Justices of the Peace

  •  JUSTICE OF THE PEACE LAW - RSA 455-A and Uniform Law on Notarial Acts - RSA 456-B  

    The Notary Public and Justice of the Peace Manual is available on-line or by contacting the Secretary of State's Office at 603-271-3242 

    REQUIREMENTS AND APPLICATION 

    • Every person applying to become a justice of the peace must be a resident of New Hampshire. 
    • You must have been a registered voter in New Hampshire for at least 3 years prior to the date of the application. 
    • The applicant must sign a written statement under oath as to whether he/she has ever been convicted of a crime that has not been annulled by a court, other than minor traffic violations. 
    • Two justices of the peace and one registered voter of New Hampshire must endorse the application for appointment. 
    • The applicant must complete a State Police criminal records release form. 
    • The fee is $75 for a 5-year commission. 
     

    PROCEDURE FOR APPLYING 

    • The application is obtained from the Secretary of State’s Office.  You may request an application the following ways:  Call 271-3242 OR mail your request in writing to the Secretary of State’s Office, 107 North Main Street, State House Room 204, Concord, N.H. 03301 OR email your request to elections@sos.nh.gov OR download the NEW APPLICATION and CRIMINAL RECORDS RELEASE FORM.  DO NOT use this form as a renewal.  See below for renewal information. 
    • Complete the application and the State Police criminal record release form and return them both to the Secretary of State’s Office with the $75 fee. 
    • Your request will be treated as follows: 
    • The State Police criminal record release form will be submitted to the Department of Safety. 
    • Your application will be submitted to the Governor and Executive Council for nomination. 
    • Your application will be submitted to the Governor and Executive Council for appointment. 
    • This process will take 8-10 weeks. 

     

    AFTER COMMISSIONED BY GOVERNOR AND EXECUTIVE COUNCIL 

    • Your commission as a justice of the peace will be for 5 years from the date the Governor and Council confirm your appointment.  The date of appointment will be indicated on your commission. 
    • Within a week after appointment, you will receive your commission, oath, index card, Notary Public Manual and other information from the Secretary of State’s Office. 

    You must: 

    • Sign and take your oath of office in the presence of two justices of the peace OR two notaries public OR one notary public and one justice of the peace.  Those who sign your oath should also sign your commission. 
    • Return the oath to the Secretary of State’s Office as soon as possible.  Unless we have your oath on file, we cannot certify that you are qualified as a justice. 
    • Keep the commission for your records. 
    • Sign the index card as required and mail it to the Superior Court of the county in which you reside. 

     

    JUSTICE OF THE PEACE SEAL 

    While RSA 455-A does not require a Justice of the Peace to use a seal when making acknowledgements, RSA 456-B The Uniform Law on Notarial acts does require the use of a seal.  We recommend that when performing an act as a Justice of the Peace, you do so under your official seal. 

     

    A Justice of the Peace signing an acknowledgement or jurat on any document or instrument shall type, print, or stamp the name of the justice of the peace and state the expiration of his or her commission on the document or instrument.  However, failure to meet these requirements shall not impair the legal validity of any acknowledgement or jurat. 

    POWERS OF A JUSTICE OF THE PEACE RSA 456-B 

    • Acknowledgements 
    • Oaths and affirmations 
    • Jurats 
    • Depositions 
    • Copy Certifications 
    • Witnessing or attesting signatures 
    • Protests 
    • Perform marriage ceremonies 

     

    FEES 

    • A fee of no more than $10.00 can be collected for each oath, witness, service or certification, except that: 
    • For depositions, a fee of $5.00 but not more than $50.00 may be collected.  The fee is based upon the amount that the justice feels is sufficient payment for his/her services.  The justice of the peace is also entitled to .20/mile when traveling to swear in witnesses. 
    • No fees are allowed for administering and certifying oaths of office of town officers. 

     

    HOW DO I RENEW MY JUSTICE OF THE PEACE COMMISSION? 

    • The renewal process is the same as the process you completed for your initial commission. 
    • A renewal application will be mailed to you approximately 3 months prior to the date your current commission is due to expire.  Renewal applications ARE NOT available on-line. 
    • If you move during the 5 years of your commission (or change your name) and do not notify the Secretary of State’s Office, your renewal form will not reach you.