THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
INSTRUCTIONS FOR FILING A RULE 7 DISCRETIONARY APPEAL
Who Should Use the Discretionary Notice of Appeal Form
Use the discretionary notice of appeal form if you are appealing a final decision from a state
trial court (superior or circuit court) in: (1) a post-conviction review proceeding; (2) a
proceeding involving a collateral challenge to a conviction or sentence; (3) a sentence
modification or suspension proceeding; (4) an imposition of sentence proceeding; (5) a
parole revocation proceeding; (6) a probation revocation proceeding; (7) a landlord/tenant
action or possessory action filed under RSA Chapter 540; (8) the denial of a motion to
intervene in a case; or (9) a domestic relations matter filed under RSA chapters 457 to 461-
A other than an appeal from a final divorce decree or decree of legal separation. (An
appeal from a final divorce decree or from a decree of legal separation should be filed on
the mandatory notice of appeal form.)
Do not use this form to appeal any other decision from a state trial court.
Do not use this form to file an interlocutory appeal.
Do not use this form to appeal a decision of an administrative agency, such as the workers’
compensation appeals board, or a decision of a court committee, such as the Committee on
Do not use this form to file a petition for original jurisdiction.
Why the Appeal is Called Discretionary
The Supreme Court is not required to accept a Rule 7 Discretionary Appeal even if it is filed on time
and all of the filing requirements have been met. It may decline the appeal or it may summarily
dispose of the case without briefing or oral argument. For this reason, it is important that you
prepare the notice of appeal carefully. The notice of appeal form is designed to give you the
opportunity to explain why the court should accept your appeal. The court will review the notice of
appeal form and your attachments and will decide whether it believes the case or a part of the case
should be accepted for further review.
Determine the Deadline for Filing the Discretionary Notice of Appeal Form
It is important to file your notice of appeal on time. The deadline for filing a discretionary notice of
appeal is 30 days from the date on the trial court clerk’s written notice of a “decision on the merits.”
Motions to extend the deadline for filing an appeal will be granted only in exceptional circumstances.
Review Supreme Court Rule 7, paragraphs (1)(B) and (C), so that you understand how the
deadline is determined. A timely filed post-trial motion, such as a motion for reconsideration of the
trial court’s decision, stays the running of the appeal period. An untimely filed post-trial motion or a
successive post-trial motion does not stay the appeal period.
Filing means receipt by the clerk of court. You may mail or deliver your appeal to the clerk of court.
An appeal will be considered timely if the clerk receives it by the appeal deadline or if it is
postmarked at least 2 days prior to the deadline. See Rule 26(1).
If you are attempting to appeal a trial court decision but the deadline for filing an appeal has passed,
you must file a motion for late entry with the notice of appeal form. Motions for late entry will be
granted only in exceptional circumstances.
Completing the Discretionary Notice of Appeal Form
Complete all sections of the form. Do not use small type. (Letters cannot be smaller than size
12 font.) If a section is not applicable to your appeal, write “not applicable.”
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