New Hampshire

This page provides a breakdown of all major developments and right to counsel law that the NCCRC knows for this state, sorted by subject area. Click on either tab below to see the aspect it describes.

Color Key Explanation
Categorical Right To Counsel There is a right to counsel without qualification for all indigent individuals in this type of case (except that the individual may be required to request counsel).
Discretionary Appointment Of Counsel Courts are permitted but not required to appoint counsel for any indigent individual in this type of case. A request may be required.
Right Or Appointment Is Qualified The established right to counsel or discretionary appointment of counsel is limited in some way, including: the only authority comes from a lower/intermediate court decision or a city government, not a high court or state legislature; a case has cast doubt on prior authority; a statute is ambiguous; or the right or discretionary appointment is not for all individuals or proceedings within that type of case.
No Such Proceeding This state has no law creating a judicial proceeding of this type.
None While this state does not provide for or require appointment of counsel with respect to the given subject area, it does have something (such as a report or bar policy) that supports the right to or appointment of counsel for this subject area.
Other Because the "Other subject areas” category can include developments from different subject areas that do not work the same way as each other, a blanket categorization of this category is not possible.

Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Accused Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

New Hampshire restores, protects right to counsel for parents in abuse/neglect proceedings

10/01/2015

In 2013, the legislature restored the right to counsel for parents in abuse/neglect cases, and the NH Supreme Court has acted to protect it.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

 

Nccrc_involvement_icon NCCRC assisted litigation on this issue, and fought the court rule rollback.

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Litigation

Right to counsel

A plurality of the NH Supreme Court found a right to counsel for indigent parents abuse/neglect cases, while a different plurality case did not.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

 

Nccrc_involvement_icon NCCRC filed an amicus brief in the C.M. case.

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Court Rule or Initiative

NH Supreme Court rejects attempt to truncate parental right to counsel

10/19/2015

The NH Supreme Court rejected a proposed rule change that would have truncated a parent's right to counsel in dependency (abuse/neglect) cases.

 

Nccrc_involvement_icon NCCRC submitted comments in opposition to the rule change and helped organize other commenters.

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Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Children

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel

A court may appoint counsel for a child in abuse/neglect proceedings in certain circumstances.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: yes

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Bypass of Parental Input into Abortion - Minor

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

A court must appoint counsel upon request for a minor seeking to bypass the parental notification requirement for an abortion.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Civil Contempt in Family Court

Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

Discretionary appointment of counsel - child support contempt

The New Hampshire Supreme Court held it is appropriate to appoint counsel in some child support civil contempt proceedings.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

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Civil Commitment - Subject of Petition

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for an indigent subject of a civil commitment proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Consumer or Other Debt

Litigation

Key_development Question_mark

NH Supreme Court extends right to counsel to certain debt collection cases

09/18/2018

The right to counsel extends to cases where the State seeks to collect appointed counsel fees, the NH Supreme Court ruled.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Ward

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for an indigent subject of a guardianship proceeding.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Health Care Access

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation

A court must appoint counsel in a hearing on whether to appoint a Special Medicaid Representative.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: yes

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Incarceration for Fees/Fines (incomplete)

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

NH Legislature moves to require counsel prior to fees/fines incarceration

06/02/2017

The NH Legislature enacted a bill in 2017 that requires appointment of counsel prior to incarceration for failure to pay criminal fees/fines.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

 

Nccrc_involvement_icon The NCCRC gave input and support to the court rule petition that preceded this bill.

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Litigation

Discretionary appointment of counsel

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has said that appointment of counsel in the civil debt context is on a case-by-case basis.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no

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Sexually Dangerous Persons - Commitment

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

There is a right to counsel for indigent respondents in sexually violent predator civil commitments.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Termination of Parental Rights (Private) - Birth Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

In adoption proceedings, the petitioner must pay the reasonable legal fees of the birth parents.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Termination of Parental Rights (State) - Birth Parents

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

An indigent parent has a right to counsel upon request in termination of parental rights proceedings, and must be notified of this right.

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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Truancy - Petition Against Child

Legislation

Key_development Question_mark

Right to counsel

Children have a right to counsel in truancy proceedings (which are treated as a "child in need of services" matter).

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no

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