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RULES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

ADMINISTRATIVE RULES 35 TO 61

Rule 61. New Hampshire Circuit Court Judicial Certification Rule.

   
    RSA chapter 490-F (effective July 1, 2011) created the New Hampshire Circuit Court with three divisions: district, probate and family.  RSA 490-F:6 allows judges to be assigned to one or more divisions of the circuit court and requires a judge to be certified by the supreme court, prior to being assigned to a new division.

   
In order to assure judicial quality in all circuit court divisions, the following rule for judicial certification shall apply:  

        (1) Active judges appointed to the probate court as of June 30, 2011 are automatically certified in the circuit court probate division, pursuant to RSA 490-F:6, IV(a).

        (2) Active judges appointed to the district court as of June 30, 2011 are automatically certified in the circuit court district division, pursuant to RSA 490-F:6, IV(b).

        (3)  Active judges certified in the family division as of June 30, 2011 are automatically certified in the circuit court family division, pursuant to RSA 490-F:6, IV(c).

        (4)  A judge who has previously been appointed and served as a judge presiding over certain case types may be automatically certified in the corresponding circuit court division and assigned by the administrative judge to hear only those cases until such time as the judge receives appropriate training on the other case types of the division; for example, a district court judge who has presided over juvenile matters in the district court may continue to hear those cases in the family division until further training on other case types; a probate judge who has presided over termination of parental rights cases in the probate court may continue to hear those cases in the family division until further training on other case types.

        (5)  Any active judge appointed to the district court or probate court prior to June 30, 2011 may seek certification from the supreme court in additional divisions within the circuit court.  Certification requests will be considered based on recommendations of the circuit court administrative judge, who will consider the knowledge, commitment to, and expertise of the judge in the subject matter of the particular division to which the judge seeks certification.

        (6)  All judges appointed to the circuit court on or after July 1, 2011 shall be deemed certified in all circuit court divisions upon appointment.


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