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Judicial Branch, State of New Hampshire

Laura Kiernan
Communications Director
603-271-2646 ext 2359

See Photos of previous "On the Road" sessions


Supreme Court's 12th "On the Road" session set for Thursday, October 21

at Sanborn Regional High School in Kingston

CONCORD, Oct 18 --The New Hampshire Supreme Court will hold its 12th "On the Road" special session Thursday, October 21 at Sanborn Regional High School in Kingston, providing more than 500 students from 11 schools an up close look at the appellate court and its work.

The moderator for the Supreme Court special session will be Rockingham County Superior Court Justice Tina L. Nadeau. Seating is reserved for students from participating schools; 20 seats are available to the public on a first-come first-served basis.     

New Hampshire Attorney General Michael A. Delaney will meet tomorrow at Sanborn Regional with more than 100 students to brief them on the legal issues involved in the two cases that will be heard by the Supreme Court at Thursday's event. Each year, volunteer lawyers make advance visits to all the participating schools, in order to enhance the educational benefit of the project and provide students with an opportunity to learn about the court and the legal profession. Preparation materials are provided in advance to all schools by the court communications office.

In addition to students from Sanborn Regional, students from the following schools are also participating in the October 21 program: Newmarket Junior/Senior High School; Raymond High School; Portsmouth High School; Epping High School; Oyster River High School; Exeter High School; Dover High School; Winnacunnet High School; Somersworth High School; and Timberlane Regional High School.

Attorneys who have volunteered to visit the participating schools, in addition to Attorney General Delaney are John T. Pendleton; Erin Murphy; David M. Rothstein; Harry N. Starbranch Jr.; Ann Rice; Joachim Barth; Joseph E. Welsh; Richard Samdperil; John E. Durkin and Ryan Russman.

For the first time, the event will be available through live video-conferencing technology to students and teachers from several North Country schools through the Granite State Distance Learning Network. The network, a partnership of 40 public and private organizations, provides distance learning opportunities through video-conferencing technology throughout New Hampshire. Video-conferencing of the October 21 Supreme Court event will be made available to about 70 students from Lin-wood High School, which includes the towns of Lincoln and Woodstock and Lisbon High School in northwestern New Hampshire.

Since 2002, the members of the Supreme Court have traveled to a different location around the state to provide high school students with a unique opportunity to learn about the justices, their careers and experiences as members of the state Supreme Court. The event includes an informal question and answer session both with the lawyers who are appearing before the court during the session and with the justices themselves. The same protocols used at the Supreme Court in Concord during oral argument will be followed during the session at Sanborn Regional. After each case is heard, the lawyers involved take questions from the student audience about the cases they have just presented.

The "On the Road" program  was launched in May 2002 at St. Anselm College in Manchester.  Since then, sessions have been held at Dover High School, Dartmouth College, Plymouth State University, Keene State College, Nashua North High School and Phillips Exeter Academy, Berlin Junior High School, Bow, Souhegan and Memorial High Schools. These sessions are the only occasion when the Court convenes outside the Supreme Court building in Concord. More than 4,000 high school and college students have participated in the program since it began.

Both cases before the Supreme Court on October 21 involve the right of citizens to be protected from unreasonable searches or seizures by law enforcement officials. In State of New Hampshire v. Joshua Boutin, the trial court found that a police officer's decision to approach Boutin's car, which was parked on the side of the road on a dark winter night, was a reasonable exercise of the officer's "community caretaking" duties. A subsequent search of the car uncovered marijuana and Boutin was later convicted of a misdemeanor count of possession of drugs in a motor vehicle. Boutin claimed the police officer had no reason to approach his car and the evidence against him should have been thrown out as the "fruit" of an illegal seizure.

In the second case, State of New Hampshire v. David Orde, the defendant challenges action by a police officer who saw marijuana plants "in plain view" on the deck at the defendant's house. The police officer, who had come to the house to serve a civil complaint for failure to renew a dog license, went up on the deck after no one answered a knock at the door. The defendant says he had a reasonable expectation of privacy for the deck area and that the police officer, who was also acting on a complaint that turned out to be invalid, violated his rights against illegal searches. Orde was convicted of manufacturing a controlled drug.

To learn more about the Supreme Court's "On the Road" program, and for summaries of the two cases to be heard by the court on October 21, go to http://www.courts.state.nh.us/student/ontheroad.htm