THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

SUPREME COURT OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

O R D E R

 

Pursuant to Part II, Article 73-a of the New Hampshire Constitution and Supreme Court Rule 51, the Supreme Court of New Hampshire approves amendments to Supreme Court Rule 23 as set forth in Appendix A; amendments to Supreme Court Rule 47(3) as set forth in Appendix B; amendments to Supreme Court Rule 48(3) as set forth in Appendix C; amendments to Superior Court Rule 77-B as set forth in Appendix D; amendments to Superior Court Rule 111 as set forth in Appendix E; repeal of Superior Court Rules 144 through 160, repeal of the Superior Court Rules Regulating the Practice in Domestic Relations, and adoption of new Superior Court Rules 172 through 213, all as set forth in Appendix F; amendments to Superior Court Administrative Rule 1-6 as set forth in Appendix G; amendments to Superior Court Administrative Rule 3-1 as set forth in Appendix H; repeal of Superior Court Administrative Rules 3-3 d and 3-3 e as set forth in Appendix I; repeal of District and Municipal Court Rule 3.2 C as set forth in Appendix J; amendments to District and Municipal Court Rule 3.24 as set forth in Appendix K; amendments to Professional Conduct Rule 7.2 as set forth in Appendix L; amendments to Professional Conduct Rule 7.3 as set forth in Appendix M; and repeal of Probate Court Rules 1 through 52 and repeal of the Guidelines for Processing and Disposition of Termination of Parental Rights Cases as set forth in Appendix N.

Pursuant to Part II, Article 73-a of the New Hampshire Constitution and Supreme Court Rule 51, the Supreme Court of New Hampshire approves, on a temporary basis, adoption of a new Preface to the Probate Court Rules and new Probate Court Rules 1 through 171 as set forth in Appendix O. On or after August 1, 2002, the Advisory Committee on Rules shall undertake a review of the operation and effect of said temporary rules. On or before February 1, 2003, the Advisory Committee on Rules shall report to the supreme court whether it recommends that said temporary rules should be made permanent, and, if so, whether any changes should be made.

These amendments shall take effect on August 1, 2001.

May 16, 2001

ATTEST: __________________________

Howard J. Zibel, Clerk
Supreme Court of New Hampshire

 

 

APPENDIX A

Amend Supreme Court Rule 23 by amending the second sentence of the first paragraph of said rule, so that said first paragraph shall provide as follows:

The clerk of the supreme court shall audit and allow bills of costs accruing in this court, and certify the costs to the trial court with the order made in the case. The following costs shall be allowed to the prevailing party: the entry fee, the actual cost of reproducing and binding the notice of appeal and any appendix, the actual cost of reproducing and binding the brief and any appendix, and cost of transcript.

 

APPENDIX B

Amend Supreme Court Rule 47(3) by adding the following new subdivisions (h) and (i):

(h) In cases appealed to the supreme court, attorneys shall be reimbursed for the actual reasonable costs (not including labor) of reproducing and binding the notice of appeal or other appeal document, any appendix and briefs, whether done in-house or by an outside printer.

(i) No reimbursement will be paid for overhead expenses including photocopies (other than as provided in subdivision (3)(h) of this rule), postage, fax and secretarial services.

 

APPENDIX C

Amend Supreme Court Rule 48(3) by adding the following new subdivisions (h) and (i):

(h) In cases appealed to the supreme court, attorneys shall be reimbursed for the actual reasonable costs (not including labor) of reproducing and binding the notice of appeal or other appeal document, any appendix and briefs, whether done in-house or by an outside printer.

(i) No reimbursement will be paid for overhead expenses including photocopies (other than as provided in subdivision (3)(h) of this rule), postage, fax and secretarial services.

 

APPENDIX D

Amend Superior Court Rule 77-B by adding a new subparagraph (a) to the rule, so that the rule as amended reads as follows:

COMMUNICATION WITH JURORS

77-B. (a) During criminal trials, all communications between the trial judge and the jury that occur before the jury is excused shall occur on the record.

(b) Before and during trial no attorney, party or witness shall himself or through any person acting for him converse or otherwise communicate with any member of the venire from which the jury will be selected or any juror.

For thirty days after discharge of the jury venire on which a juror has served, no attorney or party shall himself or through any person acting for him interview, examine or question any juror or member of his family with respect to the trial, verdict or deliberations. At no time, however, shall an attorney, party or any person acting for either of them ask questions of or make comments to a juror that are calculated merely to harass or embarrass the juror or to influence his or her actions in future jury service.

Upon application of any person the Court may issue appropriate protective orders and/or sanctions as justice may require.

 

APPENDIX E

Amend Superior Court Rule 111 by deleting said rule and replacing it with the following:

PETITION FOR APPROVAL OF SETTLEMENT ON BEHALF OF MINORS.

111. A. All petitions for approval of settlement of actions on behalf of minors shall be signed by the parent, next friend or guardian of the minor.

B. Court approval is not required for the settlement of any suit or claim brought on behalf of a minor in which the net amount is equal to or less than $10,000.00. Any settlement of such suit or claim in which the net amount exceeds $10,000.00 shall require Court approval.

C. In any suit or claim on behalf of a minor if the amount to be paid to the minor before the age of majority exceeds $10,000.00, the Court shall require proof in the form of a certified statement from the Court of Probate that the guardian ad litem, parent, next friend, or other person who receives money on behalf of the minor whether through settlement, judgment, decree or other order, has been appointed guardian of the estate of such minor and is subject to the duties prescribed under RSA 463:19. In the event of a structured settlement where an amount will be paid to the minor both before and after the minor reaches the age of majority, no guardian of the estate of such minor is required if the amount to be paid to the minor before the age of majority is $10,000.00 or less. If the amount to be paid to the minor before the age of majority in such structured settlement exceeds $10,000.00, then a guardian of the estate of such minor is required. In determining whether the net amount of a settlement exceeds $10,000.00, all sums covering attorneys fees, court costs and other expenses related to the claim including medical expenses are to be excluded.

D. The petition shall contain the following information where applicable:

1. A brief description of the accident and of all injuries sustained and the age of the minor.

2. An itemized statement of all medical expenses and special damages incurred by the minor.

3. The total amount of the settlement and whether any bills or expenses are to be paid out of the total settlement or are being paid in addition as part of the parent's claim. If the parent is being paid anything directly, the petition should contain a statement of the total amount being paid to the parent and a specification of the items covered.

4. Whether the settlement was negotiated by counsel actually representing the minor.

5. A statement from the attorney for the minor as to whether there was medical payment insurance available to the minor and whether or not a claim has been made for said benefits or whether payment has been received.

6. A statement from the attorney for the minor as to whether any liens for medical providers have been asserted or are assertable and how the settlement would resolve those liens.

7. The net amount to be received on behalf of the minor.

8. A prayer that the settlement be approved.

E. The petition must be accompanied with the following material:

1. A photocopy of the minor's birth certificate.

2. An itemized statement from counsel detailing the nature of the work performed and the time spent on the case. An attorney's fee in excess of 25% of the settlement will not be ordinarily allowed unless upon good cause shown. In the event that counsel seeks an attorney's fee in excess of 25%, counsel shall file a motion requesting such an approval which motion shall contain the reasons for the request. A copy of that motion shall be provided to the next friend at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing or conference relative to approval of the settlement.

F. The Court will not authorize the next friend to settle the action or authorize the execution of releases and will not make any order respecting indemnity agreements, and the petition should make no such request.

G. The Court, upon its own motion, may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the minor child and/or to review the proposed settlement. The fees of the guardian ad litem shall be paid by defendant.

H. The attorney, minor, parent, guardian, or next friend, will ordinarily be required to appear in all cases in support of the petition unless attendance has been excused by the Court upon prior motion of counsel or upon the Court's review of the file. In all cases where the minor has not actually been represented in the negotiation of the settlement, the minor, parent, and the next friend or guardian shall be required to appear with the attorney for the minor.

I. A full medical report, including a recent and detailed prognosis from the attending physician, will ordinarily be required. "Recent" shall mean a report dated not more than six months prior to the date of the filing of the petition for approval of a settlement.

J. 1. Court approval of a net settlement of $10,000.00 or less is not required by statute; if, however, a party desires Court approval, the Court's order will ordinarily be in substantially the following form:

Settlement approved. All bills listed in the petition are to be paid. Counsel fees in the amount of $__________ allowed (if settlement was actually negotiated by counsel representing the minor). The balance, amounting to $__________, shall be deposited in a savings account in the ________ Bank at _____________ in the name of ____________, as Trustee for ____________, no withdrawals to be made prior to the 18th birthday of said minor, except on written approval of a Justice of the Superior Court. Said savings institution is authorized to pay over the full amount remaining in said account to the said _____________ upon satisfactory proof that he/she has reached the age of 18 years. Approval is conditional upon compliance with this order with respect to payment of bills and deposit.

2. If the net amount of a settlement exceeds $10,000.00, Court approval is required, and the Court's order will ordinarily be in substantially the following form:

Settlement approved. All medical bills and other approved expenses listed in the petition are to be paid. Counsel fees in the amount of $__________ allowed (if settlement was actually negotiated by counsel representing the minor). The balance amounting to $__________, shall be paid over to _____________, as guardian over the estate of the minor.

Said funds shall, upon payment, be under the jurisdiction of the appropriate Court of Probate and shall be administered in accordance with the requirements of the Court of Probate. Any requests for withdrawal shall be addressed to the Court of Probate for its consideration.

Approval is conditional upon compliance with this order with respect to payment of bills and deposit of funds in accordance with this order.

Counsel for the minor shall be responsible for the settlement funds until said funds shall have actually been deposited in the appropriate guardianship account pursuant to the terms of this order and pursuant to the terms of the guardianship.

K. In the event that the parties desire to enter into a structured settlement, which is defined as a settlement wherein payments are made on a periodic basis, the following rules shall also apply:

1. Counsel for the defendant shall provide the Court with an affidavit from an independent certified public accountant, or an equivalent professional, specifying the present value of the settlement and the method of calculation of that value.

2. If the settlement is to be funded by an annuity, the annuity shall be provided by an annuity carrier meeting at least the following criteria:

(a) The annuity carrier must be licensed to write annuities in New Hampshire and, if affiliated with the liability carrier or the person or entity paying the settlement, must be separately capitalized, licensed and regulated and must have a separate financial rating.

(b) The annuity carrier must have a minimum of $100,000,000.00 of capital and surplus, exclusive of any mandatory security valuation reserve.

(c) The petition shall contain the following information about the annuity and the annuity carrier:

(i) a description of the structure of the annuity arrangement;

(ii) a description of the history and size of the annuity carrier and its experience in issuing annuities;

(iii) a certificate from the New Hampshire Insurance Department stating that the annuity carrier is in good standing in New Hampshire;

(iv) whether the annuity carrier is domiciled or licensed in a state accredited by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners under that organization's Financial Regulation Standards program; and

(v) the annuity carrier's most recent ratings from at least two of the commercial rating services listed in subparagraph (d).

(d) The annuity carrier must have one of the following ratings from at least two of the following rating organizations:

(i) A.M. Best Company: A++, A+, A, or A-.

(ii) Moody's Insurance Financial Strength Rating: Aaa or Aa.

(iii) Standard & Poor's Corporation Insurer Claims-Paying Ability Rating: AAA, AA+, AA, or AA-.

(iv) Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Company Insurance Company Claims Paying Ability Rating: AAA, AA+, AA, or AA-.

(e) The annuity carrier must meet any other requirement the Court considers reasonably necessary to assure that funding to satisfy periodic payment settlements will be provided and maintained.

(f) The annuity carrier issuing an annuity contract pursuant to a qualified funding plan under these rules may not enter into an assumption reinsurance agreement for the annuity contract without the prior approval of the Court and the owner of the annuity contract and the claimant having the beneficial interest in the annuity contract. The Court shall not approve assumption reinsurance unless the reinsurer is also qualified under these rules.

(g) The annuity carrier and the broker procuring the policy shall each furnish the Court with an affidavit certifying that the carrier meets the criteria set forth in subsection (d) above as of the date of the settlement and that the qualification is not likely to change in the immediate future. The broker's affidavit shall also contain the following certification: "This determination was made with due diligence by the undersigned based on rating information which was available or should have been available to an insurance broker in the structured settlement trade."

(h) In the event that the parties to the action desire to place the annuity with an annuity carrier licensed in New Hampshire which does not meet the above criteria, the Court may consider approving the same, but only if the annuity obligation is bonded by an independent insurance or bonding company, licensed in New Hampshire, in the full amount of the annuity obligation.

(i) The Court reserves the right to require other reasonable security in any structured settlement if the circumstances should so require.

3. The Court may, for good cause shown, approve a structured settlement that does not comply with the provisions of paragraph (K). If the Court approves a settlement that does not comply with the provisions of paragraph (K), the Court shall make specific findings on the record explaining the reason(s) for approving the settlement.

 

APPENDIX F

Repeal the section of the Superior Court Rules labeled "DIVORCE," consisting of Superior Court Rules 144 through 160, inclusive. Repeal the Superior Court Rules Regulating the Practice in Domestic Relations adopted on a temporary basis by order dated March 6, 1998, and thereafter amended by orders dated January 20, 2000, and November 20, 2000. Adopt a new section of the Superior Court Rules labeled "RULES FOR REGULATING THE PRACTICE IN DOMESTIC RELATIONS," consisting of Superior Court Rules 172 through 213, inclusive, as follows:

RULES FOR REGULATING THE PRACTICE IN DOMESTIC RELATIONS

172. SCOPE. Domestic relations proceedings are governed by the following Rules of Superior Court. They apply to actions for divorce, annulment, legal separation, custody and visitation rights, child support and separate maintenance, paternity, legitimation, registration of foreign judgments and decrees, uniform interstate family support, and administrative support violations. The Rules of Superior Court regulating the practice at law, where applicable, shall also regulate the practice in domestic relations.

INITIAL PLEADINGS

173. PETITION: PARTIES AND SUBJECT MATTER. A domestic relations action shall be commenced by the filing of a petition which shall be captioned "In the matter of...and...", stating the names of the parties. The first name shall designate the petitioner and the second shall designate the respondent. Each petition shall be entitled "Petition for...", stating the subject matter of the action as referenced in Rule 172. All petitions shall state the county and state of residence of the petitioner and the respondent, so far as known.

174. PETITION: ALLEGATIONS. Every petition in a domestic relations matter shall be dated and signed under oath by the party and shall set forth, in separate paragraphs and as concisely as possible, the specific facts relied upon to constitute grounds for the relief requested and to establish jurisdiction under applicable statute. There shall be set forth, in separate paragraphs, the particular relief sought. No documents shall be annexed to any such pleading except as may be necessary to support prayers for ex parte orders, or as required by court rule or order.

175. JOINT PETITION. Where the parties agree upon all the specific facts contained in the petition, they may file a joint petition. It shall be signed by both parties under oath before a justice of the peace or a notary public.

176. TEMPORARY RELIEF. A petition or cross-petition may contain a request for a temporary hearing, specifically identifying the issues for which the filing party seeks temporary orders and the relief requested.

177. ADULTERY. All petitions and cross-petitions affecting the marriage relation which allege adultery, or answers thereto alleging adultery as an affirmative defense, must contain the name and address of the person with whom the party is accused of adultery, if known, and if not, a statement to that effect. Any fact relied upon under the statutes to excuse service upon such third person must be stated in the petition or cross-petition.

FILING AND SERVICE

178. RETURN DAY. Upon the filing of a petition, the court shall issue orders of notice, which the clerk shall attach to the petition. The orders of notice shall name a return day, which may be designated by the filing party to be any day within one to three months from the date of filing. All service shall be completed at least fourteen days before the return day. No service of a joint petition is required.

179. SERVICE BY SHERIFF. Except where another form of service is mandated or permitted by statute, when the residence of the respondent is known, service of an attested copy of the petition and orders of notice shall be made by a sheriff or deputy within the state, and by an officer authorized to serve similar process outside the state. Proof of out of state service shall be made by a return of the officer under oath, accompanied by an official certificate of his/her official character and authority. Whenever service is made by leaving an attested copy of the petition and orders at the respondent's abode, the return shall state the street and number, or some other description of the abode. This rule shall not be construed to create extraterritorial jurisdiction where it does not otherwise exist.

180. ALTERNATIVE SERVICE. When the residence of the respondent is unknown, the petition shall state the respondent's last known mailing address, and the name and mailing address of some near relative, if any is known to the petitioner, such facts to be verified by the petitioner's personal affidavit filed with the petition. Service may then be ordered for notice by publication, as follows: in a specified newspaper published at or nearest the respondent's last known place of residence in this state, or otherwise as the court may order, a statement naming the parties, court, and docket number, together with a description setting forth the nature of the petition and the relief sought. This notice shall be so published once a week for three successive weeks, the last publication to be at least fourteen days prior to the return day. Also, the petitioner shall send by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of the petition and orders of notice to the respondent and to such relative, and shall file proof thereof. Publication may be waived for good cause shown upon motion requesting alternative service.

181. WAIVER OF SERVICE. Service of any petition may be waived by the respondent, upon the execution of an appearance and waiver of service, which shall contain the respondent's signature acknowledged before a justice of the peace or notary public, or the signature of an attorney licensed to practice law in this state who is appearing for the respondent. The appearance and waiver of service shall be appended to the original petition when it is initially filed with the court, or to an attested copy of the petition when orders of notice have been issued. No further notice or service shall be required.

182. ACCEPTANCE OF SERVICE. An attorney licensed to practice in this state, who is appearing for a party, may accept service of any petition and orders of notice from the sheriff.

183. ENTRY OF RETURN. Returns of service and appearances shall be entered with the court by the return day named in the orders of notice, and no domestic relations case will be heard until proper return or waiver of service has been filed. Where a joint petition or a petition with waiver of service is filed, the return day shall be the date of filing.

RESPONSIVE PLEADINGS

184. APPEARANCE. Once duly notified, the respondent shall file or have an attorney file an appearance by the return day specified in the orders of notice. If no appearance is filed within the time prescribed, the facts alleged shall be taken as admitted.

185. ANSWER AND CROSS-PETITION. An answer to a petition or a cross-petition is required in cases where the responding party wishes to seek alimony or other affirmative relief, or to assert an affirmative defense. In all other cases, an answer may be filed. All answers shall be dated and signed under oath. A cross-petition must follow the format set forth in Rules 173 and 174. An answer to a petition, or a cross-petition, shall be filed within thirty days after the return day. Any answer to a cross-petition shall be filed within ten days after filing of the cross-petition.

186. SERVICE OF RESPONSIVE PLEADINGS. Neither answer nor cross-petition need be served on the petitioner, but rather must contain a certification that the respondent has provided the other party with a copy of the pleading.

EMERGENCY ORDERS

187. EX PARTE RELIEF. Emergency orders may be granted without written or oral notice to the adverse party only if it clearly appears to the court, from specific facts shown by affidavit or by the verified petition, that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the applicant, the children, or property before the adverse party or attorney can be heard in opposition. If the other party is represented or has filed an appearance, normally no relief will be granted without notice to the other party and an opportunity to be heard. Any person against whom such an order is made ex parte shall be entitled to a hearing within five days of a written request.

THIRD PARTY PRACTICE

188. INTERVENTION. Any person asserting an interest in the proceedings may seek to intervene as a party thereto upon petition to intervene briefly setting forth that person's relation to the subject matter of the case. Upon petition of a party, any such person may be joined as a party by order of the court notifying that person to appear in the case.

PRETRIAL CASEFLOW MANAGEMENT

189. TEMPORARY HEARING. Upon request of either party contained in a petition or cross-petition, or upon motion at any time during the pendency of an action, the clerk shall schedule a temporary hearing. Temporary hearings will be of thirty minutes' duration and conducted upon offers of proof, unless otherwise ordered by the court upon good cause shown. The parties may request a more lengthy hearing by motion setting forth the reasons for said request and the length of time required. Such motions shall be heard at the time of the originally scheduled temporary hearing, if not earlier ruled upon.

190. STRUCTURING CONFERENCE. At the time of temporary hearing, within 60 days after the return day, or upon order of the court, a structuring order shall issue or a structuring conference shall be scheduled.

Parties and counsel shall attend the structuring conference. The following matters may be addressed: disputed issues, schedules for discovery and other case preparation, appointment of a guardian ad litem or status of any ongoing investigation, additional conferences with the court, mediation, neutral case evaluation and other alternative dispute resolution, counselling, settlement, or trial. Upon court order or agreement of the parties, a referral to mediation or other alternative dispute resolution procedure shall be made at the structuring conference.

The court shall issue a structuring conference order which may include deadlines for discovery or filing of motions and dates for additional structuring, status, pretrial, or settlement conferences and motion hearings. In lieu of attending a structuring conference, the parties may file an agreed upon statement, signed by parties and counsel, which includes all the above facts and representations, for approval by the court.

191. DISCOVERY. Unless established in a structuring conference order, or otherwise upon request and approval by the court, discovery shall close six months following the return day.

192. PRETRIAL CONFERENCE. At the close of discovery, a pretrial conference will be held. At the pretrial conference, the parties, counsel, and the guardian ad litem will be present and prepared to discuss settlement of all issues in dispute. Prior to the pretrial conference, pro se parties, counsel, and the guardian ad litem shall meet and confer in person with each other. At that time they must exchange copies of their proposed decrees, financial affidavits, and child support guideline worksheets. At the pretrial conference, the parties are required to file the above listed documents as well as pretrial statements which shall include the following information and which may be joint statements:

A. Brief description of disputed issues.

B. List of property (including pensions or property interests) in dispute, the values thereof, and whether or not appraisals will be submitted.

C. Where applicable, a statement of special circumstances warranting adjustment to the child support guidelines, factors justifying an award of sole legal custody or an unequal property division, and factors to be considered in an alimony award.

D. List of expert witnesses.

E. List of other witnesses.

F. Identification of pending motions.

G. Unresolved discovery issues.

H. Length of trial.

I. Status of settlement negotiations or alternative dispute resolution.

J. Special circumstances (such as out of state witnesses) which will affect trial scheduling.

K. Whether a record is requested.

In submitting this information to the court, counsel shall be prepared to discuss realistic expectations as to number of witnesses and length of testimony so that a realistic order on the duration of trial can be established. Except upon motion for good cause shown, witnesses not listed shall be prohibited from testifying at trial. A hearing on the merits, trial management, status, or settlement conference will be scheduled following the pretrial conference. A referral to neutral case evaluation or other alternative dispute resolution options may be made at the pretrial conference.

193. SETTLEMENT AND STATUS CONFERENCE. Upon request of either party or at the court's discretion, at any time during the pendency of a case, a settlement conference may be scheduled. Counsel, the parties, and the guardian ad litem shall attend.

At the court's discretion or upon request of either party, a status conference may be scheduled for case management purposes. Pending motions may also be heard at this time at the court's discretion or at the prior written request of either party indicating the motions to be heard and the estimated length of time required. Only counsel and pro se parties must attend the status conference unless pending motions are to be heard.

194. TRIAL MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE. In cases scheduled for two or more trial days, the clerk shall schedule a trial management conference fourteen days prior to trial or as the court calendar permits. In cases requiring less than two days of trial, the clerk may, with leave of the court, schedule a trial management conference. Only counsel and pro se parties need attend the trial management conference. At this conference, the parties shall be prepared to address the time and manner in which all exhibits to be offered in the direct case of each party or exact copies of them shall be exchanged and marked. The anticipated subject matter, length, and order of testimony will be presented. Except upon motion for good cause shown, amendments to witness lists submitted at the Pretrial Conference shall not be permitted. To the extent possible, evidentiary disputes shall be resolved and legal issues briefed at this time. Issues will be limited and stipulated matters will be identified, the latter to be reduced to written agreement by the first day of trial.

195. SANCTIONS. Failure to comply with any portion of Rules 190 through 194, or to attend a required conference, may constitute grounds for sanctions, including entry of nonsuit or decree pro confesso, imposition of fines, or such other orders as justice may require.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

196. PERSONAL DATA SHEET. At the time of filing any initial pleading or pleading that brings an action forward, the filing party shall, and the responding party may, file a completed personal data sheet. Should a party become aware of any change in addresses, telephone numbers, or employment during the pendency of a case or of any outstanding support order, that party shall notify the court of such change. Access to information contained in the personal data sheet shall be restricted to court personnel, the Office of Child Support, the Guardian ad Litem, the parties, and counsel, unless a party has requested on the data sheet that it not be disclosed to the other party. Any person seeking access to restricted information may file an appropriate motion.

197. FINANCIAL AFFIDAVIT. At every hearing involving financial matters or property, or as may be required by the court, each party shall file with the court and deliver to the other party prior to hearing a typewritten or legibly handwritten financial affidavit as prescribed by Administrative Order. Upon written request to the opposing party, accompanied by the requesting party's current financial affidavit and made at least ten days prior to the hearing date, the other party shall provide a current financial affidavit within five days of the hearing date. The clerk shall, upon written request of any party, place that party's affidavit in a sealed envelope, which shall not be opened except by the parties, the Office of Child Support, or with leave of court.

198. UPDATED FINANCIAL AFFIDAVITS IN UNCONTESTED AND DEFAULTED MATTERS. No uncontested final hearing or final hearing where a party is in default will be scheduled in any matter requiring the filing of financial affidavits until both parties have filed current financial affidavits, duly completed. "Current" for this purpose shall mean that the financial affidavits are dated no earlier than thirty days before the date of the request for the hearing. The party seeking final orders shall make reasonable efforts to obtain the financial affidavit of the other party for filing. However, if one cannot be obtained, the moving party may file an affidavit explaining the reason why it has been impossible with due diligence to obtain the other party's financial affidavit.

199. UNIFORM SUPPORT ORDER. At every hearing in which child support, medical support, or arrears are at issue, the party seeking the order shall file a proposed uniform support order as prescribed by Administrative Order.

200. CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINE WORKSHEET. At every hearing in which child support is involved, the party seeking the order shall file a child support guideline worksheet, as published by the Division of Child Support Services, duly completed by either the party or attorney. The other party shall file a child support guideline worksheet if the guideline amount is in dispute. The fact that the parties have agreed to an amount or may be requesting adjustments to the child support guidelines does not suspend this requirement. In cases where the other party has failed to disclose his/her income, a worksheet shall be completed using a reasonable estimate of that party's income.

201. FORM FOR DECREES AND STIPULATIONS. Proposed decrees or stipulations must be submitted at all temporary and final hearings. They shall follow the format prescribed by Administrative Order. For all final default hearings, the moving party shall provide a copy of the proposed order to the other party at least thirty days before the hearing date.

202. SIGNING OF STIPULATIONS. All stipulations or agreements concerning domestic relations actions shall be typewritten and signed by the parties and counsel. The Guardian ad litem shall sign all agreements pertaining to custodial rights and obligations. A representative of the Division of Child Support of the N. H. Department of Health and Human Services shall sign all agreements pertaining to support where a party is a recipient of TANF. The court, in its discretion, may accept a fully executed handwritten stipulation or agreement, whereupon a conformed typewritten copy shall be filed within ten days.

203. VITAL STATISTICS REPORT. No divorce, legal separation, or annulment will be heard on its merits until there is on file with the court a typewritten vital statistics report, fully completed.

ENFORCEMENT

204. CONTEMPT. Attachments or arrests and incarceration for civil contempt may be ordered by the court upon a finding of the violation of any court order, after notice and an opportunity to be heard. Parties may be arrested upon court order and required to post bonds for appearance and compliance with court orders in any case where it shall be deemed necessary. Criminal contempt shall be governed by Superior Court Rule 95.

205. BAIL. Sheriffs and deputies are authorized to take bail in civil contempt proceedings and shall forward forthwith such bail so taken to the clerk of court issuing the capias.

FINAL DECREES

206. NOTICE OF HEARING. All parties, whether they have appeared in the action or not, will be given advance notice of final hearings. In the case of a final default, written notice shall be sent at least fourteen days prior to hearing.

207. TIMING OF HEARING. No case affecting the marital status will be heard on the merits sooner than thirty days after the return day, unless waived by the court.

208. EFFECTIVE DATE: UNCONTESTED MATTERS. Decrees in uncontested cases where the parties have filed a permanent stipulation shall become final on the date signed by the judge unless otherwise specified by the court.

209. EFFECTIVE DATE: CONTESTED AND DEFAULTED MATTERS. In contested cases or upon the default of either party, the decree will not become final until expiration of the appeal period, pursuant to Superior Court Rule 74.

210. INACTIVE CASES. All domestic relations cases which have been pending for two years without any action being shown on the docket shall be dismissed.

211. MODIFICATION OF DECREES. No modification of any final domestic relations decree or order will be heard, except upon a petition setting forth the grounds relied upon and the relief requested, which shall be served upon the opposing party. In any post-decree proceeding, the parties shall retain their original designation of petitioner or respondent as was established in the initial petition. Service of such a petition shall be accomplished in any manner permitted under Rules 178 through 183. Any agreement to modify a decree shall be signed by the parties and filed with the court for review and approval, if appropriate. A petition, or service of the agreement, shall not be required. Parties may stipulate to change a decree of legal separation to one of divorce.

GUARDIANS AD LITEM

212. CERTIFICATION. The court may appoint as a guardian ad litem only an individual who has become certified according to the protocol approved by the supreme court on December 15, 1994.

213. WRITTEN REPORTS. Reports filed by guardians ad litem in domestic relations cases involving custody, custodial rights, or visitation arrangements for any minor child shall be placed in an envelope marked "CONFIDENTIAL" by the clerk. Such reports shall be made available only to parties in the action and their attorneys. The clerk shall remove the envelope before making the file available to any other individuals requesting access.

 

 

APPENDIX G

 

Amend Superior Court Administrative Rule 1-6 by striking out said rule and inserting in place thereof the following new rule, so that said rule as amended shall read as follows:

1-6 Authority of Clerks.

In addition to the inherent authority of the clerk of superior court to perform such duties and acts as may be necessary to effectuate and provide for the orderly and efficient operation of the court and clerk's offices, and to exercise such other powers and responsibilities conferred upon them by statute, court rule or administrative rule, the clerk of superior court for each county and deputy clerks of court who are attorneys licensed to practice in the State of New Hampshire shall have the following authority:

I. To perform administrative acts including but not limited to:

(a) Scheduling of all hearings and issuing notices to appear and transport orders.

(b) Issuing orders of notice or orders setting or amending return days.

(c) Issuing orders relative to service of process.

(d) Effectuating all court orders including the issuance of commitment orders, arrest orders, or summons to appear for contempt proceedings.

(e) Disbursing funds held by the court upon appropriate order by a justice.

(f) Selecting counsel when appointment of counsel is ordered by the court and appointing and selecting counsel to serve as guardian ad litem in domestic and equity matters.

(g) Performing such duties relative to jurors as may be performed by a clerk under RSA 500-A.

II. To be available for appointment by a presiding justice of the superior court as a master pursuant to RSA 519:9 to hear uncontested divorces, applications for temporary orders or ex parte restraining orders in marital cases, petitions for ex parte attachments, and to conduct pretrial conferences in all non-criminal matters, and to make recommendations to the court relative thereto, when a justice or marital master is not present or is otherwise unavailable. Said appointment shall be made by a presiding justice of the superior court and shall not extend for more than 90 days, provided that said appointment can be renewed for additional 90-day periods.

III. After personal review, with the consent of a presiding justice of the superior court

(a) to act on non-criminal motions (including petitions to attach with notice) to which no objection has been filed or to which opposing counsel has indicated there is no objection, provided that the authority is limited to non-dispositive motions in cases where all parties are represented by counsel;

(b) to approve stipulations where all parties have indicated in writing that they agree with the relief requested and are represented by counsel; and

(c) to approve preliminary pretrial stipulations in cases where all parties are represented by counsel.

The signature of the clerk or the attorney deputy clerk taking such action shall appear on the appropriate document involved along with the statement "Acting pursuant to Superior Court Administrative Rule 1-6." In the event that a motion to reconsider or an objection is filed concerning the action taken, the matter shall be scheduled for a hearing before a justice.

IV. To perform the following acts and issue such orders as provided for in the superior court rules, in addition to those rules where the clerk's authority is already specifically delineated:

(a) To set all cases for trial pursuant to Rule 11.

(b) To enter default and continue for judgment pursuant to Rule 14.

(c) Upon withdrawal of counsel to set a date for the filing of a new appearance pursuant to Rule 20.

(d) To discontinue cases pursuant to Rule 52.

(e) To allow the withdrawal of court documents pursuant to Rule 56.

(f) To enter final judgment pursuant to Rule 74.

(g) To return violation appeals to district court where the entry fee has not been paid pursuant to Rule 92.

(h) In conjunction with the presiding justice, to enter scheduling orders pursuant to Rule 96-A.

(i) To enter orders regarding service by publication pursuant to Rule 128 and Rule 146.

(j) To enter default pursuant to Rule 131 and Rule 139.

(k) To dismiss marital cases which have been pending for two years pursuant to Rule 151.

(l) To waive the waiting period in marital cases pursuant to Rule 152.

(m) To non-suit or dismiss non-jury cases which have been pending for three years pursuant to Rule 168.

The signature of the clerk or the attorney deputy clerk taking any action enumerated in paragraph IV shall appear on the appropriate document involved along with the statement "Acting pursuant to Superior Court Administrative Rule 1-6." In the event that a motion to reconsider or an objection is filed concerning the action taken, the matter shall be scheduled for a hearing before a justice.

 

APPENDIX H

Amend Superior Court Administrative Rule 3-1 by striking out said rule and replacing it with the following new rule:

Rule 3-1. Appeal Transcripts.

a. Required Transcription. Upon receipt of deposit from counsel for appellant in the amount based on the stenographer's estimate, and except as otherwise ordered by the Superior Court or the Supreme Court, the stenographers shall transcribe the original and two copies of all the oral proceedings, except opening statements, medical testimony, arguments and charge.

b. Request for Excerpts. During the course of a trial, when either party seeks to have a stenographer transcribe parts of the evidence for use during the trial, the request for such transcript shall be made first to the Presiding Justice. The Presiding Justice should determine the extent of the transcript and make a decision whether the stenographer should be required to transcribe it. However, if during the trial of a case a stenographer is requested to prepare a brief excerpt, or excerpts, from the testimony, the stenographer may, in his/her discretion, prepare such excerpt or excerpts without formal application to the Court for permission; but the original of all excerpts shall be furnished to the Presiding Justice upon completion, and a sufficient number of copies shall be made to supply each counsel with a copy if excerpts are used in examination of witnesses or during argument.

c. Requests by Party. Requests by the parties, or other interested persons, for transcripts of cases which have been brought to a conclusion, or where there has been an interim hearing, should be made by them in writing to the Clerk. The person requesting the transcript shall state in the written request to the Clerk: (1) whether the transcript is for purposes of appeal; and (2) whether the transcript is to used in connection with litigation pending before the New Hampshire Superior Court. If the request is for purposes other than appeal and the transcript is not for use in connection with litigation pending before the New Hampshire Superior Court, the person requesting the transcript may, but need not, state the purpose for which the transcript is requested. If the purpose is stated, it may be used in assigning priorities pursuant to Superior Court Administrative Rule 3-2.

d. Requests by Non-Party. In the case of a non-party, the Clerk will request from the stenographer an estimate of the number of pages in the requested transcript, determine the cost of preparing an original and such copies as ordered, plus any additional costs which may be necessary, and notify the person requesting the transcript that a deposit is required in an amount sufficient to cover the cost thereof. Upon receipt of the deposit, the Clerk shall notify the stenographer to prepare the transcript.

e. Transcripts Required for Other Than Appeal. In the event there is a request for a transcript of proceedings, either partial or complete, by a party to the proceedings or other interested persons, for purposes other than appeal, and if it is stated in the written request to the Clerk that the transcript is to be used in connection with litigation pending before the New Hampshire Superior Court, the Clerk shall notify counsel on the opposing side of such litigation that a transcript has been requested and inquire whether a copy thereof is desired by them. If it is, the Clerk shall proceed in the usual manner to compute the estimated cost of an original and two copies and notify each of the interested parties to make a deposit of one-half of that amount.

If counsel on the opposing side of the pending litigation does not desire to purchase a copy of the transcript, or if the transcript is to be used for some purpose other than litigation before the New Hampshire Superior Court, an estimate and deposit shall be obtained in the usual manner covering the cost of an original and one copy of the requested transcript. When completed, the original shall remain with the Clerk's office and the copy will be delivered to the person who ordered the transcript.

f. Transcript Ordered by Court, Master or Referee. If a complete transcript of any proceedings is ordered by a member of the Court, a Master or Referee, the stenographer shall prepare an original and two copies thereof, with the Clerk's office retaining the original and one copy and a copy being sent to said member of the Court, Master or Referee, this copy not to be defaced in any way so that it may be used in the event of subsequent appeal.

If a partial transcript of any proceedings is ordered for any purpose by a member of the Court, a Master or Referee, an original and such copies as the Court, Master or Referee, may order will be prepared.

g. Special Circumstances. Any and all of the outlined procedures for preparation of transcripts may be amended at the discretion of any member of the Court in special circumstances; e.g., when there is a limited time available for processing an appeal, etc.

h. Verification of Transcripts. Stenographers shall verify the transcript for accuracy, and certify on the transcript that this has been done.

i. Confidential Proceedings. Nothing in this rule shall be construed as creating a right in any person to obtain transcripts of confidential proceedings to which the person is not otherwise entitled.

 

APPENDIX I

Repeal Superior Court Administrative Rules 3-3 d and 3-3 e.

 

APPENDIX J

Repeal District and Municipal Court Rule 3.2 C.

 

APPENDIX K

Amend District Court Rule 3.24 by deleting said rule and replacing it with the following new rule:

PETITION FOR APPROVAL OF SETTLEMENT ON BEHALF OF MINORS

3.24 A. All petitions for approval of settlement of actions on behalf of minors shall be signed by the parent, next friend or guardian of the minor.

B. Court approval is not required for the settlement of any suit or claim brought on behalf of a minor in which the net amount is equal to or less than $10,000.00. Any settlement of such suit or claim in which the net amount exceeds $10,000.00 shall require Court approval.

C. In any suit or claim on behalf of a minor if the amount to be paid to the minor before the age of majority exceeds $10,000.00, the Court shall require proof in the form of a certified statement from the Court of Probate that the guardian ad litem, parent, next friend, or other person who receives money on behalf of the minor whether through settlement, judgment, decree or other order, has been appointed guardian of the estate of such minor and is subject to the duties prescribed under RSA 463:19. In the event of a structured settlement where an amount will be paid to the minor both before and after the minor reaches the age of majority, no guardian of the estate of such minor is required if the amount to be paid to the minor before the age of majority is $10,000.00 or less. If the amount to be paid to the minor before the age of majority in such structured settlement exceeds $10,000.00, then a guardian of the estate of such minor is required. In determining whether the net amount of a settlement exceeds $10,000.00, all sums covering attorneys fees, court costs and other expenses related to the claim including medical expenses are to be excluded.

D. The petition shall contain the following information where applicable:

1. A brief description of the accident and of all injuries sustained and the age of the minor.

2. An itemized statement of all medical expenses and special damages incurred by the minor.

3. The total amount of the settlement and whether any bills or expenses are to be paid out of the total settlement or are being paid in addition as part of the parent's claim. If the parent is being paid anything directly, the petition should contain a statement of the total amount being paid to the parent and a specification of the items covered.

4. Whether the settlement was negotiated by counsel actually representing the minor.

5. A statement from the attorney for the minor as to whether there was medical payment insurance available to the minor and whether or not a claim has been made for said benefits or whether payment has been received.

6. A statement from the attorney for the minor as to whether any liens for medical providers have been asserted or are assertable and how the settlement would resolve those liens.

7. The net amount to be received on behalf of the minor.

8. A prayer that the settlement be approved.

E. The petition must be accompanied with the following material:

1. A photocopy of the minor's birth certificate.

2. An itemized statement from counsel detailing the nature of the work performed and the time spent on the case. An attorney's fee in excess of 25% of the settlement amount will not be ordinarily allowed unless upon good cause shown. In the event that counsel seeks an attorney's fee in excess of 25%, counsel shall file a motion requesting such an approval which motion shall contain the reasons for the request. A copy of that motion shall be provided to the next friend at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing or conference relative to approval of the settlement.

F. The court will not authorize the next friend to settle the action or authorize the execution of releases and will not make any order respecting indemnity agreements, and the petition should make no such request.

G. The Court, upon its own motion, may appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the minor child and/or to review the proposed settlement. The fees of the guardian ad litem shall be paid by defendant.

H. The attorney, minor, parent, guardian, or next friend, will ordinarily be required to appear in all cases in support of the petition unless attendance has been excused by the Court upon prior motion of counsel or upon the Court's review of the file. In all cases where the minor has not actually been represented in the negotiation of the settlement, the minor, parent, and the next friend or guardian shall be required to appear with the attorney for the minor.

I. A full medical report, including a recent and detailed prognosis from the attending physician, will ordinarily be required. "Recent" shall mean a report dated not more than six months prior to the date of the filing of the petition for approval of a settlement.

J. 1. Court approval of a net settlement of $10,000.00 or less is not required by statute, however if a party desires Court approval, the Court's order will ordinarily be in substantially the following form:

Settlement approved. All bills listed in the petition are to be paid. Counsel fees in the amount of $__________ allowed (if settlement was actually negotiated by counsel representing the minor). The balance, amounting to $__________, shall be deposited in a savings account in the ________ Bank at _____________ in the name of ____________, as Trustee for ____________, no withdrawals to be made prior to the 18th birthday of said minor, except on written approval of a Justice of the District Court. Said savings institution is authorized to pay over the full amount remaining in said account to the said _____________ upon satisfactory proof that he/she has reached the age of 18 years. Approval is conditional upon compliance with this order with respect to payment of bills and deposit.

2. If the net amount of a settlement exceeds $10,000.00, Court approval is required, and the Court's order will ordinarily be in substantially the following form:

Settlement approved. All medical bills and other approved expenses listed in the petition are to be paid. Counsel fees in the amount of $__________ allowed (if settlement was actually negotiated by counsel representing the minor). The balance amounting to $__________, shall be paid over to _____________, as guardian over the estate of the minor.

Said funds shall, upon payment, be under the jurisdiction of the appropriate Court of Probate and shall be administered in accordance with the requirements of the Court of Probate. Any requests for withdrawal shall be addressed to the Court of Probate for its consideration.

Approval is conditional upon compliance with this order with respect to payment of bills and deposit of funds in accordance with this order.

Counsel for the minor shall be responsible for the settlement funds until said funds shall have actually been deposited in the appropriate guardianship account pursuant to the terms of this order and pursuant to the terms of the guardianship.

K. In the event that the parties desire to enter into a structured settlement, which is defined as a settlement wherein payments are made on a periodic basis, the following rules shall also apply:

1. Counsel for the defendants shall provide the Court with an affidavit from an independent certified public accountant, or an equivalent professional, specifying the present value of the settlement and the method of calculation of that value.

2. If the settlement is to be funded by an annuity, the annuity shall be provided by an annuity carrier meeting at least the following criteria:

(a) The annuity carrier must be licensed to write annuities in New Hampshire and, if affiliated with the liability carrier or the person or entity paying the settlement, must be separately capitalized, licensed and regulated and must have a separate financial rating.

(b) The annuity carrier must have a minimum of $100,000,000.00 of capital and surplus, exclusive of any mandatory security valuation reserve.

(c) The petition shall contain the following information about the annuity and the annuity carrier:

(i) a description of the structure of the annuity arrangement;

(ii) a description of the history and size of the annuity carrier and its experience in issuing annuities;

(iii) a certificate from the New Hampshire Insurance Department stating that the annuity carrier is in good standing in New Hampshire;

(iv) whether the annuity carrier is domiciled or licensed in a state accredited by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners under that organization's Financial Regulation Standards program; and

(v) the annuity carrier's most recent ratings from at least two of the commercial rating services listed in subparagraph (d).

(d) The annuity carrier must have one of the following ratings from at least two of the following rating organizations:

(i) A.M. Best Company: A++, A+, A, or A-.

(ii) Moody's Insurance Financial Strength Rating: Aaa or Aa.

(iii) Standard & Poor's Corporation Insurer Claims-Paying Ability Rating: AAA, AA+, AA, or AA-.

(iv) Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Company Insurance Company Claims Paying Ability Rating: AAA, AA+, AA, or AA-.

(e) The annuity Carrier must meet any other requirement the Court considers reasonably necessary to assure that funding to satisfy periodic payment settlements will be provided and maintained.

(f) The annuity carrier issuing an annuity contract pursuant to a qualified funding plan under these rules may not enter into an assumption reinsurance agreement for the annuity contract without the prior approval of the Court and the owner of the annuity contract and the claimant having the beneficial interest in the annuity contract. The Court shall not approve assumption reinsurance unless the reinsurer is also qualified under these rules.

(g) The annuity carrier and the broker procuring the policy shall each furnish the Court with an affidavit certifying that the carrier meets the criteria set forth in subsection (d) above as of the date of the settlement and that the qualification is not likely to change in the immediate future. The broker's affidavit shall also contain the following certification: "This determination was made with due diligence by the undersigned based on rating information which was available or should have been available to an insurance broker in the structured settlement trade."

(h) In the event that the parties to the action desire to place the annuity with an annuity carrier licensed in New Hampshire which does not meet the above criteria, the Court may consider approving the same, but only if the annuity obligation is bonded by an independent insurance or bonding company, licensed in New Hampshire, in the full amount of the annuity obligation.

(i) The Court reserves the right to require other reasonable security in any structured settlement if the circumstances should so require.

3. The Court may, for good cause shown, approve a structured settlement that does not comply with the provisions of paragraph (K). If the Court approves a settlement that does not comply with the provisions of paragraph (K), the Court shall make specific findings on the record explaining the reason(s) for approving the settlement.

 

APPENDIX L

Amend Professional Conduct Rule 7.2 by striking out said rule and inserting in place thereof the following new rule:

Rule 7.2. Advertising

(a) Subject to the requirements of Rules 7.1 and 7.3, a lawyer may advertise services through public media, such as a telephone directory, legal directory, newspaper or other periodical, outdoor advertising, radio or television, or through written communication.

(b) A copy or recording of an advertisement or written communication shall be kept for two years after its last dissemination along with a record of when and where it was used.

(c) A lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer's services, except that a lawyer may

(1) pay the reasonable costs of advertisements or communications permitted by this rule;

(2) pay the fee charged by a not-for-profit lawyer referral service or organization, provided that such service or organization may only use the revenues generated by referrals to defray its expenses or to provide delivery of civil legal services to the poor; and

(3) pay for the transfer and assumption of a law practice in accordance with Rule 1.17.

(d) Any communication made pursuant to this rule shall include the name of at least one lawyer responsible for its content.

APPENDIX M

Amend Professional Conduct Rule 7.3 by striking out said rule and inserting in place thereof the following new rule:

Rule 7.3. Regulation of Solicitation

(a) A lawyer shall not by in-person or live telephone contact or recorded telephone contact solicit professional employment from a prospective client with whom the lawyer has no family or prior professional relationship when a significant motive for the lawyer's doing so is the lawyer's pecuniary gain.

(b) A lawyer shall not solicit professional employment from a prospective client by written or recorded communication or by in-person or telephone contact even when not otherwise prohibited by paragraph (a), if:

(1) the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the physical, mental, or emotional state of the prospective client is such that there is a substantial potential that the person cannot exercise reasonable judgment in employing a lawyer; or

(2) the prospective client has made known to the lawyer a desire not to be solicited; or

(3) the solicitation involves coercion, duress or harassment.

(c) The prohibition in paragraph (a) shall not apply to a solicitation by a non-profit organization actually engaged in litigation as a form of political expression or association and only in connection with such litigation.

(d) A lawyer shall retain a copy of any written solicitation and mailing list for a period of two years. Every written communication from a lawyer soliciting professional employment from a prospective client with whom the lawyer has no family or prior professional relationship shall be clearly labeled "Advertising" in bold type on the outside envelope and on the inside text.

(e) Nevertheless, if success in asserting rights or defenses of the lawyer's clients in litigation in the nature of a class action is dependent upon the joinder of others, a lawyer may accept employment from those the lawyer is permitted under applicable law to contact for the purpose of obtaining their joinder. This rule does not prohibit a lawyer or a partner or associate or any other lawyer affiliated with the lawyer or the lawyer's firm from requesting referrals from a lawyer referral service operated, sponsored or approved by a bar association or from cooperating with any other qualified legal assistance organization.

 

APPENDIX N

Repeal Probate Court Rules 1 through 52 and the Guidelines for Processing and Disposition of Termination of Parental Rights Cases.

APPENDIX O

Adopt the following new Preface to the Rules of Practice and Procedure in the Probate Courts and the following new Probate Court Rules 1 through171.

PROBATE COURT RULES

NOTE: The rules as published herein are subject to revisions promulgated from time to time by the New Hampshire Supreme Court and published in the New Hampshire Bar News. See Supreme Court Rules 1 and 51.

PREFACE:

As good cause appears and as justice may require, the Court may waive the application of any rule.

Upon the violation of any rule of Court, the Court may take such action as justice may require. Such action may include, without limitation, the imposition of monetary sanctions against either counsel or a Party, which may include fines to be paid to the Court, and reasonable attorney's fees and costs to be paid to the opposing party.

RULE 1. DEFINITIONS

The following defined terms were developed to ensure clarity and consistency and are capitalized when used in a rule.

Administrator: The word Administrator includes every Person to whom an administration of an estate has been granted, including administrators and executors.

Answer: A written response to a Petition. However, an Answer is not the only acceptable written response to a Petition, other examples would be a Motion to dismiss or an objection.

Appearance (General): A written document filed by, or on behalf of a Party, pursuant to Rule 14, submitting to the jurisdiction of the Court.

Appearance (Special): An Appearance filed with the Court for the sole purpose of determining jurisdiction.

Attorney: Any person (a) admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, (b) allowed to appear in New Hampshire courts under pro hac vice (Rule 19) status, or (c) authorized by another under a power of attorney, usually referred to as an attorney-in-fact.

Beneficially Interested: As defined in RSA 550:12.

Cause: Any matter filed with the Court which requires the filing of an Appearance.

Court: Probate Court

Fiduciary: The word fiduciary includes every Person appointed to act as an administrator, executor, guardian, conservator, or trustee.

Motion: A written Pleading or oral request to the Court requesting the Court to take particular action.

Party: Any Person whose name is designated on the record to a proceeding as a Petitioner, Respondent, guardian ad litem or any other person or legal entity who has filed an Appearance, also referred to as a Party appearing of record.

Person: A natural person or any legal entity.

Petition: A written Pleading that initiates a proceeding.

Petitioner: A Party who initiates a proceeding.

Pleading: A Petition, Motion, objection, Answer, account or inventory filed with the Court requesting action by the Court.

Power of Attorney: An instrument signed by a Party, witnessed and acknowledged before a Justice of the Peace or Notary Public, authorizing an individual to act on behalf of the Party to do a particular act, appear in a particular matter, or for the general transaction of business.

Proof of Assets: Documentation that demonstrates that a ward has sole ownership of the assets. An example of documentation for savings, checking, certificates of deposit, and/or any other accounts, may be a photocopy of the current statement that shows the balance and the complete account title and ownership information.

Pro Se Party: A Party who does not retain an Attorney but appears personally.

Register: Register of Probate

Respondent: A Party who responds to a Petition.

Return Day: The date upon which Petitions are returnable to the Court. It is usually the first Tuesday of any month unless otherwise ordered by the Court. The Return Day is selected to create the time limits people are given in which to respond.

Tangible Personal Property: Property of material substance such as, goods, wares and merchandise.

RULE 2. PETITIONS, APPEARANCES - Addresses

Petitions shall not be accepted for entry unless the mailing address and actual street address of the party filing the Petition appears thereon, and no Appearance shall be filed unless it contains the mailing address and actual street address of each Party included in said Appearance. For good cause shown, any Petition or Appearance rejected for non-compliance with this rule may, upon Motion and compliance, be admitted for filing.

All changes of either mailing address or actual street address shall be filed with the Register. Whenever notice to a Party is required, notice to the last mailing address on file shall be deemed notice to, and binding on, the Party.

RULE 3. PETITIONS - Entry

No Petition shall be presented to, or heard by, the Court until filed with the Register’s office, the applicable entry fee paid, and the petition is entered upon the docket.

For the purpose of compliance with any time deadlines or statutes of limitation, the terms "filing" and "entry" shall have the same meaning and shall be used interchangeably. Whenever any document is received by the Court and time-stamped as received, or the document is entered in the Court's case management system, the earlier of the two shall be accepted as filing or entry date.

RULE 4. PETITIONS, MOTIONS, OR PLEADINGS – Approved Forms, Form Reproduction

No Petition, Motion, objection, or other Pleading, which is contained in a letter shall be accepted by the Register, as such, or acted on by the Court. Approved forms shall be furnished by the Register and must be used in all proceedings to which they are applicable. In all inventories and accounts where there is not sufficient space in the original form, additions or riders may be attached on paper of the same size. If no approved form is specifically applicable, the Party shall then file a Petition or Motion in such form as complies with the Rules of this Court.

Practitioners may produce form reproductions for use in the Courts that are either computer generated replicas or photocopies of forms furnished by the Registers. Form reproductions are documents containing the identical wording, in the identical format, and pagination as in the original, but font size or style may be different from the font size or style of the original court furnished form. Computer generated replicas or photocopies of multi-paged probate forms may be single-sided.

All Courts shall accept form reproductions of approved forms. All Courts shall consider that the Party who signs and/or files the form reproduction has agreed that the document is a reproduction of the form of the same import furnished by the Register. The Party who signs and/or files the form reproduction shall be held accountable for its form and content. Discrepancies between a form reproduction and a court-furnished original may subject the Party who signs/or files the reproduction to court-imposed sanctions or penalties, including removal as Fiduciary.

RULE 5. PETITIONS, MOTIONS, OR PLEADINGS - Failure to Comply with Rules or Statutes

The Register may refuse to accept any Petition, Motion or Pleading that the Register determines does not comply with these rules or statutory procedure. In the event an objection is made to such determination, a written Motion may be made to the Court to rule on such determination.

RULE 6. PETITIONS, MOTIONS, OR PLEADINGS - Addressing the Court

No Attorney or Party shall directly address himself or herself by Petition, Motion or Pleading, to any Judge of Probate, but shall file such Petition, Motion or Pleading with the appropriate Register.

RULES 7-9. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 10. DOCKETS

The Register shall enter upon the docket, at the time of filing the Petition, the names and addresses of all Parties involved in such Petition.

RULE 11. DOCKETS - Order of Presentation

Petitions, Motions and other Pleadings shall be presented to the Court in the order in which they are filed, unless otherwise determined by the Court.

RULE 12. COMPUTATION AND EXTENSION OF TIME

In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these rules, by order of the Court, or by applicable law, the day of the act, event, or default after which the designated period of time begins to run shall not be included. The last day of the period so computed shall be included, unless it is a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday as specified in RSA 288, as amended, or other day the Court is not open, in which event the period shall extend until the end of the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, legal holiday as specified in RSA 288, as amended, or other day the Court is not open.

Motions to enlarge the time prescribed by these rules or by Court order for doing any act are not favored.

RULE 13. TRIAL ASSIGNMENT CALENDAR

A Party, Petitioner or Respondent, anytime subsequent to, or contemporaneous with, the filing of an Answer to a Petition, may by Motion request that the Court place the contested matter on the trial calendar. Such Motion shall be a representation to the Court by the Party or the Attorney for the Party that the Party is ready for trial, that there is no known reason why the opposing Party is not ready for trial, that settlement negotiations have been exhausted and that a trial is probably certain. Rule 59 shall be strictly enforced as to all such Motions.

RULE 14. APPEARANCES - General and Special

Any Party may appear Pro Se, or be represented by an Attorney. Attorneys and Pro Se Parties shall enter an Appearance Form before filing Pleadings or personally appearing before the Court. An attorney-in-fact shall attach a copy of the Power of Attorney to the Appearance Form. No Appearance Form shall be required to be filed by the Petitioner, or if represented, by the Petitioner's Attorney or by a guardian ad litem.

The Appearance Form shall identify the Attorney, or Pro Se Party's name, address, the matter in which the Person appears and the name and address of the Party or Parties for whom the Person appears.

Copies of the Appearance Form shall be forwarded to all Parties, or if represented, to their Attorneys by the Party so appearing. A statement of compliance shall accompany all Appearance Forms.

The filing of an Appearance shall not constitute a general objection or denial. Any objections or denials must be raised in a separate Pleading. A Special Appearance shall be deemed a General Appearance thirty (30) days after the Return Day of the action, unless a motion to dismiss on jurisdictional grounds is filed within that time.

RULE 15. EXECUTION OF PLEADINGS

All Petitions shall be signed by the Petitioner, except that Petitions requesting equitable relief may be signed by the Petitioner or the Petitioner's Attorney. All bonds, inventories and accounts shall be signed by the Fiduciary. Motions and other Pleadings may be signed by the Party, the Party's Attorney or the attorney's associate. Names shall be typed, stamped or printed beneath all signatures on papers to be filed or served.

The signature of any Person to a Petition, Motion, or other Pleading constitutes a certification that he or she has read the Pleading; that to the best of his or her knowledge, information and belief there is a good ground to support the Pleading; and that it is not interposed for delay.

If a Petition, Motion, or other Pleading is not signed, it may be stricken and the action may proceed as though it had not been filed.

RULE 16. ADDRESSING THE COURT

Anyone addressing the Court or examining a witness shall stand. No-one shall approach the bench to address the Court except by permission of the Court.

RULE 17. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 18. ATTORNEYS - Testifying

No Attorney shall be compelled to testify in any Cause in which the Attorney is retained, unless the Attorney has been notified in writing, not less than thirty (30) days prior to the hearing that the Attorney will be summoned as a witness therein.

RULE 19. ATTORNEYS - Appearing Pro Hac Vice

An Attorney who is not a member of the Bar of this State shall not be allowed to enter an Appearance or engage in any proceeding before the Probate Court, except on Motion, which shall not ordinarily be granted unless a member of the Bar of this State is associated with the Attorney and present before the Court.

RULE 20. WITHDRAWALS

An Attorney may withdraw an Appearance upon Motion granted by the Court. In cases scheduled for a hearing, no Motion to withdraw shall be granted except for good cause shown. 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. A Withdrawal is not effective until the Motion to withdraw is granted by the Court.

Any Attorney wishing to withdraw an Appearance shall certify that a copy of the Motion to withdraw has been forwarded to the Party for whom the Attorney appears at such Party's last known address and to all other Parties.

Whenever an Attorney is allowed to withdraw an Appearance, and no other Appearance is contemporaneously entered, the Register shall notify the Party by mail of such withdrawal, and, unless the Party appears pro se or by an Attorney by a date fixed by the Court:

(a) any contested matter shall proceed as though that Party has defaulted and does not wish to be heard; or

(b) in any uncontested matter, the Register shall issue a show cause for any fiduciary to appear before the Court.

The Court upon Motion, or on its own Motion, may strike a Party from the record, if the Party no longer has an interest in the matter.

RULE 21. PLEADINGS - Copies to all Parties

Unless excused by the Court for good cause shown, any Person filing a Motion, Pleading, or correspondence with the Court shall forthwith furnish copies to all Attorneys, Pro Se Parties appearing of record, and to all Persons Beneficially Interested. All such Motions and Pleadings shall contain a statement of compliance.

RULE 22. ATTORNEYS - Surety

No Attorney shall be surety in any case pending before the Court.

RULE 23. SPECIFICATIONS

In all contested matters, the Court or any Party may file a Motion for a filing of specifications which set forth the particulars for any claim or objection. Specifications shall be filed within such time as the Court may order. In those cases in which specifications have been filed, the hearing shall be limited to the grounds specified. Specifications may be amended by filing a Motion with the Court, which may be granted or denied upon such terms as the Court may deem reasonable.

RULES 24-26. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 27. THIRD PARTY PRACTICE

Whenever a third Party is, or may be, liable to a Respondent in any pending action for all or part of the Petitioner's claim against said Respondent or if said Respondent may have a claim against a third Party, depending upon the determination of an issue or issues in the pending action, the Respondent may bring an action against the third Party and, unless otherwise ordered on Motion of any Party, such action shall be consolidated for hearing with the pending action or, if justice requires, on such Motion said third Party may be made a Party to the pending action, for the purpose of being bound by the determination of any common issues; provided, however, that, except for good cause shown to prevent injustice and upon such terms as the Court may order, no such action shall be consolidated with or said third Party joined in said pending action, unless suit is brought against said third Party within sixty (60) days following the Return Day of said pending action.

A third Party against whom an action is brought in accordance with this Rule and a Petitioner against whom a counterclaim has been filed may, under the same circumstances prescribed by this Rule, use the same procedure with respect to another Person and the same time limitation shall apply, except that as to a Petitioner the sixty (60) days shall begin to run on the date the counterclaim is filed.

All existing rules and practices shall apply to actions commenced under this Rule.

This Rule shall not be construed to limit or abridge in any way the existing common law practice of joining Parties in pending actions whenever justice and convenience require, or the giving of notice to third Parties to come in and defend any pending action or be bound by the outcome thereof.

RULES 27-A to 28. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 29. ORDERS TO PLEAD

The Court may in all cases order either Party to plead and also to file a statement in sufficient detail to give to the adverse Party and to the Court reasonable knowledge of the nature and grounds of the action or defense. Upon failure to comply with such order, the Court may take such action as justice may require.

RULES 30-32. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 33. COUNTERCLAIMS

No counterclaim shall be filed after thirty (30) days from the Return Day, except by leave of the Court and upon payment of costs; and when a counterclaim is filed, a copy shall be given to all Parties of record.

RULE 34. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 35. DISCOVERY

a. Discovery Methods. Parties may obtain discovery by one or more of the following methods: depositions upon oral examination or written questions; written interrogatories; production of documents or things or permission to enter upon land or other property, for inspection and other purposes; physical or mental examinations; and requests for admission. Unless the Court orders otherwise, or unless otherwise provided in these Rules, the frequency of use of these methods is not limited.

b. Scope of Discovery. Unless otherwise limited by order of the Court in accordance with these Rules, the scope of discovery is as follows:

(1) In General. Parties may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, which is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action, whether it relates to the claim or defense of the Party seeking discovery or to the claim or defense of any other Party, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition and location of any books, documents, or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons having knowledge of any discoverable matter. It is not ground for objection that the information sought shall be inadmissible at the trial if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

(2) Trial Preparation: Materials. Subject to the provisions of subdivision b(3) of this Rule, a Party may obtain discovery of documents and tangible things otherwise discoverable under subdivision b(1) of this Rule and prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial by or for another Party or by or for that other Party's representative (including his or her Attorney, consultant, surety, indemnitor, insurer, or agent) only upon a showing that the Party seeking discovery has substantial need of the materials in the preparation of his or her case and that he or she is unable without undue hardship to obtain the substantial equivalent of the materials by other means. In ordering discovery of such materials when the required showing has been made, the Court shall protect against disclosure of the mental impressions, conclusions, or legal theories of an Attorney or other representative of a Party concerning the litigation.

A Party may obtain without the required showing a statement concerning the action or its subject matter previously made by that Party. Upon request, a Person not a Party may obtain without the required showing a statement concerning the action or its subject matter previously made by that Person. If the request is refused, the Person may move for a court order. The provisions of Rule 59 apply to the award of expenses incurred in relation to the Motion. For purposes of this paragraph, a statement previously made is (a) a written statement signed or otherwise adopted or approved by the person making it, or (b) a stenographic, mechanical, electrical, or other recording, or a transcription thereof, which is a substantially verbatim recital of an oral statement by the Person making it and contemporaneously recorded.

(3) Trial Preparation: Experts. Discovery of facts known and opinions held by experts, otherwise discoverable under the provisions of subdivision b(1) of this Rule and acquired or developed in anticipation of litigation or for trial, may be obtained only as follows:

(a)(i) A Party may through interrogatories require any other Party to identify each Person, whom the other Party expects to call as an expert witness at trial, to state the subject matter on which the expert is expected to testify, and to state the substance of the facts and opinions to which the expert is expected to testify and a summary of the grounds for each opinion. (ii) Upon motion, the Court may order further discovery by other means, subject to such restrictions as to scope and such provisions, pursuant to subdivision b(3)(c) of this Rule, concerning fees and expenses as the Court may deem appropriate.

(b) A Party may discover facts known or opinions held by an expert, who has been retained or specially employed by another Party in anticipation of litigation or preparation for trial and who is not expected to be called as a witness at trial, only upon a showing of exceptional circumstances under which it is impracticable for the Party seeking discovery to obtain facts or opinions on the same subject by other means.

(c) Unless manifest injustice would result, (i) the Court shall require that the Party seeking discovery pay the expert a reasonable fee for time spent in responding to discovery under subdivisions b(3)(a) and b(3)(b) of this rule, and (ii) with respect to discovery obtained under subdivision b(3)(a)(ii) of this Rule, the Court may require, and with respect to discovery obtained under subdivision b(3)(b), the Court shall require the Party seeking discovery to pay the other Party a fair portion of the fees and expenses reasonably incurred by the latter Party in obtaining facts and opinions from the expert.

c. Protective Orders. Upon Motion by a Party or by the Person from whom discovery is sought, and for good cause shown, the Court may make any order which justice requires to protect a Party or Person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense, including one or more of the following: (1) that the discovery not be had; (2) that the discovery may be had only on specified terms and conditions, including a designation of the time or place; (3) that the discovery may be had only by a method of discovery other than that selected by the Party seeking discovery; (4) that certain matters not be inquired into, or that the scope of the discovery be limited to certain matters; (5) that discovery be conducted with no one present except persons designated by the Court; (6) that a deposition after being sealed be opened only by order of the Court; (7) that a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information not be disclosed or be disclosed only in a designated way; (8) that the Parties simultaneously file specified documents or information enclosed in sealed envelopes to be opened as directed by the Court.

If the Motion for a protective order is denied in whole or in part, the Court may, on such terms and conditions as are just, order that any Party or Person provide or permit discovery. The provisions of Rule 59 apply to the award of expenses incurred in relation to the Motion.

d. Sequence and Timing of Discovery. Unless the Court upon Motion, for the convenience of Parties and witnesses and in the interests of justice, orders otherwise, methods of discovery may be used in any sequence and the fact that a Party is conducting discovery, whether by deposition or otherwise, shall

not operate to delay any other Party's discovery.

e. Supplementation of Responses. A Party, who has responded to a request for discovery with a response that was complete when made, is under no duty to supplement his or her response to include information thereafter acquired, except as follows:

1) A Party is under a duty seasonably to supplement his or her response with respect to any question directly addressed to (a) the identity and location of Persons having knowledge of discoverable matters, and (b) the identity of each Person expected to be called as an expert witness at trial, the subject matter on which he or she is expected to testify, and the substance of his or her testimony.

(2) A Party is under a duty seasonably to amend a prior response if he or she obtains information upon the basis of which (a) he or she knows that the response was incorrect when made, or (b) he or she knows that the response, though correct when made, is no longer true.

(3) A duty to supplement responses may be imposed by order of the Court, agreement of the Parties, or at any time prior to trial through new requests for supplementation of prior responses.

f. Disclosure of Expert Witnesses. Within thirty (30) days of a request by the opposing Party, or in accordance with an order of the Court following a discovery conference, a Party shall be required to supply a Disclosure of Expert Witness(es) as defined under Rule 702 of the Rules of Evidence, which document shall

(1) identify each Person, including any Party, whom the Party expects to call as an expert witness at trial,

(2) provide a brief summary of the expert's education and experience relevant to his area of expertise,

(3) state the subject matter on which the expert is expected to testify, and

(4) state a summary of the facts and opinions to which the expert is expected to testify and a summary of the grounds for each opinion. The Party shall attach to the disclosure a copy of any expert report relating to such expert.

RULE 36. WRITTEN INTERROGATORIES

Any Party may serve, by mail or delivery by hand, upon any other Party written interrogatories relating to any matters which may be inquired into under Rule 44.

Any Party propounding interrogatories shall provide the opponent with notice, substantially as set forth in the following form, of the obligation to answer said interrogatories within thirty days. The notice shall be at the top of the first page and printed in capital, typewritten letters or in ten-point, bold-face print. The form of the notice in substance shall be as follows:

These interrogatories are propounded in accordance with Probate Court Rule 36. You must answer each question separately and fully in writing and under oath. You must return the original and one copy of your answers within thirty (30) days of the date you received them to the Party or Attorney who served them upon you. If you object to any question, you must note your objection and state the reason therefor. If you fail to return your answers within thirty (30) days, the party who served them upon you may inform the Court, and the Court shall make such orders as justice requires, including the entry of a conditional default against you.

Interrogatories may be served at any time after service of the action.

The Party serving the interrogatories shall furnish the answering Party with an original and two copies of the interrogatories. The interrogatories will be so arranged that after each separate question shall appear a blank space reasonably calculated to enable the answering Party to have his or her answer typed in.

Interrogatories shall be answered in writing under oath by the Party upon whom served, if an individual, or, if a public or private corporation, a partnership or association, by an officer or agent who shall furnish all information available to the Party.

Each question shall be answered separately, fully and responsively in the space following the question, or, if insufficient, on additional pages or retyped pages repeating each interrogatory in full following by the answer, in such manner that the final document shall have each interrogatory immediately succeeded by the separate answer.

If, in any interrogatory, a copy of a paper or document is requested, the copy shall be annexed to the answer. If the copy is a report of an expert witness or a treating physician, it shall be the exact copy of the entire report or reports rendered by him or her, and the answering Party shall certify that the existence of other reports of that expert, either written or oral, are unknown to him or her and, if such become later known or available, he or she shall serve them promptly on the propounding Party but in any case not later than ten (10) days prior to pre-trial settlement conference.

The Party, who is served with interrogatories, shall serve his or her answers thereto, by mail or delivery in hand, upon the Party propounding them within thirty (30) days after service of such interrogatories, or within thirty (30) days after the return day, whichever date is later. The Parties may extend such time by written agreement.

The answers shall be served, together with the original and one (1) copy of the interrogatories upon the propounding Party. If copies of papers are annexed to answers, they need be annexed to only one set.

If a Party, upon whom interrogatories are served, objects to any questions propounded therein, he or she may either answer the question by stating it is improper, or he or she may, within twenty (20) days after the service of interrogatories upon him or her, move to strike any question, setting out the specific grounds of objection. He or she shall make timely answer, however, to all questions to which he or she does not object. Interrogatories, which are not stricken, shall be answered within such unexpired period of the thirty (30) days above provided as remained when the Motion was filed or within such time as the Court directs. The propounder of a question answered by a statement that it is improper may, within twenty (20) days after service of the answers upon him or her, move to compel an answer to the question, and, if the Motion is granted, the question shall be answered within such time as the Court directs.

If a Party, who is served with interrogatories requesting copies of papers, objects to the furnishing thereof, he or she shall, in lieu of complying with the request, either state with specificity the reasons for his or her noncompliance or invite the propounder to inspect and copy the papers at a designated time and place. The propounder of a request for a copy of a paper, which is not complied with, may, within twenty (20) days after the service of the answers upon him or her, file a Motion seeking compliance with the request or for other appropriate relief.

Motions to strike interrogatories or to compel more specific answers thereto shall include a statement summarizing the nature of the action and shall have annexed thereto the text of the questions and answers, if any, objected to.

If the Court finds that a Motion, which is made pursuant to this Rule, was made frivolously or for the purpose of delay or was necessitated by action of the adverse Party that was frivolous or taken for the purpose of delay, the Court may order the offending Party to pay the amount of reasonable expenses, including Attorney's fees, incurred by the other Party in making or resisting the Motion.

A Party may file more than one (1) set of interrogatories to an adverse Party, but the total number of interrogatories shall not exceed fifty (50), unless the Court otherwise orders for good cause shown after the proposed additional interrogatories have been filed. In determining what constitutes an interrogatory for the purpose of applying this limitation in number, it is intended that each question be counted separately, whether or not it is subsidiary or incidental to or dependent upon or included in another question, and however the questions may be grouped, combined or arranged.

The adverse Party shall have the same privileges in answering written interrogatories as the deponent in the taking of a deposition.

If a Party, who has furnished answers to interrogatories, thereafter obtains information which renders such answers incomplete or inaccurate, amended answers shall be served in accordance with Rule 35E.

Interrogatories and answers may be used at the trial to the same extent as depositions. If less than all of the interrogatories and answers thereto are marked or read into evidence by a Party, an adverse Party may read into evidence any other of the interrogatories and answers or parts thereof necessary for a fair understanding of the parts read into evidence.

Neither the interrogatories nor the answers need be filed with the Register unless the Court so directs at the pretrial settlement conference or at trial.

If the Party, upon whom interrogatories have been served, shall fail to answer said interrogatories within thirty (30) days, or any enlarged period, unless written objection to the answering of said interrogatories is filed within that period, said failure shall result in a conditional default being entered by the Register upon Motion being filed indicating such failure to answer. The Party failing to answer shall receive notice of the conditional default. The conditional default shall be vacated if the defaulted Party answers the interrogatories within ten (10) days of receiving notice thereof and moves to strike the conditional default. If the defaulted Party fails to move to strike the conditional default within ten (10) days of receiving notice thereof, the adverse Party may move to have a default judgment entered and damages assessed in connection therewith. Unless the claim is fully liquidated and not subject to dispute as to amount or remedy, the Court shall have a hearing on damages.

RULE 36-A. WRITTEN INTERROGATORIES - Objections

When objections are made to interrogatories or requests for admissions, before there is any court hearing regarding said objections, counsel for the Parties shall attempt in good faith to settle the objections by agreement. It shall be the responsibility of counsel for the objecting Party to initiate such attempt and to notify the Register if the objections are settled by agreement.

If, following such conference, counsel are unable to settle objections, counsel for the objecting Party shall notify the Register and request a hearing on such objections as remain unsettled.

Where an objection to an interrogatory has been withdrawn by agreement of counsel or has been overruled by the Court, the answer to such interrogatory will be served within ten (10) days thereafter.

RULE 37. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 38. DEPOSITIONS - Notice

No notice to the adverse Party of the taking of depositions shall be deemed reasonable unless served at least three (3) days, exclusive of the day of service and the day of the deposition, before the day on which they are to be taken. Provided, however, that twenty (20) days' notice shall be deemed reasonable in all cases, unless otherwise ordered by the Court. No deposition shall be taken within twenty (20) days after service of the Petition, or other Pleading, except by agreement or by permission of the Court for good cause shown.

RULE 39. DEPOSITIONS - Stenographer

Every notice of a deposition to be taken within the State shall contain the name of the stenographer or the stenographer’s firm proposed to record the testimony.

RULE 40. DEPOSITIONS - Delivery of Notice

When a statute requires notice of the taking of depositions to be given to the adverse Party, it may be given to such Party or to the Party's Attorney of record. In cases where the action is in the name of a nominal Party and the Petition, Motion, Pleading, or docket discloses the real Party in interest, notice shall be given either to the real Party in interest or to the Attorney of record. Notices given pursuant to this Rule may be given by mail or by service in hand.

RULE 41. DEPOSITIONS - Procedure

The interrogatories shall be asked by the Pro Se Parties or Attorneys, and the interrogatories and answers shall be taken in shorthand or other form of verbatim reporting approved by the Court and transcribed by a competent stenographer agreed upon by the Pro Se Parties or Attorneys present at the deposition. In the absence of such agreement, the stenographer shall be designated by the Court. Failure to object in writing to a stenographer in advance of the taking of a deposition shall be deemed agreement to the stenographer recording the testimony.

No deposition, as transcribed, shall be changed or altered, but any alleged errors may be set forth in a separate document attached to the original and copies.

The magistrate shall cause to be noted any objection to any interrogatory or answer without deciding its competency. If complaint is made of interference with any witness, the magistrate shall cause such complaint to be noted and shall certify the correctness or incorrectness thereof in the caption.

Upon Motion, the Court may order the filing of depositions, and, upon failure to comply with such order, the Court may take such action as justice may require.

RULE 42. DEPOSITIONS - Out of State

The signature of a Person outside the State, acting as an officer legally empowered to take depositions or affidavits, with his or her seal affixed, where one is required, to the certificate of an oath administered by him or her in the taking of affidavits or depositions, shall be prima facie evidence of his or her authority so to act.

RULE 43. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 44. DEPOSITIONS AND INTERROGATORIES - Refusal to Answer

The deponent, on deposition or on written interrogatory, shall ordinarily be required to answer all questions not subject to privilege or excused by the statute relating to depositions, and it is not grounds for refusal to answer a particular question that the testimony would be inadmissible at the trial if the testimony sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence and does not violate any privilege.

If any deponent refuses to answer any question propounded on deposition, or any Party fails or refuses to answer any written interrogatory authorized by these Rules, or fails to comply within twenty (20) days after written request to, the Party propounding the question may, upon notice to all Persons affected thereby, apply by Motion to the Court for an order compelling an answer. If the Motion is granted, and if the Court finds that the refusal was without substantial justification or was frivolous or unreasonable, the Court may, and ordinarily will, require the deponent and the Party or Attorney advising the refusal, or any of them, to pay the examining or requesting Party the reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining the order, including reasonable counsel fees.

If the Motion is denied and if the Court finds that the Motion was made without substantial justification or was frivolous or unreasonable, the Court may, and ordinarily will, require the examining Party or the Attorney advising the Motion, or both of them, to pay to the opposing Party or witness the reasonable expenses incurred in opposing the Motion, including reasonable counsel fees.

RULE 45. USE OF VIDEOTAPE DEPOSITIONS - Procedure

The Court, within its discretion, may allow the use of videotape depositions that have been taken by agreement. If the Parties cannot reach such an agreement, the Court may, in its discretion, order the taking and/or use of such depositions. At the commencement of the videotape deposition, the Pro Se Party or Attorney representing the Party taking the deposition shall state whose deposition it is, for what case it is being taken, where it is being taken, who will be asking the questions, and the date and the time of the deposition. Care shall be taken to have the witnesses speak slowly and distinctly and that papers be readily available for reference without undue delay and unnecessary noise. All persons attending the deposition shall comport themselves at all times as if they were actually in the courtroom.

If any problem arising as to the admissibility or inadmissibility of evidence, this should be handled in the same manner as written depositions.

RULE 45-A. USE OF VIDEOTAPE DEPOSITIONS - Procedure for Objections

A Party objecting to a question asked of, or an answer given by, a witness whose testimony is being taken by videotape shall provide the Court, either at the pretrial conference or if no pretrial conference ten (10) days before trial, with a transcript of the videotape proceedings that is sufficient to enable the Court to act upon the objection, or the objection shall be deemed waived.

The provisions of Rule 41 with respect to objections to testimony or evidence shall also apply to a videotape deposition.

RULE 46. CONTINUANCES - Unavailability of a Material Witness

No Motion for a continuance based on the unavailability of material testimony shall be granted, unless supported by an affidavit stating the name of the witness, if known, whose testimony is unavailable, the particular facts the witness is expected to prove with the grounds of such expectation, and what has been done to procure his or her attendance or deposition, so that the Court may determine whether due diligence has been exercised for that purpose. No action shall be continued on such Motion if the adverse Party will agree that the affidavit shall be received and considered as evidence in like manner as if the witness were present and had testified to the facts therein stated, and such agreement shall be in writing at the foot of the affidavit and signed by the Pro Se Party or Attorney.

RULE 47. CONTINUANCES - Unavailability of Material Evidence

Rule 46 shall apply, with necessary changes, when the Motion is grounded on the unavailability of any material document, paper, or other evidence of like nature.

RULE 48. CONTINUANCES

Continuances may be granted upon such terms as the Court may order.

RULE 49. CONTINUANCES - Motions

All Motions for continuance shall be made in writing setting forth the grounds relied on and shall be signed and dated by the Pro Se Party or Attorney. Other Parties wishing to join in any such Motion shall also do so in writing.

Motions filed by Attorneys shall contain a statement that the client has been notified of the reasons for the continuance, has assented thereto either orally or in writing, and has been forwarded a copy of the Motion.

All such Motions shall be filed within ten (10) days from the date of the mailing of the notice of a hearing or trial. Any such Motion that is filed after the (10) days from the date of the mailing of such notice shall not be considered by the Court, except for good cause shown.

RULE 49-A. CONTINUANCES - Scheduling Conflict

Where a trial has been scheduled in one case prior to the scheduling of another matter in another Court, or elsewhere, where an Attorney or Party has a conflict in date and time, the case first scheduled shall not be subject to a continuance because of the subsequently scheduled matter which is in conflict as to time and dated except as follows:

(a) A subsequently scheduled case involving trial by jury in a District, Superior, or Federal District Court, or argument before the Supreme Court.

(b) Unusual circumstances causing the respective Courts to agree that an order of precedence other than the above shall take place.

RULE 50. CONTINUANCES - Court Approval Necessary

All actions shall be in order for hearing or trial as scheduled and, notwithstanding agreements of Parties, shall not be continued except for good cause shown and upon such terms as the Court may order.

RULE 50-A. RECUSAL

All grounds for recusal that are known or should reasonably be known prior to trial or hearing shall be incorporated in a written Motion for recusal and filed promptly with the Court. Grounds for recusal that first become apparent at the time of or during the hearing shall be immediately brought to the attention of the Court. Failure to raise a ground for recusal shall constitute a waiver as specified herein of the right to request recusal on such ground. If a record of the proceedings is not available, the trial judge shall make a record of the request, the Court's findings, and its order.

RULE 51. SETTLEMENTS - Docket Markings

Whenever a Pro Se Party or Attorney informs the Register that a particular matter has been settled and that agreements will be filed, the Register shall forthwith notify by mail the parties of record or their Attorneys of such notice of settlement. If the settlement agreements are not filed within thirty (30) days after the mailing of such notice, the Register shall summon the Parties to a hearing to determine what court action shall be taken.

RULE 52. CONTINUANCES - Extension of Return Day

If service of process cannot be completed within the time set forth in the orders of notice, upon written Motion, the Court may extend the Return Day and the date for completion of service upon such terms as justice may require.

RULE 53. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 54. ADMISSION OF RELEVANT FACTS, GENUINENESS OF DOCUMENTS AND SIGNATURES - Procedure

Any Party desiring to obtain admission of the signature on or the genuineness of any relevant document or of any relevant facts which he or she believes not to be in dispute, may file a request therefor with the Register, accompanied by any original documents involved, and deliver a copy of such request and documents to the adverse Pro Se Party or Attorney. Each of the matters, of which an admission is requested, shall be deemed admitted, unless within thirty (30) days after such delivery the adverse Party files with the Register and delivers a copy thereof to the Pro Se Party or Attorney requesting such admission, either a sworn denial thereof or a written objection on the ground of privilege or that it is otherwise improper.

If objection is made to part of a request, the remainder shall be answered within the time limit, and when good faith requires that a Party qualify his or her answer or deny only part of a matter, he or she shall specify so much of it as is true and qualify or deny the remainder.

Any Party who without good reason or in bad faith denies under this rule any signature or fact which has been requested and which is thereafter proved, or who without good reason or in bad faith requests such admission under this rule and thereafter fails to prove it, may, on Motion of the other Party, be ordered to pay the reasonable expenses, including counsel fees, incurred by such other Party in proving the signature or fact or in denying the request, as the case may be.

RULE 55. [Reserve for Future Use]

RULE 56. WITHDRAWING PAPERS

Papers shall not be withdrawn from the files except by permission of the Court and upon a receipt therefor being filed.

RULE 57. MOTIONS - Requirements

The Court will not hear any Motion grounded upon facts, unless they are verified by affidavit, or are apparent from the record or from the papers on file in the case, or are agreed to and stated in writing signed by the Parties or their Attorneys; and the same rule shall be applied as to all facts relied on in opposing any Motion.

RULE 57-A. MOTIONS - Certification of Attempt to Obtain Concurrence

Any Pro Se Party or Attorney filing a Motion shall certify to the Court that such Pro Se Party or Attorney has made a good faith attempt to obtain concurrence in the relief sought, except in the case of dispositive Motions, Motions for contempt or sanctions, or comparable Motions where it can be reasonably assumed that the Pro Se Party or Attorney will be unable to obtain concurrence.

RULE 58. MOTIONS - Objections and Oral Argument

The Court shall hold any Motion for ten (10) days before acting thereon, unless assented to by all Parties. The Court may act on a Motion on the basis of the Pleadings and record before it. Any objection to a Motion shall be filed within ten (10) days of the filing of such Motion. Failure to object to the Motion shall not, in and of itself, be grounds for granting the Motion.

No oral argument or evidentiary hearing shall be scheduled unless requested in writing by the Pro Se Party or Attorney within ten (10) days after the filing of the Motion or objection thereto. The request for oral argument or evidentiary hearing shall contain the reasons why the oral argument or evidentiary hearing will further assist the Court in determining the pending issue(s).

Upon request of a Pro Se Party or Attorney, Motions to dismiss shall be heard as soon as practicable, and no later than thirty (30) days prior to the date scheduled for trial on the merits, unless the Court shall otherwise order. All necessary evidence shall be presented at such hearing.

RULE 58-A. MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

In accordance with RSA 547:11-f, as amended, the following procedures shall govern Motions for summary judgment in the Probate Court. Motions for summary judgment shall be filed, defended and disposed of in accordance with the provisions of RSA 491:8-a, as amended, which is incorporated herein. Such Motions and responses thereto shall provide specific page, paragraph, and line references to any pleadings, exhibits, answers to interrogatories, depositions, admissions, and affidavits filed with the Court in support or opposition to the Motion for summary judgment. Only such materials as are essential and specifically cited and referenced in the Motion for summary judgment, responses, and supporting memoranda shall be filed with the Court. In addition, except by permission of the Court received in advance, no such Motion, response, or supporting memorandum of law shall exceed twenty (20) double-spaced pages. The purpose of this rule is to avoid unnecessary and duplicative filing of materials with the Court. Excerpts of documents and discovery materials shall be used whenever possible.

Where a plaintiff successfully moves for summary judgment on the issue of liability or a defendant concedes liability, the Parties must provide the Court with a statement of agreed facts sufficient to explain the case and place it in a proper context so that the Court might more readily understand what it will be hearing in the remaining portion of the trial. Absent such an agreement on facts, the matters of liability and damages cannot be severed.

If it appears to the Court at any time that any Motion for summary judgment or affidavit has not been presented in good faith or has been presented solely for the purpose of delay, the Court shall forthwith order the Party and/or the Attorney presenting it to pay to the other Party the amount of the reasonable expenses which the filing of the Motion or affidavit caused the Party to incur, including reasonable attorney's fees. Such additional sanctions may be imposed as justice may require.

RULE 59. PLEADINGS - Frivolous Conduct

The Court may assess reasonable costs, including reasonable counsel fees, against any Party or Attorney whose frivolous or unreasonable conduct makes necessary the filing of any Pleading or hearing thereon.

RULE 59-A. MOTIONS FOR RECONSIDERATION

(1) A Motion for reconsideration or other post-decision relief shall be filed within ten (10) days of the date on the Register's written notice of the order or decision, which shall be mailed by the Register on the date of the notice. The Motion shall state, with particularity, points of law or fact that the Court has overlooked or misapprehended and shall contain such argument in support of the Motion as the movant desires to present; but the Motion shall not exceed ten (10) pages. A hearing on the Motion shall not be permitted except by order of the Court.

(2) No answer to a Motion for reconsideration or other post-decision relief shall be required unless ordered by the Court, but any answer or objection must be filed within ten (10) days after the filing of the Motion.

(3) If a Motion for reconsideration or other post-decision relief is granted, the Court may revise its order or take other appropriate action without rehearing or may schedule a further hearing.

(4) The filing of a Motion for reconsideration or other post-decision relief shall not stay any order of the Court unless, upon specific written request, the Court has ordered such a stay.

RULE 60. HEARINGS - Contested Matters

In any contested matter, the Register shall give at least ten (10) days notice of any hearing or other proceeding before the Court to the Parties, Persons Beneficially Interested, or to their Attorneys, unless it appears that justice or a specific statute requires otherwise. Such notice, however, may be waived in writing by any responding Party, Persons Beneficially Interested, or Attorney. An appearance in person or through an Attorney and participation in the hearing shall be deemed a waiver of notice.

RULE 61. NOTICE OF DECISIONS - Uncontested Matters

Upon the entry of a decision on any uncontested Motion or other Pleading, the Register shall forthwith send a notice of decision to the Attorney for the moving Party or the moving Party, if not represented by counsel, and to the Attorney for the Fiduciary or the Fiduciary, if not represented by counsel.

Upon the entry of a decision on any uncontested account or inventory, the Register shall forthwith send a notice of decision to the Attorney for the Fiduciary or the Fiduciary, if not represented by counsel.

RULE 61-A. NOTICE OF DECISIONS - Contested Matters

Upon the entry of a decision on any contested Petition, Motion, account, inventory, or other Pleading, the Register shall forthwith send a notice of the decision to all Attorneys appearing of record, Pro Se Parties, and Persons Beneficially Interested. A copy of the notice of decision shall be made a part of the records by the Register.

RULE 62. STRUCTURING CONFERENCES AND PRETRIAL PROCEDURES

The Court shall schedule a structuring conference for each contested case entered on the docket. The structuring conference shall occur between sixty (60) and one hundred twenty (120) days after the Return Day or at such other time as the Court may order.

The Pro Se Party or Attorney shall attend the structuring conference and shall be prepared and authorized to discuss the issues and set schedules for discovery and other case preparation, including additional conferences with the Court, Alternative Dispute Resolution, settlement or trial.

Ten (10) days prior to the structuring conference all Pro Se Parties or Attorneys shall file summary statements necessary to support their respective claims, defenses or counterclaims. This summary statement shall be comprehensive and made in good faith, but shall not be admissible at trial. The purpose of this summary statement is to apprise the court of the nature of the claims, defenses, and legal issues likely to arise.

At or immediately after the structuring conference, the Court shall issue a structuring conference order which may include discovery deadlines and dates for an additional conference with the Court, filing of pretrial statements, filing of Motions, filing of requests for findings of fact, rulings of law and memoranda of law, trial management conference, and trial.

If a pretrial statement is ordered it shall include, by numbered paragraphs, a detailed, comprehensive, and good faith statement, setting forth, if applicable:

1. Uncontested issues of fact.

2. Contested issues of fact.

3. Applicable law.

4. Disputed issues of law.

5. Specific claims, objections or position of the contestant.

6. Specific defenses.

7. A list of all exhibits to be offered in the case of each Party. The Pro Se Parties or Attorneys shall bring all exhibits or exact copies to the pretrial conference.

8. A list of all depositions to be read into evidence.

9. A waiver of claims, denials or objections.

10. A list of the names and addresses of all witnesses who may be called.

11. Whether there will be a request for a view and, if so, who shall pay the cost in the first instance.

12. The names and addresses of the trial Attorneys.

Except for good cause shown, only witnesses listed in the pretrial statement will be allowed to testify and only exhibits, so listed, will be received in evidence.

In every case scheduled for trial, the Court may schedule such pretrial conferences as it deems necessary, at which counsel shall have their clients present or available for contact by telephone and shall be prepared to discuss and effectuate settlement and, if necessary, conduct of the trial.

Failure to comply with this Rule shall constitute grounds for sanctions, in the discretion of the Court.

RULE 63. STANDING PRETRIAL ORDERS

(a) Copies of all medical reports relating to the litigation, in the possession of the Parties, shall be furnished to opposing counsel on receipt of the same.

(b) X-rays and hospital records (which are certified as being complete records) if otherwise admissible and competent may be introduced without calling the custodian or technician. Any Party shall have the right to procure from opposing counsel an authorization to examine and obtain copies of hospital records and X-rays involved in litigation.

(c) All experts, including doctors and law enforcement personnel, who are to testify at trial, shall be advised by counsel to bring their original records and notes to court with them.

(d) All Fiduciaries shall be prepared to present the originals of all documents or other papers at issue in any hearing.

(e) The written reports of the New Hampshire Division for Children, Youth and Families or of any guardian ad litem shall be submitted not later than at the commencement of the hearing for which it is submitted.

RULE 63-A. PROCEDURE DURING TRIAL - Offers of Proof

A probate judge or probate master may receive evidence by an Offer of Proof, whenever appropriate and within the discretion of the Court. Whenever a Court exercises discretion to receive evidence by an Offer of Proof, the Court shall inform all Parties that by making an Offer of Proof, the proffering Party represents to the Court that a witness is present in the courtroom and can testify under oath in accordance with the Offer of Proof. Before receiving evidence by an Offer of Proof, the Court shall inform all Parties of the following procedures:

An Offer of Proof as to the testimony of a witness shall be received only if that witness is present in the courtroom at the time of the Offer.

Any witness whose testimony is presented by an Offer of Proof may be cross-examined by the opposing party, subject to the usual authority of the Court.

If a witness' credibility is challenged, or for any other reason within the discretion of the Court, the Court may question the witness or require that the witness' proof be presented from the witness stand.

An Attorney or Pro Se Party making an Offer of Proof represents to the Court that the Attorney or Pro Se Party has examined the witness or document that is the subject of the Offer. Through that examination, the Attorney reasonably believes, taking into account all that the Attorney or Pro Se Party knows about the case, that the evidence is not false; the evidence is admissible through a witness who can testify under oath to establish the purpose for which it is offered; and the evidence is not offered for a frivolous purpose.

In an ex parte proceeding, an Attorney making an Offer of Proof also represents to the Court that the Offer of Proof is accompanied by a statement under oath of all material facts known to the Attorney to enable the Court to make an informed decision as to the issues presented.

In proceedings where the Rules of Evidence either do not apply or are relaxed within the discretion of the Court, evidence may be received by an Offer of Proof without the presence of the witness in Court if that same evidence could be received by the Court without the necessity of a witness' testimony under oath to introduce the evidence.

RULE 64. PROCEDURE DURING TRIAL - Copies to Court

The Attorney or Pro Se Party shall seasonably furnish for the convenience of the Court copies of all exhibits offered in evidence.

RULE 64-A. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 65. PROCEDURE DURING TRIAL - Examination of Witness

Only one Attorney for each Party, or if Pro Se, only the Pro Se Party shall be permitted to examine a witness.

RULE 66. PROCEDURE DURING TRIAL - Objections

When stating an objection, the objecting Party shall state only the basis of the objection (e.g., "leading," "non-responsive," or "hearsay"), provided that upon request, counsel shall be permitted a reasonable opportunity to present additional argument or grounds for the objection.

RULE 67. PROCEDURE DURING TRIAL - Witness Re-examination

Unless permitted by the Court, after cross-examination, a witness may not be re-examined by the Party calling the witness, except as may be necessary to explain answers on cross-examination, and except as to new matters elicited by cross-examination regarding which the witness has not previously been examined.

RULE 68. PROCEDURE DURING TRIAL - Criminal Record

If a Party plans to use or refer to any criminal record, for the purpose of attacking or affecting the credibility of a witness, the Pro Se Party or Attorney shall first furnish a copy of same to the opposing Party or Attorney, and then obtain a ruling from the Court as to whether the witness may be questioned with regard to any conviction for credibility purposes.

Evidence of a conviction under this rule shall not be admissible unless there is introduced a certified record of the judgment of conviction indicating that the witness was represented by counsel at the time of the conviction unless counsel was waived.

RULE 69. PROCEDURE DURING TRIAL - Recall of Witness

After a witness has been dismissed from the stand, the witness shall not be recalled by the same Party, without permission of the Court.

RULE 70. PROCEDURE DURING TRIAL - Presentation of Case

In all trials, the Petitioner shall put in the whole case before resting and shall not thereafter, except by permission of the Court for good cause shown, be permitted to put in any evidence except such as may be strictly rebutting; and the Respondent shall, before resting, put in the whole defense, and shall not thereafter introduce any evidence except such as may be in reply to the rebutting evidence.

RULE 71. PROCEDURE DURING TRIAL - Opening and Closing Statements

Opening and closing statements may be allowed within the discretion of the Court. Opening statements shall not be argumentative and shall be no longer than fifteen (15) minutes each, and closing statements shall be limited to thirty (30) minutes each, unless otherwise permitted by the Court.

RULE 72. PROCEDURE DURING TRIAL - Requests and Memoranda

All requests for findings of fact and rulings of law and written memoranda of law shall be submitted no later than a time directed by the Court at the structuring conference. If there is no time set forth in the order at the structuring conference, then all requests for findings of fact and rulings of law and memoranda of law must be submitted to the Court no later than the close of the evidence. Nevertheless, it is within the Court's discretion to allow requests and memoranda to be submitted to the Court at a later time.

RULE 72-A. PROCEDURE AFTER TRIAL - Decisions

In the absence of other express court order, rule, or statutory provision, justices and masters of the Probate Court shall file with their respective Registers decisions in all pending matters within sixty (60) days of the final date of their submission to them for determinations. The Registers shall keep a list of all decisions pending longer than sixty (60) days. Justices, masters and Registers shall report to the Administrative Justice all decisions pending for more than sixty (60) days. Upon written request of a justice or master, the Administrative Justice may extend the deadline.

RULE 73. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 74. PROCEDURE AFTER TRIAL - Final Judgment

In all actions in which an order or decree is entered or in which an action is dismissed, or in which any Motion is acted upon after order or decree, all appeals shall be deemed waived and judgment shall become final as follows in subparagraphs (a) or (b), unless the Court has otherwise ordered, unless a notice of an appeal has been filed with the Superior Court pursuant to RSA 547:11-d, or unless a notice of appeal has been filed with the Supreme Court pursuant to its Rule 7:

(a) where no Motion, or an untimely filed Motion, has been filed after order or decree, on the thirty-first day from the date on the Register's written notice that the Court has made such order, decree or dismissal; or

(b) where a timely filed Motion has been filed after order, decree or dismissal, on the thirty-first day from the date on the Register's written notice of the Court's action on the Motion.

RULE 75. PROCEDURE AFTER DEFAULT

In all defaulted cases, judgment may be entered at such time and after any hearing that the Court may order.

RULE 76. APPEALS TO SUPERIOR COURT

Appeals to Superior Court shall be in accordance with RSA 547:11-d.

RULE 77. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 77-A. EXCEPTIONS UNNECESSARY

Formal exceptions to non-evidentiary rulings or orders of the Court are unnecessary, and for all purposes for which an exception has heretofore been necessary it is sufficient that a Party, at or before the time the ruling or order of the Court is made or sought, makes known to the Court by Pleading or orally on the record the action which the Party desires the Court to take or the Party’s objection to the action requested by a Party opponent, provided that in each instance the Party has informed the Court of the specific factual or legal basis for the Party's position. Objections to evidentiary rulings are governed by N. H. R. Ev. 103.

RULE 77-B. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 78. PHOTOGRAPHING, RECORDING AND BROADCASTING

(a) Except by order of the Court, no Person shall take any photograph, make any recording, or make any broadcast by radio, television or other means in the course of any proceeding in the courtroom.

(b) Official court reporters and authorized recorders are not prohibited by section (a) of this rule from making voice recordings for the sole purpose of discharging their official duties.

(c) A Party may request that any probate proceedings be recorded. Such request shall be made in writing to the Court no later than ten (10) days prior to the proceeding. Any denial of a request for recording shall include the reason(s) supporting the denial. A request for recording, not timely filed, may be granted within the discretion of the Court.

(d) For all purposes, including Supreme Court Rules 13-15, the official record of a recorded probate court proceeding shall be the printed transcript of the proceeding as prepared by an approved transcriber or stenographer at the request of the Register.

RULE 78-A. TRANSCRIPTS

(a) Transcripts for Appeal. The Party(ies) shall advance the estimated cost of the transcript as ordered by the Court. Upon receipt of the required advance payment, the Register shall direct the transcriber or stenographer to proceed with the transcription.

(b) Request for Excerpts. During the course of a trial, either party may request to have parts of the evidence transcribed for use during the trial. The furnishing of a transcript or excerpts from the evidence is to be done under the direction of the probate judge or probate master.

(c) Transcripts Required for Other Than Appeal. In the event there is a Motion for a transcript of a proceeding, either partial or complete, by a Party to the proceeding or other interested Persons, for purposes other than appeal, that purpose shall be stated in the Motion.

When a Motion for transcript is granted, any other Party desiring a copy shall notify the Court within ten (10) days of the Register's notice. After the ten-day period has elapsed, the Register shall proceed in the usual manner to compute the estimated cost of the transcript and require the Party or Parties to advance this amount. Upon receipt of the required advance payment, the Register shall direct the transcriber or stenographer to proceed with the transcription.

When completed, if the transcriber or stenographer's bill exceeds the estimated payment, the Register shall collect the additional cost before releasing the transcript(s). The original shall be retained by the Register.

(d) Transcript Order by Court, Master or Referee. If a complete or partial transcript of any proceeding is ordered by a probate judge or probate master, the transcriber or stenographer shall prepare an original and such copies as ordered. The Register's office shall provide the probate judge or probate master with a copy and retain the original and any other copies. Neither, the original or any copy shall be defaced in any way so that they may be used in the event of subsequent appeal.

(e) Special Circumstances. Any and all of the outlined procedures for preparation of transcripts may be amended at the discretion of the Court in special circumstances; e.g., when there is a limited time available for processing an appeal, etc.

RULE 78-B. DUPLICATION OF AUDIO TAPES

(a) Upon receipt of a Motion to the Court for a duplicate audio tape of a recorded probate court proceeding, the probate judge or probate master who presided over the proceeding shall either (1) direct the Register to release a copy of the audio tape to the Person, or (2) deny the Motion. Any denial of a Motion for a duplicate audio tape shall include a statement of reason(s) supporting the denial.

(b) In the case of any probate court proceeding made CONFIDENTIAL by New Hampshire statute, case law, or court order, no duplicate audio tape shall be released, except to a Party to the proceeding or to an Attorney for a Party to the proceeding. In such cases, the Party or Attorney shall sign a "Receipt for Duplicate Audio Tape of Confidential Probate Proceeding."

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

__________________ COUNTY PROBATE COURT

IN RE: __________________________

DOCKET NUMBER:_____________

RECEIPT for DUPLICATE AUDIO TAPE of

CONFIDENTIAL PROBATE PROCEEDING

I acknowledge receipt of a duplicate audio tape of a CONFIDENTIAL probate proceeding in this case.

As a condition of the receipt of this duplicate audio tape, I shall take all reasonable actions to ensure that the CONFIDENTIALITY of the proceeding, including the CONFIDENTIALITY of this audio tape, is preserved. Those actions shall include the following:

I shall not reproduce this audio tape in any form.

I shall not release this audio tape, or a copy of this audio tape, to anyone.

I shall not allow anyone to listen to this audio tape, except for a Party to this proceeding, Attorney for a Party to this proceeding, or a Person with a court order authorization to listen to this audio tape.

DATE:_________________ SIGNATURE________________________

 

(c) The fee for each duplicate audio tape shall be $25.00, payable to the Register.

RULE 79. INTERLOCUTORY TRANSFERS AND APPEALS TO THE SUPREME COURT - Procedure

Whenever any question of law is to be transferred by interlocutory appeal from a ruling or by interlocutory transfer without ruling, the moving Party shall file with the Register the interlocutory appeal statement or interlocutory transfer statement pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 8 or Supreme Court Rule 9, and after the Court has signed the statement, the moving Party shall file the number of copies required by the rules of the Supreme Court with the clerk thereof.

After a decision on the merits, all appeals shall be deemed waived and judgment shall become final on the thirty-first day from the date on the Register’s written notice of the decision, unless the party aggrieved enters a notice of appeal in the Supreme Court within thirty (30) days from the date on the Register’s notice, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 7, and files the number of copies required by the rules of the Supreme Court with the clerk thereof. The definition of "decision on the merits" includes decisions on Motions made after an order, opinion, or decree. Timely filed post-trial Motions stay the running of the appeal period.

Whenever any notice of appeal is filed pursuant to the provisions of RSA 567-A, the appealing Party shall give notice thereof forthwith to all Parties or to their Attorneys in accordance with rules of the Supreme Court.

RULE 80. INTERLOCUTORY TRANSFERS AND APPEALS TO THE SUPREME COURT - Transcripts

When the Supreme Court orders that a transcript be prepared, if a question of law is transferred by appeal, the appealing Party shall advance the estimated cost of the transfer, and the expense of such transfer shall be taxed in the appealing Party's bill of costs if the appealing Party shall prevail; but if transferred by virtue of an agreement signed by the Parties or otherwise without ruling, such expense shall be advanced as the Court, within its discretion, may rule that justice requires.

The transcriber or stenographer shall transcribe the original and two copies of all the oral proceedings except opening statements and arguments, unless otherwise ordered by the Supreme Court.

After determination of what is to be transcribed as provided by these rules and the Supreme Court rules, the Clerk of the Supreme Court shall notify the Party liable therefor of the estimated cost to that Party at the prevailing per page rate for the original and each copy thereof, and shall notify that Party to pay the estimated cost to the Register within fifteen (15) days from the date of the notice; otherwise, that Party’s appeal shall be deemed waived; or if it is an agreed case or if otherwise transferred without ruling, the action shall be dismissed unless the other Party will advance such expense within fifteen (15) days after notice, in which event the other Party may tax it as costs if the other Party prevails. Upon receipt of the required advance payment, the Register shall notify the transcriber or stenographer to proceed with the transcription.

The oral proceedings of the trial shall not be transcribed by the transcriber or stenographer in advance of decree unless the Court rules that justice so requires. In the event that such prior transcription is ordered, the transcriber or stenographer shall prepare not less than the typewritten original and two copies thereof and the Court shall determine the apportionment of the cost thereof.

RULE 81. MATTERS BEFORE MASTERS AND REFEREES

Retired Judges sitting as referees shall have the powers set forth in RSA 547:19-c and masters shall have the powers set forth in RSA 547:37.

RULE 82. MATTERS BEFORE MASTERS AND REFEREES - Non-compliance

If either Party neglects or refuses to appear or to render an account, or produce any books and papers or answer on oath proper interrogatories, the master or referee shall certify the fact to the Court, and the Court shall take such action as justice may require.

RULE 83. MATTERS BEFORE MASTERS AND REFEREES - Amendments and Assessment of Costs

In actions sent to a master or referee, the hearing shall proceed according to the rules of law or equity, as the case may be, and the practice in Court. The master or referee may allow amendments in the same manner and to the same extent as if the action were tried in Court; and, when amendments are so allowed, the master or referee shall report such facts to the Court. The master or referee shall certify the costs of each Party in the hearing.

RULE 84. MATTERS BEFORE MASTERS AND REFEREES - Approval by Probate Judge

The report of a master or referee to whom a matter has been referred will be presented to the probate judge for approval and order. The decision thereafter shall be sent in accordance with Rule 61 and the Parties shall preserve their rights as though the case were originally heard before a probate judge.

RULE 85. MATTERS BEFORE MASTERS AND REFEREES - Questions of Law Reported

If any question of law shall arise at the hearing before the master or referee, that question shall, at the request of either Party, appear in the master or referee's report, together with a ruling thereon.

RULE 85-A. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 86. TRUSTEES - Disclosure

The disclosure of all trustees served before entry of the petition must be filed within sixty (60) days after the Return Day at which the action is returnable, and, in the case of trustees served pursuant to authority to make additional attachments, within sixty (60) days following the date of service upon such trustees. Upon failure of the Petitioner so to file such disclosure, the trustees shall be discharged upon Motion. The Court, upon Motion and for sufficient cause shown by affidavit, may extend the time for taking the disclosure. Trustees will be allowed costs as a Party until the question of their liability, if they enter an Appearance.

RULE 87. TAXATION OF COSTS

(a) Costs. Costs shall be allowed as of course to the prevailing Party as provided by these rules, unless otherwise provided by statute or the Court otherwise directs.

(b) Taxation of Costs. The Party claiming costs shall file with the Register an itemized, verified bill of costs. The Register shall revise the verified bill of costs to conform to these rules. Allowable costs are set forth in subparagraph (c). If a Party objects to any costs allowed or not allowed by the Register, such Party may by Motion request that the Court review the action of the Register. Any Party aggrieved by the Court's order concerning costs may appeal therefrom within thirty (30) days from the date of notice of such order, regardless of whether an appeal concerning the underlying judgment is sought.

(c) Allowable Costs. The following costs shall be allowed to the prevailing Party: Court fees, fees for service of process, witness fees, expense of view, cost of transcripts, and such other costs as may be provided by law. The Court, in its discretion, may allow the stenographic cost of an original transcript of a deposition, plus one copy, including the cost of videotaping, and may allow other costs including, but not limited to, actual costs of expert witnesses, if the costs were reasonably necessary to the litigation.

RULE 88. FEES AND EXPENSES - Fiduciary and Attorney

Fees and expenses of Fiduciaries and Attorneys shall be subject to the approval of the Court. In all cases, fees and expenses shall be reasonable for the work, responsibility, and risk. Factors used to determine the reasonableness of a fee may include the time and labor required, the size of the estate, the requisite skill, the customary fee, a fee agreement, the results obtained, time limitations, and the length of the professional relationship.

RULE 89. FORMAL PROOF OF HIGHWAY WAIVED UNLESS DEMANDED

In any case in which a road or a way is alleged to be a public highway, a Party shall notify the opposing Party or that Party's Attorney at least ten (10) days prior to trial if said highway must be formally proved; otherwise, the need to formally prove said highway will be deemed to be waived.

RULE 90. ADOPTION - Personal Attendance

The Petitioner(s) and the individual to be adopted shall appear at the hearing on the adoption, unless the presence of either is excused by the Court for good cause shown.

RULE 91. ADOPTION OF FOREIGN-BORN CHILD

A. Unless the Court orders otherwise, for purposes of RSA 170-B:6, VI, any one of the following documents, which indicate that the child is a foreign adoptee (IR-3 status) or the subject of a foreign guardianship awarded for the purpose of the child's adoption in the United States (IR-4 status), will be accepted by the Court as evidencing that the parental rights of the parents of the proposed adoptee have been voluntarily or involuntarily terminated by the proper authorities in a foreign country:

1. An attested or certified copy of the child's actual Visa (Form OF-230), indicating either IR-3 or IR-4 status, issued by the U.S. Consulate in the proposed adoptee's country of birth.

2. An attested or certified copy of the proposed adoptee's alien registration card indicating either IR-3 or IR-4 status.

3. A certified copy of the proposed adoptee's passport issued in his/her country of birth, with the U.S. Visa stamp affixed indicating either IR-3 or IR-4 status.

B. The attestation or certification of the copies deemed acceptable under the preceding section shall be by a notary public commissioned under the laws of the jurisdiction where the act occurs and shall be substantially in the following form:

"A true copy attest

________________________________

Notary Public

My Commission Expires:__________

Affix Notarial Seal Here"

or, alternatively,

"I hereby certify that I have personally examined and compared this copy against the original instrument and find this copy to be a true copy of the original in every respect save this certification.

_____________________________

Notary Public

My Commission Expires:_________

Affix Notarial Seal Here"

 

RULE 91-A. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 92. ADOPTIONS - Proof of Birth, Guardianship Pending

Upon filing a Petition for adoption, the Petitioner shall file, or cause to be filed, the original or a certified copy of the proposed adoptee's birth certificate. If, at the time of filing, a birth certificate has not been issued, the Petitioner may file a certificate or record of live birth, or a similar document verifying the proposed adoptee's birth.

Once the Petition for adoption, the required proof or verification of the proposed adoptee's birth, and any required consent to the adoption has been filed, the Register may, upon the Petitioner's written request, issue a written confirmation of filing which shall be in the following form:

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

COUNTY OF __________________ PROBATE COURT

CONFIRMATION OF FILING

"This will serve to officially confirm that there is on file with the Registry of Probate a petition for the adoption of ________________ by _____________ _____________, as well as a certified copy of the birth certificate or other verification of the live birth of _________________ and a consent to the adoption, approved by the court, and has been filed by _____________________."

Where anonymity is required or the parties in interest prefer anonymity, the Petitioners may file a petition for guardianship in order to acquire, and be able to present proof of, proper authority for care, custody, and control of the child preliminary to adoption. The appointment may be qualified by such conditions as the Court deems proper and consistent with the child's best interests.

RULE 93. PROCESSING AND DISPOSITION OF TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS CASES

A. Purpose. The purpose of this rule is to assure the speedy processing of Petitions for the termination of parental rights and to achieve permanent family plans for the children within the scope of RSA Chapter 170-C. This rule should in no way be considered as superseding constitutional or statutory rights of Parties to these proceedings.

B. Contents of Petition. A Petition for termination of parental rights shall include the following:

1. The name and place of residence of the Petitioner.

2. The name, sex, date and place of birth, and residence of the child.

3. The basis for the Court's jurisdiction.

4. The relationship of the Petitioner to the child, or the fact that no relationship exists.

5. The names, addresses, and dates of birth of the parents.

6. When the child's parent is a minor, the names and addresses of said minor's parents or guardian of the person.

7. The names and addresses of the following Persons:

(a) the Person having legal custody;

(b) the guardian of the person:

(i) of the parent, or

(ii) of the child;

(c) any individual acting in loco parentis to the child; or

(d) the organization or authorized agency having legal custody or providing care for the child.

8. The grounds on which termination of the parent-child relationship is sought.

9. The names of the authorized agency to whom or to which legal custody or guardianship of the person of the child may be transferred.

10. If the Petition for termination is filed subsequent to an abuse/neglect proceeding, the names and addresses of the attorneys representing the parents and the names and addresses of any guardian ad litems appointed in the underlying abuse/neglect case.

11. If the Petition is filed by an authorized agency, the name and address of the Attorney representing the agency and the name and address of the social worker assigned to the case.

C. Contents of Notice. The order of notice provided for in RSA 170-C:7 shall be attached to a copy of the Petition and shall include the following:

1. The statement that termination of parental rights means the loss of all rights to custody, visitation, and communication with the child and that if termination is granted, the parent will receive no notice of future legal proceedings concerning the child.

2. An explanation of the need to respond immediately to the notice, both to prepare for trial and because important hearings will take place prior to trial.

3. An explanation of how to find out the time and place of future hearings in the case.

4. Notice of right to counsel, of the procedure to follow to obtain appointed counsel, and of the role that counsel can play in Court proceedings.

5. The date, time, and place of the hearing on the Petition for termination of parental rights. The statement that a written Appearance must be filed with the Court on or before the date of the hearing, or the Respondent/parent may personally appear on the date of the hearing, or be defaulted.

6. The statement that the failure to appear personally or in writing will waive all rights to a hearing and that the Person's parental rights may be terminated at the hearing.

D. Notice. After a Petition has been filed, the Court shall set the time and place for hearing and shall give notice thereof to the Petitioner.

1. The Petitioner shall cause notice to be given to:

(a) the Respondent/parent;

(b) the guardian ad litem and/or guardian of the person of the child;

(c) the guardian ad litem and/or guardian of the person of any other Party;

(d) the Person having legal custody of the child; and

(e) any individual standing in loco parentis to the child.

2. Where the child's parent is a minor, notice shall also be given to the minor's parents or guardian of the person unless the Court is satisfied, in its discretion, that such notice is not in the best interest of the minor and that it would serve no useful purpose.

3. The Petitioner shall provide notice to the Respondent(s)/parent(s) by personal service. Where it shall appear impractical to personally serve the Respondent/parent, however, the Court shall, upon Motion of the Petitioner, order service, either by certified mail, return receipt requested (restricted delivery to  addressee only), to the Respondent's/parent's last known address, or by publication once a week for two (2) successive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the area where that Person was last domiciled, or both.

4. The Petitioner shall include with a Motion for notice by publication an affidavit describing the Petitioners efforts to locate and serve the absent parent.

5. All other Parties shall be given notice by regular mail at their last known address.

6. Pursuant to RSA 170-C:13, costs of giving notice and advertising shall be paid by the Petitioner.

E. Initial Hearing. Should the Respondent/parent enter an Appearance or appear personally, the hearing described in (C)(5) of this rule shall be considered an initial hearing. At this hearing, the Court shall:

1. Determine that the Court has jurisdiction.

2. Assure that all parents have been identified and located, and if there is a unnamed or absent parent, inquire about what efforts have been made to locate that Person.

3. Appoint counsel for the Respondent(s)/parent(s), if necessary.

4. Address the issue of notice, if necessary.

5. Order evaluations, if appropriate.

6. Establish the time and date for a structuring conference.

7. Address any other matters necessary to expedite the case and to make orders for that purpose.

F. Structuring Conference. When an initial hearing is held as a result of an Appearance by the Respondent/parent, a structuring conference shall be scheduled to be held within thirty (30) days after the initial hearing. At the structuring conference, the Court shall:

1. Resolve any outstanding discovery disputes.

2. Identify issues of law and fact for trial.

3. Assure that all relevant evaluations will be completed prior to the final hearing on the merits.

4. Resolve any other matters which will simplify or aid the conduct of the final hearing on the merits.

5. Determine if a pretrial conference will be necessary and if so, set the time and date.

6. Set the time and date of the final hearing on the merits and estimate its length.

G. Pretrial Conference. A pretrial conference is not mandatory. However, if a pretrial conference is held, it shall be held at a time, within the discretion of the Court, after the structuring conference and before the final hearing on the merits. At the pretrial conference, the Court shall:

1. Resolve any remaining issues which would simplify or aid the conduct of the final hearing on the merits, e.g. memoranda of law, admission of documents, admission of reports, etc.

2. Review the final witness list.

3. Confirm the date, time, and estimated length of the final hearing on the merits.

H. Final Hearing On the Merits. If the Respondent/parent neither enters an Appearance nor appears personally, the final hearing on the merits shall be conducted in place of the scheduled initial hearing. If the Respondent/parent enters an Appearance, the final hearing on the merits shall be commenced within one hundred twenty (120) days after the structuring conference. The Court shall set aside sufficient time to avoid interruptions of the final hearing on the merits. In the event a final hearing on the merits cannot be completed within the allotted time, it may be adjourned. Except for good cause shown, the adjournment shall not exceed fourteen (14) days.

I. Issuance of Court Order. The Court shall issue a decision which shall include a disposition no later than thirty (30) days after the date of the final hearing on the merits, or when applicable, the filing of an Affidavit as to Military Service.

Upon the granting or denial of a Petition for termination of parental rights brought by the Division of Children, Youth and Families subsequent to a district court proceeding, the Court shall send notice of the decision to the district court.

Upon the granting or denial of a Petition for termination of parental rights brought by the Division of Children, Youth and Families, the Court shall send notice of the decision to the adoption unit. If the petition for termination is granted, the Court shall require the Division for Children, Youth and Families social worker to transfer the termination of parental rights case to the adoption unit within ten (10) days of the expiration of the appeal period and send a letter to the Court confirming such transfer. The Adoption Unit Social Worker shall file an Appearance for purposes of receiving notice for subsequent hearings.

If, after the final hearing on the merits, the Court does not order a termination of parental rights but finds that the best interest of the child requires substitution or supplementation of parental care and supervision, and orders a guardianship over the child by the Division for Children, Youth and Families or an authorized agency, a review hearing shall be scheduled to be held within one (1) year after any Court order granting guardianship is issued, and annually thereafter.

J. Post-Termination Case Review Hearings. The guardian ad litem for the child shall continue as such until the child is adopted or the Court discharges the guardian ad litem from further involvement in the case.

If the Court orders termination of parental rights and grants custody of the child to the Division for Children, Youth and Families for the purpose of placing the child for adoption, a post-termination case review hearing shall be scheduled to be held within ninety (90) days of the Court's order, and every six (6) months thereafter, unless excused by the Court for good cause shown. If an adoption petition is filed prior to any scheduled post-termination case review hearing, the hearing may be cancelled.

Within five (5) days prior to the post-termination case review hearing, the Division for Children, Youth and Families shall submit a written status report to the Court. The Division for Children, Youth and Families shall forward a copy of the status report to the child's guardian ad litem and/or attorney. The report shall be dated and signed and shall be written by the Division for Children, Youth and Families to include four (4) separate categories, as outlined below:

1. A description of the agency's progress toward arranging an adoptive placement for the child.

2. If adopted parents have not already been selected, a schedule and description of the steps taken to place the child for adoption.

3. A discussion of any special barriers preventing placement of the child for adoption and how they should be overcome.

4. The projected date for filing a Petition for adoption.

The Court shall make any orders which may be appropriate to achieve permanency.

K. Change of Venue. When the Division for Children, Youth and Families wishes to proceed with adoption proceedings in a county or state other than where the termination occurred, the division may seek a change of venue pursuant to Rule 115.

RULES 93-A to 94. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 95. CRIMINAL CONTEMPT

(a) Summary Disposition. A direct criminal contempt may be punished summarily if the judge certifies that he or she saw or heard the conduct constituting the contempt and that it was committed in the actual presence of the Court. Oral notice of the conduct observed must be given by the judge and the contemnor given an opportunity to speak in his or her defense. The order of contempt shall recite the adjudication and sentence and shall be signed by the judge and entered of record. The disposition, when imposed, shall also be entered on a separately numbered State v. (The Contemnor) file.

(b) Disposition Upon Notice and Hearing. An indirect criminal contempt shall be prosecuted on notice. The notice shall state the time and place of hearing, allowing a reasonable time for the preparation of the defense, and shall state the essential facts constituting the criminal contempt charged and describe it as such. The notice shall be given orally by the Judge in open court in the presence of the defendant or, on application of an Attorney for the State or of an Attorney appointed by the Court for that purpose, by an order to show cause or an order of arrest. The defendant is entitled to admission to bail as provided by statute. In a proceeding under this subdivision, if the contempt charged involves disrespect to or criticism of a Judge, that Judge is disqualified from presiding at the trial or hearing except with the defendant’s consent. Upon a verdict or finding of guilt, the Court shall enter an order fixing the punishment.

RULE 96. WILLS - Filed without Administration

In the case of testacy, if there is no estate to be administered, a will may be filed and recorded without taking out administration, provided that a certified copy of a death certificate is filed with the Register. No other documents will be required when a will is filed without administration.

RULE 96-A. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 97. WILLS - Proof by Codicil

If the Court finds that a codicil is executed with the same formality as a will, and that the codicil specifically refers to the will, ratifying and confirming those provisions not amended by the codicil, the Court shall allow the will to be proved by proving the codicil.

RULE 98. WILLS - Nuncupative or Lost

In cases of nuncupative wills or lost wills, the Register shall follow the general procedures relating to the probate of estates.

RULE 99. WILLS - With Charitable Trust, Charitable Remainder Trust or Charitable Bequest

Whenever a will containing a charitable trust, charitable remainder trust, or charitable bequest is presented for probate, the Register shall send a copy of said will to the Director of Charitable Trusts within fourteen (14) days after the will is allowed.

RULE 99-A. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 100. VOLUNTARY ADMINISTRATIONS – Contribution of Non-estate Funds

Financial contributions, from either trust or personal funds which are not a part of the estate, may be made for the purpose of paying estate bills. Such contributions are not taken into account when determining the overall size of an estate relative to the jurisdictional limits found in RSA 553.

RULE 100-A. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 101. STATUS REPORTS - Estates Opened Solely to Pursue a Cause of Action

In estates opened solely to pursue a cause of action, a Fiduciary may file a motion to postpone the filing of annual accounts while the underlying legal action is pending. In lieu of an account, the Fiduciary shall file status reports as ordered by the Court. In no event, however, shall a Fiduciary be excused from filing an account for more than three (3) consecutive years.

RULE 102. PRIVATE CLAIM BY OR AGAINST FIDUCIARY

For purposes of this rule, a private claim is defined as a claim against the estate by the Fiduciary or a claim against the Fiduciary by the estate. The Fiduciary shall give notice of a private claim either by:

1. Including the words "and private claim of" within the heading of the account and in the notice of such account.

2. Setting out the claim in a separate Motion to the Court.

RULE 102-A. CREDITOR'S CLAIM

Pursuant to RSA 556:2 creditors have no obligation to file with the Court a copy of the notice of claim sent to the fiduciary. If, however, a creditor chooses to file its notice of claim, the Register shall accept the copy and enter it upon the docket without requiring an Appearance Form. A creditor who has not filed an Appearance Form is not a Party of record, entitled to notice and copies of the pleadings. Any creditor wishing to become a Party of record, shall enter an Appearance.

RULE 103. BONDS - Corporate

When a surety company is offered as surety on a probate bond, no such bond shall be approved unless the name of the Person executing the bond for the surety company has been certified to the Register by the insurance commissioner, or such surety company shall have filed with the Register a Power of Attorney or a certified copy thereof authorizing the execution of such bond. The Court may require proof, in the form of an affidavit or otherwise, that the Person purporting to be an officer of any surety company and executing on behalf of the company any bond, letter, or Power of Attorney, is in fact such an officer. The attorney-in-fact's name shall be printed or typed under his or her signature on the bond.

RULE 103-A. BONDS - Personal

Personal bonds shall be used only when ordered by the Court, and no such bond shall be accepted unless the principal duly subscribes:

I, THE PRINCIPAL NAMED ABOVE, AGREE TO PAY THE JUDGE OF PROBATE THE AMOUNT OF THIS BOND IF I DO NOT FAITHFULLY PERFORM THE DUTIES OF MY OFFICE AS FIDUCIARY AS REQUIRED BY NEW HAMPSHIRE LAW. THIS OBLIGATION SHALL CONTINUE UNTIL I FULFILL ALL OF MY DUTIES AND SHALL BE BINDING ON MY ESTATE.

RULE 103-B. BONDS - Change of Sureties or Penal Sum of Bond

No change of sureties or of the penal sum (amount) of any probate bond shall be made except upon order of the Court.

RULE 104. SURETY OR BENEFICIARY AS APPRAISER OR COMMISSIONER

No surety on the bonds of Administrators, trustees, guardians, or conservators, nor any Person Beneficially Interested in an estate, shall be appointed appraiser or commissioner of the same estate.

RULE 105. [Reserved for Future Use.]

RULE 105-A. INVENTORIES - Failure to Object

When a copy of an inventory is sent to a Party or a Beneficially Interested Person, failure to object within ten (10) days after the date the inventory is filed in the Court, shall act as a waiver of the right to object to the inventory and the right to any further notice concerning any hearing on the inventory.

RULE 106. MOTIONS FOR LICENSE TO SELL, MORTGAGE, OR LEASE

When a license is required by statute, all Motions for a license to sell, mortgage, or lease real estate, or to sell personal property shall not be acted upon until the inventory in that estate has been filed and accepted by the Court. No real or personal property shall be sold for less than inventory value, unless otherwise ordered by the Court.

All Motions for a license to sell, mortgage, or lease real estate, or to sell personal property shall include the inventory value and, if different, the current market value of the property. All Motions for a license to mortgage real estate shall include the amount of the note, interest rate, and the terms of the mortgage. All Motions for a license to lease real estate shall include the amount of rent, length of the lease, and the terms of the lease.

All Motions for a license to sell, mortgage, or lease real estate, shall contain a description of the real estate sufficiently accurate to make a conveyance thereof, and shall likewise contain a reference to the book and page number of the decedent's or ward's deed or title, as recorded in the Registry of Deeds.

RULE 106-A. MOTIONS FOR LICENSE TO SELL REAL ESTATE TO PAY DEBTS OR LEGACIES

Motions for a license to sell real estate for the payment of debts or legacies must include a statement, under oath, showing the assets of the estate, the debts (and legacies, if any) due from the estate, and the estimated amount of the expenses of administration.

RULE 106-B. LICENSE TO SELL, MORTGAGE, OR LEASE - Notification of Proceeds

In a sale, mortgage, or lease under license, the Fiduciary shall notify the Court of the net proceeds of the sale, mortgage, or lease within thirty (30) days following receipt of such proceeds.

RULE 106-C. LICENSE TO SELL, MORTGAGE, OR LEASE - Return

Whenever a Fiduciary has been granted a license to sell, mortgage, or lease real estate, the estate shall not be closed until the Fiduciary has filed the return of sale with the Court. The return of sale shall indicate, under oath, the Fiduciary's actions pursuant to such license, whether or not any sale, mortgage, or lease, has been made thereunder.

RULE 107. SALES WITHOUT LICENSE

No license is required in the sale of real estate when all heirs consent or when the sale is directed by the will. After any such sale, the Fiduciary shall notify the Court of the net proceeds of the sale within thirty (30) days following receipt of such proceeds.

The notification shall also contain a description of the real estate sufficiently accurate to make a conveyance thereof, and shall likewise contain a reference to the book and page number of the deed or title of the decedent or ward, as recorded in the Registry of Deeds.

RULE 108. FIDUCIARY ACCOUNTING STANDARDS

The following standards shall be applicable to all interim and final accountings of Administrators, trustees, guardians and conservators, required or permitted to be filed with the Court.

A. Accounts shall be stated in a manner that is understandable by Persons who are not familiar with practices and terminology peculiar to the administration of estates, trusts, guardianships and conservatorships.

1. All accounts shall be rendered on a cash basis, except in extraordinary circumstances upon specific written order of the Court.

2. All accounts shall be rendered for a specified period, with an indicated opening and closing date. Such period shall be for not more than twelve months ending on the last day of a calendar month, unless otherwise ordered by the Court. A first accounting shall begin on the date of appointment and end on the last day of the calendar month next preceding the anniversary month of appointment, unless a shorter period is specified in such accounting, or unless otherwise modified upon appropriate Motion to the Court. Accounts subsequent to the first account shall be for periods of twelve (12) months. An accounting other than a first account may be for a shorter period if it is appropriate because a specified event (such as death of a beneficiary or ward; closing the estate; or date specified in the applicable Court order or will) occurs, resulting in a change in the responsibilities or duties of the Fiduciary.

3. For Administrators, accounts shall list all receipts by source (other than the principal value of real estate, unless the real estate has been actually sold by the Fiduciary) and all disbursements by payee. Gains and losses on disposition of property shall be netted and reported with receipts.

4. For trustees, accounts shall list separately all receipts and disbursements of principal by source and by payee; and all receipts and disbursements of income by source and by payee. Gains and losses on disposition of property shall be netted and reported with receipts of principal.

5. For guardians and conservators, accounts shall list separately all receipts by source and all disbursements by payee. Gains and losses on disposition of property shall be netted and reported with receipts. For each asset comprising the reported "Balance in Hands of Fiduciary," excluding all Tangible Personal Property, the Fiduciary shall provide Proof of Assets.

6. All accountings shall be capable of being understood by a Person of average intelligence, literate in English, and familiar with basic financial terms, and who has read the accounting with care and attention.

7. The use of terms of special meaning, such as "debit" or "credit" or abbreviations, should be avoided or explained.

B. A Fiduciary account shall begin with a concise summary of its purpose and content. The account shall begin with a brief statement identifying the Fiduciary, the subject matter, the relationship of Parties interested in the account to the account, and, if applicable, appropriate notice of any limitations on or requirements for action by Parties interested in the account. The following information shall be provided.

1. The sequence of the account (first, second, etc.) and identification of a final account as such.

2. The period covered by the account, with an indicated opening and closing date (i.e., the accounting period).

3. Identification of the Fiduciary by name; title (executor, administrator, etc.); mailing address; and telephone number through which Fiduciary may be contacted.

4. At the Fiduciary’s option, a statement of the purposes of filing the account.

5. Identification of the Attorney, if any, representing the Fiduciary by name; business address; and telephone number.

6. Identification of the Parties interested in the account as of the date of filing, by name; capacity in which interested in the account (remainderman, income beneficiary, ward, heir-at-law, etc.); and last known residence or business address.

7. A summary of the total receipts, total disbursements and total balance on hand at the end of the account, all expressed in dollar values, supported by schedules in the account.

C. A Fiduciary account shall contain sufficient information to put parties interested in the account on notice as to all significant transactions affecting administration during the accounting period.

1. The first account of a Fiduciary shall detail the items received by the Fiduciary and for which the Fiduciary is responsible. The account shall not simply refer to the total amount of an inventory filed separately or assets described in documents other than the account itself. Tangible Personal Property may be referred to in summary form; provided, however, that such summary designates where detailed lists of the applicable Tangible Personal Property may be located.

2. In second and subsequent accounts, the opening balance shall not simply refer to the total value of assets on hand as shown in detail in the prior account, but shall list each item separately. Tangible Personal Property may be referred to in summary form, as in the manner prescribed for first accounts.

3. Transactions shall be described in sufficient detail to give Parties interested in the account notice of their purpose and effect.

4. All balances on hand shall be itemized, on a separate schedule.

5. When filing the final account in the administration of an intestate estate, if the balance passes to more than one heir, the Fiduciary shall file a separate schedule listing in detail the computation and satisfaction of disbursements provided under the laws of intestacy, in order to reconcile the aggregate of such disbursements.

6. Compensation of Attorneys, professionals, and Fiduciaries shall be shown separately in summary form, unless otherwise ordered by the Court. Extraordinary administrative costs (such as appraisals, ancillary administration expenses, etc.) shall be shown separately and explained. Administrative costs of Court and other fees, postage, copying, telephone toll charges, and similar routine out-of-pocket expenses may be shown in summary form.

7. With regard to disposition of real estate by a Fiduciary, the Fiduciary shall show the date of disposition, the gross sales price or disposition value, plus all adjustments to such price or value incident to the disposition, including costs of sale and applicable real estate and transfer taxes, to permit ready determination, by Parties interested in the account, of how the net sale proceeds received by the Fiduciary were calculated.

8. With regard to gains and losses on disposition of property, the Fiduciary shall provide with regard to each disposition the date of disposition, proceeds of disposition and book value or cost of the disposed property.

9. Interest and penalties paid in connection with late filing of tax returns, late payment of tax liabilities, of any nature, probate citations for late filing or failure to file reports or accountings, shall be shown separately and explained.

10. An extraordinary allocation between principal and income shall be separately stated and explained.

11. If the Fiduciary makes an allocation, such as the computation of a formula marital deduction gift, involving non-probate assets, it shall be explained in detail; provided, however, that the non-probate assets involved in such computation may be stated in summary form.

12. No disbursements for administrative expenses shall be listed as "estimated" or "reserved" without explanation.

D. A Fiduciary account shall include both book value or cost of assets and current values of such assets at the beginning and end of the accounting period.

1. "Book value" (a) for Administrators, shall be the value of the property at the date of death; (b) for trustees, shall be the book value of the prior Fiduciary from whom the property was received; and (c) for guardians and conservators, shall be the value of the property at the date of appointment.

2. "Cost" shall be the consideration given or paid by a Fiduciary with regard to property initially acquired by the Fiduciary.

3. If book values at initial valuation cannot be readily determined, the values used shall reflect a thoughtful decision by the appraiser; and the explanation of the principal factors determining such decision shall be set forth in the account in which such values are first reported.

4. If current values for interim or final accountings cannot be readily determined, the values used shall reflect a good faith judgment by the Fiduciary; and the explanation of the principal factors determining such decision shall be set forth in the account. Such valuation shall be subject to approval of the Court.

5. Book value or cost shall not normally be adjusted for depreciation except upon specific written order of the Court.

6. Book value based on date of death may be adjusted to reflect federal valuation elections or changes on audit of the estate or inheritance tax returns, upon appropriate Motion to the Court.

7. A successor Fiduciary or co-Fiduciary may adjust the book value or cost of assets to reflect values at the start of the administration of, or subsequent receipt of assets by, the successor Fiduciary or co-Fiduciary, upon appropriate Motion to the Court.

8. Assets received in kind by a Fiduciary in satisfaction of a pecuniary legacy shall be carried at the value used for the purposes of such disbursement.

9. Current values for the beginning and closing dates of the accounting period shall be determined by the same methods used to determine book value, or by reference to readily determinable fair market valuing techniques (for example, market values for readily traded securities; principal balance for certificates of deposit, etc.); provided, however, that any variations in valuing method shall be explained.

10. Accounts of the administration of any decedent’s estate need not reflect current values of assets at the end of the accounting period.

11. When an asset is held by a trustee, guardian or conservator, under circumstances that make it clear that it is not likely to be disposed of (for example, a residence held for the use of a beneficiary), the Fiduciary may report an estimate of current value; provided, however, that the Fiduciary discloses the use of an estimate and the Fiduciary’s basis for the estimate used.

E. The account shall show significant transactions that do not affect the amount for which the Fiduciary is accountable.

1. The schedule listing such transactions shall consist of an information schedule, which shall be set forth at the end of the other schedules required in an account, setting forth each transaction by a separate number.

2. All changes in investments not reflected as gains or losses reported on other schedules of receipts shall be listed. These would include, but not be limited to, stock dividends; stock splits; changes in name; exchanges; or reorganizations.

3. All new investments made within the accounting period, and in hand at the close thereof, shall be noted on the schedules of assets on hand at the close of the accounting period. Totally new investments, and increased or additional investments in the same investment as shown on the schedules of assets on hand at the beginning of the accounting period of the account, shall be separately designated or annotated.

4. With regard to book accounts, notes or installment obligations (whether secured or not), detail regarding collections or payments shall be provided to permit reconciliation of the balances shown on schedules of assets on hand at the beginning and the close of the accounting period.

5. The Fiduciary shall also report on the information schedule the details of any events causing or resulting in a change in the manner, method or course of the Fiduciary’s administration. Such events would include, but not be limited to, death of an interim income beneficiary; shifting enjoyment of the income to another beneficiary; death of a remainderman during the course of administering an estate; or a beneficiary reaching a designated age, after which time the beneficiary has a right to mandate partial withdrawals of principal.

RULE 108-A. ACCOUNTS - Failure to Object

When a copy of an account is sent to a Party or a Beneficially Interested Person, failure to object within thirty (30) days after the date the account is filed in the Court, shall act as a waiver of the right to object to the account and the right to any further notice concerning any hearing on the account.

RULE 108-B. ACCOUNTS - Personal Attendance

All Fiduciaries shall appear at any hearing upon their accounts, unless excused by the Court.

RULE 109. INTERPRETERS

No Person who has assisted in the preparation of a case, shall act as an interpreter at the trial thereof, if objection is made, except in the discretion of the Court.

RULE 110. MOTIONS FOR COMMISSIONER OF INSOLVENCY

All motions for a commissioner of insolvency shall include a statement of the debts due from the estate so far as can be ascertained, and the value of the real and personal property.

RULE 111. GUARDIANSHIP OF MINORS NECESSITATED BY RSA 464-A:42

A guardianship necessitated by the provisions of RSA 464-A:42 may be filed any time after suit has been commenced in the Superior Court or District Court, and before settlement is approved by the Superior Court or District Court. A copy of the proposed Petition to the Superior Court or District Court seeking approval of the settlement, as well as all supplemental documentation required under Superior Court or District Court rule, shall be appended to the Petition for guardian.

If the settlement contemplated at the time of the filing of the Petition for guardian, as reflected in the appended Superior or District Court Petition, proposed Petition and supplemental documentation, shall be in any manner changed prior to approval by the Superior or District Court, even if at the direction of that Court, the guardian shall immediately file a written notification with the Probate Court, with copies of the revised documentation appended.

Upon its consideration of the Petition for guardian and any subsequently filed notice of revision, the Probate Court shall consider the form or sufficiency of bond. Any alteration of bond requirements shall be at the Court’s discretion.

In establishing the form and sufficiency of bond, the Probate Court shall consider the nature and amount of the asset(s), its (their) form of investment, the guardian's experience and reputation in managing property of the same or similar type as that of the guardianship, the attendant risks or volatility of the form of investment(s), any restrictions or limitations imposed upon the guardian by the Court in mitigation of waste, misfeasance or malfeasance and similar concerns related to the safety and security of the guardianship estate and its proper administration and management. After giving the consideration required, the Court, in its discretion, shall impose such bond requirements as attendant circumstances warrant.

No letter of appointment shall issue until the bond has been posted by the guardian and approved by the Probate Court. The Probate Court may require supplemental, substitute or an alteration in the bond requirements from time to time to accommodate changing circumstances of the guardianship. Upon establishment of the guardianship, a letter of guardianship shall issue which shall have appended to it a decree referencing the Probate Court’s consideration of the proposed settlement in relation to the Fiduciary bond or in lieu thereof, the Probate Court shall issue a certification or provide other documentation which the guardian shall file with the Superior Court or District Court, as required under Superior or District Court rule, confirming that in setting the fiduciary bond of the guardianship, the settlement was considered.

Unless specific written Probate Court authorization is granted for alternate investment, the guardian may invest the settlement asset(s) only in accordance with RSA 463:20,:22 and :23-a.

To minimize the expense of bond requirements, the Probate Court may, in its discretion, restrict, restrain or enjoin the guardian from expending, withdrawing, encumbering or otherwise disposing of the settlement proceeds without prior written approval of the Probate Court or upon such other limitations or conditions as it may impose.

To further minimize the expenses and any attendant inconvenience the Court may, in its discretion, waive annual accounting and order accounting on such other basis as the circumstances of the guardianship may reasonably require from time to time. In the absence of a contrary order, an accounting shall be filed annually by the guardian.

All costs, expenses and fees related to the guardianship shall be paid from the guardianship estate assets subject to the approval of the Probate Court.

RULE 111-A. GUARDIANSHIP OF MINORS - Procedure on Receipt of Additional Assets

In the event that a guardian of the estate of a minor shall receive additional assets not identified in the guardian's inventory, the guardian shall file within ten (10) days after receipt, written notice with the Court containing a description of the assets received and the market value of the assets.

The Court shall review the amount of the guardian's bond in light of the additional assets received by the guardian. The Court shall order an increase in the amount of the guardian's bond if the Court determines such an increase is necessary in light of the receipt of the additional assets. Upon receipt of the Court's order the guardian shall arrange for the increase of the bond.

RULE 112. CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

Any Pleading, report, record, or evidence submitted to the Court containing confidential information, as defined by law, shall be maintained in a file marked "CONFIDENTIAL" by the Register.

The Register shall remove the confidential file from the public file before making it available to anyone not a Party to the action requesting access to the file. Anyone not a Party to the action requesting access to confidential information in the file shall be advised to follow the procedures outlined in the "Guidelines for Public Access to Court Records."

RULE 113. CONSOLIDATION OF ACTIONS

Whenever a Motion is filed in any county requesting the transfer of an action there pending to another county for trial with an action there pending, arising out of the same transaction or event or involving common issues of law, and/or fact, after notice to all Parties in all related actions pending in the state, the Court may make such order for consolidation in any one of such counties in which such actions are pending. The Court, on its own Motion, may initiate consolidation.

RULE 114. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 115. CHANGE OF VENUE, INCONVENIENT FORUM

Venue of any Probate administration or other proceeding may be changed from the Probate Court of one county, hereafter called "transferring Court," to the Probate Court of any other county, hereafter called "receiving Court." Upon Petition or Motion to both Courts and sufficient proof of inconvenience, change of residence of a principal Party to the proceeding, or other good cause shown, in the discretion of the transferring Court, venue may be changed subject to acceptance by the receiving Court.

Once the transferring Court has granted and the receiving Court has accepted the change of venue, the transferring Court shall forward the original file of the Probate records to the receiving Court and retain a copy, unless, as a part of the order of transfer or acceptance, only a specified part of the original file is transferred or ordered reproduced and authenticated. Upon the change of venue, the transferring Court shall give notice to all interested Parties of the change of venue and notice that all future Pleadings shall be filed with the receiving Court.

Whenever transfer is made of the administration of a decedent’s estate, a guardianship, a conservatorship, or other proceeding where a bond is pending in the transferring Court, the bond shall remain in effect unless or until specifically discharged by the receiving Court. In those cases where a new bond is required by the receiving Court, the transferring Court may discharge the original bond.

To effect a change of venue, the following must occur:

1. A Motion shall be filed in the transferring Court.

2. The Motion must be granted by the transferring Court.

3. A Petition to accept the transfer must be filed in the receiving Court.

4. A Petition to accept the transfer must be granted by the receiving Court.

5. The Petitioner shall notify the bonding company of the proposed transfer.

6. The Petitioner shall file with both Courts the written assent from the bonding company to the transfer, or file a new bond with the receiving Court.

Jurisdiction of a Probate matter may be transferred out of state by following the procedure outlined above, except that the transferring Court shall forward certified copies of the file to the receiving Court and shall retain the original file.

RULE 116. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 117. FORM OF PLEADING

The name of the county in which a Pleading is filed shall be written in the upper left margin of each Pleading; and the words "in said county" shall refer to the county in the margin, unless the contrary appears.

RULE 118. FORM OF EQUITY PETITIONS - Structure

Every Equity Petition shall contain the county, title of the Court, names, places of abode, and proper description of all Parties to the proceeding. The form in substance shall be as follows:

PROBATE COURT

County of ____________, Month, Year

A.B.

v.

C.D.

NAME OF PETITION

A.B. of etc., complains against C.D. of etc., and says, etc. and requests, etc...

The Petition may conclude "and thereupon the Petitioner prays," setting forth the special relief sought, "and for such other relief as may be just". If an injunction or other special order pending the suit is desired, it shall be specifically requested.

RULE 119. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 120. FORM OF PETITION AND ANSWER - Obligation to be concise

Every Petition and Answer should be expressed concisely; and no deed, will, agreement or other writing shall be set forth at length or annexed to any Petition or Answer, but only so much as may be material.

RULE 121. FORM OF PETITION AND ANSWER – Numbered Paragraphs

Each allegation of distinct and separate facts should be placed in a paragraph by itself which should be numbered; and, when so numbered, the order observed in the Petition should be followed in the Answer.

RULE 122. PETITION TO QUIET TITLE

All Petitions to remove clouds from title shall contain a separate paragraph setting forth specifically the clouds sought to be removed and the legal basis relied upon for their removal.

RULE 123. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 124. PETITION - Entry and Orders

Petitions may be filed at any time. An order of notice shall be issued, returnable, at the election of the Party who takes out the same, subject to the requirements of service, at any Return Day within three (3) months from the date thereof. An order of notice returnable at any date other than a regular Return Day may issue if the Court finds that justice so requires.

RULE 125. PETITION - Service

Service of an attested copy of the Petition and order of notice may be shown by affidavit of the Person serving the same, or by the return of the officer.

If service as specified in the orders of notice can not be accomplished, the Court may order one of the following methods of service of process, in the following priority, subject to the discretion of the Court:

1. In hand.

2. Abode.

3. Certified or registered mail, return receipt requested (restricted delivery to addressee only).

4. Certified or registered mail, return receipt requested.

5. Publication, in accordance with Rule 128.

RULE 126. PETITION - Attested copies

In all cases where attested copies are required, copies attested by the Attorney for the Party shall be sufficient.

RULE 127. PETITION - Time limits for Answer

Every order of notice shall contain an order to the Respondent to file an Answer within thirty (30) days after the Return Day and to deliver a copy thereof to the Petitioner’s Attorney, or to the Petitioner if pro se; otherwise the Petition will be taken pro confesso.

RULE 128. PETITION - Notice by Publication

Except where otherwise required by statute or ordered by the Court, in cases of notice by publication where the time may be fixed by the Court, the order shall be for publication in a newspaper having general circulation in the area where the Party was last known to have resided, once a week for two successive weeks, the last publication to be not less than seven (7) days before hearing or not less than fourteen (14) days before the Return Day.

When ordered by the Court, in addition to publication the Petitioner shall:

1. File with the Court a statement under oath of the name, residence address and/or post office address of some near relative, if any is known, and otherwise the name, residence address and/or post office address of some friend; and

2. Send by registered or certified mail, with request for return receipt, a copy of the Petition, Motion or other Pleading attested by the Register with citation or order of notice appended, the same to be mailed to such relative or friend.

RULE 129. PETITION - Writs of Attachment

All writs of attachment in aid of a Petition must be served upon the Respondent. Rule 86 relating to trustees' disclosure shall apply to this rule. Any such writ shall be entered without charge and filed with and as part of the action which it aids.

RULE 130. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 131. APPEARANCES AND ANSWERS - Time to file

In the absence of other express court order, rule, or statutory provision, if the Respondent, having been duly notified, shall neglect to enter an Appearance within seven (7) days after the Return Day or shall neglect to file and deliver to the Petitioner’s Attorney an Answer within the time prescribed in the order of notice, the Petition shall be taken as pro confesso, and a decree entered accordingly. No such decree pro confesso shall be set aside, except by agreement, or by order of the Court upon such terms as justice may require.

RULE 132. EQUITY ANSWERS - Form

Every equity Answer shall contain the county, the title of the Court, case, and docket number. The form in substance shall be as follows:

PROBATE COURT

County of ___________, Month, Year

A.B.

v.

C.D.

Docket No. ____

ANSWER OF RESPONDENT

C.D. of etc., answers as follows, etc...

 

RULE 133. ANSWERS

The Respondent, in answering the allegations in the Petition, shall not do so evasively but shall answer fully and specifically every material allegation in the Petition and set out Respondent’s defense to each claim asserted by the Petition. If the Respondent is without knowledge of any particular facts, Respondent shall so state and this will be treated as a denial. The Answer of the Respondent may state as many defenses as the Respondent deems essential. The Respondent may allege any new or special matter in the Answer with a prayer for relief. An Answer, to the effect that an allegation is neither admitted nor denied, will be deemed an admission.

All facts well alleged in the Petition, and not denied or explained in the Answer, will be held to be admitted.

RULE 134. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 135. AMENDMENTS TO PLEADINGS

With the exception of accounts and inventories, all amendments to Petitions, Motions, or Pleadings must be proposed by Motion, which may be granted or denied by the Court. For amendments to accounts and inventories, no Motion is required; but the entire court approved form shall be re-submitted.

RULE 136. AMENDMENTS - Response

A response to an amended Pleading must be filed within ten (10) days after the amended Pleading has been filed or the facts set forth in the amendment shall be taken as admitted.

RULE 137. REPLICATIONS - Equity

Every replication shall be filed within ten (10) days after the filing of the Answer and shall contain the county, the title of the Court, case, and docket number. The form in substance shall be as follows:

PROBATE COURT

County of ___________, Month, Year

A.B.

v.

C.D.

Docket No. ____

REPLICATION OF RESPONDENT

C.D. of etc., replication as follows, etc...

RULE 138. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 139. NEW PARTIES

Any Person shown to have an interest may become a Party to any proceeding on Motion briefly setting forth that Person’s relation to the Cause; or upon Motion of any Party, such Person may be made a Party by order of Court notifying that Person to appear therein. If the Person so notified shall neglect to appear and respond, the Petition shall be taken pro confesso as against that Person. No such decree pro confesso shall be set aside, except by agreement, or by order of the Court upon such terms as justice may require.

RULE 140. SECURITY FOR COSTS

When the Petitioner is a non-resident, the Petitioner shall furnish security for costs in such amount and within such time as the Court may order.

RULE 141. PRELIMINARY ORDERS

The Court may, on its own motion or upon Motion of a Party, make orders for the appointment of guardians ad litem, preliminary orders, and other orders relative to proceedings preparatory to a hearing upon the merits. Motions for dissolving injunctions or for the extension or rescission of any order may be heard by the Court upon notice.

RULE 142. CONTEMPT AND ARREST

Orders for contempt may be issued by the Court at any time upon evidence of the violation of any injunction or other order, or for failure of witnesses to give evidence upon subpoena, and commitment may be made thereon.

Parties may be arrested upon an order of the Court and required to give bonds for appearance and to abide the order of the Court in any case where it shall be deemed necessary.

Due process requirements of notice and hearing shall be as provided by New Hampshire law.

RULE 143. CONTEMPT AND ARREST - Bail

Sheriffs and deputy sheriffs are authorized to take bail in contempt proceedings and shall immediately forward such bail to the Register of the Court issuing the capias.

RULES 144-149. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 150. STIPULATIONS OR AGREEMENTS

All stipulations or agreements shall be typewritten and signed by the Parties and, if represented, by their Attorneys as well. The Court, in its discretion, may accept fully executed handwritten stipulations or agreements and may require a fully executed typewritten substitute to be filed with the Court within ten (10) days.

RULE 151-160. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 161. TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDERS; PRELIMINARY INJUNCTIONS

(a) Temporary Restraining Order; Notice; Hearing; Duration. A temporary restraining order may be granted only by a judge of the Probate Court. It may be granted without written or oral notice to the adverse Pro Se Party or Attorney only if (1) it clearly appears from specific facts shown by affidavit or by the verified Petition that immediate and irreparable injury, loss or damage will result to the applicant before the adverse Pro Se Party or Attorney can be heard in opposition; and (2) the applicant or the applicant's Attorney certifies to the Court in writing the efforts which have been made to give the notice or the reasons supporting his or her claim that notice should not be required. Any hearing held without the presence of the adverse Pro Se Party or Attorney shall be recorded, unless waived by the Court. Every temporary restraining order, which is granted without notice, shall be endorsed with the date and hour of issuance, shall define the injury and state why it is irreparable and why the order was granted without notice, and shall expire by its terms within such time after issuance, not to exceed ten (10) days, as the Court fixes, unless, within the time so fixed, the order, for good cause shown, is extended for a like period, or unless the Party, against whom the order is directed, consents that it may be extended for a longer period. In case a temporary restraining order is granted without notice, the application for a preliminary injunction shall be set down for hearing at the earliest possible time, and in any event within ten (10) days, and, when the matter comes on for hearing, the Party, who obtained the temporary restraining order, shall proceed with the application for a preliminary injunction, and if he or she does not do so, the Court shall dissolve the temporary restraining order. On two (2) days' notice to the Party who obtained the temporary restraining order without notice, or on such shorter notice to that Party as the Court may prescribe, the adverse Party may appear and move its dissolution or modification, and, in that event, the Court shall proceed to hear and determine such Motion as expeditiously as the ends of justice require.

(b) Preliminary Injunction.

(1) Notice. No preliminary injunction shall be issued without notice to the adverse Party and they shall only be issued by a judge of the Probate Court.

(2) Consolidation of Hearing With Trial on Merits. Before, or after, the commencement of the hearing of an application for a preliminary injunction, the Court may order the trial of the action on the merits to be advanced and consolidated with the hearing of the application.

(c) Security. Unless the Court, for good cause shown, shall otherwise order, no restraining order or preliminary injunction shall issue except upon the giving of an injunction bond by the applicant, in such sums as the Court deems proper, for the payment of such costs and damages as may be incurred or suffered by any Party who is found to have been wrongfully enjoined or restrained. No such bond shall ordinarily be required of the United States or of the State of New Hampshire.

The provisions of Rule 163 apply to a surety upon a bond or undertaking under this Rule.

(d) Form and Scope of Injunction or Restraining Order. Unless the Court, for good cause shown, otherwise orders, an injunction or restraining order shall be specific in terms; shall describe in reasonable detail, the act or acts sought to be restrained; and is binding only upon the Parties to the action, their officers, agents, servants, employees, and Attorneys, and upon those Persons in active concert or participation with them who receive actual notice of the order by personal service or otherwise.

RULE 162. INJUNCTIONS - Filing of Pleading

Before injunctions are granted, it must appear that some Pleading has been filed; but, when the object of the injunction would be defeated by the delay necessary to file such Pleading, an injunction may issue to expire on a day specified therein, unless such Pleading be filed by such a day.

RULE 163. INJUNCTIONS - Bond

Whenever an injunction is issued without notice to, or appearance by, the adverse Party, the Party at whose request it is issued, may, and ordinarily shall, be required to give bond with sufficient sureties, conditioned to pay and satisfy all such damages as may be occasioned to the adverse Party by reason of the injunction, in case it shall that the injunction was unwarranted.

Whenever these rules require or permit the giving of security by a Party, and security is given in the form of a bond or stipulation or other undertaking with one or more sureties, each surety submits to the jurisdiction of the Court and irrevocably appoints the Register as that Person’s agent upon whom any papers affecting liability on the bond or undertaking may be served. Liability may be enforced on Motion without the necessity of an independent action. The Motion and such notice of the Motion as the Court prescribes may be served on the Register, who shall immediately mail copies to the sureties if their addresses are known.

RULE 164. PREPARATION OF EX PARTE DECREES

A Party requesting an ex parte decree shall prepare a proposed order for the Court to consider.

RULES 165-168. [Reserved for Future Use]

RULE 169. FEES

ENTRY FEES:

Original Entry of any Equity Action $125.00

Petition File and Record Authenticated Copy of Will, Foreign Wills; Petition Estate Administration; Petition Administration of Person Not Heard From; Petition Guardian, Foreign Guardian or Conservator (RSA 464-A); Motion Prove Will in Common and/or Solemn Form (administration required); Motion to Re-examine Will $100.00

Petition Termination of Parental Rights; Petition Appoint Trustee; Petition Involuntary Admission; Petition Guardian Minor Estate and Person and Estate (RSA 463); Petition Guardian of Incompetent Veteran (RSA 465) $75.00

Petition Adoption, includes one certificate (no entry fee when accompanied by a Petition for termination); Motion successor Trustee, Administrator, Executor, or Guardian of Estate and Person and Estate (RSA 463)(RSA 464-A); All Fiduciary Accounts; Motion to Reopen (estate administration) $50.00

Administration of Small Estates (Voluntary Administration); Petition Change of Name (includes one certificate); Petition Guardian Minor Person (RSA 463); Marriage Waiver (includes certificate/attested copy); Petition Change of Venue (includes authenticated copy fee); Motion Successor Guardian of Person (RSA 463)(RSA 464-A); Motion Sue on Bond; Motion Remove Fiduciary; Motion Fiduciary to Settle Account $25.00

ENTRY FEES INCLUDE:

Preparation and issuance of Orders of Notice, Notice, Copies of Decrees, mailing costs, citation to newspaper for publication, certificate to discharge surety.

ENTRY FEES DO NOT INCLUDE:

Notice by publication: This fee shall be paid by the Party or the Attorney for the Party from whom the notice is required. The cost of publication shall be determined by the Register of each county. The request may require that payment be made directly to the publisher of the notice.

In-hand service: If service by a law enforcement officer is required, the Party or the Attorney for the Party from whom the notice is required shall pay the cost of service appropriate county sheriff's department.

Additional copies: If additional copies of any document, or additional certificates are requested beyond those included in normal processing as indicated above, the Party or the Attorney for the Party requesting the additional copies shall pay the costs in advance as indicate under "Certificates & Copies."

OTHER:

Defaults (RSA 548:5-a) $25.00/each occurrence

Citations/show cause (RSA 548:5-a and 550:2) $50.00/each occurrence

Duplicate Audio Tape $25.00/each tape

CERTIFICATES & COPIES:

Certificates $5.00

Certification $5.00 plus copy fee

Photocopy of Will $1.00/page

All other copied material $ .50/page

Authenticated Copy of Probate $25.00/each

"Certificates & Copies" shall apply to individual requests for the above services, requests for additional certificates beyond those provided with the original entries and requests for additional copies beyond those provided with the original entry fees.

RULES 170-171. (Reserved for Future Use)