Superior Court Rules Table of Contents
[Editor’s note: The rules that follow were, prior to October 1, 2013, titled Rules of the Superior Court of the State of New Hampshire. Effective October 1, 2013, these rules applied only in criminal cases filed in Superior Court and in domestic relations cases filed in the Cheshire County Superior Court. Effective December 16, 2013 these rules apply only in criminal cases filed in Superior Court. 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.]
215. COMMENCEMENT OF ACTION. A request for waiver of parental notice prior to abortion, pursuant to RSA 132:34, shall be filed in the superior court in the form of the “Petition for Waiver of Parental Notice For Abortion Requested by a Minor,” as approved by the supreme court. The minor must provide her legal name and date of birth in the petition, but she may request that the petition be titled using a pseudonym or her initials. The minor must provide information in the petition about how she can be contacted confidentially, unless she is represented by counsel, in which case she shall provide contact information for her counsel. If the minor is unrepresented and is unable to provide the court with a confidential means to contact her, the minor must file the petition with the court in person and wait at the court for notice of the scheduled hearing. See Rule 216.
The petition for waiver of parental notice shall be signed by the minor. If a petition is filed by e-mail, the minor’s name may be typewritten in lieu of a signature.
All proceedings pursuant to these rules shall be held in closed court, shall be confidential and shall ensure the anonymity of the minor. All court proceedings shall be sealed. All documents related to the petition shall be confidential and shall not be available to the public.
216. FILING. No filing fee shall be required for a petition for waiver of parental notice prior to abortion filed pursuant to RSA 132:34.
A petition shall be deemed filed upon the court’s receipt of the completed petition for waiver of parental notice. Filing may be accomplished in any of the following ways:
(1) by delivery to the office of the clerk of the superior court during normal court hours;
(2) by depositing in a drop box at a superior court location, but in such circumstances, the petition shall be deemed filed when opened by the court staff, but in any case, no later than 8:00 a.m. the following business day;
(3) by first-class mail to the office of the clerk of the superior court; or
(4) by e-mail to the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. If a petition is filed by e-mail, the minor or her counsel shall also call the telephone number listed on the judicial branch website to inform the office of the clerk through the court’s answering service that a petition for waiver of parental notice has been filed. In addition to advising the answering service that a petition under RSA 132 has been filed by e-mail, the minor or her counsel shall identify the superior court location selected for filing, and provide a telephone number so that the minor or her counsel can be contacted in the event the court does not receive the e-mail filing.
217. RIGHT TO COUNSEL; GUARDIAN AD LITEM. A minor filing a petition for waiver of parental notice has a right to court-appointed counsel. A minor requesting the appointment of counsel shall indicate in the petition for a waiver of parental notice whether she is requesting the appointment of counsel by the court. The court shall appoint counsel for the minor as soon as possible after the filing of the petition for waiver of parental notice in which counsel is requested, but in every case in which counsel is requested, counsel shall be appointed prior to the hearing on the petition. The court may also appoint a guardian ad litem for the minor.
218. SCHEDULING A HEARING. A hearing on a petition for waiver of parental notice shall be scheduled as soon as practicable, but in every case, within two court business days of filing, unless such time period is waived by the minor. At the court’s discretion, the hearing may be held in person, telephonically, or electronically, at any location chosen by the court.
The minor and her counsel are obligated to make themselves available for a hearing, which may be scheduled with short notice at any time after the filing of the petition for waiver of parental notice. Failure on the part of the minor to make herself available for a hearing may result in the denial of the petition without prejudice.
Notice of the date and time of the hearing shall be given to the minor or her counsel through the means of contact provided by the minor or her counsel in the petition, or through another means agreed upon by the minor or her counsel and the clerk. Every attempt shall be made to provide the minor or her counsel with notice of the hearing at least two hours prior to the time of the hearing. Nevertheless, transmittal of notice to the minor or her counsel of the scheduling of the hearing through the means of contact provided in the petition or agreed upon with the clerk shall be deemed sufficient notice of the hearing, whether the minor or her counsel receives the notice prior to the hearing.
219. RULING ON PETITION. The court shall rule upon the petition for waiver of parental notice within two court business days of filing, and a copy of the court’s order will be provided to the minor or her counsel within the same time period. A copy of the order may be provided in hand, or provided by another means agreed upon by the minor or her counsel and the clerk. An electronically signed order shall have the same force and effect as a paper order containing an original signature and conventionally signed order. An electronically signed order shall include, but is not limited to, the signatory’s name (i) preceded by a “/s/”, (ii) typed in the document, or (iii) inserted in the document as an imaged signature. A person who relies upon a court order issued pursuant to this rule as evidence that the minor has obtained a judicial waiver of notice pursuant to RSA 132:34, II shall not be held liable under RSA 132:35.
`The clerk shall make a Notice of Decision available to the minor by the next business day. The Notice of Decision may be provided in hand at the court to the minor or provided by another means agreed upon by the minor or her counsel and the clerk. The Notice of Decision shall be mailed to the minor’s counsel and to the guardian ad litem, if any, by the next business day.
220. CERTIFICATE. If the petition for waiver of parental notice is granted, the court shall issue a Certificate to Allow Medical Provider to Perform an Abortion without Notifying a Minor’s Parents or Guardian. This certificate shall set forth the minor’s legal name and her date of birth, but shall not include the court’s factual findings and legal conclusions supporting its decision. The certificate shall be issued under court seal. The certificate shall be made available to the minor in hand at the court, or by another means agreed upon by the minor or her counsel and the clerk, no later than the next business day. A person who relies upon a certificate issued pursuant to this rule as evidence that the minor has obtained a judicial waiver of notice pursuant to RSA 132:34, II shall not be held liable under RSA 132:35.
221. APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL. If the minor requests the appointment of counsel, the court shall appoint an attorney to represent the minor.
Whether retained by the minor or appointed by the court, trial counsel shall be responsible for representing the minor in an appeal to the supreme court pursuant to RSA 132:34, II (c), unless the superior court, prior to the filing of the appeal, permits counsel to withdraw due to exceptional circumstances. A motion to withdraw as counsel in such a matter must state the exceptional circumstances that would warrant the grant of leave to withdraw. If a motion to withdraw as counsel is granted, the court shall appoint new counsel to represent the minor for the remainder of the proceedings, or for the purpose of an appeal, if any.
A minor who seeks to appeal the denial of a petition for waiver of parental notice and who was not represented by counsel in superior court may request that the superior court appoint counsel to assist the minor on appeal. In such a case, the minor shall file with the superior court a “Request for Court-Appointed Counsel in Expedited Confidential Appeal From Lower Court Decision on Parental Notification Prior to Abortion” form. Such a request shall be filed with the superior court prior to filing a notice of appeal in the supreme court, and shall be brought to the attention of the court for immediate ruling. See Supreme Court Rule 32-B.
222. COUNSEL AND GUARDIAN AD LITEM FEES. All bills related to fees and expenses pursuant to petitions filed under RSA 132 by court appointed counsel or guardians ad litem must be itemized as to the time spent and expenses incurred. There shall be no separate charge for overhead or travel time. The expense of telephone calls shall not be reimbursed. The maximum fee for representation of a minor in the superior court is $1000. All bills related to fees and expenses must be submitted to the court no later than sixty days after disposition. The court may allow late filing for good cause shown, when justice so requires.
Superior Court Rules Table of Contents