- For Attorneys
1. Physical custody is the right and responsibility to provide a child's primary residence. Legal custody encompasses all parental rights with the exception of physical custody (RSA 458:17), including the right and responsibility to make legal decisions about important matters such as education, health care, religion, general welfare, and the right to access information like school and medical records. New Hampshire courts are required to decide custody based on the best interest of the child. Usually, joint legal custody is in the child's best interest. When the court orders joint legal custody, both parents have the right to make legal decisions for the child and are expected to cooperate in making those decisions. Court orders regarding visitation must be obeyed. Parents should work out any problem between themselves with regarding to visitation issues resulting from a sick child.
When parents are unable to cooperate the court may award sole legal custody to one of them. Moreover, if the court finds that abuse has occurred, it may find joint legal custody inappropriate and make custody and visitation orders that protect the children, the abused spouse or both. It is common for New Hampshire courts to award primary physical custody to one parent and secondary physical custody to the other. In this case, the child would reside in the home of the parent with primary physical custody and the other parent would see the child on a regular schedule. Less frequently, when both parents have been very involved in their child's life and are committed to working together long term, they may agree to share joint physical custody. In this case, the child would spend comparable amounts of time at each household, commonly alternate days or weeks. To share joint physical custody, parents have to commit to living close together to make transportation to school practical for each of them.
2. The Attorney Discipline Office of the Supreme Court is the entity that has discipline authority over attorneys and investigates complaints involving the ethical conduct of an attorney. The complaint, called a grievance, must be in writing. The conduct must have occurred within the past two years. The grievance must be filed by someone with standing. This means the person complaining must be directly affected by the conduct or present when the conduct occurs. The grievance must include concise facts that, if true, would establish a violation of the NH Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct. Each grievance must be sworn to in front of a notary public or justice of the peace. The language of the oath shall be: "I hereby swear or affirm under the pains and penalties of perjury that the information contained in this grievance is true to the best of my knowledge." Grievances against lawyers must be addressed to: NH Supreme Court, Attorney Discipline Office, 4 Park Street, Suite 304, Concord, NH 03301.
If your concern involves a judge in NH, you must contact the Executive Secretary of the NH Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Conduct, 100 Main Street, Suite 303, Dover, NH 03820. The complaint, called a grievance, must be in writing. The grievance must be filed within two years of the alleged misconduct. The grievance must be filed by someone with standing. This means the person complaining must be directly affected by the conduct or present when the conduct occurs. Grievance must include concise facts, that if true would establish a violation of he Code of Judicial Conduct. Each grievance has to be sworn above the signature of the person filing the grievance, stating: "I hereby swear or affirm under the pains and penalties of perjury that the information contained in this grievance is true to the best of my knowledge." Grievances that simply state a litigant is unhappy with a judges decision and why are not considered a judicial conduct complaint.
Grievances against judges must be addressed to: NH Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Conduct, 383 Central Avenue, Suite 303, Dover, NH 03820.