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Superior Court Rules Table of Contents

RULES OF THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE APPLICABLE IN CRIMINAL CASES FILED IN SUPERIOR COURT

 

[Editor’s note:  For civil cases filed or pending in Superior Court on or after October 1, 2013, see the Rules of the Superior Court of the State of New Hampshire Applicable in Civil Actions.]

[Editor’s note: The Rules of the Superior Court of the State of New Hampshire Applicable in Criminal Cases do not apply to criminal cases pending or filed in Strafford and Cheshire counties on or after January 1, 2016. The Strafford and Cheshire County Rules of Criminal Procedure shall apply to criminal cases pending or filed on or after January 1, 2016 in Strafford and Cheshire counties.]

APPEARANCES --  GENERAL, SPECIAL, AND LIMITED


    14. (a)  The names of the attorneys or parties, who conduct each cause, shall be entered upon the docket; and if the defendant shall neglect to enter an appearance within seven days after the return day of the writ, he shall be defaulted, and judgment shall be rendered accordingly; and no such default shall be stricken off, except by agreement, or by order of the Court upon such terms as justice may require, upon motion and affidavit of defense, specifically setting forth the defense and the facts on which the defense is based.

    (b)  Special appearances shall be deemed general thirty days after the return day of the action, unless a special plea or motion to dismiss is filed within that time.

    (c)  No person who is not a lawyer will be permitted to appear, plead, prosecute or defend any action for any party, other than himself or herself,  unless of good character and until there is on file with the Clerk: (1)  a power of attorney signed by the party for whom he or she seeks to appear and witnessed and acknowledged before a Justice of the Peace or Notary Public, constituting said person his or her attorney to appear in the particular action; and (2)  an affidavit under oath in which said person discloses  (a) all of said person's misdemeanor and felony convictions (other than those in which a record of the conviction has been annulled by statute), (b) all instances in which said person has been found by any court to have violated a court order or any provision of the rules of professional conduct applicable to nonlawyer representatives, (c) all prior proceedings in which said person has been permitted to appear, plead, prosecute or defend any action for any party, other than himself or herself, in any court, (d) all prior proceedings in which said person has not been permitted to appear, plead, prosecute or defend any action for any party, other than himself or herself, in any court, and (e) all prior proceedings in which said person’s permission to appear, plead, prosecute or defend any action for any party, other than himself or herself, in any court has been revoked.  Any person who is not a lawyer who is permitted to represent any other person before any court of this State must comply with the Rules of Professional Conduct as set forth in Professional Conduct Rule 8.5, and shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the committee on professional conduct.  

   (d) Limited Appearance of Attorneys. To the extent permitted by Rule 1.2 of the New Hampshire Rules of Professional Conduct, an attorney providing limited representation to an otherwise unrepresented litigant may file a limited appearance in a non-criminal case on behalf of  such unrepresented party.  The limited appearance shall state precisely the scope of the limited representation, and the attorney’s involvement in the matter shall be limited only to what is specifically stated. The requirements of Superior Court Rule 15(a), (b) and (c) shall apply to every pleading and motion signed by the limited representation attorney.  An attorney who has filed a limited appearance, and who later files a pleading or motion outside the scope of the limited representation, shall be deemed to have amended the limited appearance to extend to such filing.  An attorney who signs a writ, petition, counterclaim, cross-claim or any amendment thereto which is filed with the court, will be considered to have filed a general appearance and, for the remainder of that attorney’s involvement in the case, shall not be considered as a limited representation attorney under these rules; provided, however, if such attorney properly withdraws from the case and the withdrawal is allowed by the Court, the attorney could later file a limited appearance in the same matter.

   (e) Automatic Withdrawal of Court-Appointed Counsel in Criminal Cases.  In all criminal cases, the appearance of counsel for the defendant shall be deemed to be withdrawn thirty (30) days after sentence is imposed unless the sentence imposed was a deferred sentence or unless a post-sentencing motion is filed within said thirty (30) day period.  Where a deferred sentence is imposed, the appearance of counsel for the defendant shall be deemed to be withdrawn thirty (30) days after the deferred sentence is brought forward or suspended.  Where a post-sentencing motion is filed within thirty (30) days after imposition of sentence, the appearance of counsel for the defendant shall be deemed to be withdrawn thirty (30) days after the court rules on said motion.  Provided, however, that in any criminal case in which an appeal to the supreme court is filed, trial counsel shall remain responsible for representing the defendant in the supreme court pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 32. 

(f) Continuity of Counsel in Circuit and Superior Courts. Where a defendant in a criminal case has filed a financial affidavit and has been determined to be eligible for court-appointed counsel in the circuit court, the defendant shall not be required to file a new financial affidavit upon the appeal or transfer of the same case to the superior court unless facts are brought to the court's attention indicating that there has been a substantial change in the defendant's financial circumstances. Notwithstanding subsection (e) of this rule, when counsel appears for a defendant in a criminal case in the circuit court, said appearance shall be deemed to continue upon any appeal or transfer of the same case to the superior court and until the case is finally disposed of in the trial courts.

    15. (a)  All pleadings and the appearance and withdrawal of counsel shall be signed by the attorney of record or his associate or by a pro se party. Names, addresses, New Hampshire Bar identification numbers and telephone numbers shall be typed or stamped beneath all signatures on papers to be filed or served. No attorney or pro se party will be heard until his appearance is so entered.

    (b)  The signature of an attorney to a pleading constitutes a certificate by him that he has read the pleading; that to the best of his knowledge, information and belief there is a good ground to support it; and that it is not interposed for delay.

    (c)  If a pleading is not signed, or is signed with an intent to defeat the purpose of this rule, it may be stricken and the action may proceed as though the pleading had not been filed.

    (d)  Other than limited representation by attorneys as allowed by Rule 14(d) and Professional Conduct Rule 1.2(f)) and subject to (g) below, no attorney shall be permitted to withdraw that attorney’s appearance in a case after the case has been assigned for trial or hearing, except upon motion to permit such withdrawal granted by the Court for good cause shown, and on such terms as the Court may order. Any motion to withdraw filed by counsel shall set forth the reason therefor but shall be effective only upon approval by the Court. A factor which may be considered by the Court in determining whether good cause for withdrawal has been shown is the client's failure to meet his or her financial obligations to pay for the attorney's services.

    (e)   Automatic Termination of Limited Representation.  Any limited representation appearance filed by an attorney, as authorized under Professional Conduct Rule 1.2(f)) and Rule 14(d) of this Court, shall automatically terminate upon completion of the agreed representation, without the necessity of leave of Court, provided that the attorney shall provide the Court a “withdrawal of limited appearance” form giving notice to the Court and all parties of the completion of the limited representation and termination of the limited appearance.  Any attorney having filed a limited appearance who seeks to withdraw prior to the completion of the limited representation stated in the limited appearance, however, must comply with Rule 15(d).

    (f) Pleading Prepared for Unrepresented Party.  When an attorney provides limited representation to an otherwise unrepresented party, by drafting a document to be filed by such party with the Court in a proceeding in which (1) the attorney is not entering any appearance, or (2) the attorney has entered a limited appearance which does not include representation regarding such document, the attorney is not required to disclose the attorney’s name on such pleading to be used by that party; any pleading drafted by such limited representation attorney, however, must conspicuously contain the statement “This pleading was prepared with the assistance of a New Hampshire attorney.” The unrepresented party must comply with this required disclosure.  Notwithstanding that the identity of the drafting attorney need not be required to be disclosed under this rule, by drafting a pleading to be used in court by an otherwise unrepresented party, the limited representation attorney shall be deemed to have made those same certifications as set forth in Rule 15(b) despite the fact the pleading need not be signed by the attorney.

(g) Withdrawal of Appointed Counsel. If appointed counsel in a criminal matter must withdraw due to a conflict of interest as defined by Rules 1.7(a), 1.9(a) and (b) and/or 1.10(a), (b), and (c) of the New Hampshire Rules of Professional Conduct, counsel shall forward a Notice of Withdrawal to the court and substitute counsel shall be appointed forthwith. Court approval of a withdrawal shall not be required in this circumstance unless the Notice of Withdrawal is filed less than 20 days from the date of a trial in which case Court approval shall be required. Automatic withdrawal shall not be allowed and court approval shall be required if the basis for the withdrawal is a breakdown in the relationship with the client, the failure of the client to pay legal fees, or any other conflict not specifically set forth in Rules 1.7(a), 1.9(a) and (b) and/or 1.10(a), (b) and (c) of the New Hampshire Rules of Professional Conduct.

 

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