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.
New Hampshire v. Girard
Date: October 16, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Stephen Girard was charged with two counts of misuse of a computer or network, two counts of indecent exposure, and two counts of witness tampering. He was acquitted of the witness tampering charges and convict...
Petition of New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth & Families
Date: September 30, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: The New Hampshire Supreme Court accepted review of the Division for Children, Youth and Families' (DCYF) petition in its original jurisdiction to determine whether the superior court erred in denying DCYF's motions to di...
Hodges v. Johnson
Date: September 23, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants Alan Johnson and William Saturley were the former co-trustees of the 2004 David A. Hodges, Sr. Irrevocable GST Exempt Trust and the 2004 David A. Hodges, Sr. Irrevocable GST Non-Exempt Trust (collectively, the...
New Hampshire v. Fitzgerald
Date: September 22, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Keith Fitzgerald appealed a superior court order denying his motion for a new trial based on ineffective assistance of counsel. In December 2015, defendant was indicted on five counts of theft by unauthorized t...
Mentis Sciences, Inc. v. Pittsburgh Networks, LLC
Date: September 22, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Mentis Sciences, Inc. appealed a superior court order dismissing its claims for damages representing the cost of recreating lost data and lost business and negligence against defendant Pittsburgh Networks, LLC....
New Hampshire v. Williams
Date: September 18, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Laura Williams appealed circuit court orders denying her petitions to annul records of conviction and arrest, as well as charges not resulting in conviction, because she had subsequent convictions. After review...
In re Guardianship of D.E.
Date: September 18, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: In February 2020, the 79-year-old ward was a patient at a hospital in Lebanon, New Hampshire. At that time, the hospital filed a petition to appoint a guardian over the ward’s person and estate. The hospital alleged a gu...
Red Oak Apartment Homes, LLC v. Strategis Floor & Decor, Inc.
Date: September 9, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Red Oak Apartment Homes, LLC, appealed a superior court decision dismissing its complaint against defendant Strategis Floor & Decor, Inc. (Strategis), and dismissing plaintiff’s claims against Strategis on grou...
Burt v. Speaker of the House of Representatives
Date: August 28, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant John Burt, a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, appealed a superior court order that dismissed his complaint against Stephen Shurtleff, in his official capacity as the Speaker of the New Hamp...
Bellevue Properties, Inc. v. Town of Conway
Date: August 25, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Bellevue Properties, Inc. appealed a superior court order affirming the Town of Conway’s decision to discontinue a public way that provided access to the plaintiff’s property. Plaintiff argued the trial court...
New Hampshire v. Minson
Date: August 18, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: Shawn Minson was convicted after a bench trial for felony cocaine possession, possession with intent to dispense the controlled drug fentanyl in a quantity of five grams or more, and possession with intent to dispense th...
Appeal of Laura LeBorgne
Date: August 12, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Laura LeBorgne appealed a New Hampshire Compensation Appeals Board (CAB) decision upholding the denial of her request for reimbursement for massage therapy that she received in New York to treat an injury suff...
Horton v. Clemens
Date: August 11, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs-landlords Richard and Janice Horton appealed a circuit court order dismissing their petition to evict defendants-tenants David Clemens and April Hanks, for nonpayment of rent on the ground that the eviction no...
New Hampshire v. Munroe
Date: August 4, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Michael Munroe was convicted by jury on one count of assault by a prisoner. He argued on appeal the superior court erred by: (1) striking his notice of self-defense; (2) overruling his hearsay objection to test...
In re J.P.
Date: July 31, 2020
Justia Opinion Summary: Respondents, the mother and stepfather of J.P., a minor child, appealed Probate Court orders: (1) vacating the stepfather’s adoption of J.P. due to lack of notice of the adoption proceeding to the petitioner, J.P.’s biol...