Selected State Statutes: New Hampshire

Statutes: New Hampshire

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173-B:4. Temporary Relief.

I. Upon a showing of an immediate and present danger of abuse, the court may enter temporary orders to protect the plaintiff with or without actual notice to defendant. The court may issue such temporary orders by telephone or facsimile. Such telephonically issued orders shall be made by a circuit court judge to a law enforcement officer, shall be valid in any jurisdiction in the state, and shall be effective until the close of the next regular court business day. Such orders shall be returnable to the circuit court where the plaintiff resides or to which the plaintiff has fled, unless otherwise ordered by the issuing judge. If non-telephonic temporary orders are made ex parte, the party against whom such relief is issued may file a written request with the clerk of the court and request a hearing on such orders. Such hearing shall be held no less than 3 business days and no more than 5 business days after the request is received by the clerk. Such hearings may constitute the final hearing described in RSA 173-B:3, VII. Such temporary relief may direct the defendant to relinquish to a peace officer any and all firearms and ammunition in the control, ownership, or possession of the defendant, or any other person on behalf of the defendant for the duration of the protective order. Other temporary relief may include:

(a) Protective orders:

(1) Restraining the defendant from abusing the plaintiff.

(2) Restraining the defendant from entering the premises and curtilage where the plaintiff resides, except when the defendant is accompanied by a peace officer and, upon reasonable notice to the plaintiff, is allowed entry by the plaintiff for the sole purpose of retrieving toiletries, medication, clothing, business equipment, and any other items as determined by the court.

(3) Restraining the defendant from withholding items of the plaintiff's personal property which are specified in the order. A peace officer shall accompany the plaintiff in retrieving such property to protect the plaintiff.

(4) Awarding custody of minor children to either party or, upon actual notice, to the department when it is in the best interest of a child.

(5) Denying the defendant visitation, ordering that visitation shall take place only at a supervised visitation center that uses a metal detection device and has trained security personnel on-site, ordering that visitation shall be supervised, or ordering a specific visitation schedule. Visitation shall only be ordered on an ex parte basis where such order can be entered consistent with the following requirements. In determining whether visitation can be safely ordered, the court shall consider the following factors:

(A) The degree to which visitation exposes the plaintiff or the children to physical or psychological harm.

(B) Whether the risk of physical or psychological harm can be removed by ordering supervised visitation or by ordering supervised visitation at a center that uses a metal detection device and has trained security personnel on-site.

(C) Whether visitation can be ordered without requiring the plaintiff and defendant to have contact regarding the exchange of children.

(6) Restraining the defendant from contacting the plaintiff or entering the plaintiff's place of employment, school, or any specified place frequented regularly by the plaintiff or by any family or household member.

(7) Restraining the defendant from abusing the plaintiff, plaintiff's relatives, regardless of their place of residence, or plaintiff's household members in any way.

(8) Restraining the defendant from taking, converting, or damaging property in which the plaintiff may have a legal or equitable interest.

(9) Directing the defendant to relinquish to the peace officer, in addition to the relief specified in RSA 173-B:4, I, any and all deadly weapons specified in the protective order that are in the control, ownership, or possession of the defendant, or any other person on behalf of the defendant, for the duration of the protective order.

(10) Granting the petitioner exclusive care, custody, or control of any animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the petitioner, defendant, or a minor child in either household, and ordering the defendant to stay away from the animal and forbidding the defendant from taking, transferring, encumbering, concealing, committing an act of cruelty or neglect, or disposing of the animal.

(b) Other relief, including but not limited to:

(1) Awarding to the plaintiff the exclusive use and possession of an automobile, home, and household furniture, if the defendant has the legal duty to support the plaintiff or the plaintiff's minor children, or the plaintiff has contributed to the household expenses. The court shall consider the type and amount of contribution to be a factor.

(2) Restraining the defendant from taking any action which would lead to the disconnection of any and all utilities and services to the parties' household, or the discontinuance of existing business or service contracts, including, but not limited to, mortgage or rental agreements.

II. The defendant may be prohibited from purchasing, receiving, or possessing any deadly weapons and any and all firearms and ammunition for the duration of the order. The court may subsequently issue a search warrant authorizing the peace officer to seize any deadly weapons specified in the protective order and any and all firearms and ammunition, if there is probable cause to believe such firearms and ammunition and specified deadly weapons are kept on the premises or curtilage of the defendant and if the court has reason to believe that all such firearms and ammunition and specified deadly weapons have not been relinquished by the defendant.