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Judicial Branch, State of New Hampshire

For Immediate Release:
March 16, 2020


CONCORD, NH – Following the Governor’s March 13, 2020 declaration of a State of Emergency, New Hampshire Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Gary E. Hicks exercised special powers provided to him under the authority of RSA 490:6-a to issue an order today to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Subject to exceptions, all in-person proceedings in the Circuit, Superior and Supreme Courts are suspended from close of business on Monday, March 16, 2020 through April 6, 2020.

Exceptions to suspension of in-person court proceedings include, but are not limited to:

  • Proceedings necessary to protect constitutional rights of criminal defendants, including bail-related matters and plea agreements for incarcerated individuals.
  • Requests for orders of protection for domestic violence under RSA 173-B, stalking under RSA 633:3-a and juvenile abuse under RSA 169-C:7-a, and hearings on such orders.
  • Requests for child-related emergency orders in divorce/parenting cases under RSA 461-A and hearings on any emergency relief ordered.
  • Division for Children, Youth and Families’ requests for emergency orders, hearings on such orders, and adjudicatory hearings in RSA 169-C cases if children are in out-of-home placement.
  • Requests for detention or placement of a juvenile under RSA 169-B and adjudicatory hearings in RSA 169-B cases in which the juvenile is detained or in an out-of-home placement.
  • Requests for placement of a juvenile under RSA 169-D and adjudicatory hearings in RSA 169-D cases in which the juvenile is in an out-of-home placement.
  • Proceedings related to petitions for temporary emergency injunctive relief.
  • Proceedings related to emergency mental health orders, including Involuntary Emergency Admission and Involuntary Admission (probate commitment) proceedings under RSA 135-C.
  • Requests for emergency orders in minor guardianship cases under RSA 463 or guardianship over incapacitated persons under RSA 464-A, and hearings on such orders.
  • Requests for emergency relief under RSA 540-A in landlord/tenant matters and hearings on such orders.
  • Proceedings directly related to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • Other exceptions as approved by the Senior Associate Justice.

The Supreme Court order can be found at: https://www.courts.state.nh.us/supreme/orders/3-16-20-order.pdf

The courthouses of New Hampshire remain open to the public. If you have questions about whether you should go to a courthouse, please call 1-855-212-1234 to have your questions answered.



Media Contact:
Timothy A. Gudas
Clerk of Court
Supreme Court of New Hampshire