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
Bloom v. Casella Construction, Inc.  
Date: October 16, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-0425

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Eileen Bloom appealed a superior court order granting summary judgment to defendant Casella Construction, Inc. (Casella), ruling that the defendant did not owe the plaintiff a duty of care and was not otherwise...

Working Stiff Partners, LLC v. City of Portsmouth  
Date: September 27, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-0491

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Working Stiff Partners, LLC, appealed a superior court order upholding a decision of the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) for defendant City of Portsmouth (City), and denying injunctive relief. Plaintiff renova...

New Hampshire v. Stillwell  
Date: September 18, 2019
Docket Number: 2017-0361

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Adrien Stillwell was convicted by jury on one count of first degree murder, one count of second degree murder, and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. Paulson Papillon sold drugs to M.P. and to a confiden...

Girard v. Town of Plymouth  
Date: August 30, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-0495

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs Denis Girard and Florence Leduc appealed a superior court order upholding a decision of the Town of Plymouth Planning Board denying their subdivision application. They argued the trial court erred in upholding...

Appeal of Preve  
Date: August 22, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-0675

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Wayne Preve appealed a New Hampshire Department of Labor (DOL) ruling that he failed to prove that respondent Town of Epsom (Town) violated the New Hampshire Whistleblowers’ Protection Act. Petitioner worked f...

New Hampshire v. Castine  
Date: August 21, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-0441

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant James Castine was convicted by jury of selling a controlled drug. A Rockingham County Drug Task Force confidential informant told police he could purchase heroin from defendant. The informant agreed to conduct...

Automated Transactions, LLC v. American Bankers Assn.  
Date: August 16, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-0198

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs Automated Transactions, LLC (ATL) and David Barcelou, appealed a superior court order dismissing their defamation and New Hampshire Consumer Protection Act (CPA) claims against the defendants, American Bankers...

Boyle v. Dwyer  
Date: August 16, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-0517

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs James Boyle, individually and as trustee of 150 Greenleaf Avenue Realty Trust, and Minato Auto, LLC, appealed a superior court order dismissing their defamation claim against defendant Mary Christine Dwyer. Th...

New Hampshire v. Folds  
Date: August 8, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-0029

Justia Opinion Summary: The State appealed a superior court order pertaining to the conviction of defendant Jonathan Folds' motion to suppress a firearm and motion to dismiss two indictments that alleged he violated the armed career criminal st...

In the Matter of Steven Summers & Christine Summers  
Date: August 6, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-0264

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent Christine Summers (Mother) appealed, and petitioner Steven Summers (Father) cross-appealed a circuit court order which modified the parties’ prior parenting plans. On appeal, Mother contended the trial court u...

Virgin v. Fireworks of Tilton, LLC  
Date: August 6, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-0526

Justia Opinion Summary: In March 2016, plaintiff James Virgin filed a personal injury lawsuit against defendants Fireworks of Tilton, LLC (Fireworks of Tilton) and Foursquare Imports, LLC d/b/a AAH Fireworks, LLC (Foursquare). As pertinent to t...

Petition of the State of New Hampshire  
Date: August 6, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-0601

Justia Opinion Summary: The State of New Hampshire filed a petition for original jurisdiction seeking review of a circuit court order denying a request by the Office of the Attorney General (AGO) to release records underlying its investigation...

Rankin v. South Street Downtown Holdings, Inc.  
Date: August 6, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-0604

Justia Opinion Summary: The trial court certified a question of law to the New Hampshire Supreme Court on interlocutory transfer. John Rankin (Rankin) and his wife MaryAnne (collectively, plaintiffs)sued after Rankin fell while leaving a busine...

Toy v. City of Rochester  
Date: July 30, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-0172

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants, the City of Rochester (City) and Michael and Stacey Philbrook, appealed superior court orders : (1) requiring the City to reacquire title to a parcel of land it previously conveyed to the Philbrooks and trans...

Hoyle, Tanner & Associates, Inc. v. 150 Realty, LLC  
Date: July 30, 2019
Docket Number: 2018-0182

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants, 150 Realty, LLC and Harbour Links Estates, LLC, appeal superior court orders denying their motions to dismiss or stay actions filed by plaintiffs, Hoyle, Tanner & Associates, Inc. (HTA), McLean Communications...

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.