New Hampshire Supreme Court Decisions

Since New Hampshire does not have any intermediate appellate courts, the New Hampshire Supreme Court holds sole appellate jurisdiction. In addition to hearing appeals from trial courts, it may hear appeals of decisions by administrative agencies. The Court also can issue certain types of writs, such as writs of habeas corpus and prohibition. Under Supreme Court Rule 7, which dates from 2004, most appeals of final decisions by the circuit and superior courts are considered mandatory, as long as they are filed in a timely manner. This means that the Supreme Court will not have the discretion to deny review. However, it has greater discretion to deny review of appeals from proceedings in administrative agencies, interlocutory appeals, and petitions for original jurisdiction. The Court may require oral arguments, or it may review an appeal based solely on written briefs.

Five justices serve on the New Hampshire Supreme Court, and their tenure lasts until they retire or until they reach the mandatory retirement age of 70. The Governor of New Hampshire appoints each justice, although a majority of the Executive Council must approve the appointment. If a vacancy arises, the Chief Justice or a senior Associate Justice can fill the vacancy with a former justice. The justice who holds the greatest seniority on the Court will serve as the Chief Justice for up to five years. This position rotates among the justices in five-year terms if each of them has served as the Chief Justice during their tenure.

To improve efficiency, the New Hampshire Supreme Court has created a Three Judges Expedited panel. Justices rotate into this panel on a monthly basis. Hearings before the panel involve a maximum of five minutes of uninterrupted oral argument by counsel for each party, after which the justices will rule on the appeal within two to three weeks. A decision by the panel must be unanimous. Otherwise, the entire court may review the case, or it may be reargued before the panel. Under Supreme Court Rule 12-D(3), these expedited decisions do not create legal precedent.

Browse Opinions From the New Hampshire Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the New Hampshire Supreme Court
TransFarmations, Inc. v. Town of Amherst  
Date: November 30, 2022
Docket Number: 2021-0214

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff TransFarmations, Inc. appealed a superior court decision to uphold the Town of Amherst Planning Board's (Town) decisions to deny TransFarmations' two successive applications for a conditional use permit (CUP).…

Fiske v. Warden, New Hampshire State Prison  
Date: November 16, 2022
Docket Number: 2021-0361

Justia Opinion Summary: Jeremy Fiske appealed a superior court decision denying his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Petitioner “specifically requested that the [sentencing c]ourt allow him to earn good time credit to reduce his…

Keene Auto Body, Inc. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company  
Date: November 15, 2022
Docket Number: 2021-0156

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Keene Auto Body, Inc. appealed a circuit court order that dismissed its complaint against defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. Keene Auto Body, acting as an assignee of Caleb Meagher, who…

Petition of Louis Lafasciano  
Date: November 15, 2022
Docket Number: 2021-0308

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Louis Lafasciano petitioned the New Hampshire Supreme Court for review of a decision of respondent, New Hampshire Retirement System Board of Trustees (Board), that rescinded a previously-granted termination of…

New Hampshire v. Rivera  
Date: November 3, 2022
Docket Number: 2016-0006

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Ernesto Rivera was convicted by jury on one count of possession of cocaine, one count of criminal threatening, and five misdemeanor counts of domestic-violence-related simple assault. He appealed his…

Donovan v. Southern New Hampshire University  
Date: November 2, 2022
Docket Number: 2022-0154

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Melissa Donovan appealed a superior court order granting summary judgment in favor of defendant Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), based upon the court’s finding that no public policy considerations…

Colquhoun v. City of Nashua  
Date: October 26, 2022
Docket Number: 2021-0253

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Laura Colquhoun filed a complaint against defendant City of Nashua, after the City denied her Right-to-Know Law request for all email communications between two City employees during a specific two-month…

Gascard v. Hall et al.  
Date: October 20, 2022
Docket Number: 2021-0151

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Lorettann Gascard appealed a superior court order dismissing her complaint against defendants, Andrew Hall and Newspapers of New Hampshire, Inc., d/b/a Concord Monitor (Concord Monitor). The plaintiff asserts…

New Hampshire v. Luwal  
Date: October 20, 2022
Docket Number: 2022-0140

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Nyok Deng Luwal appealed a superior court order ruling that RSA 597:6-e (Supp. 2021) did not confer jurisdiction to the superior court to review a circuit court’s order revoking bail. The State and defendant…

Appeal of Eleonora Porobic  
Date: October 18, 2022
Docket Number: 2021-0289

Justia Opinion Summary: This case involved a challenge to the Town of Bartlett’s 2018 tax assessment of a single-family home located on 0.88 acres of land owned by petitioner Eleonora Porobic. In 2017, the property was assessed at $206,000. In…

Appeal of Vasquez  
Date: September 30, 2022
Docket Numbers: 2021-0071, 2021-0072

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners Javier Vasquez and his employer, Matosantos International Corporation (MIC), appealed a New Hampshire Compensation Appeals Board (CAB) determination that it could not order respondent, The Hartford Insurance…

New Hampshire v. Butler  
Date: September 28, 2022
Docket Number: 2021-0087

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Kevin Butler was convicted after a bench trial on two counts of animal cruelty. One of defendant’s neighbors was leaving her apartment to run errands when she noticed a dog inside a parked Honda Civic. After 45…

New Hampshire v. Verrill  
Date: September 14, 2022
Docket Number: 2021-0093

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Timothy Verrill appealed a superior court order denying his motion to dismiss his pending indictments with prejudice after his unopposed motion for a mistrial had been granted. He contended the Double Jeopardy…

Barufaldi v. City of Dover  
Date: September 9, 2022
Docket Number: 2021-0244

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Daniel Barufaldi, appealed a superior court dismissal of his complaint against defendant the City of Dover. Plaintiff was first hired as the Director of Economic Development for the Dover Business and Industry…

Appeal of Wittenauer  
Date: September 7, 2022
Docket Number: 2021-0369

Justia Opinion Summary: Claimant Caitlyn Wittenauer, appealed a New Hampshire Compensation Appeals Board (CAB) decision denying her workers’ compensation benefits. In 2019, Claiming injured her left shoulder lifting boxes at her job with Nike,…

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.