Superior Court Rules Table of Contents
214. BUSINESS AND COMMERCIAL DISPUTE DOCKET
(I) Pursuant to RSA 491:7-a, upon the appointment by the Governor and Council of its initial presiding superior court justice, a Business and Commercial Dispute Docket (BCDD) is hereby established in the Merrimack County Superior Court. The chief justice of the superior court may from time to time assign additional superior court justices to the BCDD consistent with its caseload and other needs of the superior court.
(a) “Business entity” shall have the definition specified in RSA 491:7-a, II(a).
(b) “Consumer” shall have the definition specified in RSA 491:7-a, II(b).
(III) Jurisdiction of BCDD. The BCDD shall have jurisdiction when the following requirements are met:
(a) all parties have consented to the jurisdiction of the BCDD;
(b) at least one party to the action is a business entity;
(c) no party to the action is a consumer;
(d) if the action involves a claim for money damages, the amount in controversy exceeds $50,000.00; and
(e) the principal claim or claims arise from or involve the following:
(i) Claims arising from breach of contract or fiduciary duties, fraud, misrepresentation, business tort, or statutory violations arising out of business dealings or transactions.
(ii) Claims arising from transactions under the Uniform Commercial Code.
(iii) Claims arising from the purchase, sale and lease of commercial real or personal property or security interests therein.
(iv) Claims related to surety bonds.
(v) Franchisee/franchisor relationships and liabilities.
(vi) Malpractice claims of non-medical professionals in connection with rendering services to a business enterprise.
(vii) Real estate title petitions.
(viii) Shareholder derivative actions.
(ix) Commercial class actions.
(x) Commercial bank transactions.
(xi) Actions relating to the internal affairs or governance; dissolution or liquidation rights or obligations between and among owners, including shareholders, partners, or members; or liability or indemnity of managers, including officers, directors, managers, trustees, or members or partners functioning as managers, of corporations, partnerships, limited partnerships, limited liability companies or partnerships, professional associations, business trusts, joint ventures, or other business enterprises.
(xii) Business insolvencies and receiverships.
(xiii) Other complex disputes of a business or commercial nature.
(IV) Waiver of Venue. Although located in the Merrimack County Superior Court, the BCDD shall have the authority to accept cases filed or which could be filed in any superior court throughout the State of New Hampshire. By agreeing to submit a dispute to the BCDD, the parties shall be deemed to have waived any challenges to venue and to have consented to the case being heard for all purposes in Merrimack County. However, by agreeing to submit a dispute to the BCDD, no party shall be deemed to have waived its right to challenge the personal or subject matter jurisdiction of the courts of New Hampshire over the case in controversy.
(V) Assignment of Cases to the BCDD:
(a) Existing Cases. Cases pending as of the effective date of this rule shall be transferred to the BCDD upon motion of any party specifying the basis for BCDD jurisdiction and including the written agreement or stipulation of all other parties. Such motions shall be filed in the court where the action is pending, but shall be referred to the presiding justice of the BCDD for ruling.
(b) New Matters. A writ or petition filed after the effective date of this rule shall be assigned to the BCDD upon motion of any party specifying the basis for BCDD jurisdiction and including the written agreement or stipulation of all other parties. In the absence of a showing of good cause for filing at a later time, the motion must be filed before the initial structuring conference. Such motions shall be filed in the court where the action is pending, but shall be referred to the presiding justice of the BCDD for ruling.
(c) In the case of a writ or petition filed after the effective date of this rule in which the plaintiff believes the case meets the requirements for acceptance into the BCDD and in which the plaintiff requests the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or a preliminary injunction, the plaintiff may file said action in the Merrimack County Superior Court along with a brief statement articulating the reasons why the case should be accepted into the BCDD. The writ or petition and the brief statement shall immediately be brought to the attention of the presiding justice of the BCDD, who shall make a preliminary determination of whether the case meets the requirements for the BCDD other than the requirement of consent by all parties. If the presiding justice of the BCDD makes this determination, the case may be scheduled for a hearing on the request for a temporary restraining order and/or a preliminary injunction. If the presiding justice of the BCDD does not make this determination, the case shall be transferred to a superior court wherein venue over the case appears proper.
Prior to the time of hearing on the request for a temporary restraining order or preliminary objection, the court shall provide all defendants with notice of such request in a manner which the court determines is reasonable under all the circumstances, including the need for the court to address the requests for preliminary relief in a timely manner. Prior to the time of the hearing on the request for preliminary relief, any adverse party may object as of right to the case being heard by the BCDD and if such objection is filed the case shall not be heard by the BCDD but shall be transferred to a superior court wherein venue over the case appears proper. Failure of a party to object to the case being heard by the BCDD prior to the time of the first hearing on the request for interim relief shall constitute consent to the case being heard by the BCDD for all purposes.
(d) Non-Acceptance by BCDD. Notwithstanding the agreement of all parties that a case be heard by the BCDD, the presiding justice of the BCDD shall decline to accept the case if said justice determines that the case does not meet the requirements for BCDD jurisdiction. The BCDD justice making such a ruling shall issue a written order specifying the grounds for declining jurisdiction.
(VI) Except as otherwise provided herein, cases on the BCDD docket shall be subject to all rules of the superior court.
(VII) The presiding justice of the BCDD may establish generally, or in a particular case, procedures consistent with law, including specific case tracks, in order to achieve prompt resolution of discovery and other pretrial matters assigned to the BCDD docket. The presiding justice shall provide litigants adequate notice of such procedures if adopted and may, for good cause shown, waive any such procedures in a particular case.
(VIII) Disqualification of BCDD Justice. In the event the presiding justice of
the BCDD is disqualified from hearing a case, the case shall be reassigned by
the Chief Justice to another justice of the superior court.
Superior Court Rules Table of Contents