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FAQs

This section of the Judicial Branch website is intended to provide objective answers to questions frequently asked by our citizens about the court system. Nothing on these pages should be considered legal advice and none of the information is intended to take the place of legal counsel.

Adoption

Where do I go to legally adopt a child?

Adoptions are primarily processed by the Probate Division, however Family Division processes adoptions related to certain kinds of cases already in that court. To begin the process, call the Probate Division register's office or the Family Division in the county where you live. To find the right court for you, go to Court Locations.

How do I adopt my stepchild?

You start by getting in touch with the Probate Division in the county where you live.

Can I see my adoption records?

All adoption files are sealed. The release of information from an adoption file may be made only upon written request, granted by the court. Court staff, in Probate or Family Division, can provide a petition/motion form (NHJB-2128-P, NHJB-2201-DFP) to request the information. They are also available on the website.


The petition, or motions, must include such things as the requesting party's name, mailing address and relationship to the adoption; the information being requested from the file; any information known by the requesting party concerning the adoption; and the reason the information is being requested. 

Annulment of Criminal Records

How can I get a criminal record annulled?

See the Annulment of Criminal Records checklist.

Is there a new law covering annulments?

RSA 651:5 governing the annulment of criminal records has been amended by the New Hampshire Legislature.  The amended statute became effective on January 1, 2013.  Any petition to annul criminal records that is GRANTED on or after January 1, 2013 will be governed by the amended statute.

How can I find information about the Impaired Driver Care Management Program?

See the Impaired Driver Program at the NH Department of Health and Human Services for more information.

How can I check to if someone has a criminal record or get proof that I don’t have a criminal record?

For Information on obtaining criminal records see the NH Department of Safety, Division of State Police.

There is no central database available to the public to check a person’s criminal record. The Division of State Police Central Repository for Criminal Records at 33 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301,  (271-2538), will provide an official record provided that the individual subject to the background check has signed a "Criminal Record Release Authorization Form" and shown a picture ID. 

Employers or others can download the authorization form at https://www.nhsp.dos.nh.gov/resources/documents-and-forms and mail it in.  The authorization form must be signed by the person who is subject to the background check and notarized before the record will be released. 

Attorney Information

How can I find a lawyer?

In New Hampshire all attorneys are required to be members of the New Hampshire Bar Association, 112 Pleasant St., Concord, 03301.  You can call the Bar's Lawyer Referral Service at 603-229-0002 or check the NH Bar website for further information at www.nhbar.org. The court system does not refer citizens to lawyers and its staff is prohibited from making legal referrals.

Check out the Guide to Legal Services Programs for information on telephone numbers and website addresses for groups that address numerous legal issues. You can also go to the Access to Justice Commission website for more information.

The Supreme Court Attorney Discipline Office, 4 Chenell Drive, Suite 102; Concord NH 03301, Phone: (603) 224-5828, can tell you whether there have been any complaints filed against a lawyer.

Can I hire a lawyer to handle just a part of my case?

Yes. This is sometimes referred to as "unbundled legal services" or "limited scope representation". You may choose to hire a lawyer to handle part of your case, such as drafting a motion, reviewing an agreement or attending one specific hearing, rather than the entire matter.

What if I need a lawyer and cannot afford to hire one?

You can find information about free or low cost lawyers at Self-Help Legal Assistance Center.
 

Do I need to have a lawyer to come to court?

You have a right to represent yourself at court. However, you should check the Self-Help Center and carefully consider whether you would benefit from legal representation. Depending on the complexity of your claim, you might want to seek legal advice. Persons who represent themselves in court are sometimes referred to as "pro se" litigants, from the Latin meaning "in his own behalf "or “self-represented” litigants.

Why can’t the court staff tell me what to do in my case? It’s not that complicated!

Our staff can provide you with information about the court process, or provide you with forms, but they are prohibited from giving legal advice to any party in a case.

The reasoning behind that rule is that, in order to insure fair and equal access to the judicial system for all of our citizens, the court staff has to remain completely neutral to all sides in a case. They must refrain from offering advise to any party, no matter how uncomplicated it may seem.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

There are ways to resolve disputes without having to appear before a judge in a courtroom, which can save time and expense. For more information read about the Office of Mediation and Arbitration

Appeals

How do I file an appeal?

Some appeals from decisions in the Circuit Court District Division are brought to the Superior Court; others are brought directly to the Supreme Court. It is important to determine where to file your appeal. Appeals from convictions, jury verdicts and decisions by a judge in the Superior Court are brought to the Supreme Court. Appeals from administrative agencies are also handled in the Supreme Court. See the Supreme Court Appeals FAQ for more information.

Bankruptcy

Where can I find information on bankruptcy?

Bankruptcy claims are handled in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court:
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
Warren B. Rudman United States Courthouse
55 Pleasant Street, Room 200
Concord, New Hampshire

Bar Examination

What examinations do I have to take to practice law in New Hampshire?

Unless you are eligible for admission by transferred UBE score in accordance with Rule 42(X), or by motion for admission without examination in accordance with Rule 42(XI), you must take the New Hampshire Bar Examination, which is offered twice a year in New Hampshire. New Hampshire administers the Uniform Bar Examination, which consists of three parts: the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE), and the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE). All three components of the UBE must be taken in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners will not accept certification of MBE scores from prior test administrations in New Hampshire or in another jurisdiction, for use in computing overall grades.

In addition, you must successfully complete the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE).  The New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners has established a scaled score of 79 as the passing level of performance for the MPRE. If you wish to have your MPRE score certified to New Hampshire, designate New Hampshire as one of the jurisdictions to which your score should be certified.

The MPRE is developed and administered by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE).  It is offered several times a year at many locations throughout the United States  See the NCBE website for further information about the MPRE exam. https://www.ncbex.org/exams/mpre/

When is the New Hampshire Bar Exam offered?

The New Hampshire Bar Examination is offered twice a year, in February and July, and is administered over the course of two days. The February bar examination is administered on the last Wednesday of February and the preceding Tuesday. The July bar examination is administered on the last Wednesday of July and the preceding Tuesday.

What happens on each day of the Bar Exam?

Registration usually begins at 8:00 a.m. on both days. Applicants should arrive no later than 8:15 a.m. to complete registration formalities and get settled in their assigned exam room in time to receive instructions prior to the beginning of the examination. The following schedules are approximations of what you may experience on the actual test days. Although the elapsed time for each test session is precise, the start and end times may vary.

First Day (MPT and MEE)
8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Registration and seating
9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Instructions
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 PM MPT
One-hour minimum lunch break
1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Instructions
2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. MEE

Second Day (MBE)
8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Registration and seating
9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. Instructions
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 PM MBE morning session
One-hour minimum lunch break
1:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Instructions
2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. MBE afternoon session

At registration on the first day, each applicant will be assigned an applicant number and will be assigned a seat. During the bar examination, applicants must use their applicant number on all examination papers. Applicants will not be asked or permitted to identify their examination papers in any other way.

How are examinations graded?

The scoring process is conducted under conditions of absolute anonymity of applicants. Until the scoring process is complete, the graders do not know the identity of the applicants.

The MBE component is graded by American College Testing and the results are returned to the Bar Examiners.

The MPT and MEE are graded by members of the New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners. Each MPT answer will be given a raw score on a scale of 1 to 6. Each of the six MEE questions will be weighted equally and will be given a raw score on a scale of 1 to 6.

What is a passing grade?

A passing grade on the New Hampshire Bar Examination is 270 on a scale of 400. Successful applicants will be notified that they passed the bar examination but will not be given their scores.

Unsuccessful applicants will be provided with a breakdown of scores by mail, approximately a month after the results are announced. MPT and MEE answers will be retained by the Office of Bar Admissions for one year after the bar examination. Unsuccessful applicants may examine review their essay papers at the Office of Bar Admissions under procedures established by the Office of Bar Admissions.

Can I transfer my score on Multistate Bar Examination to another state?

Yes. If you wish to have your score on the MBE portion of the bar examination sent to another jurisdiction, you must arrange for the Office of Bar Admissions to report your score to that jurisdiction. Send to the Office of Bar Admissions, 4 Chenell Dr., Suite 102, Concord, N.H., 03301, the score transfer form and a $25.00 fee made payable to the New Hampshire Board of Bar Examiners. You must submit your request prior to the bar examination.

The MBE score transfer is available here.

Before the results of the examinations are released, applicants must NOT include any reference to their applicant numbers in making requests for score reports, as premature revelation of an applicant number may breach an applicant's anonymity and result in disqualification.

Does New Hampshire accept concurrent applications from applicants who sit for the UBE examination in a different jurisdiction?

Yes.  An applicant who sits in another UBE jurisdiction may apply concurrently in New Hampshire by filing a motion for admission by transferred UBE score. The application will be processed and finalized when the UBE score is received from the NCBE. Applicants should be aware that the fee to apply by transferred UBE score is not refundable so that, if the score is not passing, the fee will not be returned.

Birth Certificates

Where do I get a copy of my birth certificate?

The Division of Vital Records, 9 Ratification Way, Concord, NH 03301.  The Division of Vital Records web page where you can request a certificate is at https://sos.nh.gov/archives-vital-records-records-management/vital-records/request-for-certificates/. You can also get a birth certificate from the town clerk or the city or town where the birth occurred.

New Hampshire records have restricted access. Therefore one has to demonstrate direct or tangible interest in the information.

Child Support

What do I do if I am not receiving court ordered child support payments?

Begin by contacting the NH Division of Child Support Services, Customer Services Unit at either 1-800-852-3345 x 4427 or 603-271-4427 to learn about the services they can provide. Information about their services is also available on the Division of Child Support's website at www.dhhs.state.nh.us, click on "Child Support" in the Most Requested section. or contact the Trial Court Information Center at
1-855-212-1234 for calls from US or Canada (Calls from outside US or Canada call 603-415-0162)

Complaints

What should I do if I think the judge acted improperly in my case?

You should discuss the matter with your lawyer if you have one. Even if you do not have a lawyer, complaints about a judge can be filed with the Judicial Conduct Committee.  See the Judicial Conduct Committee website for details.

Who can I talk to if I think the court staff did not act properly in my case?

Speak directly to the clerk of the court.  Click here to find your court and clerk.

Why can’t the staff tell me what to do in my case?

Court staff are not permitted to give legal advice to either party in a case. They can provide you with information about the process but they can’t tell you what to do.

Courts

How do I figure out which court to go to?

The Judicial Branch includes the Supreme Court, the Superior Court, and the Circuit Court. The Circuit Court has three divisions: the District Division, the Probate Division and the Family Division.  Cases are handled as follows:

The Supreme Court handles civil, criminal and juvenile appeals and matters involving administrative agencies. It also handles some original petitions, such as a writ of habeas corpus filed by an inmate seeking release from prison.  

The Superior Court has jurisdiction over a wide variety of cases, including criminal, and civil cases, and provides the only forum in this state for trial by jury.

The Circuit Court Probate Division has jurisdiction over trusts, wills and estates, adoptions, termination of parental rights, guardianships, equity matters, name changes and involuntary commitments.

The Circuit Court District Division has jurisdiction over misdemeanor and violation level criminal offenses, small claims below $10,000, landlord/tenant matters, stalking cases and civil cases which do not exceed $25,000. In addition, a party may go to a District Division to obtain an emergency order of protection in a domestic violence matter. Some District Divisions also handle juvenile matters and hearings in domestic violence matters; however in counties where the Family Division has been instituted that court would not address those issues. Lastly the District Divisions handle appeals of gun permit denials, land use violations and replevin. In some matters the jurisdiction of the District Division is concurrent with the Superior Court, meaning that a party could go to either.

The Circuit Court Family Division jurisdiction includes divorce, parenting disputes, child support, domestic violence, guardianships, termination of parental rights, abuse and neglect cases, children in need of supervision, delinquencies, and some adoptions.

This website includes a list of all courts by town.  Click here to find the List of Courts in New Hampshire by City or Town A-Z.

Do I have to pay a fee to file a lawsuit in court?

Yes, but a party can file a motion to have the court waive the fee because of exceptional circumstances.

Filing fees vary depending on the type of case being filed:

  • For the schedule of Supreme Court fees, go to Rule 49
  • For Superior Court go to Rule 201
  • For Circuit Court District Division go to Rule 3.3; for Circuit Court Probate Division go to Rule 169; for Circuit Court Family Division go to Rule 1.3.

What hours are the courts open?

The Supreme Court is open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Superior and Circuit Court hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

  • To locate the court nearest you click on Find a Court. It is a good idea to check the judicial branch website where, in the event of emergency, notice of any court closures will be posted.

How do I get a copy of documents in a case file?

Requests for court records must be in writing and may involve the payment of a fee. For the amount of the fee go here. Court files are a matter of public record and are available for inspection at the Clerk’s office. The court will charge for copies.

Where can I find court rules?

Each division of court has a set of rules that govern its procedure. Click Court Rules to view in full.

Criminal

How can I get a criminal record annulled?

See the Annulment of Criminal Records checklist.

Is there a new law covering annulments?

RSA 651:5 governing the annulment of criminal records has been amended by the New Hampshire Legislature.  The amended statute became effective on January 1, 2013.  Any petition to annul criminal records that is GRANTED on or after January 1, 2013 will be governed by the amended statute.

How can I find information about the Impaired Driver Care Management Program?

See the Impaired Driver Program at the NH Department of Health and Human Services for more information.

How can I check to if someone has a criminal record or get proof that I don’t have a criminal record?

For Information on obtaining criminal records see the NH Department of Safety, Division of State Police.

There is no central database available to the public to check a person’s criminal record. The Division of State Police Central Repository for Criminal Records at 33 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH 03301,  (271-2538), will provide an official record provided that the individual subject to the background check has signed a "Criminal Record Release Authorization Form" and shown a picture ID. 

Employers or others can download the authorization form at https://www.nhsp.dos.nh.gov/resources/documents-and-forms and mail it in.  The authorization form must be signed by the person who is subject to the background check and notarized before the record will be released. 

Death Certificates

How can I get an official copy of a death certificate?

You may call or write the Division of Vital Records, 9 Ratification Way. Concord, NH 03301, at (603) 271-4650.  Hours:  M-F 8-3:30 p.m.  The fee is $15. If you pay by credit card ($23.50), you can place your order over the telephone and the death certificate will be sent out in 7-10 business days. Visit the Division of Vital Records website.

A death certificate can also be obtained from the town or the city where the death occurred.

New Hampshire records have restricted access see RSA 126:14.  One has to demonstrate direct or tangible interest in the information.

Divorce

I was divorced in another state and my spouse is not complying with the child support payments that were ordered by the judge in that state. How do I get that order enforced, now that I live in New Hampshire?

For information about child support, contact the Division of Child Support Services at 1-800-852-3345 ext 4427 or 271-4427. For additional information you can call  the Trial Court Information Center at 1-855-212-1234 (Callers from outside the US or Canada please call 603-415-0162). 

What is the Child Impact Program?

The Child Impact Program (referred to as CIP) is a four hour seminar/education program that helps parents deal with the negative effects of divorce on their children. It is required by law for parents in divorce and parenting cases with children under 18 years of age, with some exceptions (see RSA 458:D-8 regarding CIP exemption requests http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XLIII/458-D/458-D-8.htm ). For additional information you can go to the Family Division. There is a fee for the seminar. If you cannot afford the fee you can ask the court or the CIP provider to waive or reduce the fee. Fee waiver request forms are available at the Family Division forms page.

Which Court do I contact for such issues as Divorce, Child Support, or Domestic Violence Complaints?

That depends on where you live.  Cases are assigned to court locations based on where the parties involved live.

Family Division cases include divorce/parenting action, child support, domestic violence petitions, guardianship of minors, termination of parental rights, abuse/neglect cases, children in need of services, juvenile delinquency, and some adoptions.

If a person voluntarily surrenders his or her parental rights, is he or she still obligated to pay child support, including medical bills?

This is a complicated question that should be addressed by a lawyer. For a legal referral, contact the New Hampshire Bar Association at (603) 229-0002.

Where can I get information and forms about divorce and other domestic relations issues?

Contact the Trial Court Information Center at 1-855-212-1234 (Callers from outside the US or Canada please call 603-415-0162).

When do I take the Child Impact Program seminar?

Parents are expected to complete or register for CIP prior to their first appearance at court.

Domestic Violence Complaints and Protective Orders

Which Court do I contact for such issues as Divorce, Child Support, or Domestic Violence Complaints?

That depends on where you live.  Cases are assigned to court locations based on where the parties involved live.

Family Division cases include divorce/parenting action, child support, domestic violence petitions, guardianship of minors, termination of parental rights, abuse/neglect cases, children in need of services, juvenile delinquency, and some adoptions.

What should I do if I am concerned for my safety or the safety of my children?

There are two ways to get protection for yourself and your children. Go to the police department or come to the court-either the Family Division or District Division where you live--and ask for a domestic violence petition.  To find the district or superior court location in your town, visit our Find Your Court page or look up your court by Town A-L or Town M-Z.  If you are unable to file an emergency petition at court during regular court hours, you may file it at the police department located closest to you.

To learn about other resources, including legal help or referrals, visit the website of the Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence or call your local crisis center.

Guardian ad Litem

What role does a guardian ad litem (GAL) play in family cases?

In family cases, a guardian ad litem may be appointed when parents cannot agree to a parenting arrangement for children.  Typically the judge or marital master issues an order appointing a particular GAL to investigate specific issues that are in dispute. The court order will designate how much each party is required to pay the GAL unless the parties are indigent.

The GAL conducts an investigation which may include interviewing the parents, the children and other persons who may have information relevant to the issues involved.  In most cases the GAL prepares a written report which includes a recommended resolution of parenting issues that, in the GAL's estimation, is in the best interest of the children.

The judge or marital master makes the final determination after considering the guardian ad litem's recommendation along with all of the other evidence presented in the case.

What should I do if I want to change the guardian ad litem assigned to my case?

In order to change the GAL, you must file a motion with the court where your case was heard. The judge or marital master in your case is the only one who can change that appointment.

Whom can I talk to about a complaint I have regarding my guardian ad litem?

Try to resolve the issues through your lawyer and the guardian ad litem.  If that doesn't work, or you are not satisfied, then all issues concerning a guardian ad litem should be addressed to the judge or marital master in your case. The Guardian ad litem Board also has a process for reviewing complaints against GALs they certify, although they cannot change a court order. The Board may be reached by going to https://www.oplc.nh.gov/guardian-ad-litem-board.

Who can be a guardian ad litem?

Guardians ad litem (GAL) are appointed by a commission established by the state legislature.  For more information, you can go to the Guardian as Litem Board page at https://www.oplc.nh.gov/guardian-ad-litem-board.

Guardianships

What is guardianship and how is the need for one determined?

Guardianships in New Hampshire fall into two general categories, guardianship of minors and guardianship of incapacitated persons, usually adults. A minor is defined as a person under the age of 18. 

In both cases, a guardian is appointed by the court to take care of the minor or adult, and/or the minor’s or adult’s property, also known as their estate.  The Circuit Court Probate Divisions have jurisdiction over both types of cases. The Family Division has jurisdiction for guardianships of minors over the person.  For more information on guardianships, see the section on guardianships in the probate division or the section on minor guardianships in family division.

Judges

Can I speak to the judge about my case?

All parties to a case must be present whenever a judge discusses that case.  There are certain instances where one party in a case can speak to a judge without the other parties present. In all cases, however, the first place you should contact with any questions about your case is the clerk's office at the court where your case was filed.

What do I do if I have a complaint about a judge?

Since 1977, the New Hampshire Supreme Court has overseen the disciplinary process for judges through the "Judicial Conduct Committee." Check the Judicial Conduct Committee page for information.

How are judges chosen?

All judges in New Hampshire are nominated by the governor and confirmed by the Executive Council.

Landlord / Tenant

I am a tenant and was just handed paperwork from my landlord by a sheriff? What do I do?

If you want your case to be heard in court you should fill out a pink appearance form available in the clerk's office. You must file the appearance with the court by the “return day” listed on the paperwork given to you by the Sherriff. Failure to file by that day will result in a default being entered against you. The court will give you two copies, one to mail or deliver to the landlord and one to keep for yourself. The court will schedule a hearing within the next 10 days for you and the landlord to appear before a judge. For more information go to the District Division's Landlord/Tenant Claims page. To find the District Division nearest you, go to our Circuit Court District Division Locations page.

Name Change

How do I change my name?

If the petitioner’s name change does not relate to a Family Division case type, they must file a petition with the Circuit Court Probate Division. Family Division accepts name change petitions if they relate to an open or closed case of a Family Division case type.  Persons seeking a name change in Family Division must complete a Petition for Change of Name relating to Family Division Jurisdiction, and check the relevant Family Division case type, listing any known case name and number.

Parental Rights

If a person voluntarily surrenders his or her parental rights, is he or she still obligated to pay child support, including medical bills?

This is a complicated question that should be addressed by a lawyer. For a legal referral, contact the New Hampshire Bar Association at (603) 229-0002.

Police Departments

What is the contact information for re-ordering Continuous (feed) Complaint Form (103A-045)?

The Continuous Feed Complaint Form or Criminal Complaint Form is printed by "Source4." To place an order, call Source4 directly at  508-562-3450 X303.

Public Protection Fund

What is the Public Protection Fund?

The Public Protection Fund has been established, in the words of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, at Rule 55, ". . . to provide a public service and to promote confidence in the administration of justice and the integrity of the legal profession by providing some measure of reimbursement to victims who have lost money or property"  because of theft or misappropriation by a New Hampshire attorney, and occurring in New Hampshire during the course of a client-attorney or fiduciary relationship between the attorney and you. The Fund is administered by the New Hampshire Bar Association, through a nine-member committee, under the general oversight of the New Hampshire Supreme Court. The Fund is funded by annual contributions made by attorneys who are members of the New Hampshire Bar Association.

Representing Yourself in Court

Can I represent myself in court?

Persons who pursue a legal matter on their own in court, without a lawyer representing them, are often referred to as "self represented" or "pro se" litigants. Contact the clerk's office in the court nearest you to find out if information or forms are available for people who decide to represent themselves.

Self represented litigants may want to review the information found at the NH Judicial Branch Self-Help Center

Small Claims

Do I need an attorney to represent me?

No, you do not. You can hire your own attorney if you wish, but the small claims procedure is designed for individuals to handle their own claims.   This is a less formal court proceeding and the court understands that most individuals will be representing themselves. Also see the Self-Help Center.

What do I do if I have received a pink copy of a Small Claims Complaint?

Read it carefully front and back and then fill out the bottom portion on the back and send it to the court. The court will schedule a hearing and send you a notice to appear in court in a few weeks.  At that time, you may bring any evidence or witnesses you wish the judge to consider on your behalf. Small claims mediation is available, without charge.

What if the other side has an attorney?

Judges understand that it is their role to assure that hearings are fair and that all parties have an opportunity to speak without being intimidated.

I brought a small claims complaint in court and now I have received a "Notice of Default" (or a "Notice of Judgment"). What do I do now?

The person you brought the claim against (the defendant) has 30 days to pay the judgment in full.  If the defendant fails to pay, or fails to pay the amount in full, you may attempt to collect through the court in a process outlined in the small claims portion of the court's website.

Traffic Violations

Can I pay a motor vehicle ticket at the court?

No. The court does not process motor vehicle violations unless a trial is requested.  The ticket must be paid directly to the Division of Motor Vehicles, 23 Hazen Drive Concord NH 03301.

How can I find out what I owe on traffic tickets?

Call or write the Bureau of Financial Responsibility at the Division of Motor Vehicles, (603) 227-4010. The address is 23 Hazen Drive Concord NH 03301.

How can I pay a traffic ticket without having to drive to the town where it was issued?

Call the Bureau of Financial Responsibility at the Division of Motor Vehicles, (603) 227-4010 for information. The address is 23 Hazen Drive Concord NH 03301.

Transcripts

What is the procedure to get a transcript of my hearing?

You can request a copy of the transcript by following the instructions here.

Wills

Can I write my own will?

Yes, people can write their own wills in New Hampshire. Under New Hampshire law, everyone at least 18 years of age and married persons under that age, who are of sane mind, may dispose of their property by their last will in writing. In order for a will or codicil to be valid under New Hampshire law, it must comply with the requirements of the law. For instance, the will must be in writing, signed by the person whose will it is, and signed by two or more credible witnesses who must swear that the person’s signature is genuine.

Where can I get forms for a living will?

The court does not provide forms for living wills. To obtain a form for a living will, write the New Hampshire Hospital Association at 125 Airport Road Concord, NH 03301, or call (603) 225-0900.

When someone dies, do I need to file the will or do anything in the probate division if everything is already in my name?

Even if there are no assets, if a will exists for the deceased person, the person named in the will as the executor, or the person holding the will, must file the will, any codicils, and a death certificate with the Probate Division within thirty (30) days of the date of death. If real or personal property is held as a "joint tenancy with right of survivorship," it is not part of the probate estate since title passes at death directly to the surviving joint tenant.

What forms do I need to file to process the estate of a deceased person?

The requirements for probate are varied. For information, see the Estates page in Circuit Court Probate Division. 

How long do creditors have to file a claim against the estate?

The estate must remain open for at least six months from the date of the executor’s appointment to allow creditors to present claims. If all claims have been paid, the estate may be closed and a final account filed with the court.

What happens if there is no will?

If you need to open an estate administration without a will, you still need to file an original death certificate. Visit the Estates page to see what forms are needed to open an estate.

What happens if you are not a relative but the family asked you to close the estate?

If there is a will,  it will say who should be the executor. If the person died without a will then the law says 30 days from the date of death, anyone may petition to open an estate.

What does it cost to file a case in the Circuit Court Probate Division?

Court entry fees vary by case type in the probate division.  Refer to the Filing Fees Chart for more information.

How do I get a copy of documents in a case file?

You call or write the register's office and request them. You can call the register's office and ask for the number of pages you need copied. A copy of a will costs $1.00 per page. All other copying is $0.50 per page.