Is your case in the Merrimack County Superior Court in Concord, NH? In this Court, grand juries meet on a regular basis, and in secret, to bring indictments (charges) against defendants who are accused of committing felony level offenses anywhere in Merrimack County, a large area of central NH which encompasses the cities of Concord, Bow, Franklin, Hillsboro, Hooksett, New London, and many smaller towns.
After a grand jury indictment, the defendant is notified to appear for arraignment and a jury trial is scheduled. Additionally, defendants convicted of class A misdemeanors in any circuit court within Merrimack County can appeal for a jury trial on the misdemeanor charges in the Merrimack County Superior Court.
Up until 2017, all felonies originated in local district courts, such as the Concord District Court. Under the previous system, bail was set in the district court, and a probable cause hearing was scheduled to determine if the charges were supported by any proof whatsoever. If not, case dismissed.
However, under the new "felonies first" law, prosecutors bypass the circuit court altogether and file felony charges, right from the date of arrest or conclusion of police investigation, in the Superior Court. This law was met with controversy when enacted, because of the elimination of the right to probable cause hearing, and because local officials no longer had any control over how potential felony cases were handled, even though they know their local citizens better than centralized county attorney prosecutors.
Most cases here are prosecuted by the Merrimack County Attorney's Office. This is a very professional office staffed by, in our experience, very competent, experienced and seasoned professional prosecutors. In our experience, they have handled the new "felonies first" docket well, willing to listen and willing to consider alternatives to conviction and incarceration where appropriate.
Additionally, homicide cases, and certain other types of serious felonies, are prosecuted here by prosecutors from the Attorney General's Office.
On this page, you can see which Judges are assigned to preside in this Court in any given month. Usually, Hons. Diane M. Nicolosi and Richard B. McNamara preside over hearings and trials in the Merrimack County Superior Court.
The State is currently building a new and modernized courthouse at the same location to replace this antiquated Court, in the near future. That has made parking very challenging. Arrive early.
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