Courts in New Hampshire

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More information on New Hampshire's state courts:
Selection methods
Federal courts

Courts in New Hampshire consist of the New Hampshire state court system and one federal court.

The structure of New Hampshire's state court system.

Appellate Courts

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New Hampshire Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is the court of last resort in the state. The chief justice is the head of the state's judiciary and, with the other justices of the Supreme Court, oversees the judicial branch.

Trial Courts

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New Hampshire Superior Court

The superior courts are the courts of general jurisdiction and the only courts that hold jury trials in civil and criminal cases. All cases are appealed directly to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

New Hampshire Circuit Courts

On July 1, 2011, New Hampshire's lower courts were combined into 10 circuit courts, with at least one location in each New Hampshire county. The courts were created under HB 609, which was signed into law by Governor John Lynch on May 16, 2011. Ninety percent of the cases filed in New Hampshire will be heard in these courts.[1] Each circuit court has three divisions, district, probate and family. Some courts may have multiple locations depending on the size of the county.

  • Formerly called probate courts, the probate division of the circuit courts has jurisdiction over the following matters: wills, trusts and estates, guardianships and involuntary commitment proceedings, adoptions, name changes and the partition of real estate. In the consolidation in July 2011, the number of probate courts was reduced from 117 to 54, with divisions in just 10 counties now.[2][3]
  • Formerly called the district courts, the district division of the circuit courts handles misdemeanor and violation offenses (including motor vehicle violations), small claims, landlord-tenant matters, stalking cases and other civil cases. There are 32 circuit courts with district divisions throughout New Hampshire.[4]
  • Formerly called family courts, the family division of the circuit courts has jurisdiction over matters involving divorce and parenting, child support, domestic violence petitions, guardianship of minors, termination of parental rights, abuse and neglect cases, matters regarding children who need state services, juvenile delinquency and some adoption matters. There are 28 family divisions in the state, located in the following counties:

Federal court

The federal court in New Hampshire is the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire. It is part of the First Circuit.

See also

External links


New HampshireNew Hampshire Supreme CourtNew Hampshire Superior CourtsNew Hampshire Circuit CourtsNew Hampshire Probate CourtsNew Hampshire District CourtNew Hampshire Family DivisionUnited States District Court for the District of New HampshireUnited States Court of Appeals for the First CircuitNew Hampshire countiesNew Hampshire judicial newsNew Hampshire judicial electionsJudicial selection in New HampshireNewHampshireTemplatewithoutBankruptcy.jpg