On March 17, 2020, New Hampshire Governor Christopher T. Sununu issued Emergency order #4 entitled “Temporary prohibition of evictions and foreclosures.”
The emergency order suspends all eviction actions for both restricted (residential) and non-restricted (commercial) property in New Hampshire. The order applies to the filing of an eviction action with the Circuit Court, and applies to forwarding an issued writ of possession to the Sheriff's office for service. While not explicitly stated in the order, it appears to apply to the issuing demands for rent and eviction notices. The order extends fines and assessment of attorney’s fees if a residential landlord initiates eviction proceeding during the state of emergency. The penalties are set forth by statute at RSA 540-A:4, and include a $1,000 fine plus the assessment of the tenant’s attorney's fees. Emergency ex parte proceedings under RSA 540-A are exempt from the emergency order which suspends all eviction hearings in the Circuit Courts until April 7, 2020.
Eviction actions filed prior to March 17, 2020 and were scheduled for hearing will be postponed. The court will issue a new hearing notice. The emergency order does not have a sunset provision. However, emergency order #1, which closed all public schools, expires on April 3, 2020.
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