1991, 57:1. 1994, 212:2. 1995, 310:181. 2008, 274:1, eff. July 1, 2008.
I. Any person may file a petition, alleging the delinquency of a minor, with a judge or clerk of the court in the judicial district in which the minor is found or resides or where the offense is alleged to have occurred. The petition shall be in writing and verified under oath. The following notice shall be printed on the front of the petition in bold in no smaller than 14 point font size: "See back for important information and financial obligations." The back of the petition shall include a notice of financial responsibility for services, programs, and placement provided under this chapter.
II. To be legally sufficient, the petition must set forth with particularity, but not be limited to, the date, time, manner, and place of the conduct alleged and shall state the statutory provision alleged to have been violated, and shall be entitled, "In the interest of
__________, a minor."
III. Absent serious threats to school safety, when a delinquency petition is filed by a school official, including a school resource officer assigned to a school district pursuant to a contract agreement with the local police department, or when a petition is filed by a local police department as a result of a report made by a school official or school resource officer, based upon acts committed on school grounds during the school day, information shall be included in the petition which shows that the legally liable school district has sought to resolve the expressed problem through available educational approaches, including the school discipline process, if appropriate, that the school has sought to engage the parents or guardian in solving the problem but they have been unwilling or unable to do so, that the minor has not responded to such approaches and continues to engage in delinquent behavior, and that court intervention is needed.
IV. When a school official, including a school resource officer assigned to a school district pursuant to a contract agreement with the local police department, or a local police department as a result of a report made by a school official or school resource officer, files a petition involving a minor with a disability pursuant to RSA 186-C, upon submission of a juvenile petition, but prior to the child's initial appearance, the legally liable school district shall provide assurance that prior to its filing:
(a) It was determined whether or not the child is a child with a disability according to RSA 186-C:2, I.
(b) If the school district has determined that the child is a child with a disability, a manifestation review pursuant to 20 U.S.C. section 1415(k)(1)(E) occurred.
(c) If the child's conduct was determined to be a manifestation of the child's disability, the school district followed the process set forth in 20 U.S.C. section 1415(k)(1)(F).
(d) It has reviewed for appropriateness the minor's current individualized education program (IEP), behavior intervention plan, and placement, and has made modifications where appropriate.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1999, 305:4. 2003, 253:2. 2006, 291:4. 2009, 302:1. 2013, 198:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2014. 2020, 26:12, eff. July 1, 2020.
169-B:6-a Notice of Petition to Department of Health and Human Services.
Upon the filing of any petition under RSA 169-B:6, the court shall serve the department of health and human services with a copy of the petition and the department shall be a party to and shall receive notice of all proceedings under this chapter from the court and all other parties.
Source. 1995, 308:58; 310:175, 181. 2004, 31:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2005.
169-B:7 Issuance of Summons and Notice.
I. After a legally sufficient petition has been filed, the court shall issue a summons to be served personally or, if personal service is not possible, at the usual place of abode of the person having custody or control of the minor or with whom the minor may be, requiring that person to appear with the minor at a specified place and time, which time shall not be less than 24 hours nor more than 7 days after service. If the person so notified is not the parent or guardian of the minor, then a parent or guardian shall be notified, provided they and their residence are known, or if there is neither parent nor guardian, or their residence is not known, then some relative, if there be one whose residence is known.
II. A copy of the petition shall be attached to each summons or incorporated therein.
III. Upon receipt of the petition, the court shall appoint counsel for the minor. Such appointment shall occur promptly, and in no event later than the time when the summons is issued. Notice of the appointment shall be transmitted to counsel and to the petitioner by electronic mail and by first class mail on the day of the appointment. The summons shall contain a notice of the right to representation by counsel and the name, address, telephone number, and electronic mail address of the attorney who has been appointed by the court. The summons shall also state as follows: "With limited exception, the department of health and human services shall be responsible for the cost of services provided under this chapter. RSA 186-C regarding children with disabilities grants minors and their parents certain rights to services from school districts at public expense and to appeal school district decisions regarding services to be provided."
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1983, 458:7. 1990, 140:2, X. 1995, 302:7. 2006, 291:5. 2008, 274:31, eff. July 1, 2008. 2020, 26:13, eff. July 1, 2020. 2021, 207:2, Pt. I, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2022.
169-B:8 Failure to Appear; Felony Against Person or Property; Felony Drug Offense; Warrant.
I. Any person summoned who, without reasonable cause, fails to appear with the minor, may be proceeded against as in case of contempt of court.
II. If a summons cannot be served or the party served fails to obey the same, and in any case where it appears to the court that such summons will be ineffectual, a warrant may be issued for the minor's appearance or for the appearance of anyone having custody or control of the minor or for both.
III. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs I and II, a warrant may be issued for the detention of a minor whose offense constitutes a felony against the person or property, or a felony under RSA 318-B.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1995, 302:8, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.
169-B:9 Arrest or Taking Minor Into Custody.
I. A police officer or juvenile probation and parole officer may, without taking a minor into custody, refer the minor to the department for a needs assessment. Upon receiving such referral, the department shall conduct the needs assessment using the same process for obtaining consent as required in RSA 169-B:10, I-a for cases referred to the department after a minor is taken into custody.
I-a. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as forbidding any juvenile probation and parole officer from immediately arresting or taking into custody any minor who is found violating any law, or who is reasonably believed to be a fugitive from justice, or whose circumstances are such as to endanger such minor's person or welfare, unless immediate action is taken.
II. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as forbidding any police officer from immediately taking into custody any minor who is found violating any law, or whose arrest would be permissible under RSA 594:10, or who is reasonably believed to be a fugitive from justice, or whose circumstances are such as to endanger such minor's person or welfare, unless immediate action is taken.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1987, 402:12. 1995, 302:9. 2000, 294:9, eff. July 1, 2000. 2021, 220:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2022.
169-B:9-a Use of Alternatives to Secure Detention.
An officer may release a minor to an alternative to secure detention, with court approval, pending the arrival of the parent, guardian, or custodian. The alternative program may release the minor to the parent, guardian, or custodian upon their arrival. Any court or police or juvenile probation and parole officer, acting in good faith pursuant to this section, shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, which might otherwise be incurred or imposed as a result of release to an alternative to secure detention.
Source. 1988, 197:2. 2000, 294:9, eff. July 1, 2000.
169-B:9-b Recognition of Foreign Probation Officers.
If a minor has been placed on probation or protective supervision by a juvenile court of another state and the minor is in this state with or without the permission of such court, the probation officer of that court or other person designated by that court to supervise or take custody of the minor has all the powers and privileges in this state with respect to the minor as have like officers or persons of this state, including the right of visitation, counseling, control, direction, taking into custody, and returning the minor to that state.
Source. 1990, 201:3, eff. June 26, 1990.
169-B:10 Juvenile Diversion.
I. An officer authorized under RSA 169-B:9 to take a minor into custody may dispose of the case without court referral by releasing the minor to a parent, guardian, or custodian. The officer shall make a written report to the officer's department identifying the minor, specifying the grounds for taking the minor into custody and indicating the basis for the disposal of the case. The officer may refer the minor to the department of health and human services for the needs assessment described in paragraph I-a.
I-a. If the arresting agency contemplates the initiation of court proceedings, prior to filing a delinquency petition with the court, the arresting agency or prosecutor shall refer the minor to the department of health and human services for a voluntary needs assessment within 2 business days of arrest, to be completed as follows:
(a) The department shall obtain the consent of the minor and the minor's parent or guardian, prior to conducting the needs assessment.
(b) If the minor or the minor's parent or guardian does not consent, the department shall report to the prosecutor that the voluntary needs assessment was declined and the prosecutor may proceed with a petition and inform the court that the needs assessment was declined.
(c) The department shall complete the voluntary needs assessment within 30 days from referral or, if an assessment has been completed within the prior 6 months, the department shall provide the referring entity with the report and recommendations from any prior assessments.
(d) If a needs assessment conducted pursuant to this paragraph or RSA 169-B:9 reveals that the child has complex behavioral health needs and is at risk of residential, hospital, or secure placement, or is already involved in multiple service systems, the department shall refer the child and family to the FAST Forward program to determine eligibility for FAST Forward and referral to a care management entity.
(e) A report and recommendations shall be provided to the minor, the minor's parent or guardian, the minor's attorney, and the referring entity and shall include the department's specific recommendation regarding whether a petition should be filed and any recommendations for supports and services.
(f) Absent the consent of the minor following consultation with counsel, the report and recommendations, any additional documents and records, and any statements made by the minor or others providing information for the purpose of the needs assessment shall not be used in any way by law enforcement during any portion of its investigation, nor shall they be admissible at an adjudicatory hearing held pursuant to RSA 169-B:16, proceedings pursuant to RSA 169-B:24, or adult criminal proceedings.
(g) If a finding is made at the adjudicatory hearing, the needs assessment, report, and recommendations shall, with the consent of the minor following consultation with counsel, be admissible at the dispositional hearing, and subsequent hearings pursuant to RSA 169-B:31 and RSA 169-B:31-a, for the purpose of determining appropriate services and supports.
(h) Prior to filing a delinquency petition with the court, the arresting agency or prosecutor shall review the department's report and recommendations to screen the petition for participation in other voluntary services or diversion.
(i) A petition may be filed prior to the completion of the referral and needs assessment if:
(1) The prosecutor or arresting officer determines there is a need to request an order from the court for immediate detention or non-secure placement to protect the minor or the community; or
(2) The minor or the minor's parent or guardian does not consent to the voluntary assessment.
(j) The petitioner shall identify why diversion was not an appropriate disposition prior to seeking court involvement.
(k) If the petition is filed prior to the referral and assessment, and the minor has not had an assessment in the prior 6 months, the department shall make the assessment available to the minor after the petition is filed and the confidentiality and admissibility of the report and recommendations and related statements shall be treated the same as assessments completed prior to the petition.
I-b. The department of health and human services shall produce informational materials regarding the process for making referrals to the department pursuant to RSA 169-B:9 in lieu of making formal arrests and shall make such materials available to all New Hampshire law enforcement agencies.
II. At any time before or at arraignment pursuant to this chapter, a minor and the minor's family may be referred to a court-approved diversion program or other intervention program or community resource. Referral may be made by the arresting or prosecuting agency or juvenile probation and parole officer, prior to filing a petition with the court or after the filing of a petition by such agency with the court's approval, or by the court on its own, or any party's motion. When the arresting or prosecuting agency, or juvenile probation and parole officer suspects that a minor has a disability, an administrator at the responsible school district shall be notified. If appropriate, the school district shall refer the minor for evaluation to determine if the child is in need of special education and related services.
II-a. The administrative judge of the judicial branch family division shall have the authority to approve diversion referral procedures for use in all juvenile matters throughout the state.
II-b. Consistent with the referral procedures established pursuant to paragraph II-a, the department of health and human services, division for children, youth and families, shall have the authority establish procedures for the state-funded diversion programs.
III. Referral to diversion or other community resource after filing is appropriate if:
(a) The facts bring the case within the jurisdiction of the court;
(b) Referral of the case is in the best interest of the public and the minor; and
(c) The minor and the parents, guardian, or other custodian give knowing, informed, and voluntary consent.
IV. Referral after filing shall stay the proceedings for a period not to exceed 6 months from the date of referral, unless extended by the court for an additional period not to exceed 6 months and does not authorize the detention of the minor.
V. During the period of referral, the court may require further conditions of conduct on the part of the minor and the minor's parents.
VI. No person who performs public service as part of his or her participation in a court approved diversion program under this chapter shall receive any benefits that such employer gives to its employees, including, but not limited to, workers' compensation and unemployment benefits and no such employer shall be liable for any damages sustained by a person while performing such public service or any damages caused by that person unless the employer is found to be negligent.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1995, 302:10. 1999, 305:5. 2000, 294:9. 2008, 274:2. 2010, 175:3. 2011, 151:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2012. 2021, 91:422, eff. July 1, 2021; 220:3, eff. Jan. 1, 2022.
169-B:11 Release Prior to Arraignment.
An officer taking a minor into custody pursuant to RSA 169-B:9 may release the minor to a parent, guardian or custodian pending arraignment; however, if the minor is not released within 4 hours of being taken into custody, the court shall be notified, and thereupon, placement, until arraignment, shall be determined by the court.
I. A minor taken into custody pursuant to RSA 169-B:9 shall be released to a parent, guardian, or custodian pending arraignment; or
II. If such a person is not available, the court may release the minor under the supervision of a relative or friend; or may release the minor to the custody of the department of health and human services for placement in a foster home, as defined in RSA 169-C:3, XIII, a crisis home, a shelter care facility, a group home, or an alcohol crisis center certified to accept juveniles; or
III. If the court determines that continued detention is required, based upon the criteria specified under RSA 169-B:14, I(e)(2), it may order continued detention at an alternative to secure detention, or any facility certified for the detention of minors by the commissioner of the department of health and human services. A minor shall not be held in any facility where adults charged, convicted or committed for criminal offenses are simultaneously detained except that a juvenile alleged or found to be delinquent may be held for up to 6 hours in a metropolitan area or up to 24 hours in a non-metropolitan area for processing and while awaiting release or transfer to a juvenile facility, provided that the detention is in a room or cell separate and removed from all contact, both sight and sound, with all adult inmates.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1982, 39:12. 1985, 379:1. 1988, 197:3. 1989, 285:3. 1992, 18:1. 1994, 212:2. 1995, 310:171. 2001, 117:4. 2007, 325:8, eff. July 16, 2007. 2020, 26:14, eff. July 1, 2020.
169-B:11-a Minor's Welfare; Findings Regarding Removal.
I. The court shall, in its first court ruling that sanctions, even temporarily, the removal of a minor from the home, determine whether continuation in the home is contrary to the minor's welfare.
II. The court shall, within 60 days of a minor's removal from the home, determine and issue written findings as to whether reasonable efforts were made or were not required to prevent the minor's removal. In determining whether reasonable efforts were made to prevent the minor's removal, the court shall consider whether services to the family have been accessible, available, and appropriate.
Source. 2007, 236:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2008.
169-B:12 Appointment of Counsel; Waiver of Counsel.
I. Absent a valid waiver, the court shall appoint counsel for an indigent minor pursuant to RSA 169-B:7, III. For purposes of this section, an indigent minor shall be a minor who satisfies the court, after appropriate inquiry, that the minor is financially unable to independently obtain counsel. If the court has received information indicating that the minor may have an intellectual, cognitive, emotional, learning, or sensory disability, the court shall not permit the minor to waive the right to counsel.
I-a. When an attorney is appointed as counsel for a child, representation shall include counsel and investigative, expert, and other services, including process to compel the attendance of witnesses, as may be necessary to protect the rights of the child.
II. The court may accept a waiver of counsel in a delinquency proceeding only when:
(a) The minor is represented by a non-hostile parent, guardian, or custodian;
(b) Both the minor and parent, guardian, or custodian agree to waive counsel;
(c) In the court's opinion the waiver is made competently, voluntarily, and with full understanding of the consequences;
(d) The petition does not allege a violation of RSA 631:1, RSA 631:2, RSA 635:1, or any violation of RSA 630, RSA 632-A, RSA 633, or RSA 636; and
(e) The prosecution has informed the court that it does not intend to seek certification pursuant to RSA 169-B:24, RSA 169-B:25, or any other provision of law permitting adult prosecution of the minor.
II-a. If the minor and the parent, guardian, or custodian have not consulted with counsel about the possible consequences of the proposed waiver of the right to counsel, the court shall not accept a waiver pursuant to paragraph II.
II-c. A verbatim record shall be made of all proceedings conducted pursuant to this section and of all subsequent proceedings in any case in which a court has accepted a waiver of counsel under this section.
III. Whenever a court appoints counsel pursuant to the provisions of paragraph I, the court shall conduct an appropriate inquiry as to whether any person who pursuant to RSA 546-A:2 is liable for the support of the minor for whom counsel was appointed is financially able to pay for such minor's counsel. If the court determines that the person liable for support is financially able to pay for said counsel, in whole or in part, the court shall enter an appropriate order requiring said person to reimburse the state for the representation provided. For the purposes of this paragraph, the inquiry conducted by the court shall include notice and hearing to the person liable for support.
IV. A juvenile shall not be subject to detention unless:
(a) The juvenile is represented by counsel at the hearing where detention is ordered; or
(b) Detention is ordered on an emergency basis and a detention hearing is scheduled within 24 hours of the emergency detention, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays excepted, at which hearing the juvenile shall be represented by counsel.
V. No prosecutor, law enforcement officer, juvenile probation and parole officer, juvenile parole board member, or any other state or municipal employee shall advise a juvenile to waive his or her right to counsel under this chapter or under chapter 621, nor shall any such person advise a parent or guardian of a juvenile that the juvenile should waive his or her right to counsel, nor shall any such person provide information to a juvenile or the parent or guardian of a juvenile under circumstances which a reasonable person would know would encourage a waiver of the right to counsel.
VI. Whenever a juvenile is detained, committed, or otherwise placed outside his or her home, the court shall appoint counsel if such appointment has not previously been made in the proceedings. Such appointment shall be made at a time sufficiently in advance of the decision to place the juvenile outside the home to allow counsel to provide effective representation on the issue of placement, and such appointment shall continue until the court no longer has jurisdiction over the juvenile pursuant to this chapter. The court shall not accept a waiver of counsel when appointment is required by this paragraph.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1981, 568:20, IV, V. 1995, 302:11. 1997, 292:1. 2001, 162:2, 3. 2008, 274:3, eff. July 1, 2008. 2014, 215:20, eff. July 1, 2015. 2015, 260:1, eff. July 1, 2015 at 12:01 a.m. 2017, 180:2, eff. Aug. 28, 2017. 2020, 26:31, eff. July 1, 2021. 2021, 207:2, Pt. I, Secs. 2, 3 and 6, eff. Jan. 1, 2022.
169-B:12-a Repealed by 2020, 26:36, I, effective July 1, 2021.
169-B:13 Arraignment; Court Referrals; Uncompensated Public Service by Minors.
I. No minor shall be detained for more than 24 hours, Sundays and holidays excluded, from the time of being taken into custody without being brought before a court. At any arraignment the court shall:
(a) Advise the minor in writing and orally of any formal charges;
(b) Inform the minor of the applicable constitutional rights;
(c) Appoint counsel pursuant to RSA 169-B:12;
(d) Establish any conditions for release; and
(e) Set a hearing date.
(f)(1) Inquire of the juvenile and a parent or guardian of the juvenile if the juvenile has been:
(A) Determined to have a cognitive disability; or
(B) Determined to have a mental illness, emotional or behavioral disorder, or another disorder that may impede the child's decision-making abilities; or
(C) Identified as eligible for special education services; or
(D) Previously referred to a care management entity as defined in RSA 135-F:4, III.
(2) Such inquiry shall be conducted to gather complete and accurate information. The court shall make a record of the inquiry and of any information provided in response to the inquiry.
I-a. No plea shall be taken until the minor has the opportunity to consult with counsel or until a waiver is filed pursuant to RSA 169-B:12.
II. The court may, at any time after arraignment, dispose of the petition by referring the minor or the minor and family for participation in a court approved diversion program or other intervention program.
II-a. The court may, at the arraignment or at any time thereafter, with the consent of the minor and the minor's family, refer the minor and family to a care management entity, as defined in RSA 135-F:4, III, for evaluation and/or behavioral health services to be coordinated and supervised by that entity.
III. A referral under this section may include an order for the minor to perform up to 50 hours of uncompensated public service subject to the approval of the elected or appointed official authorized to give approval of the city or town in which the offense occurred. The court's order for uncompensated public service shall include the name of the official who will provide supervision to the minor. However, no person who performs such public service under this paragraph shall receive any benefits that such employer gives to its other employees, including, but not limited to, workers' compensation and unemployment benefits and no such employer shall be liable for any damages sustained by a person while performing such public service or any damages caused by that person unless the employer is guilty of gross negligence.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1999, 305:6-8. 2008, 274:4. 2010, 175:4, eff. Jan. 1, 2011. 2019, 44:6, 7, eff. Aug. 2, 2019; 346:334, 335, eff. July 1, 2019.
169-B:14 Release or Detention Pending Adjudicatory Hearing.
I. Following arraignment a minor alleged to be delinquent may be ordered by the court to be:
(a) Retained in the custody of a parent, guardian, or custodian; or
(b) Released in the supervision and care of a relative or friend; or
(c) Released to the custody of the department of health and human services for placement in a foster home, as defined in RSA 169-C:3, XIII, a group home, a crisis home, or a shelter care facility; or
(e) Detained at a facility certified by the commissioner of the department of health and human services for detention of minors pursuant to the following:
(1) No minor charged with delinquency shall be securely detained following arraignment unless the prosecution establishes probable cause to believe that the minor committed the alleged delinquent acts and unless the prosecution demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence the need for secure detention, based upon the criteria for secure detention specified in subparagraph (e)(2);
(2) A minor shall not be securely detained unless secure detention is necessary:
(A) To insure the presence of the juvenile at a subsequent hearing; or
(B) To provide care and supervision for a minor who is in danger of self-inflicted harm when no parent, guardian, custodian, or other suitable person or program is available to supervise and provide such care; or
(C) To protect the personal safety or property of others from the probability of serious bodily harm or other harm.
(3) Secure detention shall not be ordered for delinquency charges which may not form the basis for commitment under RSA 169-B:19, I(j).
II. The adjudicatory hearing shall be held within 21 days of arraignment for minors detained pending such hearing and within 30 days of arraignment for minors not detained. An extension of these time limits may be permitted, upon a showing of good cause, for an additional period not to exceed 14 calendar days.
II-a. After arraignment, the court shall determine if the legally liable school district shall be joined pursuant to RSA 169-B:22.
III. All orders issued pursuant to this section shall set forth findings in writing and may be subject to such conditions as the court may determine.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1982, 39:13. 1985, 379:2. 1988, 197:4. 1994, 212:2. 1995, 302:12; 310:171. 1997, 19:1. 2001, 117:5. 2007, 325:9, 15, I. 2008, 274:5, eff. July 1, 2008. 2017, 156:158, eff. May 1, 2018. 2020, 26:15, eff. July 1, 2020.
169-B:15 No Detention at Jail.
Following arraignment no minor shall be detained in any facility where adults charged, convicted or committed for criminal offenses are simultaneously detained.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1992, 18:2, eff. Jan. 1, 1993.
169-B:15-a Inspection of Facilities; Lock-up Log.
Each facility used by law enforcement, county sheriffs, or state police to securely detain minors shall establish a lock-up log for all minors securely detained. The log shall contain the identification number, the charge, the date and time locked in secure detention, the date and time released from secure detention, to whom released, and reason for secure detention. The log shall be kept confidential both by the agency or facility which maintains it and by the department of health and human services, which shall receive copies of the log, January 1 and July 1 of each year, beginning January 1, 1989. To ensure that the requirements of this chapter and of 42 U.S.C. section 5633 are met, any secure or non-secure facility which detains minors shall provide, upon request and in a timely manner, access to the facility for inspection purposes to the department of health and human services jail compliance monitor, or the monitor's designee. If the facility is required under this section to maintain a log, access to the log shall also be provided.
Source. 1988, 197:5, 15. 1992, 18:3. 1994, 212:2. 1995, 310:181. 2008, 175:1, eff. Aug. 10, 2008.
169-B:15-b Notification of Right to Request Records.
The court shall notify parties of their right to request in advance of any hearing under this chapter that a record of such hearing shall be preserved and made available to the parties.
Source. 1996, 248:1, eff. Jan. 2, 1997.
[RSA 169-B:15-c effective January 1, 2023.]
169-B:15-c Facilities; Digital Video Recording.
I. Each facility paid for in whole or in part with general funds and used by law enforcement, county sheriffs, or state police to securely detain minors shall continuously record and store digital video of activity in all common areas. Areas requiring privacy pursuant to federal or state laws or regulations shall be exempt from the recording obligation.
II. The system of video recording, storage, and retrieval shall:
(a) Record using sufficient imaging patterns and quality to visually assess the actions of one person and the interactions between 2 or more people.
(b) Retain data at a minimum length of time as justice may require. The provisions of RSA 169-B:34 through 169-B:38 shall also apply to this section.
(c) Maintain an uptime of 98 percent or above.
(d) Be regularly subject to technological updates and maintenance to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all components.
Source. 2022, 140:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2023.
169-B:16 Adjudicatory Hearing.
I. An adjudicatory hearing under this chapter shall be conducted by the court, separate from the trial of criminal cases.
II. Following arraignment, the court shall proceed to hear the case in accordance with the due process rights afforded a minor charged with delinquency. The prosecution shall present witnesses to testify in support of the petition and any other evidence necessary to support the petition. The minor shall have the right to present evidence and witnesses on behalf of the minor and to cross-examine adverse witnesses. The provisions of RSA 613:3, I, relative to the summoning of out-of-state witnesses, shall apply to the proceedings.
III. If the court finds the minor has committed the alleged offense, it shall, unless a report done on the same minor less than 3 months previously is on file:
(a) Order the department of health and human services or other appropriate agency to make an investigation and written report consisting of, but not limited to, the home conditions, school records and the mental, physical and social history of the minor, and if ordered by the court, a physical and mental examination of the minor conducted pursuant to RSA 169-B:23, RSA 169-B:20 and RSA 169-B:21.
(b) Determine whether the legally liable school district shall be joined pursuant to RSA 169-B:22, and if joined, review the school district's recommendations. The court shall not issue a disposition order until it reviews the investigative report required under this chapter or the school district recommendations required under RSA 169-B:22.
IV. The court shall share the report with the parties. The report shall be used only after a finding of delinquency and only as a guide for the court in determining an appropriate disposition for the minor.
V. The court shall hold a hearing on final disposition within 21 days of the adjudicatory hearing if the minor is detained and within 30 days of the adjudicatory hearing if the minor is released.
VI. Whenever a court contemplates a placement which will require educational services outside the child's home school district, the court shall notify the school district and give the district the opportunity to send a representative to the hearing at which such placement is contemplated. In cases where immediate court action is required to protect the health or safety of the child or of the community, the court may act without providing for an appearance by the school district, but shall make reasonable efforts to solicit and consider input from the school district before making a placement decision.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1987, 402:13. 1994, 212:2. 1995, 302:13; 310:181. 2004, 41:1. 2007, 295:1. 2008, 274:6, eff. July 1, 2008.
169-B:16-a Limits on Extended Detention Following Adjudicatory Hearing.
Following the initial dispositional order issued pursuant to RSA 169-B:19 regarding a charge or charges arising out of a single incident, a child shall not be securely detained for a period or periods totaling longer than 21 days while awaiting placement or a hearing regarding a change of disposition, or for any other purpose. The court may permit extended detention beyond this limit if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that extended detention is necessary for the safety of the child or the public and the child consents with the assistance of counsel. In any case involving a child who is detained, the court shall ensure that the child is continuously represented by counsel during any period of detention. In cases where extended detention is permitted pursuant to this section, the court shall hold review hearings with the child and counsel present on a weekly basis to determine whether detention continues to be justified.
Source. 2017, 156:160, eff. Jan. 1, 2018.
169-B:17 Burden of Proof.
The petitioner has the burden to prove the allegations in support of the petition beyond a reasonable doubt.
Source. 1979, 361:2, eff. Aug. 22, 1979.
169-B:18 Custody Pending Final Disposition.
Following the adjudicatory hearing, release pending the dispositional hearing shall be determined in accordance with RSA 169-B:14.
Source. 1979, 361:2, eff. Aug. 22, 1979.
169-B:19 Dispositional Hearing.
I. The department of health and human services shall provide the court with costs of the recommended services, placements and programs. If the court finds that a minor is delinquent, the court shall order the least restrictive of the following dispositions, which the court finds is the most appropriate:
(a) Return the minor to a parent, custodian or guardian.
(b) Fine the minor up to $250, require restitution or both. Restitution ordered by the court may be collected by the department or by the court or by an agency designated by the court to collect it. In any case where a parent is ordered to pay all or any portion of the fine or restitution pursuant to RSA 169-B:2-a, the parents shall have the right to a hearing before the court to contest the amount of restitution or their liability.
(c) Order the minor or the family or both to undergo physical treatment or treatment by a mental health center or any other psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric social worker or family therapist as determined by the court, or to attend mediation sessions, parenting programs, or any other such program or programs the court determines to carry out the purposes of this chapter, with expenses charged according to RSA 169-B:40. Utilization of community resource programs shall be encouraged.
(d) Place the minor on conditional release for a term no longer than 5 years.
(e) Release the minor in the care and supervision of a relative or friend; or to home detention for a period not to exceed 6 months. Such home detention shall be subject to the written consent of the parents to the terms and conditions established by the court. The court shall include in its order for home detention any restrictions on the hours of detention.
(f) Release the minor to the custody of the department of health and human services for placement in a foster home, as defined in RSA 169-C:3, XIII, a group home, a crisis home, or a shelter care facility.
(h) Order the minor to perform up to 50 hours of uncompensated public service subject to the approval of the elected or appointed official authorized to give approval of the city or town in which the offense occurred. The court's order for uncompensated public service shall include the name of the official who will provide supervision to the minor. However, no person who performs such public service under this paragraph shall receive any benefits that such employer gives to its other employees, including, but not limited to, workers' compensation and unemployment benefits and no such employer shall be liable for any damages sustained by a person while performing such public service or any damages caused by that person unless the employer is guilty of gross negligence.
(i) Any combination of the above.
(j) Commit the minor to the custody of the department of health and human services for the remainder of minority. Commitment under this subparagraph may only be made following written findings of fact by the court, supported by clear and convincing evidence, that commitment is necessary to protect the safety of the minor or of the community, and may only be made if the minor has not waived the right to counsel at any stage of the proceedings. If there is a diagnosis or other evidence that a minor committed under this subparagraph may have a serious emotional disturbance or other behavioral health disorder, the minor shall, with the consent of the minor and the minor's family, be referred to a care management entity pursuant to RSA 135-F:4, III. The care management entity shall develop and oversee the implementation of a care plan for the minor, intended to reduce the period of commitment. Commitment may not be based on a finding of contempt of court if the minor has waived counsel in the contempt proceeding or at any stage of the proceedings from which the contempt arises. Commitment may include, but is not limited to, placement by the department of health and human services at a facility certified for the commitment of minors pursuant to RSA 169-B:19, VI, or administrative release to parole pursuant to RSA 621:19, provided that the appropriate juvenile probation and parole officer is notified. Commitment under this subparagraph shall not be ordered as a disposition for a violation of RSA 262 or 637, possession of a controlled drug without intent to sell under RSA 318-B, or violations of RSA 634, 635, 641, or 644, which would be a misdemeanor if committed by an adult. However, commitment may be ordered under this subparagraph for any offense which would be a felony or class A misdemeanor if committed by an adult if the minor has previously been adjudicated under this chapter for at least 3 offenses which would be felonies or class A misdemeanors if committed by an adult. A court shall only commit a minor based on previous adjudications if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that each of the prior offenses relied upon was not part of a common scheme or factual transaction with any of the other offenses relied upon, that the adjudications of all of the prior offenses occurred before the date of the offense for which the minor is before the court, and that the minor was represented by counsel at each stage of the prior proceedings following arraignment.
(k) Order the minor to register as a sexual offender or offender against children pursuant to RSA 651-B until the juvenile reaches the age of 18 if the court finds that the minor presents a risk to public safety.
(l) With the consent of the minor and the minor's family, refer the minor and family to a care management entity, as defined in RSA 135-F:4, III, for behavioral health services to be coordinated and supervised by that entity. Such referral may be accompanied by one or more other dispositions in this section, if otherwise authorized and appropriate.
I-a. In the case of a child for whom behavioral health services are being coordinated by a care management entity as defined in RSA 135-F:4, III, the court shall solicit and consider treatment and service recommendations from the entity. If the court orders a disposition which is not consistent with the care management entity's recommendations, it shall make written findings regarding the basis for the disposition and the reasons for its determination not to follow the recommendations.
II. If a minor is placed out of state, the provisions of RSA 169-A and 170-A shall be followed.
II-a. When a minor is in an out-of-home placement, the court shall adopt a concurrent plan other than reunification for the minor. The other options for a permanency plan include termination of parental rights or parental surrender when an adoption is contemplated, guardianship with a fit and willing relative or another appropriate party, or another planned permanent living arrangement.
II-b. No minor may be placed in inpatient treatment at an alcohol or drug treatment facility unless a finding is made that the child requires substance use disorder services pursuant to an evaluation by any licensed health care professional making the decision based on American Society of Addiction Medicine criteria. In addition, no placement at such a facility may be made without the consent of the operator of such facility, and in the case of a serious violent offender as defined in RSA 621:19, IV, unless such consent is made in writing and transmitted to the court.
III. A minor found to be a delinquent on a petition filed after the minor's sixteenth birthday, in addition to or in place of the dispositions provided for in paragraph I, may be committed to a county correctional facility for no greater term than an adult could be committed for a like offense; provided, however, that during minority the minor shall not be confined in a county correctional facility and provided further that the term shall not extend beyond the minor's eighteenth birthday.
III-a. (a) Prior to the eighteenth birthday of a minor who had been adjudicated delinquent for committing a violent crime as defined in RSA 169-B:35-a, I(c), or who had been petitioned to court on 4 or more occasions and adjudicated delinquent in 4 separate adjudicatory hearings which alleged misdemeanor or felony offenses, the prosecutor or the department of health and human services may file a motion with the court to extend jurisdiction pursuant to RSA 169-B:4, V. The department of youth development services may file a motion to extend jurisdiction for any minor committed to its custody pursuant to RSA 169-B:19, I(j). The department of corrections shall be served a copy of the motion and be a party to the proceeding.
(b) For purposes of assessing whether a minor meets the criteria of RSA 169-B:4, V, the department may provide representatives of the department of corrections with access to the minor's case records.
(c) If the court retains jurisdiction over the minor pursuant to RSA 169-B:4, V, the court may modify any dispositional order to transfer supervision from the department of health and human services to the department of corrections, or to transfer the place of detention from the youth development center to an adult facility.
(d) If the court orders a transfer of placement or supervisory authority, the court shall also order the transfer of all of the minor's treatment records to the agency having supervisory authority over the minor.
(e) When a dispositional order is extended beyond the minor's eighteenth birthday, the court may enforce its order with a finding of criminal contempt. Notwithstanding RSA 169-B:35, the state may utilize any relevant portion of a juvenile's records in a criminal contempt proceeding.
(f) If the court retains jurisdiction over the minor pursuant to RSA 169-B:4, V, and the court has determined that the minor is required to register as a sexual offender or offender against children pursuant to RSA 169-B:19, I(k), the minor shall continue to register pursuant to RSA 651-B; provided, the court retains jurisdiction over the case.
III-b. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a minor over whom the court has exercised jurisdiction pursuant to RSA 169-B:4, I or retained jurisdiction pursuant to RSA 169-B:4, V(c), may be committed or continue to be committed at the youth development center pursuant to RSA 169-B:19, I(j) until the minor's eighteenth birthday.
III-c. (a) A minor who meets the criteria for commitment to an adult correctional facility pursuant to RSA 169-B:4, RSA 169-B:19, III, or RSA 169-B:19, III-a, and whose disposition includes an order of conditional release extending beyond the juvenile's age of majority, or suspended, deferred, or imposed incarceration at an adult correctional facility shall not be committed without first being afforded the right to a jury trial or waiving the right to a jury trial.
(b) Any minor sentenced after a contested adjudicatory hearing to an order of conditional release extending beyond the juvenile's age of majority or suspended, deferred, or imposed incarceration at an adult correctional facility may, after the disposition is issued, request a de novo trial before a jury. To obtain a de novo jury trial under this chapter, the juvenile shall file a written request in the clerk's office within 3 days of the dispositional order. A copy of the written request shall also be provided to the local prosecutor and the county attorney. The request shall be given priority on the court's calendar. Whenever possible, any such hearing shall be held in a district court building equipped with jury capability. It shall be conducted by a district court judge specially assigned by the administrative judge of the district court. The jury panel shall be chosen from the jury pool of the superior court serving the county in which the court is located.
(c) The court in which the petition originated shall retain jurisdiction over all matters and orders pertaining to the placement, supervision and treatment of the juvenile during the pendency of the pre-trial and trial proceedings. The request for jury trial shall not suspend any provisions of the original court's order regarding placement, supervision, evaluation, or treatment. All other orders shall be vacated pending the de novo jury trial. The judge assigned to conduct the jury trial shall have authority to preside over the jury trial, decide trial management issues, and rule on all pre-trial and post-trial adjudicatory findings. In the event the juvenile waives the right to jury trial after the case has been specially assigned, the case shall be returned to the court in which the petition originated for continued action pursuant to this chapter.
(d) In the event the jury returns a finding of not true on all charges, the dispositional order in its entirety shall be vacated. In the event the jury returns a finding of true on one or more of the charges, the trial judge shall review and may reinstate or modify only those portions of the dispositional order made by the originating court suspended under this section during the pendency of the de novo process. In all other respects, the original dispositional order shall remain in effect.
(e) The provisions of RSA 169-B:34 through 169-B:38, relating to confidentiality of proceedings and records, shall apply to all de novo trials conducted pursuant to this section.
IV. A summary of the investigative officer's report shall accompany each commitment order.
V. All dispositional orders issued pursuant to this section shall include written findings as to the basis for the disposition, and such conditions as the court may determine.
VI. A minor committed to the youth development center for the remainder of minority may be placed at any facility certified by the commissioner of the department of health and human services for the commitment of minors. The commissioner of the department of health and human services shall be responsible for notifying the court, within 5 business days, of any such placement and of any subsequent changes in placement made within 60 days of the original placement. The commissioner shall maintain certification of at least one Medicaid-eligible residential treatment facility for the transfer pursuant to this paragraph of offenders other than serious violent offenders beginning January 1, 2018, and no fewer than 2 such facilities no later than July 1, 2018. For purposes of this section, a "
serious violent offender
" is a minor subject to a commitment order for a serious violent offense as defined in RSA 169-B:31-c. The process for identification and certification of residential treatment facilities under this subparagraph may include consultation with the operators of existing facilities in the state about their physical and programmatic capacity and the identification of any necessary enhancements in programming or rate structure to develop the resources required by this subparagraph.
VII. If the judge orders services, placements or programs different from the recommendations of the department, the judge shall include a statement of the costs of services, placements and programs so ordered.
VIII. When a dispositional order places a minor in an out-of-home placement pursuant to RSA 169-B:19, I(e) or (f), prior to concluding the dispositional hearing the court shall set a date for a permanency hearing pursuant to RSA 169-B:31-a, I.
IX. Prior to any placement which will require educational services outside the minor's home school district, the court shall notify the school district and give the district the opportunity to send a representative to the hearing at which such placement is contemplated. At such hearing the court shall consider the recommendations of the school district and if such an out-of-district placement is ordered the court shall make written findings that describe the reasons for the placement.
X. The court may issue such orders as are necessary to ensure provision of services under this chapter, provided that any order issued involving the department of education or a legally liable school district shall comply with RSA 169-B:22.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1982, 39:14. 1985, 376:3. 1987, 402:9. 1988, 89:16. 1989, 285:4. 1990, 201:4, 5. 1992, 18:4; 284:3. 1994, 81:3; 212:2. 1995, 181:2; 302:14-16; 308:59, 61, 104, 105; 310:171, 175, 181. 1997, 198:1, 2. 1999, 219:1; 305:9, 10. 2000, 294:9. 2001, 117:1; 286:5, 19. 2002, 168:1; 170:3. 2006, 327:23, 24. 2007, 236:3, 4; 295:2; 325:10, 15, II, 16. 2008, 274:7. 2013, 249:16, eff. Sept. 22, 2013. 2014, 215:10, 21, eff. July 1, 2015. 2015, 260:6, eff. July 1, 2015 at 12:01 a.m. 2017, 156:159, eff. Jan. 1, 2018; 156:161, eff. Mar. 1, 2018; 156:170, eff. July 1, 2017. 2019, 44:8, 9, eff. Aug. 2, 2019; 346:336, 337, eff. July 1, 2019. 2020, 26:16, eff. July 1, 2020; 26:47-49, eff. Sept. 18, 2020. 2022, 323:4, eff. Sept. 6, 2022.
169-B:19-a Out-of-District Placement.
In the case of an out-of-district placement, the appropriate court shall notify the department of education on the date that the court order is signed, stating the initial length of time for which such placement is made. This section shall apply to the original order and all subsequent modifications of that order.
Source. 1991, 324:1, eff. Aug. 27, 1991.
169-B:19-b Presumption in Favor of In-State Placements.
There shall be a presumption that an in-state placement is the least restrictive and most appropriate placement. The court may order an out-of-state placement only upon an express written finding that there is no appropriate in-state placement available.
Source. 1995, 308:62, eff. July 1, 1995.
169-B:19-c Court Order for Services, Placements, and Programs Required for Minors From Certain Providers Qualified for Third-Party Payment.
The court, wherever and to the extent possible, shall order services, placements, and programs by providers certified pursuant to RSA 170-G:4, XVIII who qualify for third-party payment under any insurance covering the minor.
Source. 1996, 286:10, eff. June 10, 1996.
169-B:19-d Placement in a Qualified Residential Treatment Program.
For any child placed in a qualified residential treatment program, as defined in the federal Family First Prevention Services Act of 2017,
the court shall:
I. Order an assessment to be completed within 30 days of placement by a qualified individual as defined by the federal Family First Prevention Services Act of 2017; and
II. Review the assessment and issue an order approving the placement or changing the placement within 60 days of placement.
Source. 2021, 122:69, eff. July 9, 2021.
169-B:20 Determination of Competence.
I. As used in this section, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings:
" means a condition based on a juvenile's chronological age and significant lack of developmental skills when the juvenile has no significant mental illness or mental retardation.
" means any diagnosable mental impairment supported by the most current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association.
" means a disability which is attributable to an intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, or a specific learning disability, or any other condition of an individual found to be closely related to an intellectual disability as it refers to general intellectual functioning or impairment in adaptive behavior or requires treatment similar to that required for persons with an intellectual disability.
" means significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior.
II. A minor is competent to proceed in a delinquency proceeding if the minor has:
(a) A rational as well as a factual understanding of the proceedings; and
(b) A sufficient present ability to consult with counsel with a reasonable degree of rational understanding.
III. The issue of a competency to proceed may be raised by the minor, by the prosecutor, or by the court at any point in the proceeding. A competency determination is necessary whenever the court has a bona fide or legitimate doubt as to a competency to proceed.
IV. If the court determines that a competency determination is necessary, it shall order that a minor be examined to evaluate the minor's competency to proceed. The court shall set the time within which the competency evaluation report shall be filed with the court, which shall be no later than 21 days of the court's order in cases in which at the time of the order the minor is detained, not later than 30 days of the court's order in cases in which at the time of the order the minor is in an out-of-home placement, and not later than 60 days of the court's order in cases in which at the time of the order the minor remains in the home. So that detention or placement outside the home is not unnecessarily extended by the determination of competency, the time within which the report shall be filed with the court shall be appropriately modified by the court in cases in which during the pendency of the competency evaluation the minor's placement changes. Following notice and an opportunity to be heard to the parties, upon a showing of good cause, the court may extend the time for filing of the evaluation report. Any such extension shall be limited to the time necessary for completion of the evaluation report and shall be set out in a written order which details the basis for the extension.
V. A competency evaluation may be conducted by an entity approved by the commissioner of health and human services, which may include an agency, a psychiatrist, or psychologist licensed in the state of New Hampshire. The commissioner shall adopt standards establishing the process for approval as an examiner as well as the qualifications required for approval, which shall be based on generally accepted standards for forensic psychiatrists and psychologists.
VI. Pending a competency examination, the court shall suspend proceedings on the petition. The suspension shall remain in effect pending the outcome of a competency determination hearing.
VII. (a) The examiner's report shall address the juvenile's capacity and ability to:
(1) Appreciate the allegations of the petition.
(2) Appreciate the nature of the adversarial process, including:
(A) Having a factual understanding of the participants in the juvenile's proceeding, including the judge, defense counsel, prosecutor, and mental health expert; and
(B) Having a rational understanding of the role of each participant in the proceeding.
(3) Appreciate the range of possible dispositions that may be imposed in the proceedings against the minor and recognize how possible dispositions imposed in the proceedings will affect the minor;
(4) Appreciate the impact of the minor's actions on others;
(5) Disclose to counsel facts pertinent to the proceedings at issue including:
(A) Ability to articulate thoughts.
(B) Ability to articulate emotions.
(C) Ability to accurately and reliably relate to a sequence of events.
(D) Display logical and autonomous decision making.
(E) Display appropriate courtroom behavior.
(F) Testify relevantly at proceedings.
(G) Demonstrate any other capacity or ability either separately identified by the court or determined by the examiner to be relevant to the court's determination.
(b) In assessing the minor's competency, the examiner shall compare the minor being examined to juvenile norms that are broadly defined as those skills typically possessed by the average minor defendant adjudicated in the juvenile justice system.
(c) The examiner shall determine and report if the minor suffers from mental illness, developmental disability, or chronological immaturity.
(d) If the minor suffers from mental illness, developmental disability, or chronological immaturity, the examiner shall report the severity of the impairment and its potential effect on the minor's competency to proceed.
(e) If the examiner determines that the minor suffers from chronological immaturity, the examiner shall report a comparison of the minor to the average juvenile defendant.
(f) If the examiner determines that the minor suffers from a mental illness, the examiner shall provide the following information:
(1) The prognosis of the mental illness; and
(2) Whether the minor is taking any medication and, if so, what medication.
VIII. Following receipt of the competency examination report from the examiner, the court shall provide copies of the report to the parties and hold a competency determination hearing. The court may consider the report of the examiner, together with all other evidence relevant to the issue of competency, including a subsequent evaluation requested by defense under RSA 604-A, in its determination whether the minor is competent to proceed. If the court finds that the minor is competent to proceed, the court shall promptly resume the proceedings. If the court is not satisfied that the minor is competent to proceed, the court shall dismiss the petition.
IX. The prosecution shall have the burden of proving competence by a preponderance of the evidence.
X. Statements made by the minor in the course of a competency examination shall not be admitted as evidence in the adjudicatory or dispositional stage of the proceedings. The evaluation facility, agency, or individual shall keep records; but no reports or records of information shall be made available, other than to the court and parties, except upon the written consent of the minor if an adult at the time of consent or of the minor's parent or guardian.
XI. (a) Notwithstanding a finding by the court that the minor is competent to proceed in a juvenile proceeding, if the minor is subsequently transferred to the superior court, the issue of the minor's competency may be revisited.
(b) If a juvenile is found not competent to stand trial, the judge may refer the juvenile to the department of health and human services to assess eligibility for services through the department.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1985, 195:4. 1990, 3:65. 1995, 302:17; 310:172. 1998, 234:5, eff. Oct. 31, 1998. 2014, 215:19, eff. July 1, 2015. 2020, 26:17, eff. July 1, 2020. 2022, 272:43, eff. June 24, 2022.
169-B:21 Mental Health and Substance Abuse Evaluation.
I. Any court, finding that a minor has committed the alleged offense may, before making a final disposition, order the minor, minor's parents, guardian, or person with custody or control to submit to a mental health or substance abuse evaluation to be completed within 60 days. Any substance abuse evaluation of the parent guardian, or person having custody of the child shall be conducted by a provider contracted with the bureau of substance abuse services, or a provider paid by the parent, guardian, or person having custody of the child. The cost of such evaluation shall be paid by private insurance, if available, or otherwise by the department. A written report of the evaluation shall be given to the court before the dispositional hearing. If the parents, guardian, minor, or person having custody or control objects to the mental health or substance abuse evaluation, they shall object in writing to the court having jurisdiction within 5 days after notification of the time and place of the evaluation. The court shall hold a hearing to consider the objection prior to ordering such evaluation. Upon good cause shown, the court may excuse the parents, guardian, minor, or person having custody or control from the provisions of this section.
II. Whenever such an evaluation has been made for consideration at a previous hearing, it shall be jointly reviewed by the court and the evaluating agency before the case is heard. The evaluating facility, agency, or individual shall keep records, but no reports or records of information contained therein shall be made available other than to the court and parties, except upon the written consent of the person examined or treated and except as provided in RSA 169-B:35.
III. In the case of a minor found guilty of possession of marijuana or hashish, the court, finding that a minor has committed the alleged offense, shall refer the minor for a substance abuse assessment to be completed prior to the dispositional hearing. The court may waive the requirement of an assessment if it has access to a similar assessment completed in the previous year or, based on substantial evidence, the court does not find there is a need for an assessment. The assessment shall be completed by a licensed drug and alcohol counselor. The results of the assessment shall be submitted to the court and, if indicated, the court shall order that the minor obtain appropriate treatment. The minor shall furnish the court with evidence of participation and completion of the substance abuse assessment.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1999, 305:11, eff. Jan. 1, 2000. 2017, 248:9, eff. Sept. 16, 2017. 2020, 26:18, eff. July 1, 2020.
169-B:22 Disposition of a Minor With a Disability.
I. At any point during the proceedings, the court may, either on its own motion or that of any other person, and if the court contemplates a residential placement, the court shall immediately, join the legally liable school district for the limited purposes of directing the school district to determine whether the minor is a child with a disability or of directing the school district to review the services offered or provided under RSA 186-C, if the minor has already been determined to be a child with a disability. If the court orders the school district to determine whether the minor is a child with a disability, the school district shall make this determination by treating the order as the equivalent of a referral by the child's parent for special education, and shall conduct any team meetings or evaluations that are required under law when a school district receives a referral by a child's parent.
II. Once joined as a party, the legally liable school district shall have full access to all records maintained by the district court under this chapter. The school district shall also report to the court its determination of whether the minor is a child with a disability, and the basis for such determination. If the child is determined to be a child with a disability, the school district shall make a recommendation to the court as to where the child's educational needs can be met in accordance with state and federal education laws. In cases where the court does not follow the school district's recommendation, the court shall issue written findings explaining why the recommendation was not followed.
III. If the school district finds or has found that the minor has a disability, or if it is found that the minor is a child with a disability on appeal from the school district's decision in accordance with the due process procedures of RSA 186-C, the school district shall offer an appropriate educational program and placement in accordance with RSA 186-C. Financial liability for such education program shall be as determined in RSA 186-C:19-b.
IV. In an administrative due process hearing conducted by the department of education pursuant to RSA 186-C, a school district may provide a hearing officer with information from district court records which the school district has accessed pursuant to paragraph II of this section, provided that:
(a) At least 20 days prior to providing any records to the hearing officer, the school district files notice of its intention to do so with the court and all parties to the proceedings, and no party objects to the release of records;
(b) The notice filed by a school district under this section shall include, on a separate sheet of paper, the following statement in bold typeface: "Persons subject to juvenile proceedings have important rights to the confidentiality of juvenile court proceedings. This notice requests the disclosure of some or all of that information. If you object to the disclosure of information, you must file a written objection with the court no later than 10 days after the filing of the school district's notice. If you fail to object in writing, the court may allow private information to be revealed to the New Hampshire Department of Education hearing officer."; and
(c) Any objection by a party shall be filed with the court no later than 10 days after the filing of the school district's notice with the court, unless such time is extended by the court for good cause.
V. The court may, on its own initiative and no later than 13 days after the filing of the school district's notice to the court, issue an order directing the school district to show cause as to why the information should be disclosed to the hearing officer. Upon receipt of an objection or issuance of a show cause order, the court shall schedule an expedited hearing on the matter to determine if the requested records may be released. The court may rule without a hearing if the school district and a parent or legal guardian or the juvenile, if he or she has reached the age of majority, agree in writing to waive a hearing. Upon the filing of an objection or show cause order, the school district may file a reply explaining why the school district believes that the information should be disclosed to the hearing officer. In determining whether to authorize the disclosure of the information requested by the school district, the court shall balance the importance of disclosure of the records to a fair and accurate determination of the merits against the privacy interests of the parties to the proceedings, and render a written decision setting forth its findings and rulings. No information released to a hearing officer pursuant to this paragraph shall be disclosed to any other person or entity without the written permission of the court, the child's parent or legal guardian, or the juvenile if he or she has reached the age of majority, except that a court conducting an appellate review of an administrative due process hearing shall have access to the same information released to a hearing officer pursuant to this paragraph.
VI. In this section, "child with a disability" shall be as defined in RSA 186-C.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1983, 458:1. 1986, 223:12. 1987, 402:21. 1990, 140:2, X. 2008, 274:8, eff. July 1, 2008.
169-B:22-a Notice to School District of Out-of-Home Placement; Development of Transition Plan.
I. If the department of health and human services recommends or initiates an out-of-home placement or a change in placement, whether within or out of the district, the department shall notify the school district as soon as possible of the change in placement and shall work with the school district to determine how, consistent with the best interest of the child, to assure the child's educational stability.
II. When necessary to transition the child to a different school or school district, the department and school district shall develop a transition plan for the child. The objective of the plan shall be to minimize the number of placements for the child and to facilitate any change in placement or school assignment with the least disruption to the child's education. To the extent appropriate, the child may be involved in the formation of the plan.
Source. 2018, 51:2, eff. July 14, 2018.
169-B:23 Orders for Health Examination and Treatment.
If it is alleged in any petition, or it appears at any time during the progress of the case, that a delinquent is in need of health treatment, the failure to receive which is a contributing cause of delinquency, due notice of that fact shall be given as provided in RSA 169-B:7. If the court, upon hearing, finds that such treatment is reasonably required, it shall be ordered and the expense thereof shall be borne as provided in RSA 169-B:40.
Source. 1979, 361:2, eff. Aug. 22, 1979. 2021, 182:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2022.
169-B:24 Transfer to Superior Court.
I. All cases before the court in which the offense complained of constitutes a felony or would amount to a felony in the case of an adult may be transferred to the superior court prior to hearing under RSA 169-B:16 as provided in this section. The court shall conduct a hearing on the question of transfer and shall consider, but not be limited to, the following criteria in determining whether a case should be transferred:
(a) The seriousness of the alleged offense to the community and whether the protection of the community requires transfer.
(b) The aggressive, violent, premeditated, or willful nature of the alleged offense.
(c) Whether the alleged offense was committed against persons or property.
(d) The prospective merit of the complaint.
(e) The desirability of trial and disposition of the entire offense in one court if the minor's associates in the alleged offense were adults who will be charged with a crime.
(f) The sophistication and maturity of the minor.
(g) The minor's prior record and prior contacts with law enforcement agencies.
(h) The prospects of adequate protection of the public, and the likelihood of reasonable rehabilitation of the minor through the juvenile court system.
II. The minor shall be entitled to the assistance of counsel. Both the prosecutor and counsel for the minor shall have access to the court records, probation reports, or other agency reports. If the court orders transfer to superior court, it shall provide a written statement of findings and reasons for such transfer to the minor. When persons so certified are accepted by the superior court, the superior court may dispose of all criminal charges arising out of the incident which led to the transfer petition according to the relevant laws of this state without any limitations as to sentence or orders required by this chapter. All original papers in transferred cases shall remain in the court from which transferred and certified copies of the papers shall be filed with and shall constitute the records of the court to which transfer is made. Pending disposition by the superior court, a juvenile who is transferred and accepted by the superior court may be placed under the supervision of the department of corrections or required to recognize with sufficient sureties, or in default of such sureties, be detained at a county correctional facility or the youth development center to await disposition of the case in the superior court.
III. Upon the filing of a petition for transfer to the superior court, the court shall conduct a scheduling hearing and establish a scheduling order for all future hearings necessary to the transfer petition, notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 169-B:14, II.
IV. When the felony offense charged is first degree murder, second degree murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, first degree assault, aggravated felonious sexual assault punishable as a class A felony, a violation of RSA 318-B:26, I(a) or (b), or when the minor is charged with any felony and, prior to the filing of the felony petition, the minor has been petitioned to the court on 4 or more occasions and adjudicated delinquent in 4 separate adjudicatory hearings which alleged misdemeanor or felony offenses, and the minor commits the act after the minor's fifteenth birthday, there shall be a presumption that the factors listed in RSA 169-B:24, I support transfer to the superior court.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1987, 402:12. 1988, 89:17. 1995, 302:18; 308:106. 1998, 381:2. 2003, 265:1. 2004, 158:3, eff. May 24, 2004. 2016, 303:1, eff. July 1, 2016. 2021, 227:7, eff. Oct. 24, 2021.
169-B:25 Petition by County Attorney or Attorney General.
If facts are presented to the county attorney or attorney general establishing that a person under the age of 18 has been guilty of conduct which constitutes a felony or would amount to a felony in the case of an adult and if such person is not within the jurisdiction of this state, the county attorney or attorney general may file a petition with the judge of the municipal or district court which would otherwise have jurisdiction under the provisions of this chapter. The petition shall set forth the nature of the offense with which the person is charged and shall specify the person's whereabouts if known. On receipt of such petition, the court may summarily authorize the county attorney or attorney general to proceed against such person under regular criminal procedures, and without regard to the provisions of this chapter. Pending determination by the superior court as provided in this section and pending final disposition of the matter, such persons shall be bailable with sufficient sureties as in the case of adults and, in default thereof, may be committed to the custody of the juvenile probation and parole officer or detained at a county correctional facility unless detention elsewhere is ordered by the superior court. The superior court shall determine, after hearing, whether such person shall be treated as a juvenile under the provisions of this section or whether the case shall be disposed of according to regular criminal procedures.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1987, 402:12. 1988, 89:18. 1995, 302:19; 308:107. 2000, 294:9, eff. July 1, 2000. 2014, 215:11, eff. July 1, 2015.
169-B:26 Petition by Minor.
At any time prior to hearing pursuant to RSA 169-B:16, a minor who is charged with an act of delinquency committed after the minor's seventeenth birthday may petition the court to be tried as an adult and to have such case dealt with in the same manner as any other criminal prosecution.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1995, 302:19; 308:107, eff. Jan. 1, 1996. 2014, 215:12, eff. July 1, 2015.
169-B:27 Treatment of Juvenile as Adult.
Any minor who has been tried and convicted as an adult shall henceforth be treated as an adult for all purposes in connection with any criminal offense with which said minor may be charged.
Source. 1979, 361:2, eff. Aug. 22, 1979.
169-B:28 Disqualification of Judge.
A judge who conducts a hearing pursuant to RSA 169-B:24, RSA 169-B:25, or RSA 169-B:26 shall not participate in any subsequent proceedings relating to the offense or conduct alleged in the delinquency petition if the minor or counsel for the minor objects to such participation.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1995, 302:20, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.
An appeal, under this chapter, may be taken to the supreme court by the minor within 30 days of the final dispositional order; but an appeal shall not suspend the order or decision of the court unless the court so orders.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1995, 308:108, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.
169-B:30 Committal of Children Under Eleven.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, minors under the age of 11 years shall not be committed to the youth development center unless and until the court has referred the matter to and received the recommendation of an appropriate public or private agency or of a juvenile probation and parole officer that there is no other public or private home or institution suitable for such commitment.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1987, 402:12. 2000, 294:9, eff. July 1, 2000.
169-B:31 Case Closure and Review of Disposition.
Upon making a finding that the purposes of this chapter have been met with regard to the minor named in the petition, or for such other reason the court may deem appropriate and consistent with the purposes of this chapter, the court may order a case closed. Any case remaining open for 12 months after the date of the disposition shall be reviewed by the court annually and closed, unless the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the continued provision of services and court involvement are necessary and shall be fruitful to rehabilitate the minor or protect the public interest. All such findings shall be in writing and shall include the basis upon which those findings were made. Upon request by the child, the court shall also review any case in which the child remains at the youth development center more than 6 months after the order of commitment without having been released on parole or having been returned to the youth development center following revocation of parole. Successive requests for review shall be granted upon request by the child but the court may deny such requests without a hearing if a review was held less than 90 days prior to receipt of a request for review. In each instance that the court reviews a case in which the child remains at the youth development center at the time of review, the child shall be entitled to the assistance of counsel, which may not be waived except following consultation between the child and a parent or counsel. Consultation between a child and parent is not sufficient to support waiver under this section if the parent was a victim or complainant in the underlying proceeding or has been a witness or provided information in support of the basis for revocation in a parole revocation proceeding involving the child. Children known to the department of health and human services or the court to have an emotional disorder, intellectual disability, or any other condition which may be expected to interfere with a child's ability to understand the proceedings, make decisions, or otherwise handle the proceedings without the assistance of counsel may not waive the right to counsel guaranteed by this section.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1999, 305:12. 2013, 249:22, eff. Sept. 22, 2013. 2014, 215:23, eff. July 1, 2015.
169-B:31-a Permanency Hearings.
I. For a minor who enters an out-of-home placement prior to an adjudicatory finding and who is in an out-of-home placement for 12 or more months, the court shall hold and complete an initial permanency hearing within 14 months of the minor's entry into out-of-home placement or within 12 months of the court's adjudicatory finding, whichever is earlier. For a minor who enters an out-of-home placement subsequent to an adjudicatory finding and who is in an out-of-home placement for 12 or more months, the court shall hold and complete an initial permanency hearing within 12 months of the minor's entry into out-of-home placement. For a minor who is in out-of-home placement following the initial permanency hearing, the court shall hold and complete a subsequent permanency hearing within 12 months of the initial permanency hearing and every 12 months thereafter as long as the minor is in an out-of-home placement.
II. At a permanency hearing the court shall consider whether the parent or parents and the minor have met the responsibilities pursuant to the dispositional orders issued by the court. If compliance with the dispositional orders pursuant to RSA 169-B:19 is not met, the court may adopt a permanency plan other than reunification for the minor. Other options for a permanency plan include:
(a) Termination of parental rights or parental surrender when an adoption is contemplated;
(b) Guardianship with a fit and willing relative or another appropriate party; or
(c) Another planned permanent living arrangement.
III. At a permanency hearing the court shall determine whether the department has made reasonable efforts to finalize the permanency plan that is in effect. Where reunification is the permanency plan that is in effect, the court shall consider whether services to the family have been accessible, available, and appropriate.
Source. 2007, 236:5. 2008, 213:3, eff. Aug. 15, 2008.
169-B:31-b Data Collection; Reporting Requirement.
I. The department shall establish a system to collect data related to:
(a) Charges which led to involvement with the juvenile justice system.
(b) The racial and ethnic identity of the child.
(c) The length of time a child receives services under this chapter, beginning at the time of arraignment.
(d) The identity of paid services or programs to whom the department has referred a child or family.
(e) Any other information, including outcome data, that may assist the department and the court in evaluating the availability and effectiveness of services for children who receive assistance under this chapter.
(f) The type of services ordered by the court after adjudication and disposition.
II. The department shall, upon request, make available to members of the public, compilations of the data which do not contain identifying information.
III. Beginning on or before December 30, 2014, the department shall provide quarterly reports regarding cases handled pursuant to this chapter to the chair of the house children and family law committee, the chair of the senate health, education and human services committee, or to the chairs of their successor committees, as well as the chair of the joint fiscal committee. The reports shall include:
(a) Total census at Sununu Youth Services Center (SYSC) at the beginning of each quarterly reported period reported by:
(2) County of residence.
(3) Status (i.e. pre-trial, confinement).
(4) Criminal charge.
(5) Re-entry into the juvenile justice system.
(b) The number of 6 month parole hearings and the outcomes during the previous quarter and year to date.
Source. 2014, 215:24, eff. July 1, 2015.
169-B:31-c Dispositions and Case Closure in Certain Cases.
I. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the court shall close all cases other than those involving serious violent offenses no later than 2 years after the date of adjudication. This section shall not apply if, with the assistance of counsel, the minor consents to continued jurisdiction.
II. In this section, "
serious violent offenses
" mean first degree murder, second degree murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, negligent homicide under RSA 630:3, II, first degree assault, second degree assault, except when the allegation is a violation of RSA 631:2, I(d), felonious sexual assault, aggravated felonious sexual assault, kidnapping, criminal restraint, robbery punishable as a class A felony, burglary while armed or involving the infliction of bodily harm under RSA 635:1, II, or arson punishable as a felony.
Source. 2017, 156:162, eff. June 28, 2017.
169-B:32 Limitations of Authority Conferred.
This chapter shall not be construed as applying to persons 16 years of age or over who are charged with the violation of a motor vehicle law, an aeronautics law, a law relating to navigation or boats, a fish and game law, a law relating to title XIII, a law relating to fireworks under RSA 160-B or RSA 160-C, any town or municipal ordinance which provides for a penalty not exceeding $100 plus the penalty assessment, and shall not be construed as applying to any minor charged with the violation of any law relating to the possession, sale, or distribution of tobacco products to or by a person under 21 years of age. However, if incarceration takes place at any stage in proceedings on such violations, incarceration shall be only in a juvenile facility certified by the commissioner of the department of health and human services.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1981, 563:2. 1992, 18:5; 44:7. 1994, 212:2. 1995, 308:64; 310:171. 1999, 348:15, eff. Jan. 21, 2000. 2019, 346:105, eff. Jan. 1, 2020. 2020, 37:115, eff. July 29, 2020.
169-B:33 Religious Preference.
The court and officials, in placing minors, shall, as far as practicable, place them in the care and custody of some individual holding the same religious beliefs as the minor or the parents of said minor, or with some association which is controlled by persons of like religious faith. No minor under the supervision of any state institution shall be denied the free exercise of the minor's own religion or the religion of the parents, whether living or dead, nor the liberty of worshipping God according thereto.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1995, 302:21, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.
169-B:34 Court Sessions; Access to Information.
I. (a) All juvenile cases shall be heard separately from the trial of criminal cases, and such hearing shall be held wherever possible in rooms not used for such trials. Only such persons as the parties, their witnesses, their counsel, the victim, a victim witness advocate or other person chosen by the victim, the county attorney, the attorney general and the representatives of the agencies present to perform their official duties shall be admitted; provided, however, that if the witness is under 16 years of age, the witness' parent or other appropriate adult shall be permitted to be present during the witness' testimony. In those cases where the delinquent act complained of would constitute a felony if the act of an adult, the attorney general and the county attorney of the county in which the offense took place shall receive notice thereof by the court.
(b) For the purpose of this section, "victim" means a person who suffers direct physical, emotional, psychological, or economic harm as a result of the commission of a crime or delinquent act. "Victim" also includes the immediate family of any victim who is a minor or who is incompetent, or the immediate family of a homicide victim.
II. If the victim is unable to attend the hearing under paragraph I, the prosecution, upon request of the victim, may disclose to the victim information disclosed at the hearing.
III. At any time after the diversion or arraignment of a juvenile, the following information regarding the juvenile shall be disclosed to the victim, and may be disclosed to the victim's immediate family, upon the request of the victim or the victim's immediate family, by a law enforcement agency or the prosecution:
(e) Offense charged.
(f) Custody status.
(g) Adjudicatory status and disposition.
IV. It shall be unlawful for a victim or any member of the victim's immediate family to disclose any confidential information to any person not authorized or entitled to access such confidential information. Any person who knowingly discloses such confidential information shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
V. No minor who is the subject of a petition filed pursuant to RSA 169-B:6 shall be held in or escorted through any part of a court facility that is occupied by the members of the public while the minor is in handcuffs, shackles, or other devices which would indicate that the minor is in law enforcement custody or subject to an order of confinement, unless no reasonable, alternative means of egress is available.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1985, 228:3. 1996, 294:1. 2003, 275:1, eff. Sept. 16, 2003. 2017, 180:1, eff. Aug. 28, 2017.
169-B:35 Juvenile Case and Court Records.
I. All case records, as defined in RSA 170-G:8-a, relative to delinquency, shall be confidential and access shall be provided pursuant to RSA 170-G:8-a.
II. Court records of proceedings under this chapter, except for those court records under RSA 169-B:36, II, shall be kept in books and files separate from all other court records. Such records shall be withheld from public inspection but shall be open to inspection by officers of the institution where the minor is committed, juvenile probation and parole officers, a parent, a guardian, a custodian, the minor's attorney, the relevant county, and others entrusted with the corrective treatment of the minor. Additional access to court records may be granted by court order or upon the written consent of the minor. Once a delinquent reaches 21 years of age, all court records and individual institutional records, including police records, shall be closed and placed in an inactive file.
III. Notwithstanding paragraphs I and II:
(a) Police officers and prosecutors involved in the investigation and prosecution of criminal acts shall be authorized to access police records concerning juvenile delinquency, including the files of persons who at the time of the inquiry are over the age of 18, and to utilize for the purposes of investigation and prosecution of criminal cases police investigative files on acts of juvenile delinquency, including information from police reports, exemplars, and forensic investigations.
(b) Prosecutors involved in the prosecution of criminal acts shall be authorized to access police records concerning juvenile delinquency or records of adjudications of delinquency, including the files of persons who at the time of the inquiry are over the age of 18, if the prosecutor has reason to believe that the individual may be a witness in a criminal case. The prosecutor may disclose the existence of an adjudication for juvenile delinquency only when such disclosure is constitutionally required or after the court having jurisdiction over the criminal prosecution orders its disclosure.
(d) Pursuant to RSA 651-B, the department of safety shall disclose registration information to law enforcement agencies for juveniles if the court has found that the juvenile is required to register as a sexual offender or offender against children. In no event shall any juvenile required to register be listed on the list of sexual offenders and offenders against children made available to the public pursuant to RSA 651-B:7.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1987, 402:14. 1993, 266:1; 355:2. 1995, 308:109, 110. 1999, 219:2. 2000, 294:10. 2001, 286:21, I. 2006, 327:25, eff. Jan. 1, 2007. 2014, 215:13, eff. July 1, 2015.
169-B:35-a Access to Information by Victims of Violent Crime.
I. For the purposes of this section:
(a) "Victim" shall mean a person who suffers direct physical, emotional, or psychological harm as a result of the commission of a violent crime. "Victim" also includes the immediate family of any victim who is a minor or who is incompetent, or the immediate family of a homicide victim.
(b) "Immediate family" shall mean a victim's spouse, parent, sibling, or child; a person acting in loco parentis for the victim; or anyone related to the victim by blood or marriage and living in the same household as the victim.
(c) "Violent crime" shall mean capital, first-degree or second-degree murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, aggravated felonious sexual assault, felonious sexual assault, first-degree assault, or negligent homicide committed in consequence of being under the influence of intoxicating liquor or controlled drugs, as these crimes are defined by statute.
II. In cases where a minor is charged with a violent crime and in addition to the provisions of RSA 169-B:34, a victim of violent crime shall have the rights provided in this paragraph. Upon request to the prosecution, the victim shall be entitled to the following:
(a) Prior to the disposition of the minor pursuant to RSA 169-B:19 or a transfer hearing pursuant to RSA 169-B:24, to:
(1) Be informed of the name, age, address, and custody status of the minor arraigned or adjudicated for the violent crime;
(2) Be informed of all court proceedings conducted pursuant to RSA 169-B;
(3) Confer with the prosecution and be consulted about the disposition of the case, including plea bargaining;
(4) Be informed of case progress and final disposition;
(5) Have input in the juvenile predispositional report;
(6) Appear and make a written or oral victim impact statement at the dispositional hearing or, in the case of a plea bargain, prior to any plea bargain agreement; and,
(7) Be informed of an appeal, receive an explanation of the appeal process, and receive notice of the result of the appeal.
(b) Subsequent to the disposition of a minor adjudicated for a violent crime, the victim shall receive notice of all review hearings conducted pursuant to RSA 169-B:31 and notice of any change in placement, temporary release or furlough, interstate transfer, parole, runaway, escape, or release of the minor.
(c)(1) When the court's jurisdiction over a minor adjudicated for a violent crime terminates pursuant to RSA 169-B:4 or 169-B:19, the victim and the arresting law enforcement agency shall receive notice of the termination of the court's jurisdiction and any information concerning the minor's intended residence.
(2) The court may authorize the arresting law enforcement agency to provide information concerning the location of the minor's intended residence to the law enforcement agency of that location if public safety requires such notification.
IV. It shall be unlawful for a victim or member of a law enforcement agency to disclose any confidential information to any person not authorized or entitled to access such confidential information. Any person who knowingly discloses such confidential information shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
V. (a) Except as expressly provided in this section or RSA 169-B:34, nothing in this section shall be construed to provide victims with the right to attend proceedings conducted pursuant to RSA 169-B, 170-H, or 621; to participate in decisions concerning the changes in placement, temporary release or furlough, interstate transfer, parole, or release of a minor adjudicated of a violent crime; or to have direct access to the case records or the court records of a minor adjudicated for a violent crime.
(b) Nothing in this section or RSA 169-B:34 shall be construed as creating a cause of action against the state, a county or municipality, or any of their agencies, instrumentalities or employees, or private providers of residential services to adjudicated delinquents.
(c) Nothing in this section or RSA 169-B:34 shall be construed as creating any new cause of action or new remedy or right for a criminal defendant.
Source. 1994, 357:2. 1995, 181:3. 1996, 294:2-5, 8, eff. Aug. 9, 1996.
169-B:36 Penalty for Disclosure of Juvenile Records.
I. It shall be unlawful for any person to disclose court records or any part thereof to persons other than those persons entitled to access under RSA 169-B:35, except by court order. Any person who knowingly violates this provision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. This prohibition shall not be construed to prevent publication as provided in RSA 169-B:37.
II. Notwithstanding paragraph I, in cases involving a violent crime as defined in RSA 169-B:35-a and when the petition is found to be true, the following information may be disclosed by the court clerk after the adjudicatory hearing:
(a) The name and address of the juvenile charged.
(b) The specific offense found by the court to be true.
(c) The custody status of the juvenile.
(d) The final disposition ordered by the court.
Information provided in subparagraphs (c) and (d) shall not identify the name or address of private providers of residential or other services to the juvenile.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1993, 355:3. 1995, 308:111, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.
169-B:37 Publication of Delinquency Restricted.
I. It shall be unlawful for any newspaper to publish, or any radio or television station to broadcast or make public the name or address or any other particular information serving to identify any juvenile arrested, without the express permission of the court; and it shall be unlawful for any newspaper to publish, or any radio or television station to make public, any of the proceedings of any juvenile court. Nothing in this section or RSA 169-B:35 and RSA 169-B:36 shall be construed to prevent publication without using the name of the delinquent of information which shall be furnished by the court about the disposition of a case when the delinquent act would constitute a felony if it were the act of an adult.
II. Notwithstanding paragraph I, the police, with the written approval of the county attorney or the attorney general, may release to the news media the name and photograph of the juvenile if:
(a) The juvenile has escaped from court-ordered custody; and
(b) The juvenile has not been apprehended and there is good cause to believe the juvenile presents a serious danger to the juvenile or to public safety.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1996, 294:6, eff. Aug. 9, 1996.
169-B:38 Penalty for Forbidden Publication.
The publisher of any newspaper or the manager, owner or person in control of a radio or television station or agent or employee of any of the above who violates any provision of RSA 169-B:37 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Source. 1979, 361:2, eff. Aug. 22, 1979.
169-B:39 Repealed by 1989, 285:12, eff. July 28, 1989.
169-B:40 Liability for Expenses Incurred.
I. (a) Whenever an order creating liability for expenses is issued by the court under this chapter, any expenses incurred for services, placements, and programs the providers of which are certified pursuant to RSA 170-G:4, XVIII, shall be payable by the department of health and human services.
(b) Subparagraph (a) shall not apply to expenses incurred for special education and related services, or to expenses incurred for evaluation, care, and treatment of the minor when receiving child inpatient psychiatric treatment within the state mental health system, or to expenses incurred for the cost of accompanied transportation.
(c) Notwithstanding subparagraph (a), the department shall have the right to require parents or other people responsible for the minor's support and necessities to assign to the state any insurance benefits that may be available to pay for a mental health evaluation under RSA 169-B:21.
(d) Liability for placement expenses for any court ordered placement of any minor mother under this chapter shall include liability for placement expenses for the child or children of such minor mother if the minor mother and child or children are placed at the same facility.
II. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the department of health and human services shall not be responsible for the payment of the cost of assigned counsel for any party under this chapter.
III. The office of reimbursements acting on behalf of the department of health and human services is authorized to compromise or reduce any expense to be charged to the state under this section.
Source. 1979, 361:2; 434:81. 1981, 555:1. 1982, 25:2. 1983, 458:4. 1985, 96:6; 380:37. 1987, 402:29, 30. 1988, 107:5; 153:1, 4. 1989, 75:1; 229:1; 286:1. 1990, 3:46; 203:1. 1991, 265:2. 1993, 266:2. 1994, 212:2. 1995, 220:2; 302:22; 308:60, 63, 112; 310:123, 171, 175, 182. 1996, 286:13, 16. 1997, 305:1. 2007, 263:20. 2008, 274:33. 2009, 144:33, 36, eff. July 1, 2009. 2018, 55:1, 4, eff. July 14, 2018. 2020, 26:19, eff. July 1, 2020. 2022, 272:44, 45, eff. June 24, 2022.
169-B:41 Intentional Contribution to Delinquency.
I. Any parent or guardian or person having custody or control of a minor, or anyone else, who shall knowingly encourage, aid, cause, or abet, or connive at, or has knowingly or willfully done any act to produce, promote, or contribute to the delinquency of such minor, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. The court may release such person on probation, subject to such orders as it may make concerning future conduct tending to produce or contribute to such delinquency, or it may suspend sentence, or before trial, with such person's consent, it may allow the person to enter into a recognizance, in such penal sum as the court may fix, conditioned for the promotion of the future welfare of the minor, and the case may be placed on file.
II. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph I, any parent, guardian or person having custody or control of a minor, or anyone else, who shall knowingly or wilfully, encourage, aid, cause or abet, or connive at, or has knowingly done any act to produce, promote or contribute to the utilization of a minor in any acts of sexual conduct, as defined in RSA 650:1, VI, in order to create obscene material, as defined in RSA 650:1, IV, of the minor engaged in such conduct, shall be guilty of:
(a) A class B felony if such person has had no prior convictions in this state or another state for the conduct described in this paragraph;
(b) A class A felony if such person has had one or more prior convictions in this state or another state for the conduct described in this paragraph.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1983, 448:4. 1995, 302:23, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.
If any minor is found more than once to be delinquent by the court as provided in RSA 169-B:41, the court may, upon complaint of the county attorney or any other person, or upon its own motion, issue a warrant commanding any parent, guardian or person having custody or control of the minor found to be delinquent to be brought before the same court in which the findings of delinquency was made.
Source. 1979, 361:2, eff. Aug. 22, 1979.
169-B:43 Court Orders.
The court, upon a complaint issued under RSA 169-B:42, may proceed under that section and, in addition, if the court finds, after a hearing, that the parent, guardian, or person having custody or control of the minor has failed to exercise reasonable diligence in the control of such minor to prevent the minor from becoming guilty of juvenile delinquency as defined by statute, or from becoming adjudged by the court to be in need of the care and protection of the state as defined by statute, it may make such order specifying future conduct as is designed to reasonably prevent the reoccurrence of delinquency and to promote the future welfare of the minor. Such order shall remain in effect for a period of not more than one year to be specified by the court, and said order may be extended or renewed by the court. Before issuing any such order, the court shall advise such parent, guardian, or other person of the right to have the reasonableness of the order immediately reviewed; and, in this connection, the superior court is vested with jurisdiction to summarily determine the reasonableness of any question of law or fact relating to such written specifications and to make such further orders upon review thereof as justice may require.
Source. 1979, 361:2. 1995, 302:24, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.
169-B:44 Civil Action for Compensation.
Nothing in this chapter shall bar civil action to recover damages for the negligence of a person having custody or control of a minor who causes injury to property or persons.
Source. 1979, 361:2, eff. Aug. 22, 1979.
169-B:45 Vandalism by Minors.
I. For purposes of this section, "vandalism" has the same meaning as "criminal mischief" in RSA 634:2.
II. The court shall, when appropriate, order any child who is found to have committed vandalism of private property to write a formal apology to the victim or victims of such vandalism.
III. The court shall, when appropriate, order any child who is found to have committed vandalism of public property to write a report on the history and significance of that property to the community or on another topic, as determined by the court.
IV. The court shall also order, when appropriate, any child who is found to have committed vandalism to contribute to the restoration of the property or to the restitution to the victim or victims of such vandalism by payment in money, by property repairs, by service to the injured party, or by service to the community.
V. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the court may order the parent or legal guardian of any child found to have committed vandalism, to submit restitution to the victim or victims of such vandalism by payment in money if the child is in the custody of and residing with such parent or guardian, and if the court finds that the vandalism was a direct result of the parent or legal guardian having neglected to exercise reasonable supervision and control of the child's conduct. For the purposes of this section, liability for compensation shall be limited to $10,000.
VI. If the person violates the court's order to submit restitution under this section, such person shall be guilty of contempt.
VII. The court may permit payments under this section to be made in installments, up to 7 years, to be administered by the court.
Source. 1979, 450:1. 1995, 302:25. 1996, 225:1, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.
169-B:46 Publication Permitted.
Notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 169-B:36 and 169-B:37, there shall be no restriction on the publishing or broadcasting of the name or address of any child found to have committed vandalism under RSA 169-B:45, or any child who is adjudicated to have committed a second or subsequent offense for the possession with intent to distribute any controlled drug, as defined in RSA 318-B:1, VI, and who is at least 12 years of age at the time of such offense, or the name or address of the parent or guardian.
Source. 1979, 450:1. 1989, 174:1. 1995, 302:26, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.
If any provision of this chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held to be invalid, the remainder of the chapter and the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.
Source. 1979, 361:2, eff. Aug. 22, 1979.