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Supreme Court Rules Table of Contents

RULES OF THE SUPREME COURT
OF THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

PROCEDURAL RULES 1 TO 34

 

Rule 3. Definitions.

 
"Administrative agency": Includes agency, board, commission, or officer.


"Appeal": Appellate review of rulings adverse to a party, after a final decision on the merits in a trial court.


"Appeal document": Includes notice of mandatory appeal (Rule 7), notice of discretionary appeal (Rule 7), interlocutory appeal (Rule 8), interlocutory transfer without ruling (Rule 9), appeal from administrative agency by petition (Rule 10), and petition for original jurisdiction (Rule 11).


"Appeal from administrative agency by petition": Appellate review of a party's grounds for asserting that an administrative agency's final order or decision on the merits is unlawful or unreasonable.


"Briefs":

"Opening brief": The brief filed first pursuant to court order.

"Opposing brief": The brief filed by the opposing party after the filing of the opening brief.

"Reply brief": See Rule 16(7).

"Supplemental brief": See Rule 16(7).


"Clerk": Where the context refers to the clerk of a trial court, "clerk" includes a clerk of a trial court, a register of probate, or the administrative agency official who is the equivalent of a clerk of court or who is charged with performing the duties associated with a clerk of court, and their respective assistants and deputies; where the context refers to the clerk of the supreme court, "clerk" includes his or her assistants and deputies.


"Decision on the merits": Includes order, verdict, opinion, decree, or sentence following a hearing on the merits or trial on the merits and the decision on motions made after such order, verdict, opinion, decree or sentence. Untimely filed post-trial motions will not stay the running of the appeal period unless the trial court waives the untimeliness within the appeal period.


"Declination of acceptance order": The supreme court does not deem it desirable to review the issues in a case, as a matter of sound judicial discretion and with no implication whatever regarding its views on the merits.


"First class mail": First class postage prepaid, whether certified, registered, uncertified, or unregistered.


"Interlocutory appeal": Appellate review of rulings adverse to a party, before a final decision on the merits in a trial court.


"Interlocutory transfer without ruling": Appellate review of questions of law transferred by a trial court or administrative agency before a final decision on the merits in the trial court or administrative agency and without ruling by the trial court or administrative agency.


"Mandatory appeal": A mandatory appeal shall be accepted by the supreme court for review on the merits. A mandatory appeal is an appeal filed by the State pursuant to RSA 606:10, or an appeal from a final decision on the merits issued by a superior court, district court, probate court, or family division court, that is in compliance with these rules.  Provided, however, that the following appeals are NOT mandatory appeals:

(1) an appeal from a final decision on the merits issued in a post-conviction review proceeding (including petitions for writ of habeas corpus and motions for new trial);

(2) an appeal from a final decision on the merits issued in a collateral challenge to any conviction or sentence;

(3) an appeal from a final decision on the merits issued in a sentence modification or suspension proceeding;

(4) an appeal from a final decision on the merits issued in an imposition of sentence proceeding;

(5) an appeal from a final decision on the merits issued in a parole revocation proceeding;

(6) an appeal from a final decision on the merits issued in a probation revocation proceeding.;

(7) an appeal from a final decision on the merits issued in a landlord/tenant action filed under RSA chapter 540 or in a possessory action filed under RSA chapter 540; and

(8) an appeal from an order denying a motion to intervene; and

(9) an appeal from a final decision on the merits, other than the first final order, issued in, or arising out of, a domestic relations matter filed under RSA Title XLIII (RSA chapters 457 to 461-A).

Comment

A trial court order denying a motion by a non-party to intervene in a trial court proceeding is treated as a "final decision on the merits" for purposes of appeal.  Thus, such an order is immediately appealable to the supreme court.  Pursuant to this rule, however, such an appeal is not a mandatory appeal.  Therefore, a non-party who wishes to appeal the trial court's denial of the non-party's motion to intervene must file an appeal pursuant to Rule 7(1)(B) within the time allowed for appeal under that rule. 

Under paragraph (9), only appeals from first final orders in domestic relations matters filed under RSA Title XLIII are mandatory appeals.  The April 4, 2014 amendment to paragraph (9) changes the language of the prior rule which provided that only appeals from final divorce decrees or decrees of legal separation were mandatory appeals. The change addresses the claim, identified in In the Matter of Miller & Todd, 161 N.H. 630 (2011), that providing for mandatory review of appeals involving married parents but discretionary review of appeals involving non-married parents raises constitutional concerns.  


"Moving party": The plaintiff in an interlocutory transfer, the party appealing by appeal or by interlocutory appeal, or the party petitioning that the supreme court exercise its original jurisdiction.


"Notice of appeal": The notice filed to initiate an appeal from the trial court's final decision on the merits, in the form prescribed by these rules.


"Petition for original jurisdiction": Request that the supreme court exercise its original jurisdiction, whether exclusive or nonexclusive and whether in aid of its appellate jurisdiction or its supervisory jurisdiction, and that the court issue an extraordinary writ or grant other suitable relief.


"Trial court reporter": Trial court or administrative agency reporter.

 

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