Bill Text: NH HB609 | 2011 | Regular Session | Chaptered


Bill Title: Establishing the New Hampshire circuit court to replace the current probate courts, district courts, and judicial branch family division..

Status: (Passed) 2011-05-20 - House Signed by Governor 05/16/2011; Effective 07/01/2011; Chapter 0088 [HB609 Detail]

Download: New_Hampshire-2011-HB609-Chaptered.html

CHAPTER 88

HB 609-FN – FINAL VERSION

15Mar2011… 0739h

4May2011… 1676EBA

2011 SESSION

11-0574

09/01

HOUSE BILL 609-FN

AN ACT establishing the New Hampshire circuit court to replace the current probate courts, district courts, and judicial branch family division.

SPONSORS: Rep. G. Richardson, Merr 4; Sen. Houde, Dist 5; Sen. Morse, Dist 22

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

AMENDED ANALYSIS

This bill establishes the New Hampshire circuit court to replace the current probate courts, district courts, and judicial branch family division.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

15Mar2011… 0739h

4May2011… 1676EBA

11-0574

09/01

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eleven

AN ACT establishing the New Hampshire circuit court to replace the current probate courts, district courts, and judicial branch family division.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

88:1 New Chapter; Circuit Court. Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 490-E the following new chapter:

CHAPTER 490-F

CIRCUIT COURT

490-F:1 Purpose. The general court hereby organizes, constitutes, and establishes the New Hampshire circuit court. The goals of the circuit court are the respectful treatment of all individuals, the prompt and fair resolution of all issues within its jurisdiction, the use of alternative dispute resolution to reduce the adversarial nature of proceedings, the effective use of technology, and the assignment of judicial and nonjudicial staff specially selected for their commitment to these goals.

490-F:2 Circuit Court; General. The circuit court shall be a court of record with statewide jurisdiction. Each circuit court location shall have the authority to hear all cases within the subject matter jurisdiction of the circuit court. Subject to part 1, article 17 of the New Hampshire constitution, nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the reassignment of cases within the circuit court as justice or efficiency requires in the discretion of the administrative judge of the circuit court.

490-F:3 Circuit Court Divisions. The circuit court shall consist of 3 divisions: a probate division, a district division, and a family division. The circuit court shall have the jurisdiction, powers, and duties conferred upon the former probate and district courts and upon the former judicial branch family division by RSA 547, RSA 502-A, and RSA 490-D.

490-F:4 Circuit Court Locations. The judicial districts for the district and family divisions shall be as set forth in RSA 502-A:1 and RSA 490-D:4, respectively, and each county shall be a judicial district for the probate division. The supreme court may, from time to time, establish other locations for each of the divisions. The probate court records shall be maintained at the circuit court site at each county seat. The circuit courts shall be as follows:

I. Coos county first circuit

II. Grafton county second circuit

III. Carroll county third circuit

IV. Belknap county fourth circuit

V. Sullivan county fifth circuit

VI. Merrimack county sixth circuit

VII. Strafford county seventh circuit

VIII. Cheshire county eighth circuit

IX. Hillsborough county ninth circuit

X. Rockingham county tenth circuit

490-F:5 Circuit Court Judges and Masters; Appointment; Tenure.

I. On the effective date of this chapter, the circuit court shall consist of those justices and masters previously appointed and commissioned by the governor and council as prescribed by the constitution and the laws of the state of New Hampshire. The tenure of office of persons serving as justices or special justices of the district and probate courts or marital masters in the judicial branch family division and superior court shall not be affected hereby, and they shall continue in office as judges or masters respectively of the circuit court.

II. Judicial and master appointments to fill vacancies which exist on the effective date of this chapter in the former probate and district courts and in the former judicial branch family division shall be to the New Hampshire circuit court. No judicial officer appointed to the circuit court shall be appointed to a particular location; however, the assignment of a circuit court judge to a particular location shall be within the discretion of the administrative judge of the circuit court who shall take into account the weighted caseload and judicial need of that location.

490-F:6 Circuit Court Judges and Masters; Assignment; Certification.

I. Circuit court judges and masters shall be assigned to one or more circuits or locations in the discretion of the administrative judge of the circuit court after considering population, judicial time and efficiency, available judicial resources, and the needs of the public.

II. The assignment of a circuit court judge to a division within the circuit court shall be based upon the judge’s knowledge of, commitment to, and expertise in the subject matter of the division.

III. For purposes of part 2, articles 80 and 81 of the New Hampshire constitution, a judge of probate shall be any circuit court judge assigned to the probate division.

IV. Judges and marital masters appointed prior to the effective date of this chapter shall be initially assigned within the circuit court as follows:

(a) Judges of the former probate court shall be initially assigned to the probate division of the circuit court;

(b) Judges of the former district court shall be initially assigned to the district division of the circuit court;

(c) Judges certified in the former judicial branch family division shall be initially assigned to the division that corresponds with their initial appointment and to the family division of the circuit court; and

(d) Masters appointed to the former judicial branch family division or superior court shall be permanently assigned to the family division of the circuit court.

V. The assignment of a circuit court judge to a division following initial assignment shall be within the discretion of the administrative judge; provided, however, the circuit court judge shall be certified by the supreme court to hear cases coming within the newly assigned division prior to such assignment. A judge initially assigned to a division within the circuit court pursuant to paragraph I shall be deemed certified in the division of initial assignment.

VI. Thereafter, judges appointed to the circuit court shall be assigned to a division at the discretion of the administrative judge subject to the following considerations:

(a) The knowledge, commitment to, and expertise of the judge in the subject matter of the particular division to which the judge is to be assigned;

(b) The division in which the judicial vacancy resulting in the new appointment exists, and

(c) The judicial needs of a particular circuit court location as determined by the administrative judge.

VII. Judges may be certified in all divisions of the circuit court pursuant to rules adopted by the supreme court.

VIII. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the administrative judge from assigning judges to a division as justice and efficiency require.

IX. The judges and masters shall be entitled to receive their actual personal expenses when absent from their assigned court in the performance of their official duties. The judges and masters shall not be reimbursed for mileage to commute from the judge’s residence to his or her assigned court except for any mileage in excess of 50 miles each way.

490-F:7 Circuit Court Judges; Number.

I. Except as provided in paragraph II, the number of judges and masters in the circuit court shall not be less than the number of authorized judicial and master positions in the former district court, probate court, and judicial branch family division, as well as any superior court judicial officer or marital master equivalent not yet transferred to the former judicial branch family division on the effective date of this chapter but necessary to complete the family division implementation as set forth in RSA 490-D.

II. Upon the retirement, resignation, disability, or removal of a part-time justice or special justice of the former probate or district courts, the position shall be eliminated, unless within 30 days of such retirement, resignation, disability, or removal the supreme court certifies in writing to the governor that due to population, caseload, and available judicial resources, the position needs to be continued in the circuit court.

III. Upon the completion of the current term of a marital master, the position shall be converted to a full-time judicial position, provided that the fiscal committee of the general court approves and further provided that sufficient funds have been appropriated for the salary and benefits of the full-time judicial position. Once converted to a full-time judicial vacancy, the governor may nominate and the council may confirm any qualified person pursuant to part 2, article 46 of the New Hampshire constitution.

IV. The supreme court, after reviewing population, caseload, judicial time, and efficiency, available judicial resources, the needs of the circuit court, and other relevant criteria may request the governor and council to designate a sitting part-time judge as a full-time judge. The court may recommend certain judges; however, the governor and council shall not be bound by that recommendation. Upon designation, that judge shall become full-time. Prior to making its request, the supreme court shall receive the approval of the fiscal committee of the general court and there shall be funds in the court’s budget specifically appropriated for the salary and benefits of an additional full-time circuit court judge.

490-F:8 Circuit Court Judges; Retired Judges.

I. Nothing in this chapter shall limit the ability of retired judges under 70 years of age of the former district and probate courts or of the circuit court to elect senior active status or of such retired judges 70 years of age and older to serve as judicial referees pursuant to RSA 493-A.

II. Judges who have elected senior active status, are eligible to elect senior active status, or are eligible to serve as judicial referees on the effective date of this chapter shall maintain such eligibility.

III. The assignment and certification provisions of this chapter shall apply to senior active judges and retired judges acting as judicial referees.

490-F:9 Disqualifications of Judges. No judge or clerk of the circuit court shall be retained or employed as an attorney in any action, complaint, or proceeding pending in a division of the circuit court or circuit court site in which that judge or clerk has been certified or assigned. No attorney shall be permitted to practice before any division of the circuit court where any justice, associate justice, or special justice is associated with such attorney in the practice of law.

490-F:10 Full-Time Circuit Court Judges. A circuit court judge designated to be full-time under RSA 490-F:7, IV shall not be permitted to engage in the practice of law to any degree. Full-time judges shall receive the salary specified in RSA 491-A:1.

490-F:11 Judicial Branch Budget Request. For the purpose of calculating the biennial budget request and judicial salaries as well as the number of judicial positions required in the circuit court, the supreme court shall establish and revise as needed a weighted case value, relating the judicial time required for each type of case included in the court’s jurisdiction, which when multiplied by the caseload of each court will produce the number of weighted case units for that court. Any revisions to the weighted case values shall be approved by the fiscal committee of the general court. The number of weighted case units shall be calculated by the administrative office of the courts in October of each year, using caseload statistics for the preceding 12-month period. Said weighted case units shall serve as the basis for determining the salary of part-time judges for the next calendar year.

490-F:12 Part-Time Judges; Salary Calculation. The salary of judges who were part-time judges in the district and probate courts shall be calculated each year based on the weighted caseload of the former jurisdiction less any weighted values for case types that are no longer within the jurisdiction of the circuit court or judicial branch.

490-F:13 Circuit Court Clerks; Appointment. The administrative judge of the circuit court shall appoint a clerk with responsibility for each circuit court site. In the interest of the effective administration of justice, any such clerk may have responsibility for one or more circuit court locations. Circuit court clerks shall have the same duties as clerks of the former district court and judicial branch family division and as registers of probate with the exception of RSA 15-B, RSA 456-B, RSA 548, RSA 653, RSA 655, and RSA 661 which shall remain as duties of the registers of probate. Circuit court clerks shall hold office at the pleasure of the administrative judge of the circuit court.

490-F:14 Staff. The administrative judge of the circuit court shall identify a mechanism by which to assign and transfer existing staff in the probate and district courts and in the judicial branch family division to operate the circuit court. The number of circuit court staff shall be based upon a review of anticipated caseload, population, available staff resources, and other relevant criteria, including information from any weighted caseload system.

490-F:15 Referees. The circuit court, with the consent of the parties shall, and without the consent of the parties may, commit to one or more referees any cause at law or in equity, or the determination of any question of fact pending in the court wherein the parties are not, as matter of right, entitled to a trial by jury; and with the consent of the parties shall in the same manner commit any other cause or the determination of any other question of fact.

490-F:16 Alternative Dispute Resolution. Alternative dispute resolution shall be utilized in the circuit court when practicable to reduce the adversarial nature of proceedings.

490-F:17 Existing Procedure Applicable. All provisions of law, not inconsistent herewith, relating to procedure in civil or criminal matters and practice in the former probate and district courts and the former judicial branch family division shall remain in full force and apply to the circuit courts hereby established.

490-F:18 Statutory References. During the implementation of the circuit court, references in statutes involving the jurisdiction of the circuit court to the probate or district courts or to the judicial branch family division shall be deemed to include the circuit court. Following the full implementation of the circuit court, those references shall be deemed to be to the New Hampshire circuit court where it has exclusive jurisdiction of a subject matter and to the superior court and circuit court where the circuit court has concurrent jurisdiction with the superior court.

490-F:19 Implementation Plan. On the effective date of this chapter, the New Hampshire circuit court shall be operational based upon a plan of implementation developed by the administrative judge of the circuit court in consultation with and approved by the supreme court.

88:2 Judicial Branch Family Division Clerks; Fees. RSA 490-D:12, II and III are repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

II. Fees as established by the supreme court under RSA 490:26-a shall be paid to the clerk of the applicable circuit court established in RSA 490-F for the benefit of the state. The clerk shall set aside 7 percent of each entry fee paid into the court for deposit into a special escrow account established under RSA 490:26-c and 14 percent of each entry fee paid into the court for deposit into the judicial branch information technology fund established under RSA 490:26-h. The proceeds of fees for motions to appear in court pro hac vice shall be paid into the law library revolving fund established in RSA 490:25, III.

III. The sum of $5 shall be added to each entry fee collected by the circuit court clerk on cases which, prior to the establishment of the judicial branch family division, would have been filed in the probate court. Sums collected under this paragraph shall be deposited in the mediation and arbitration fund established under RSA 490-E:4.

88:3 Sessions in Towns Within District. RSA 502-A:2, II is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

II. The administrative judge of the circuit court established in RSA 490-F shall have the authority to and shall, on an annual basis, establish the number of court sessions and the hours and days of operation required for each district court. The administrative judge shall consider the convenience of each court’s users, caseload, resources, and security. Each court shall submit a plan for flexible scheduling to the administrative judge that meets the needs of the community served by that court which may include evening, early morning, and/or weekend sessions and other alternative sessions. In evaluating the community need for alternative sessions, the administrative judge and local courts shall evaluate separately civil suits, small claims, order of notice, motor vehicle matters, and criminal cases to determine the needs of the community.

88:4 Duties of Clerks; Disposition of Fines. RSA 502-A:8 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

502-A:8 Duties of Clerks; Disposition of Fines.

I. The clerk of the applicable circuit court established in RSA 490-F shall receive all fines and forfeitures paid into the district court from any source. The clerk of any circuit court may accept payment of the fine by credit card in lieu of cash payment. Any transaction costs assessed by the issuer of the credit card shall be paid out of the portion of the fine amount which is deposited with the treasurer and not out of the penalty assessment charged by a district court. The clerk shall forward fines collected for violations of title XXI to the treasurer for deposit in the highway fund and fines collected for violations of title LXII and all other statutes to the treasurer for deposit in the general fund within 14 days. The clerk shall separately indicate which fines were for violations of title XXI. Fines and forfeitures collected by the clerk for violations of municipal ordinances, codes, or regulations, except those adopted pursuant to RSA 31:39, I(g); RSA 41:11; RSA 47:17, IV, VI, VII, or VIII; and RSA 105:6 and RSA 105:7, shall be remitted monthly to the treasurer of the municipality prosecuting said violations, for the use of the municipality. All expenses related to the processing of parking violations and the administrative collection of parking fines shall be the responsibility of the local unit of government, and all fines collected shall be retained in their entirety by the local unit of government.

II. Nothing in this section shall prevent the court from transferring the collection of fines to a centralized location. Any fines collected by the central location shall be distributed as indicated in paragraph I. References to duties and responsibilities of clerks contained in paragraph I shall be deemed to include the central fine collection center as appropriate.

88:5 Criminal Cases, District Courts. RSA 502-A:11 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

502-A:11 Criminal Cases; District Courts. Each district court shall have the powers of a justice of the peace and quorum throughout the state and shall have original jurisdiction, subject to appeal, of all crimes and offenses committed within the confines of the district in which such court is located which are punishable by a fine not exceeding $2,000 or imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both, including all violations of the provisions of RSA 266:16 and RSA 266:25 pertaining to vehicles exceeding permitted size or weight, regardless of whether the defendant is a natural person or any other person.

88:6 Jury Trial. RSA 502-A:15 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

502-A:15 Jury Trial. In cases in which the damages claimed exceed $1,500 or the title to real estate is involved, if the defendant, upon the entry of any action for damages under RSA 502-A:14, II or II-a, within 7 days of the return date of the action or within such additional time as the district court for good cause may allow, files a written request for trial by jury, the cause shall be at once transferred to the superior court for the county or judicial region in which the court is located, to be heard and tried as if originally entered in the transferee court. The original entry fee and cost of transferring the action shall be paid by the moving party but shall be recoverable as costs if the moving party prevails in the action. If, after transfer for trial by jury, the moving party waives the right to jury trial, the cause shall at once be remanded to the district court of original jurisdiction.

88:7 District Court Fees. RSA 502-A:28, I is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

I. Fees as established by the supreme court under RSA 490:26-a shall be paid to the clerk of each applicable circuit court established in RSA 490-F for the benefit of the state.

88:8 Other Fees. RSA 502-A:29 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

502-A:29 Other Fees. For other certificates or papers which he or she is authorized to make or certify, the clerk of a circuit court shall receive the same fees as a clerk of the superior court.

88:9 Probate Court Fees. RSA 490:27, I is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

I. Probate court fees as established by the supreme court under RSA 490:26-a shall be paid to the clerk of the applicable circuit court established in RSA 490-F for the benefit of the state.

88:10 Court of Record. RSA 547:1 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

547:1 Court of Record. The court of probate is a court of record for all purposes, and each probate court shall be provided with a seal bearing upon its face the name of the court and the name of this state.

88:11 Transfer to Superior Court. RSA 547:11-d is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

547:11-d Transfer to Superior Court. In cases where a right to jury trial is guaranteed by the constitution or granted by statute, a plaintiff desiring a jury trial shall file the action in the superior court, and filing the action in the probate court where there is concurrent jurisdiction shall constitute a waiver of a jury trial by the plaintiff. If the defendant desires a jury trial, the defendant shall indicate the request for a jury trial at the time of the defendant’s initial pleading with the court. Failure to timely request a jury trial shall constitute a waiver by the defendant thereof. If a jury trial is requested by the defendant, the matter shall be transferred to the superior court.

88:12 New Sections; Dockets and Index; Records; Probate Court Entry Fees. Amend RSA 547 by inserting after section 27 the following new sections:

547:27-a Docket and Index. The probate court shall keep a docket of all cases and matters, and an index thereto which shall be open to public inspection at all reasonable times.

547:27-b Records.

I. The probate court shall appropriately retain all wills and their probate; all proceedings with regard to real estate; all accounts settled, and all orders, decisions, and appointments from which an appeal may be claimed.

II. The probate court, subject to the approval of the supreme court, shall establish and implement retention and destruction schedules for those original files, papers, and records in cases and matters disposed of by the court.

547:27-c Probate Court Entry Fees.

I. Entry fees as established by the supreme court under RSA 490:26-a shall be paid to the clerk of each applicable circuit court established in RSA 490-F for the benefit of the state.

II. The clerk shall set aside 7 percent of each entry fee paid into the court for deposit into a special escrow account established under RSA 490:26-c and 14 percent of each entry fee paid into the court for deposit into the judicial branch information technology fund established under RSA 490:26-h. The proceeds of fees for motions to appear in court pro hac vice shall be paid into the law library revolving fund established in RSA 490:25, III.

88:13 Residence. RSA 548:1 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

548:1 Residence, etc. The register of probate shall dwell in the county in which the probate records are required to be kept. If a register shall dwell in any other county and continue so dwelling for 30 consecutive days, the office shall be deemed vacant.

88:14 Preservation of Files. RSA 548:5 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

548:5 Preservation of Files. The register of probate shall be responsible for coordinating with the administrative judge of the circuit court established in RSA 490-F the preservation of any closed files having the potential for historical significance. The register may recommend that these files be sent to the records center established under RSA 5. The register of probate shall maintain a current index describing the location of any files which have been removed from the court pursuant to this section.

88:15 Salaries. RSA 548:17 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

548:17 Salaries. The annual salaries of the registers of probate shall be established by the supreme court in accordance with the compensation system established by the supreme court.

88:16 Acting as Counsel. RSA 548:24 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

548:24 Counsel Acting As. The register shall not act as counsel or advocate in any proceeding in, or to be brought into, the probate court of which the register was elected, nor receive any fee for such service.

88:17 Acting as Appraiser. RSA 548:25 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

548:25 Appraiser, or Commissioner, Acting As. The register shall not be appointed nor act as appraiser or commissioner on any estate under administration in the probate court of the county in which the register was elected.

88:18 New Section; Record of Decedent’s Real Estate. Amend RSA 554 by inserting after section 14 the following new section:

554:14-a Record of Decedent’s Real Estate. Whenever it appears from the inventory or any other instrument pertaining to real estate filed with the court in connection with the administration of any estate that the estate contains real estate located in another county within the state, the court shall notify, within 15 days, the register of deeds of the county in which the real estate lies of the name and date of death of the decedent. A register of deeds who receives such a notice shall record in the grantor’s index of the register’s office the name of the decedent, the decedent’s date of death, and the county in which the estate is being probated. The cost for filing said notice shall be assigned to the estate.

88:19 New Section; Notice to Fiduciaries. Amend RSA 554 by inserting after section 26 the following new section:

554:26-a Notice to Fiduciaries.

I. A fiduciary appointed by the probate court shall file, as required by law, an inventory within 90 days after the date of appointment, or an account of administration within one year after the date of appointment. If a fiduciary fails to file an inventory within 30 days after the required filing date, or an account of administration within 90 days after the required filing date, the fiduciary is in default. The clerk of the applicable circuit court established in RSA 490-F shall give notice of the default to the fiduciary by first class mail within 10 days after the default. In the case of any inventory, account, annual report, statement of voluntary administration, or waiver of administration affidavit, the fiduciary shall either file the inventory, account, annual report, statement of voluntary administration, or waiver of administration affidavit, or show good cause for the failure to file, within 30 days after notice of the default from the clerk. If the fiduciary fails to file or to show good cause, the judge of probate shall issue a citation to the fiduciary to appear before the judge pursuant to RSA 550:2. The fiduciary shall pay default and citation fees as established by the supreme court under RSA 490:26-a to the clerk, pursuant to RSA 490:27. The requirements of this section shall apply to fiduciaries previously appointed as the judges of probate may prescribe by rules adopted pursuant to RSA 547:33.

II. The clerk shall contemporaneously with the issuance of any citation pursuant to paragraph I and RSA 550:2 send a copy of such citation by first class mail to the following:

(a) Any surety for the fiduciary;

(b) Any person who has filed an appearance; and

(c) Any residuary beneficiary, and the director of charitable trusts in cases involving charitable dispositions and trusts.

88:20 Name Change. Amend the following RSA provisions by replacing “register of probate” and “register” with “clerk:” 5-C:32, 7:29, 21-J:14, 87:21, 87:22, 87:26, 135-C:38, 170-B:16, 170-B:22, 171-B:6, 401:1, 457:28-b, 464-A:12, 464-A:20, 464-A:26, 464-A:28, 464-A:33, 505:11, 553:16, 553:25, 561:19, 564:4, 564:12, 568:30, 568:35, and 568:54.

88:21 Reference Deleted. RSA 151-A:15, I is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

I. If within 180 days after the date of a testate or intestate patient’s death in any nursing home no petition for probate has been filed under any section of RSA 553 and the gross value of the personal property remaining at the nursing home belonging to the deceased, including any amount left in a patient account, is no more than $2,500, the nursing home administrator shall file in the probate court in the county where the nursing home is located an affidavit for the purpose of disposing of such deceased patient’s estate. The form of the affidavit, and the rules governing proceedings under this section, shall be provided by the probate court pursuant to RSA 547:33. The nursing home administrator shall not file a death certificate with the probate court, but shall attest to the death in the affidavit. If the nursing home patient died testate and if the nursing home administrator has the will or a copy of the will, the nursing home administrator shall file the same in the probate court in the county where the nursing home is located. The probate court shall waive all filing fees.

88:22 Reference Change. The introductory paragraph of RSA 464-A:35, I is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

I. A guardian of the person shall file an annual report with the court within 90 days after the anniversary date of the guardian’s appointment, or be in default. The clerk shall give notice of the default to the guardian by first class mail within 10 days after the default. The clerk shall issue a citation notice in accordance with RSA 554:26-a. The report shall contain a brief summary of the present status of the ward including, but not limited to:

88:23 Reference Change. RSA 464-A:36, I is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

I. Subject to the provisions of RSA 464-A:26, V, a guardian of the estate shall file an annual account under oath with the court within 90 days after the anniversary date of the guardian’s appointment, or be in default. The clerk shall give notice of the default to the guardian by first class mail within 10 days after the default. The clerk shall issue a citation notice in accordance with RSA 554:26-a.

88:24 Reference Change. RSA 490:25, III is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

III. Receive and accept at any time funds from the sale or exchange of books, pamphlets, maps, manuscripts, and other related material, or from the sale of data base services, barcodes, cataloging records, magnetic tapes, laser discs, video tapes, or related or similar material, or from fees and fines as established by the law library and approved by the supreme court. Any funds accruing to the law library from such sources and as provided under RSA 490:24, I; RSA 490-D:12, II; RSA 499:18, II; RSA 502-A:28, II; and RSA 547:27-c, II shall be paid into the state treasury and held in a continually appropriated fund which shall not lapse for the use of the law library upon approval by the supreme court;

88:25 Reference Change. RSA 491-A:1 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

491-A:1 Salaries Established. The salaries for the positions set forth below shall be as follows:

Chief justice, supreme court $151,477

Associate justices, supreme court $146,917

Chief justice, superior court and administrative judges

appointed pursuant to supreme court rule 54 $146,917

Associate justices, superior court $137,804

District court justices prohibited from practice

pursuant to RSA 502-A:21-a $137,804

Probate judges prohibited from practice

pursuant to RSA 547:2-a $137,804

88:26 Reference Change. RSA 553:32, I is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

I. Notwithstanding any provision of law, whenever a deceased dies testate and the surviving spouse or, if no spouse, an only child is named in the will as the sole beneficiary of the deceased’s estate and is appointed to serve as administrator; or whenever a deceased dies intestate and the surviving spouse or, if no spouse, an only child is the sole heir of the deceased’s estate and is appointed to serve as administrator, there shall be no requirement for an inventory of the estate, no requirement for a bond, and no requirement for an accounting for assets. Administration of the estate shall be completed upon the administrator’s filing, and the probate court’s approval of an affidavit of administration. Such filing shall occur not less than 6 months nor more than one year after the date of appointment of the administrator. The affidavit of administration shall state that to the best of the knowledge and belief of the administrator there are no outstanding debts or obligations attributable to the deceased’s estate and shall list all real estate owned by the decedent at the time of death, including the location, book, and page. If the administrator fails to file the affidavit of administration within the time prescribed above, the administrator is in default. The clerk shall give notice of the default to the administrator by first class mail within 10 days after the default. The clerk shall issue a citation notice in accordance with RSA 554:26-a.

88:27 Reference Change. RSA 554:1 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

554:1 Inventory. Every administrator shall file under oath, with the court, within 90 days after the date of appointment, a full, true, and itemized inventory of all the estate of the deceased which has come to the administrator’s knowledge. If an administrator fails to file an inventory within 30 days after the required filing date, the administrator is in default. The clerk shall give notice of the default to the administrator by first class mail within 10 days after the default. The clerk shall issue a citation notice in accordance with RSA 554:26-a. The inventory shall contain a description of the real estate; a correct schedule of all goods, chattels, stocks, bonds, cemetery plots or burial spaces, and other effects of the deceased; of all notes, with their dates and terms of payment, and the date and amount of each endorsement thereon; of all deposits in savings banks, with the name and location of each bank, the number of each book, the date of the last dividend, and the whole amount then due thereon less any withdrawals since that date; and a list and description of any other written evidences of debt. If any person claims a present legal or equitable right of title to real or personal property in the estate of the deceased, the administrator may petition the probate court pursuant to RSA 547:11-b to determine the question as between the parties.

88:28 Reference Change. RSA 599:1 is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

599:1 Appeals. A person convicted by a district court of a class A misdemeanor, at the time the sentence is declared, may appeal therefrom to obtain a de novo jury trial in the superior court, which shall hear the appeal. The appeal shall be entered by the defendant at the next return day unless for good cause shown the time is extended by the superior court. If, after a jury trial in the superior court, the defendant is found guilty, the superior court shall sentence the defendant, and the defendant may appeal questions of law arising therefrom to the supreme court. In the event the defendant waives the right to jury trial after the case has been appealed, the superior court shall forthwith remand the case to the district court for imposition of the sentence originally imposed by the district court, and the defendant may appeal questions of law arising therefrom to the supreme court. In all misdemeanor cases which are appealed to superior court or in which defendants are bound over, it shall be the duty of the superior court to transmit to the justice of the district court, within 10 days after the case is finally disposed of, a certificate showing the final disposition of the case.

88:29 Repeal. The following are repealed:

1. RSA 490-D:6, relative to judges and marital masters.

2. RSA 490-D:10, relative to referees.

3. RSA 490-D:11, relative to staff.

4. RSA 490-D:12, I, relative to judicial branch family division clerks.

5. RSA 490-D:13, relative to alternative dispute resolution.

6. RSA 490-D:15, relative to marital master’s expenses.

7. RSA 502-A:1-a, relative to additional district courts.

8. RSA 502-A:3, relative to appointment and tenure of district court justices.

9. RSA 502-A:3-a, relative to associate justices of Manchester, Nashua, and Concord District Courts.

10. RSA 502-A:3-b, relative to tenure of district court justices following consolidation.

11. RSA 502-A:3-c, relative to elimination of special justices unless need certified.

12. RSA 502-A:5, relative to powers of other justices.

13. RSA 502-A:5-a, relative to assignment of judges.

14. RSA 502-A:6, III, relative to salaries of clerks.

15. RSA 502-A:6, V, relative to salaries of deputy clerks.

16. RSA 502-A:7, relative to district court clerks.

17. RSA 502-A:7-a, relative to deputy clerk of the Nashua District Court.

18. RSA 502-A:7-b, relative to deputy clerks.

19. RSA 502-A:8-a, relative to assignment of juvenile intake officers.

20. RSA 502-A:8-b, relative to duties of juvenile intake officers.

21. RSA 502-A:12-a, relative to regional jury trials.

22. RSA 502-A:20, relative to courts of record.

23. RSA 502-A:21, relative to disqualification of justices.

24. RSA 502-A:32, relative to existing procedure applicable.

25. RSA 502-A:34, relative to functions of municipal courts vested in district court.

26. RSA 502-A:35, relative to an exception to the abolition of municipal courts.

27. RSA 502-A:36, relative to the transfer of pending actions.

28. RSA 547:11-e, relative to failure to prosecute appeal.

29. RSA 547:27, relative to if the register is not present.

30. RSA 547:38, relative to assignment of judges.

31. RSA 548:2, relative to office hours.

32. RSA 548:3, relative to the seal.

33. RSA 548:4, relative to docket and index.

34. RSA 548:4-a, relative to scheduling.

35. RSA 548:5-a, relative to notice to fiduciaries.

36. RSA 548:6, relative to destruction of records.

37. RSA 548:7-a, relative to the record of decedent’s real estate.

38. RSA 548:8, relative to blanks and stationery.

39. RSA 548:9, relative to inventory blanks.

40. RSA 548:14, relative to deputy registers.

41. RSA 548:14-a, relative to additional deputy registers.

42. RSA 548:16, relative to the disability of the register.

43. RSA 548:23, relative to receipts.

44. RSA 548:23-a, relative to probate court entry fees.

88:30 Effective Date. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.

Approved: May 16, 2011

Effective Date: July 1, 2011

feedback