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Circuit Court Family Division Rules Table of Contents




5.1  Scope: The family division has jurisdiction of guardianship of minors, when there is not a related estate of the minor. 

5.2  Proper Filing:  A properly filed guardianship action includes a completed petition, a copy of the minorís birth certificate (certified copy when filing pursuant to RSA 463:18-a for activated members of the armed services), the filing fee, a death certificate of any deceased parent of the minor, and completed NH State Police and DHHS background check forms for all members of the household who are eighteen (18) years or older.

5.3  Notice:  Certified mail, return receipt requested, shall be used to provide notice to each parent individually, and to any person who has had principal custody or care of the minor during the sixty (60) days prior to the filing of the petition.  The orders of notice shall be sent by regular first class mail to the following:  the petitioner(s); the minor if fourteen (14) years of age or older; the person nominated to be guardian; any person named as a testamentary guardian in the will of the deceased parent; DHHS if there is a pending juvenile proceeding affecting the minor; and others as identified in the statute as may be appropriate.

5.4  Attendance at the Hearing : The parent(s) with legal custody are required to attend the hearing, even if they consent to the guardianship.  A minor fourteen (14) years of age or older shall attend the hearing unless excused by the Court.

5.5  Reports of the Guardian : The guardian shall file a report on the status of the guardianship six (6) months after the initial appointment, twelve (12) months after the initial appointment, and annually thereafter.   A late fee may be charged to a guardian for any report that is not filed on time.

5.6  Reports of the Parent:  Either or both of the parents may file a statement or report with the court on or before each review date.

5.7  Termination of Guardianship:  Any person, including the minor if fourteen (14) years of age or older, may petition the court to terminate a guardianship.  The court will determine by a preponderance of the evidence whether substitution or supplementation of parental care and supervision is no longer needed to ensure the minorís safety and physical and psychological well-being.

        In addition to terminating a guardianship by Court order, guardianships terminate upon the death of the minor or upon the minorís eighteenth (18th) birthday.  The guardian must notify the court within thirty (30) days of either event.  Guardianships may also terminate upon the minorís adoption or emancipation.  However, if the minor consents, jurisdiction may be extended beyond the eighteenth (18th) birthday if DHHS is the guardian and supports continued jurisdiction, and the minor is attending high school and considered likely to complete it.  If extended, jurisdiction shall terminate if the minor revokes consent and such revocation is approved by the Court, completes high school or attains age twenty-one (21), whichever first occurs, or if DHHS revokes its consent and such revocation is approved by the Court.  See RSA 463:15.

5.8  Confidentiality: The existence of a guardianship case or the fact that a guardianship hearing is on the docket is not confidential.  However, guardianship hearings shall be closed to the public, except for persons other than the parties, their counsel, witnesses and agency representatives whom the Court may, in its discretion, admit.  Records, reports and evidence shall be confidential to the extent that they contain information relating to the personal history or circumstances of the minor and the minorís family .   If any person other than a party wishes to review a case file, a motion must be filed and submitted to the Court for consideration.


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Circuit Court Family Division Rules Table of Contents