New Hampshire state court system

Understanding how the system of New Hampshire state court works is very important as it helps you find court records easily.

New Hampshire Courts Overview

To make your work easier, start searching for court records in New Hampshire by simply going to courts by county.

The trial court system of New Hampshire State consists of Circuit Court Family Divisions, Circuit Court Probate Divisions, Circuit Court District Divisions, and Superior Courts.

Superior Courts

New Hampshire Superior Courts have general jurisdiction to handle all cases but generally handle only the cases that other courts have no jurisdiction over. They are the only courts in New Hampshire that offer jury trials.

Civil cases that are heard by these courts include general civil claims for amount exceeding $25, 000, all jury trials, and general civil claims exceeding $1,500 or connected to title to real property.  They also handle child custody, divorce, foreclosure and redemption of mortgages, domestic violence, appeals of decisions of zoning and planning board, and petitions to enforce contracts.

Criminal cases these courts hear include felonies and criminal cases especially those that are eligible for jury trials.

They share jurisdiction for emergency domestic violence orders with Family Divisions of Circuit Courts and District Courts. There is no Circuit Court – Family Division in Cheshire County and Superior Court handles marital matters.

Circuit Court District Divisions

These courts have exclusive jurisdiction over certain types of criminal and civil cases. They have original jurisdiction over small claims, criminal misdemeanors and violations, stalking, landlord-tenant, land use violations, denial appeals over gun permit, and general civil claims involving less than $1500.

These courts have jurisdiction to handle juvenile matters particularly in counties where Family Divisions are not available.

Circuit Court Probate Division

These courts have exclusive jurisdiction to handle certain types of cases connected to real estate, probate, juvenile matters, and probate. T

They have limited jurisdiction over some partition actions, living wills, probate of wills, termination of parental rights, adoption of children, conservatorships, most name change petitions, guardianships, administration of trusts and estates, and matters related to title to real among other types of cases.

In areas with both a Probate Division and a Family Division, the Probate Division cannot hear most cases that the Family Division has jurisdiction over, but still shares jurisdiction over some types of cases.

Family Court Divisions

Other than Cheshire County, Family Court Divisions are found in all New Hampshire counties. They have limited jurisdiction to handle most domestic relations as well as juvenile cases, including child support, divorce, paternity, annulment, juvenile delinquency, child custody, alimony, neglect or abuse of children, name change petitions related to termination of parental rights, termination of parental rights, and guardianships of minors.

They share jurisdiction for emergency orders in cases related to domestic violence with Circuit Court District Divisions and Superior Courts. They also share jurisdiction for cases related to children in need of services and temporary detention orders in cases related to juvenile cases.

Circuit Court Family Divisions also have limited jurisdiction over most adoptions, but international, agency, or private adoptions remain within limited jurisdiction of Probate Division. Circuit Court Family Divisions also have limited jurisdiction over many guardianship of minors, but jurisdiction over the whole case remains within exclusive jurisdiction of Probate Division if the case involves also the state of a minor.

The Official Website of New Hampshire County

Manchester City of Manchester NH Official Web Site
Nashua Nashua, NH | Official Website
Concord Concord, NH – Official Website
Derry Town of Derry NH
Dover City of Dover, NH – Official Website
Rochester Rochester NH
Salem Salem NH
Merrimack Merrimack NH
Hudson Hudson NH
Londonderry Welcome to the Town of Londonderry, NH
Keene City of Keene
Bedford edford, NH | Official Website
Portsmouth City of Portsmouth
Goffstown Town of Goffstown, NH – Official Website Goffstown New Hampshire (NH) town website. Providing our citizens with the most current information regarding our town.
Laconia Laconia, NH | Official Website
Hillsborough County Hillsborough County, NH – The Official Hillsborough County, NH Website

Rockingham County Rockingham County, NH – The Official Rockingham County, NH Website
Merrimack County Merrimack County
Strafford County Strafford County NH
Grafton County Grafton County, NH – Haverhill, NH
Cheshire County Cheshire County
Belknap County Belknap County
Carroll County Carroll County NH
Sullivan County Events Calendar
Coos County Coos County NH