This article will provide guidance on How To Serve legal papers in New Hampshire. When anyone files a lawsuit against another individual, the latter is entitled to know about it. While in certain cases, the court sends notice to the other party, in others, the party bringing the action is responsible for providing such notice. “Service of process” refers to the method by which notice is delivered. In the end, the purpose is to make sure the opposing party is aware of the legal action being taken against them. Orders of the court may be challenged and reversed if the other party has not been notified.

In certain situations, the court notifies the opposite party. Even in minor claims proceedings, the defendant receives a notice of their claim, along with the actual claim. Also, if a person is trying to register a judgment from another state in New Hampshire, the court notifies the opposing party when the file is made in New Hampshire.

Most of the time, the party submitting the case is obligated to notify the opposing party of their intent to file a lawsuit. A notice must be given in accordance with both the letter of the spirit of the law and the court’s rules. When serving the opposite party in certain situations, the filer has the option of choosing how to do so, but in most cases, the law or the court will dictate how service is to be performed.


A sheriff may appoint a special deputy for the service and return of any New Hampshire Process Service, by warrant endorsed.

A writ or other directive issued to the sheriff’s department, or the sheriff and deputies acting on their behalf, must be served and executed.  The sheriff and their deputies, as well as all of the sheriff’s bailiffs, are usually to be the court criers. Bailiffs in all state courts, excluding the supreme court, must provide proper security. As required by the policy standards and training council, sheriff’s bailiffs must undergo background checks, physical and mental requirements, and training relevant to their tasks. Before adopting these guidelines, the council must engage with the New Hampshire Sheriffs Association and the court’s administrative office.

Sheriffs and their deputies serve legal processes, investigate crimes, hunt down offenders, and capture them across the state.

In cases when the sheriff is a party, a relative, or an interested party, the writ or other process may be served by the sheriff or deputy sheriff of another county or by their deputy. The official bond of the sheriff’s deputies will protect the sheriff even if they are not a party to the New Hampshire Process Service and may be used to serve writs or other New Hampshire Process Service on their officers. The sheriff’s bond is meant to safeguard his officers when they serve New Hampshire Process Service on them. Even if a sheriff or their deputy is the plaintiff in a matter, nothing will preclude them from executing the summons or delivering the summons personally.

No sheriff, deputy sheriff, or constable is disqualified from serving a writ or other precept. A town or other corporation is a party because they are a citizen of the town or a corporation’s member.
In the case of civil precepts requiring less than seventy-five dollars in damages, constables must serve and return the writs and other civil precepts addressed to them and must have the same powers and be subject to the same liabilities as sheriffs. 

If an officer refuses or neglects to serve a legal precept that has been delivered to them for New Hampshire Process Service and directed to them, they forfeit USD 50 to anyone who is harmed by this and sues within three months, even if their fees are first tendered in criminal cases when the precept is endorsed by the attorney general or solicitor or by the clerk by order of the court.

No attorney will be personally liable to any sheriff or other officer authorized to serve process in the execution of any summons or other New Hampshire Process Service put in their possession for service unless an explicit commitment to pay the fees and costs thereon has been expressly agreed upon. This official, on the other hand, should be able to take legal action against the individual who files such a lawsuit. Authorities to serve papers or conduct arrests may need specialized support for officers carrying out their duties. It is a misdemeanor to deny or omit to provide New Hampshire Process Service when requested.


When a New Hampshire Process Service, notice, or demand must be served on a limited liability company, the limited liability company’s registered agent serves as the limited liability company’s agent.

Limited liability companies may be served by registered or certified mail, with a return receipt requested, sent to the limited liability company’s primary office if the limited liability company does not have a registered agent or the agent cannot be served with reasonable care. After five days, if mailed postpaid and correctly addressed, the New Hampshire Process Service is perfected if: [A.] the limited liability company receives the mail; [B.] the date shown on the return receipt if signed on behalf of the limited liability company, or [C.] the postmark five days after deposit in the United States mail.

Service of New Hampshire Process Service, notice, or demand on a foreign company authorized to do business in this state is performed by the foreign corporation’s registered agent.

If a foreign corporation has no registered agent or its registered agent cannot be served, it may be served by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the secretary of the foreign corporation at its principal office shown in its application for certification of authority or in its most recent annual report.

New Hampshire Process Service is completed the day the foreign company receives the mail; ( or the return receipt date, if signed by the foreign corporation; or alternatively, five days after the New Hampshire Process Service, placement in the United States mail, if sent postpaid and duly addressed.

how to serve a WRIT in new Hampshire

All original writs and writs of mesne New Hampshire Process Service must be served fourteen days before the return day they are returnable.

All writs and other New Hampshire Process Service must be served by giving to the defendant or leaving at their abode an attested copy. All writs and other processes will, at the time that they are served upon the defendant, indicate on such writ or New Hampshire Process Service the time, place, and mode of New Hampshire Process Service made upon the defendant and will further indicate any attachments made upon the property of the defendant and the time, place and method of such attachments. Such vital New Hampshire Process Service information must be placed upon the writ by the sheriff, deputy sheriff, or other person authorized by law who has done such New Hampshire Process Service.


A newspaper citation of the name of the case, the court in which it is pending, the time and location of the return and hearing, the fact that the original is on file and may be seen by interested parties, and such other facts as the court may order service of writs should suffice. 

Any time a copy of a summons or attachment must be placed at a city clerk’s residence, it is considered adequate service to leave the copy at the clerk’s office if that office is distinct from the clerk’s living home.


Jurisdiction is the first thing to address for New Hampshire Process Service. If a non-resident of this state engages in any business, tortious act, or property ownership in this state, they agree to submit to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state in the case of any cause of action arising from or related to these acts as per New Hampshire Process Service requirements.

It must be known that New Hampshire Process Service upon the Secretary of State must be provided in a specific manner. Any individual subject to the New Hampshire Process Service jurisdiction may be served with New Hampshire Process Service by delivering a copy of the summons and a ten-dollar fee to the secretary of state. Served at the defendant’s home or place of business in the state or country they live, this New Hampshire Process Service has the same legal effect. If the plaintiff or their counsel sends a notice and a copy of the New Hampshire Process Service to the defendant at their last known residence or place of business in the state or nation where the defendant lives by registered mail, postage prepaid, the law of that state or country will apply. As part of the New Hampshire Process Service, a return receipt from the defendant and an affidavit from the plaintiff or his counsel certifying their compliance with the New Hampshire Process Service laws must be attached and submitted. If the defendant does not receive or accept notice and a copy of the New Hampshire Process Service, the court may order any further notice that is necessary for the interests of justice.

It is vital to retain a record of all  New Hampshire Process Services. In order to maintain track of all procedures, the secretary of state is required to retain a record of the date and time of the New Hampshire Process Service in the secretary’s hands or office. The court in which the case is underway has the authority to grant continuances to the defendant in order to give them a fair chance to defend themselves. If the plaintiff wins, the USD 3 price paid to the secretary of state at the time of service will be included in their expenses.

The original of any petition, writ, or other similar processes, which is on file in the court in which it is pending, may be examined by interested parties by publishing a citation containing the title of the case, the name of the court in which it is pending, the time and place of the return and hearing, the fact that such original is on file and may be examined by interested parties. Such other facts as the court may ordain.


If individuals have already been issued a case number by a court, it should be entered into the subpoena. This information should be included in the subpoena form exactly as it appears in the court papers. A person may be summoned to testify in a court hearing or trial by providing the court’s name and address as well as the date, time, and place of the hearing or trial.  A New Hampshire judge, a justice of the peace, or the court clerk where the case is filed must sign and date the subpoena. Subpoenas do not need the signature of judges or clerks. In addition to the witness costs, one may have to pay travel expenses for the individual who will be testifying on their behalf. Half-day witness costs are USD12, and the daily witness fee for police officers is USD30.

Paying for travel expenses if the witness lives far away from the courthouse is required. The cost of commuting is USD1.17 per mile.  The witness will need to receive a check for these payments. These checks must be given to the witness by the person delivering the subpoena. If the sheriff serves the subpoena on the individual, they must pay the costs. The sheriff’s office in the county where the witness resides may serve it, or one can have someone else do it. Having it served at least ten days before the hearing or trial is recommended.

The individual serving the subpoena will need to have the entire original form, as well as two duplicates. The witness will get a copy of the document. The subpoena’s Return of Service must be completed by the person who served it and returned to oneself. The person who serves the subpoena keeps the additional copy.

When serving a subpoena to someone other than the sheriff, it is important to make sure they complete the Return of Service information and return a copy of the form. It is also imperative to bring the copied return of service to court the day before the hearing or trial and retain it in the records. If the individual fails to appear at the hearing or trial, they will have this document as evidence of being summoned.

Depositions taken in this state by a commissioner or other person appointed by any court of record of any other state, territory, or foreign country for use in such court’s cases shall have the same powers of procuring witnesses to give depositions before him and requiring the production of papers and the giving of such depositions, as depositions taken in this state by justices of the peace. New Hampshire requires a commissioner, who usually will be the individual appointed by a court of record to ensure the attendance of witnesses for out-of-state subpoenas. 


1. The writs will be returnable to the superior court for Rockingham County at Exeter; Strafford County at Dover; Belknap County at Laconia; Carroll County at Ossipee; Merrimack County at Concord; Hillsborough County at either Manchester or Nashua, as is appropriate; Cheshire County at Keene; Sullivan County at Newport; Grafton County at Woodsville in the town of Haverhill; and Coos County at Lancaster.

2. 510:6 – Scire Facias.
A writ of scire facias may be served if the defendant is not an inhabitant of the state, on the attorney who appeared for him in the original action, or as otherwise provided in RSA 510:4.

3. Any of the RSA 510:10-specified positions may be served on one of the county, city, town, or district’s major residents if the incumbent of that office is not present.

4. No manner of service of the summons is required, or service cannot be accomplished in accordance with the mode provided; thus, the action may proceed in court and notice gave as necessary. The only need for service is that a notice of the suit’s pending is issued in accordance with the court’s ruling.

5. Service on non-residents may be done in any way permitted by law, and this clause does not exclude it.

6. Full-day fees are USD24

7. It is best to contact ahead of time to confirm office hours and costs for a sheriff to serve the document. New Hampshire’s state website offers connections to county websites where one may discover listings of towns and their counties and information for the county sheriff. Individuals will get a copy of the subpoena with the Return of Service information completed if the sheriff serves the subpoena. A fee will be charged by the sheriff.

8. N.H. Rev. Stat. § 517-A:1

9. N.H. Rev. Stat. § 517:18.

 “A commissioner or other person appointed by any court of record of any other state . . . for the purpose of taking depositions in this state for use in causes pending in such court of record, shall have the same powers of procuring the attendance of witnesses to give depositions before him, and of requiring the production of papers and the giving of such depositions, as justices of the peace within this state with reference to depositions for use in civil cases pending within the courts of this state.


The information contained herein has been prepared in compliance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act. Fair use is a legal doctrine that promotes freedom of expression by permitting the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works. The articles/Images contained herein serve as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, educational, and research-as examples of activities that qualify as fair use. Undisputed Legal Inc. is a Process Service Agency and “Not A Law Firm” therefore the articles/images contained herein are for educational purposes only, and not intended as legal advice.