ALERT: Key N.H. House and Senate bills beginning January 29, 2016

Here is a new list of key bills with the date and time of the public hearings. Please contact Chris Dornin (228-9610), with any questions, and please attend Tuesday, Feb 2, 2016  - 11:15 a.m. to show opposition against HB 1390


HB 1628-FN - This bill makes it a crime for a person to pay to engage in sexual contact with a person under the age of 18.

relative to human trafficking involving persons under 18 years of age. The bill makes it a felony instead of a misdemeanor to buy sex from a prostitute under the age of 18 or watch them perform a sexual act. We believe the committee should study the proposal before ratcheting up the penalties for crimes in a country that over penalizes all crime and sexual crimes in particular. 

11:00 a.m. HB 1314, limiting the authority of state entities to regulate the sale, use, and possession of firearms. 1:00 p.m. HB 1654-FN, relative to flying drones near correctional facilities. 2:00 p.m. HB 1657-FN, prohibiting firearms in certain public places. 3:00 p.m. HB 1327, relative to the statute of limitations for continuing violations of trespass. Executive session on pending legislation may be held throughout the day, time permitting, from the time the committee is initially convened.

Tuesday, Feb. 2 Senate JUDICIARY, Room 100, SH Sen. Carson (C), Sen. Cataldo (VC), Sen. Daniels, Sen. Lasky, Sen. Pierce 

9:00 a.m. SB 469-FN, relative to criminal record checks of wrecker operators. (the previous hearing for SB 469-FN was recessed on January 26th) 

9:10 a.m. SB 474-FN, relative to the administration of small estates. (the previous hearing for SB 474-FN was recessed on January 26th) 

9:30 a.m. SB 467-FN, relative to private investigators, security guards, and bail enforcement agents, and relative to unsworn falsification on agency forms. (the previous hearing for SB 467-FN was recessed on January 26th) 10:00 a.m. 

SB 498-FN, reducing the penalties for possession of certain controlled drugs from felonies to misdemeanors. We will support the bill. 

Tuesday, Feb. 2, JUDICIARY, Room 208, LOB 10:00 a.m. 

Executive session on HB 1574-FN-A, relative to the penalty assessment fund and requiring payment into the penalty assessment for persons performing court-mandated community service; HB 1581-FN-A, establishing a special marriage officiant license; 

HB 1611-FN-L, allowing a public body or agency to charge a fee for costs of retrieving public records under the right-to-know law; 

HB 1560-FN, relative to abortion procedures; 

HB 1627-FN, relative to the protection of infants born alive; 

HCACR 13, relating to the administrative head of the courts. Providing that the chief justice of the supreme court shall make rules governing employees of the courts and the practice and procedure to be followed in the courts; 

HB 1607-FN, relative to entering dismissals of cases by nolle prosequi.


10:00 a.m. HB 1112, relative to subdivision of land. 

10:15 a.m. HB 1202, relative to applications submitted to a planning board. 

10:30 a.m. HB 1203, relative to voting on variances. 10:45 a.m. 

HB 1244-L, relative to municipal cemeteries. 11:00 a.m. HB 1259, relative to liability for third party review of site plans. 

ALERT: Tuesday, Feb 2, 2016  - 11:15 a.m. HB 1390, relative to municipal authority to restrict where registered sex offenders live.

CCJR opposes the bill.

Citizens for Criminal Justice Reform (CCJR), a statewide non-profit that works for a just, humane, and restorative judicial and correctional system, urges the House Criminal Justice Committee to find HB 1390 inexpedient to legislate.  The bill is, on its face, unconstitutional. Passage will result in further costly litigation for taxpayers, and the law will, no doubt, be struck down by the courts.

Two recent decisions by New Hampshire Superior Courts determined that ordinances adopted by the towns of Dover and Franklin, restricting where registered sex offenders can live, violated the New Hampshire Constitution and therefore, could not be enforced. See State v. Jennings[1] and Thomas v. Merrifield and Goldstein[2].

Both court decisions recognized that the right to use and enjoy property is a substantive right under the New Hampshire Constitution.  Any law or ordinance which impairs a substantive right must be based upon evidence that it would actually further an important governmental objective.  The stated objective of residency restriction ordinances is the protection of children. However, there is no scientific evidence that restricting where those formerly convicted of sexual offenses live actually protects children.[3] This legislative body cannot give municipalities authority to set aside the constitutional rights of a disfavored minority based upon mere speculation.

Last year, in Doe v. New Hampshire[4], the New Hampshire Supreme Court found the state's Registry of Criminal Offenders to be an ex post facto violation as applied to the plaintiff in that case, and by implication, to many other registrants. The court noted the state's registry has evolved over the past two decades, becoming ever more intrusive and onerous. The court declined to say at which point the registry actually became punitive to the point of violating Doe’s constitutional rights.

This proposed law assumes the only ex post facto violation created by New Hampshire’s Registry of Criminal Offenders is the retroactive application of the 1994 law establishing a registry.  But, from the Doe decision, it is just as likely that the 2002 establishment of an Internet registry, or the numerous new requirements laid upon registrants by the 2008 Child Predator Act would also fail an ex post facto test when applied to those registrants whose crimes pre-dated their enactment. This law will not put the issue raised by the Doe case to rest. Far from it, this law will only throw fuel on the fire.

In Doe, the Court found that a lifetime registration requirement was excessive if the registrant no longer poses a meaningful risk to the public. In such cases, lifetime registration becomes wholly punitive. Although pop-culture likes to depict sex offenders as incurables, the actual risk of a registered individual reoffending is low. After 15 years of offense-free life, a registrant's risk of committing another sexual offense falls to near that of the average adult male in America. Simply stated, a majority of those on the registry pose no threat to the public and will never reoffend. The imposition of lifetime registration requirements upon these individuals only serves to further punish them for past offenses.

The proposed law imposes additional punitive requirements on those few Tier III offenders whom it allows to petition for removal from lifetime registration, requirements which will certainly not pass constitutional muster. First, the proposed law makes a distinction between registrants who pled guilty and those who went to trial. There can be no rational reason to make this distinction except to punish those who exercised their constitutional right to a trial. Second, the law places upon registrants the financial burden to prove non-dangerousness: to hire an attorney, to hire a psychologist, and to possibly pay for a treatment program. This burden is laid upon the very persons whose civil rights are being violated by the ex post facto application of the registry.  Clearly, under this scheme, only a few wealthy registrants will ever be able to afford to avoid lifetime registration. The poor will have to register for life whether they pose a risk to the public or not. Restoration of civil rights is made dependent upon ability to pay.

Finally, the provision that victim impact statements are to be considered by the court when deciding whether to exempt a former offender from lifetime registration, only serves to prove that the purpose of the registry is punitive. What possible bearing can the recounting of decades-old offenses have on a judge's decision whether or not a registrant is rehabilitated? Insertion of such emotional testimony into what should be a dispassionate, evidence-driven process, can only be seen as inviting judges to consider whether the offender has been punished enough for his past acts.

There is a bill introduced this session, HB 1343, which corrects ex post facto violations associated with the Registry of Criminal Offenders. CCJR supports its passage.

Text of bill:

[3] Residency Proximity & Sex Offense Recidivism in Minnesota, April 2007, Minnesota Department of Corrections,



HB 1600-FN, prohibiting the possession of a flame thrower. 

10:30 a.m. HB 1635-FN, relative to the theft of a firearm during a burglary. 

1:00 p.m. HB 1305, relative to the use of an ignition interlock device after a license suspension. 1:30 p.m. HB 1598-FN, relative to the penalty for driving while intoxicated, third or subsequent offense. Executive session on pending legislation may be held throughout the day, time permitting, from the time the committee is initially convened.


HB 1330, appointing a former prisoner to the interbranch criminal and juvenile justice council. We support the bill.

9:30 a.m. HB 1353, relative to the notice required of a law enforcement officer prior to making an audio recording of a routine stop. 10:30 a.m. HB 1400, defining suitable person for the purpose of obtaining a license to carry a firearm and extending the term of the license. Executive session on pending legislation may be held throughout the day, time permitting, from the time the committee is initially convened.Monday, february 8, 2016 INTERBRANCH CRIMINAL AND JUVENILE JUSTICE COUNCIL (RSA 651-E:2) 1:30 p.m. Room 204, Legislative Office Building, Regular Meeting


10:00 a.m. HB 1492, regarding individual privacy when law enforcement agencies use body-worn cameras. 

10:45 a.m. HB 1546-FN, permitting the audio recording of a public servant performing a public function. 

We support all three of these bills.

1:15 a.m. HB 1113, requiring a performance audit of the sex offender treatment program in the department of corrections. 

1:00 p.m. HB 1426-FN, relative to earned time credits for prisoners participating in rehabilitative or educational programming. 

2:00 p.m. HB 1369, requiring judges to grant earned time credits when a prisoner has substantially reduced the threat he or she poses to the public. 


LOB 9:30 a.m. HB 1632-FN, establishing a criminal penalty for providing a firearm to a person prohibited from possessing a firearm. 

10:30 a.m. HB 1645, relative to carrying a pistol or revolver without a license. 

11:00 a.m. HB 1135, relative to physical force in defense of a person. 

1:00 p.m. HB 1415, relative to escape from official custody. 


LOB 9:00 a.m. HB 1235, relative to stalking. 

9:30 a.m. HB 1586-FN, prohibiting the impersonation of an emergency medical technician or firefighter. 

10:00 a.m. HB 1549-FN, requiring the department of safety to establish a database cataloging certain law enforcement activities. 

11:00 a.m. HB 1597-FN, relative to preservation of biological material in a criminal investigation for DNA testing. 

1:00 p.m. HB 1435, relative to enforcement of the prohibition on the use of mobile electronic devices while driving. 

2:00 p.m. HB 1603-FN, requiring the registration of drug dealers. CCJR will oppose the bill.Executive session on pending legislation may be held throughout the day, time permitting, from the time the committee is initially convened.