The New Hampshire Court System At a Glance
The New Hampshire Judicial Branch includes the Supreme Court, the Superior Court, the Circuit Court Probate Division, the Circuit Court District Division and the Circuit Court Family Division. Below is a brief explanation of the court and links to their case types.
Circuit Court - District Division
The Circuit Court District Division has jurisdiction over misdemeanor and violation level criminal offenses, small claims, 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.
Circuit Court - Probate Division
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.
Circuit Court - Family Division
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.
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 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.
Need more help?
Need more help?
The staff in the Clerk's office and the staff in the Trial Court Information Center (1-855-212-1234) will be happy to help you. But, please remember that the court staff must remain impartial. They do not take sides. They give the same information to both sides to a case. Callers from outside the US or Canada must use the Circuit Court's toll number: 603-415-0162.