New Hampshire Court Records
Due to the increasing capabilities of digital storage, many court records for the state of New Hampshire can be found online without expending time and energy tracking down records in person. The Internet provides access to the public as well as law professionals for accessibility to vital records, genealogy exploration materials, histories for similar cases when filing a new case, and records for personal law research and education.
There are multiple trial level courts which generate court records of the state, and cases appealed from lower courts are reviewed and at times presided over by the Superior and Supreme Court justices of New Hampshire.
History of New Hampshire Court Records
The history of New Hampshire judiciary system dates back to 1776 when the colony adopted a temporary constitution, the first of its kind in the early days of America. It shifted the power of appeals from the governor and council to an appellate court with four justices. Then in 1876, an act was passed to nominate the Supreme Court as the highest court in New Hampshire. Nearly another one hundred years passed, and then in 1971 a more unified court system was developed by making the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court responsible for operation of courts state-wide, working with the advice and consent of the Chief Justice of the Superior Court.
New Hampshire Court Records Availability
Court records are stored digitally and in many cases on paper. Respectively, New Hampshire began immediately storing civil and criminal records in June 2004 and January 2005. Older records can be found by searching by case number or party involved.
New Hampshire court records from the Supreme and Superior Courts include civil and criminal cases, interpretation cases of the state and federal constitution, and appeals. Lower courts such as the Circuit Courts have a district, family and probate division. New Hampshire also hosts a Drug and Mental Health Court, and a Mediation and Arbitration branch which keep records of their court proceedings.
Main Court Information
The New Hampshire Supreme Court, located in Concord, is the only appellate court of the state and is composed of the Chief Justice and four associate justices. The Supreme Court is necessary to interpret constitutional standings on a case by case basis, appeal cases from lower courts, and to provide disciplinary action of judges and lawyers.
The Superior Court is the state court for trials by jury in criminal and civil cases. In New Hampshire, there are 11 Superior Court sites that employ 20 fulltime judges who may hold offices until the age of seventy. Common cases for this type of court are felonies, negligence and damage claims, zoning and planning, as well as misdemeanor appeals from Circuit Courts.
In 2011 the Supreme Court presided over 910 filings and held dispositions over 934 cases. In that same year, the Superior Court had over 14,000 cases between all eleven locations in New Hampshire. The Circuit Court caseload proved to be much higher and oversaw nearly 171,000 cases.