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Criminal Rules Table of Contents

 

THE NEW HAMPSHIRE RULES OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

 

I.  SCOPE, INTERPRETATION, ADOPTION AND EFFECTIVE DATE

 

Rule 1. Scope and Interpretation    

(a) Scope. These rules govern the procedure in circuit court-district division and superior courts when a person is charged as an adult with a crime or violation.    

(b) Interpretation. These rules shall be construed to provide for the just determination of every criminal proceeding. They shall be construed to secure simplicity in procedure, fairness in administration and the elimination of unjustifiable expense and delay.

Comment

These rules apply to all proceedings in which a person is charged as an adult with an offense, whether a crime, such as a felony or a misdemeanor, or a violation.  See RSA 625:9. The rules establish a uniform system of procedure for the circuit court-district division and superior courts, except as otherwise specifically provided. The rules do not govern juvenile proceedings or collateral proceedings such as habeas corpus or mandamus. The rules are subject to suspension by the court when the interest of justice so requires. See Rule 37.  However, a court’s power to suspend a rule may be limited by the state or federal constitution, state statutes or common law.

 

Rule 2. Adoption and Effective Date; Applicability    

(a) Adoption. The Supreme Court adopts these rules pursuant to Part II, Article 73-A of the New Hampshire Constitution.  

(b) Effective Date. These rules govern all proceedings filed or pending in the circuit court-district division and superior courts in Strafford and Cheshire Counties on or after January 1, 2016. These rules govern all proceedings filed or pending in the circuit court-district division and superior courts in Belknap County on or after July 1, 2016. These rules govern all proceedings filed or pending in the circuit court-district division and superior courts in Merrimack County or or after January 1, 2017. These rules govern all proceedings filed or pending in the circuit court-district division and superior courts in Carroll, Coos and Grafton Counties on or after April 1, 2017. These rules govern all proceedings filed or pending in the circuit court-district division and superior courts in Hillsborough County on or after September 1, 2017. These rules govern all proceedings filed or pending in the circuit court-district division and superior courts in Rockingham and Sullivan Counties on or after October 1, 2017. In exceptional circumstances, when the court finds that the application of these rules to cases pending as of the effective date would not be feasible or would work an injustice, the court may exempt such cases from the application of these rules or from a particular rule.

(c) In Strafford and Cheshire Counties, pursuant to RSA 592-B:2, III, all felony and any directly related misdemeanor or violation-level offenses alleged to have occurred on or after January 1, 2016 shall be initiated in superior court.  All felony and any directly related misdemeanor or violation-level offenses alleged to have occurred before January 1, 2016 shall be initiated in circuit court.

In Belknap County, pursuant to RSA 592-B:2, III all felony and any directly related misdemeanor or violation-level offenses alleged to have occurred on or after July 1, 2016 shall be initiated in superior court. All felony and any directly related misdemeanor or violation-level offenses alleged to have occurrred before July 1, 2016 shall be initiated in circuit court.

In Merrimack County, pursuant to RSA 592-B:2, III all felony and any directly related misdemeanor or violation-level offenses alleged to have occurred on or after January 1, 2017 shall be inititated in superior court. All felony and any directly related misdemeanor or violation-level offenses alleged to have occurred before January 1, 2017 shall be initiated in circuit court.

In Carroll, Coos and Grafton Counties, pursuant to RSA 592-B:2, III all felony and any directly related misdemeanor or violation-level offenses alleged to have occurred on or after April 1, 2017 shall be initiated in superior court.  All felony and any directly related misdemeanor or violation-level offenses alleged to have occurred before April 1, 2017 shall be initiated in circuit court.

In Hillsborough County, pursuant to RSA 592-B:2, III all felony and any directly related misdemeanor or violation-level offenses alleged to have occurred on or after September 1, 2017 shall be initiated in superior court. All felony and any directly related misdemeanor or violation-level offenses alleged to have occurred before September 1, 2017 shall be initiated in circuit court.

In Rockingham and Sullivan counties, pursuant to RSA 592-B:2, III all felony and any directly related misdemeanor or violation-level offenses alleged to have occurred on or after October 1, 2017 shall be initiated in superior court. All felony and any directly related misdemeanor or violation-level offenses alleged to have occurred before October 1, 2017 shall be initiated in circuit court.
 

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