2015 New Hampshire Revised Statutes
Title XLIII - DOMESTIC RELATIONS
Chapter 458 - ANNULMENT, DIVORCE AND SEPARATION
Section 458:9 - Venue; Notice.
458:9 Venue; Notice. All petitions initiated under RSA 168-A, RSA 458, and RSA 458-C shall be brought in the county in which either party lives and before the superior court; and notice thereof shall be given to the respondent as required by this section.
I. If the parties file a joint petition, the petition shall be filed at the appropriate court without further service or notice required.
II. An individual petition shall be filed with the appropriate court, together with the filing fee, by the petitioner. Upon the filing of a petition, the court shall issue orders of notice, attached to the petition, which the petitioner shall then serve on the respondent as provided in this section:
(a) Service within the state shall be made either by:
(1) A sheriff, in hand or by leaving an attested copy of the petition, orders of notice, and an appearance form at the respondent's abode, within 25 days of receipt of orders of notice. The return of service shall state the street and number, or some other description, of the abode. The petitioner shall file the return of service with the court as proof of service.
(2) Certified mail, return receipt requested, restricted delivery, mailed within 7 days of receipt of orders of notice, signed by the addressee only. The petitioner shall file the return receipt with the court as proof of service.
(b) Service outside the state shall be made either by:
(1) An officer authorized to make service of process in the state where the respondent lives. Proof of out-of-state service shall be made by a return of the officer under oath, accompanied by an official certificate of his or her official character or authority. The petitioner shall file the return of service with the court as proof of service.
(2) Certified mail, return receipt requested, restricted delivery, signed by the addressee only. The petitioner shall file the return receipt with the court as proof of service.
II-a. In lieu of service as described in paragraph II, the court may, after issuing orders of notice, send notice to the respondent indicating that the petition has been filed and that the respondent or the respondent's attorney may accept service at the court within 10 days. If neither the respondent nor the attorney for the respondent accepts service at the court within 10 days as specified in the correspondence, the petition shall be forwarded to the petitioner for service in accordance with paragraph II.
III. When the residence of the respondent is not known, the petition shall state the respondent's last known post office address, and the name and post office address of some near relative of the respondent, if any is known to the petitioner, and otherwise the name and post office address of some friend of the respondent, such facts to be verified by the petitioner's personal affidavit filed with the petition. The petitioner shall file the petition with the court together with the name and address of a newspaper published in the city or town nearest to the respondent's last known address. Service shall then be ordered by publication in the newspaper, with publication to be completed not less than 15 days before the return date, and by certified mail addressed to the respondent, care of the relative or friend of the respondent, or otherwise as the court may order. Publication may be waived for good cause upon motion to the court.
Source. RS 148:6. CS 157:6. GS 163:5. GL 182:5. PS 175:8. PL 287:8. RL 339:8. 2001, 147:1. 2004, 114:1, eff. May 17, 2004; 169:4, eff. May 17, 2004 at 12:01 a.m. 2005, 57:1, eff. July 1, 2005; 177:17, eff. July 1, 2005.
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