DATE: January 2, 2008                                                                CONTACT: Laura Kiernan
                                                                                                                          Judicial Branch
                                                                                                                          Communications Office
                                                                                                                          603-271-2646 ext 2359



New Guide to the New Hampshire Courts Published Online

Includes information about judicial system, lawmaking and legal services


CONCORD—The Judicial Branch today published "Your Guide to the New Hampshire Courts," a new comprehensive handbook for citizens who want to learn more about the work of the state courts as well as how laws are made and how the legal profession supports the justice system through services for the public. The guide was produced by the Judicial Branch Communications Office, in cooperation with the New Hampshire Bar Association.

Publication of the guide, in electronic and print form, was made possible by a grant from the New Hampshire Bar Foundation, a charitable foundation supporting civil legal services for the disadvantaged and law-related educational programs. The guide is available on the Judicial Branch website,, and on the NH Bar Association website, at

In a joint letter to citizens, Chief Justice John T. Broderick Jr., and NH Bar president Eleanor W. Dahar, said they hoped citizens would find the guide to be an "informative, user-friendly" way to learn about the courts, which " play a crucial role in the day to day life of our communities."

"Family matters, criminal prosecutions, civil disputes, landlord-tenant cases, small claims matter and all the other issues that are resolved in our courtrooms impact the lives of thousands of New Hampshire citizens. Everyone, even those who may never set foot inside a courtroom, has an interest in understanding how the system works," the letter said.

Chief Justice Broderick and Bar president Dahar also thanked the NH Bar Foundation for "longstanding financial support for justice-related projects " which they said have made "an immeasurable contribution to the vitality and strength of New Hampshire’s legal system."

The guide includes practical information on a wide range of topics involved in the administration of justice including:

· A chart on the structure of the court system and a map identifying all court locations in the state

· Explanations of criminal and civil law cases, with examples

· Discussion of the three branches of government and how laws are made, including a timeline of the progress of one bill through the state legislature

· Descriptions of the rights of the accused, and the rights of crime victims

· Information about available legal resources, including the state law library, and public information programs about the legal system as well as a brief glossary of legal terms.

For more information about the guide, contact the Court Communications Office, 603-271-2646, ext. 2359.