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Bar Journal - March 1, 2000

The History and Organization of NH Statutory Law

By:
 
INTRODUCTION

The purpose of this article is twofold: first, to provide background for the practitioner about the history of New Hampshire statutory law and, second, to provide information on the organization and citation of both the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated (RSAs) and the session laws. The overview of the history of New Hampshire statutory law begins with the early publications of compilations of the laws in the colonial period, and traces the development of the RSAs from the first codification of New Hampshire law in 1842. The relationship between the session laws and the RSAs is discussed, including an explanation of how the session laws are integrated into the RSAs. The "research tips" are intended for the practitioner who needs to research older versions of the New Hampshire statutes or the session laws. The article concludes with a section about the forms of citation to the RSAs or session laws, including various methods of citation to the RSAs, and when particular methods might be appropriate.

EARLY COMPILATIONS AND CODIFICATIONS OF NEW HAMPSHIRE LAW

The first compilation of the laws in the province of New Hampshire was printed in 1716, shortly before colonial Lieutenant Governor John Wentworth took office.1  At the direction of the colonial General Assembly, a committee collected the laws of the province into one 60-page volume, entitled, "Acts and Laws, Passed by the General Court or Assembly of His Majesties Province of New-Hampshire in New-England."2  During the provincial period, the collected laws then in effect were printed several times at the direction of the General Assembly.3  The General Assembly noted the problems created by the existence of both printed laws and manuscript laws in 1723, when it voted that no laws enacted before 1719 could be pleaded in court except those which had been printed, and set up a committee to examine the old laws for consideration for printing.4  The publication of compilations of session laws in effect, arranged by topic rather than in chronological order, was common in New England at that time.5 

When New Hampshire became a state, the first laws were taken over, for the most part, from the colonial laws. On April 9, 1777, to address uncertainty as to the effect of the Declaration of Independence on the laws in effect under the colonial government,6  the fledging New Hampshire legislature passed an act reestablishing the general system of colonial laws which had been in force, unless expressly repealed and not repugnant to the new independent status.7 

In 1784, one year after the adoption of New Hampshire’s first constitution, a legislative committee was appointed to revise the laws.8  The result of the committee’s work was The Perpetual Laws of the State of New Hampshire from the Session of the General-Court, July 1776, to the session in December 1788, continued into the Present Year 1789, published in Portsmouth in 1789.9  This publication, known by "old lawyers" in 1876 as the "Hornbook"10  was, again, a compilation of the laws then in force rather than a codification. Its topical arrangement reflected the form utilized in other states.11 

The legislature made a number of changes to the laws between 1789 and 1791, and another compilation was published in 1792.12  Although several other compilations were published between 1792 and 1842,13  the compilation of the laws published in 1792 served as the basis of the statutory law until 1842, when the Revised Statutes were adopted.14  These compilations, like the compilation of 1789, consisted of simple collections of session laws in effect at the time, generally grouped by subject matter. They were, in effect, a stepping stone from pure session laws to the later, more refined, codifications. These periodic compilations were published in addition to the printing of the session laws in pamphlet form after each legislative session.

The 1842 Revised Statutes is the earliest codification of New Hampshire statutory law, and is the first source referred to in present-day RSA source notes. This codification was based on the general plan of the New York Revised Statutes in that it was arranged by title according to subject matter, with the titles divided into chapters.15  New Hampshire, in codifying its statutes, was following a general trend in the United States in the first half of the nineteenth century.16  Codes are systematic arrangements of laws, consolidated and classified according to subject matter.17 

The laws have been recodified eight times since the 1842 Revised Statutes. These recodifications are the Compiled Statutes (1853), General Statutes (1867), General Statutes (1878), Public Statutes (1891), Public Statutes (1901, supplement in 1913), Public Laws (1926), Revised Laws (1942), and Revised Statutes Annotated (1955). The 1955 Revised Statutes Annotated (RSAs), originally consisted of five volumes of laws; volume one also contained the texts of the United States and New Hampshire constitutions and volume 6 contained the general index and disposal tables. This codification has served the state for 44 years, far longer than any previous codification since 1842. Of course, a recodification at this point, when 30 volumes and their supplements are involved, would be a major undertaking.

PUBLICATION OF THE SESSION LAWS

The advance printing of the session laws and the printing of session laws after the close of a session are mandated by statute. RSA 20:1-a requires the Director of Legislative Services to provide for the advance printing and distribution of all acts and resolves, together with an index,18  and RSA 20:1 states that "[a]t the close of a legislative session, the director of legislative services shall cause…all of the acts and resolves…to be printed."

The session laws are the laws enacted by the legislature from a particular legislative session. Since the return to annual sessions in 1986, the practice is to print one volume of session laws each year. A single volume will contain the acts of the regular, January session and may also contain a special or recessed session from the previous or the same year.19  Session law chapters are numbered numerically, in the order in which they are enacted.20  Each session law chapter corresponds to a house or senate bill or joint resolution. For example, "1995, 17" would refer to chapter 17, the seventeenth enactment of the legislature in the 1995 regular session. Since 1979, the house or senate bill or joint resolution number appears at the beginning of the session law, but is not relevant in terms of citation of the session law. However, the bill number is necessary when doing legislative history research.

Session laws of the state of New Hampshire have been printed after each session since the late 1700’s.21  Until the latter part of the nineteenth century, session laws were published in paperbound pamphlets of uniform size after each session. Persons interested in preserving the session laws were expected to have the pamphlets bound together for future use.22  As a result, collections of early session laws vary according to how individuals decided to group them for binding.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SESSION LAWS AND CODIFIED STATUTES

A session law chapter contains all the sections of the bill as it was enacted. This includes sections describing amendments to the codified law23  or other session laws, as well as sections which do not amend other law. Session laws may be either of a temporary or permanent nature. In contrast, the RSAs—our codified statutes—contain all the laws of a general and permanent nature.24  The distinguishing factor between permanent session laws and permanent RSAs is the range of application. Permanent RSAs are of general applicability, but permanent session laws are not. The session laws are all the laws passed by the legislature, in chronological order, whereas the RSAs constitute the integrated body of statutory law, dating from various enactment at various times.

Sections of an act which amend the RSAs or session laws include "amending language." The "amending language" is written when the bill is drafted, and specifies which RSA or session law provision is affected. The drafter of the bill, when writing the amending language which determines the placement of the material in the RSAs, makes the initial codification decision. When an RSA is to be amended, the amending language instructs the codifier of the statutes which RSA is to be amended or inserted, and, if it is to be amended, how it is to be amended. When a session law is amended, the amending language should refer to the original session law and all subsequent amendments to it. When an RSA is repealed, the repeal section specifies the RSA number and topic. Repealed RSAs are either removed from the code arrangement or marked as repealed.

Many sections in session laws do not amend the RSAs or another session law. Such sections may include, for example, an intent statement, an applicability section, an appropriation, or the effective date section. Often, an entire session law does not contain any amendments to the statutes. There is no hard and fast rule for deciding, in every case, what will be codified as an RSA and what will be a session law. The general rule is that laws of general applicability and of a permanent nature should be part of the statutes, and laws which are temporary in nature (two years or less) or which are permanent in nature but "local and private" and, thus not of general applicability, should be session laws. Examples of temporary session laws are appropriations and applicability provisions. Examples of permanent session laws include laws of only local effect and institutional charters.

It is important to remember that, even though many session laws are not codified, they may be of unlimited duration. For example, an act affecting a particular institution or locality may appear only in the session laws, so that it is necessary to search through the session laws to find all relevant provisions before making further amendments. 25 

RSA PUBLICATION

The first publication of the Revised Statutes Annotated was authorized by 1955, 231:1 (now codified as RSA 20:14), which provided that

[t]he commission appointed under the provisions of chapter 221, Laws of 1953, to revise, codify, and amend the Revised Laws of the [S]tate of New Hampshire [the code revision which was approved in 1942 and was in effect until the approval and publication of the Revised Statutes Annotated effective in 1955], is authorized and directed to prepare for publication and to publish the act passed at this session entitled House Bill No. 75, "An Act to revise and codify the Revised Laws of the State of New Hampshire."

The commission’s authority was broad. It was not only authorized to make corrections in numbering, section headings, and cross-references to sections and to correct errors in typography, spelling, and punctuation, but also to correct errors in citations to sources and to "add such preface, annotations, cross references, and notes as it shall judge suitable."26  The commission’s duty was not to change the meaning of the law, but to take the statutes as found in the 1942 revision and integrate into them the session laws from all later legislative sessions.27  This involved combining statutes on the same subject, resolving inconsistencies in the law, removing obsolete or redundant provisions, and correcting obvious errors.28  As was the case with earlier compilations and codifications, the constitution was also to be included in the publication. A "complete index of subjects" was also required by the law.29 

A major advancement in the RSAs over predecessor codifications was the use of cumulative pocket parts to keep the publication current.30  Before this time, codifications of the New Hampshire laws had been done on an infrequent basis. Each current RSA volume contains a listing of these earlier statutory publications.31  In between these infrequent and irregular statutory revisions, which were anywhere from 11 to 35 years apart, the only way a researcher could update the original code was to keep a record of any later session laws which might have been passed which would have affected the previous code section. Integration of all of this material would have to be done on a section by section basis when the researcher had a need to understand what that statute said. This was obviously a laborious task. The Revision Commission said "[i]t will no longer be necessary to trace legislation through several volumes [of the session laws] beginning with the 1942 revision."32 

The RSAs continue to be published as hardbound volumes. Since 1955, an updated paper supplement is regularly printed which contains the latest changes to the law, including annotations, for each volume.33  When a paper supplement becomes too large to fit in the back of its volume, it is published as a separate paperback volume. The hardbound volumes are periodically replaced. The Director of Legislative Services works with the publisher to identify which hardbound volumes should be replaced each year, based on the size of the supplement and the amount of outdated matter in the main volume.34  Initially, the publisher of the RSAs used volume numbers on the spine to identify the volumes, but in 1984 Equity Publishing Company started labeling any new replacement volume with title or chapter numbers instead. This relabeling is now complete, greatly facilitating location of individual chapters within the set.

Besides the traditional hardbound volumes with paper supplements, users of the RSAs have other ways to find the statutes. A user should be aware that the state contracts with one publisher to publish the "official" version of the RSAs.35  No one is precluded from publishing the text of the laws because it is in the public domain. However, the Office of Legislative Services reviews only the official publication for accuracy. Annotated as well as unannotated versions of the laws are available. Sometimes annotations contain key information which a user would need to know, so users of unannotated versions should be cautious.36 

CORRECTIONS OF ERRORS IN ENACTMENTS

After a bill is passed by both houses of the legislature, it must be enrolled by the Office of Legislative Services before it is forwarded to the governor.37  During the enrolling process, the Office of Legislative Services drafts the necessary enrolled bill amendments.38 

Enrolled bill amendments are used to correct technical defects in bills. Technical defects may include duplicative RSA numbering, errors in terminology, or typographical or clerical errors. Sometimes the legislature amends the same RSA provision in two different bills, and these provisions need to be integrated. Enrolled bill amendments are not intended to address substantive errors or conflicts; these must be addressed by the legislature in other legislation.

In New Hampshire, there is no separate reviser of the statutes as in many other states. The Office of Legislative Services performs the functions of the reviser,39  but its authority to define placement and correct errors in enactments is limited. There is authority to correct "any error or omission in the references to statutes, or other technical or clerical errors," but this must be done before the session laws are printed.40  Editorial preparation of the RSAs for publication may involve making technical, but not substantive, corrections to the laws.41 

ORGANIZATION AND STRUCTURE OF THE RSAs

Since the 1842 Revised Statutes, the oldest source cited in the RSA source notes, the codified laws in New Hampshire have been divided into titles by subject matter, with titles divided into chapters, and chapters into sections. The RSAs as published in 1955 set out 61 titles.42  The current RSAs comprise 67 titles, arranged from Title 1, The State and its Government, to Title 64, Planning and Zoning.43  The original arrangement of titles is still basically intact, so the related chapters are grouped together in the general subject arrangement from 1955.

The section is the basic RSA unit and may be subdivided into paragraphs using Roman numerals. Consecutive sections in chapters are often grouped together in subdivisions. The usual breakdown sequence of numbering the units of a paragraph is I(a)(1)(A). A new section inserted between RSA 1:1 and RSA 1:2 is RSA 1:1-a, and a new paragraph inserted between paragraph I and paragraph II is paragraph I-a. Exceptions to the general numbering rules often occur when a uniform law is adopted which uses its own numbering scheme, such as the Uniform Commercial Code44  and the New Hampshire Business Corporation Act.45  The numbering scheme used in the uniform law is adapted to fit into the RSAs, but some part of the numbering system is retained to allow easy reference to laws in other jurisdictions based on the same uniform law.

The numbering system and logic of tracing back a chapter or section to its source demand that, once a number for a chapter or section has been used and repealed, all future chapters or sections replacing and expanding the law on that subject must have a new number. The important exception to this rule is when a title or chapter is recodified, and numbers are reused.46 

RECODIFICATIONS WITHIN THE RSAs

Recodifications are done when amendment, repeal and enactment of laws result in an arrangement which is confusing or inconvenient for the user. When laws are no longer logically grouped, or when numbering sequences have become too complex or illogical because of inserted or repealed matter, it is time to consider recodification. Recodifications are also opportunities to reconcile inconsistencies in the law.

Although there has been no recodification of the entire body of New Hampshire law since 1955, there have been numerous recodifications of titles and chapters within the RSAs.47  A large recodification project was the recodification of the water laws in 1989.48  Under RSA 17-A:1, the Director of Legislative Services is responsible for codification and recodification of the statutes,49  but the impetus for a recodification usually comes from the legislature or a state agency.

When a recodification of a title or chapter occurs, the chapter and section numbers may be reused, so the numbers of the provisions in the recodification do not necessarily correlate to the former numbers of the recodified law. This is why the source notes of recodified sections begin with the recodification as the first source, even though the actual source may have been a law from 50 or even 100 years ago.50  To find the true source, if any, it is necessary to consult the tables for the recodification. Tables of comparative provisions published with the laws after a recodification help the user who knows the old or new RSA number to find the corresponding provision.51 

RESEARCH TIPS

Researchers looking for the oldest versions of New Hampshire law will find the best collection at the New Hampshire Law Library in the Supreme Court building.52  Many books are in the reference room, but you will need a librarian’s assistance to access some of the oldest volumes, which date from the provincial period. Franklin Pierce Law Center Library,53  the State Library,54  and the Division of Records Management and Archives55  all have complete collections of former codifications of New Hampshire law, beginning with the 1842 Revised Statutes. All of these locations also have collections of superceded RSA volumes and obsolete RSA supplements, although the collections at the New Hampshire Law Library and the State Library are more accessible.

For statutory compilations before 1842 and early session laws, both the State Library and the New Hampshire Law Library are good places to do your research. A standard work for anyone working with early laws is the 10-volume set published between 1904 and 1922 called Laws of New Hampshire including Public and Private Acts, Resolves, Votes, etc. Three volumes are devoted to the province period, one to the revolutionary period, one to the first constitutional period, and five to the second constitutional period, ending in 1835. These volumes contain subject indices to the laws, and the early volumes contain royal commissions and instructions, with useful editorial notes. This set is available at all four above-mentioned locations.

There are some indices available for the session laws, but there is no one source to rely on. The Index to the Laws of New Hampshire (1679-1883)56  is an index to the early session laws, but the references are to the volumes and pages in the manuscript compilation of acts done by the Secretary of State.57  The late Constance Rinden, former head librarian at the New Hampshire Law Library, realized the need for an index and worked for many years on an index to the session laws. Her index is available at the Division of Records Management and Archives in Research Notebook 35, a red loose-leaf binder. Frank C. Mevers, the Director of the Division and State Archivist, has worked on updating the Rinden index, and says it is fairly reliable to about 1917, although it also contains many later references. After 1917, the only reliable method is to go through the subject index of each volume of session laws. In doing this, remember that there is a separate index for each session, so a volume containing laws from the January session and a special session will have a separate index for each session.

CITING THE LAW

According to RSA 20:15, the form of citation to the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated is citation to a chapter and section in the following form: "RSA 1:1." The editors of the RSAs include a note to this effect in the introductory pages of each RSA volume. This is the form of citation throughout the RSAs, and when an entire RSA chapter is referenced, the citation is RSA xxx. This format is adequate if a practitioner is writing for a New Hampshire audience about New Hampshire law.

However, the abbreviation "RSA" is ambiguous in many contexts, especially when practitioners may also refer in the same document to the law of other states, because many other states also have "Revised Statutes Annotated."58  When referencing laws from other states in addition to New Hampshire law, or when writing for an audience outside of New Hampshire, it is best to follow The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (16th ed., 1996) which for RSA citations requires the more complete "N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § x (19xx)." This cite, contrary to the one given in the RSAs, clearly shows that this statute comes from New Hampshire. This format also provides a date for the statutory cite; Rule 12.3.2 of the Bluebook directs the writer to use the date on the spine of the volume or title page of the supplement in which the statute is found, the year that appears on the title page (bound volume), or the copyright date, in that order of preference. If you find the text of the statute in an electronic format, you still should cite to the print version.59 

RSA x:x is also the form of citation used in the New Hampshire Reports, except that if the statute appears in the supplement, the citation is followed by (Supp. 19xx) and, if an entire chapter is referenced, the citation is "RSA chapter xxx."

The Bluebook gives the form of citation for New Hampshire session laws as "19xx N.H. Laws xxx."60  The Bluebook format can also be used for citing the most recent statutes, not yet officially published, found in a slip law or the Advance Legislative Service. Other formats used in New Hampshire sources for citation of session laws are "19xx, x:x" (used in the New Hampshire Laws, the session laws themselves) and "Laws of 19xx, ch. x:x" (used in the New Hampshire Reports).

ENDNOTES

1. JERE R. DANIELL, COLONIAL NEW HAMPSHIRE 198 (1981). Wentworth took office in December 1717.
2. ALBERT H. HOYT, Historical and Bibliographical Notes on the Laws of New Hampshire (1876), PROCEEDINGS OF THE AMERICAN ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY AT THE SEMI-ANNUAL MEETING, HELD AT BOSTON, APRIL 26, 1876, 98-99 (1876).
3. The complicated history of the printing of the provincial laws is detailed in LAWS OF NEW HAMPSHIRE, INCLUDING PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ACTS, RESOLVES, VOTES, ETC., Vol. 2, Province Period, 1702-1745, ed. by Albert Stillman Batchellor 240-245, 515, 655-665 (1913).
4. Id. at 244. See also HOYT, supra note 2, at 96-99.
5. ERWIN C. SURRENCY, A HISTORY OF AMERICAN LAW PUBLISHING 15 (New York 1990).
6. RICHARD FRANCIS UPTON, REVOLUTIONARY NEW HAMPSHIRE 180 (New York 1971).
7. See "An Act for re-establishing the general system of laws heretofore in force in this state" published in LAWS OF NEW HAMPSHIRE, INCLUDING PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ACTS, RESOLVES, VOTES, ETC., Vol. 4, Revolutionary Period, 1776-1784, ed. by Henry Harrison Metcalf 87 (1916).
8. Preface ("Advertisement") to Revised Statutes of the State of New Hampshire Passed December 23, 1842.
9. HOYT, supra note 2, at 100, 101.
10. HOYT, supra note 2, at 101.
11. SURRENCY, supra note 5, at 76.
12. The compilation, with the lengthy title The Laws of the State of New-Hampshire, together with the Declaration of Independence: the Definitive Treaty of Peace between the United States of America and His Britannic Majesty: the Constitution of New-Hampshire, and the Constitution of the United States, with its Proposed Amendments, was the result of the work of a committee appointed by the legislature on January 23, 1790, to select, revise and arrange the laws of the state into one volume. The law establishing the committee is published in LAWS OF NEW HAMPSHIRE, INCLUDING PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ACTS, RESOLVES, VOTES, ETC. Vol. 5, First Constitutional Period 1784-1792, ed. by Henry Harrison Metcalf 507 (1916).
13. The compilations are: The Laws of the State of New-Hampshire, the Constitution of the State of New Hampshire, and the Constitution of the United States, with its Proposed Amendments (Portsmouth, 1797); Constitution and Laws of the State of New-Hampshire; Together with the Constitution of the United States (Dover, 1805); The Laws of the State of New-Hampshire; with the Constitution of the United States and of the State Prefixed (Exeter, 1815) (Volume II of the 1815 publication contains laws up through 1821); and The Laws of the State of New-Hampshire; with the Constitutions of the United States and of the State Prefixed (Hopkinton, 1830).
14. Preface ("Advertisement") to the Revised Statutes of the State of New Hampshire Passed December 23, 1842.
15. Id.
16. SURRENCY, supra note 5, at 84-85.
17. BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY 176 (abridged 6th ed. 1991).
18. The former "advance sheets" have been supplanted by the Advance Legislative Service, published by Lexis Law Publishing.
19. When a special or recessed session is held, its enactments are often printed in the volume for the next year’s session, because it would delay the printing of the laws of the January session too long to wait for enactments made later in the year. Numbering of session laws is consecutive within a particular session, so if a session is recessed, the numbering will not start over again with the enactments of the recessed session. If, however, a special session results in legislation, the numbering of the acts will begin at number 1 for the session. See, e.g., the Laws for 1981-1982 Special Session (beginning with chapter 1, bound with 1983 Regular Session) and the Laws for the November 1995 Recessed Session (chapter 310, bound with 1996 Regular Session).
20. RSA 20:1. This has been the practice since 1815. The Preface ("Advertisement") of the 1815 compilation of the laws, see note 13, supra, states "it will be observed that the Acts of June session, are placed in the order in which they passed, each being deemed a chapter. It is proposed in the future to observe this method, the acts passed by the same legislature between the general election of one year, and the next succeeding general election, constituting one series."
21. In a Resolve of June 13, 1792, the Secretary of State was required, as soon as possible after the end of each session, to cause the laws of a public nature passed at each session "to be printed on paper of a size and quality that shall correspond with the last Edition of the state Laws..." LAWS OF NEW HAMPSHIRE, INCLUDING PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ACTS, RESOLVES, VOTES, ETC., Vol. 6, Second Constitutional Period, 1792-1801, ed. by Secretary of State 49-50 (1917).
22. In the Preface ("Advertisement") to the compilation of the Laws of the State of New-Hampshire, Vol. 2 (Exeter 1815), the publisher reminds the "proprietors of the numbers" of session laws to preserve the laws as they are printed so they may be bound together when a volume is complete. See also note 21, supra.
23. Since 1955, the RSAs.
24. The report of the commission appointed to revise the laws in 1953, see "RSA Publication," infra, refers to all statute laws "of a public and general nature." The Report of Revision Commission, p. vii, introductory pages of the first volume of the RSAs (1988).
25. See, e.g. 1993, 120:3 (amending 1878, 124:1 by renaming the Holderness School for Boys to the Holderness School) and 1994, 315:1 (amending 1909, 303:6, I as amended by 1945, 261:1; 1961, 342:4; and 1967, 524:5 relating to the charter of St. Mary’s Bank).
26. RSA 20:14.
27. Preface to N.H. Revised Statutes Annotated, p. v (1988).
28. Id.
29. RSA 20:14.
30. RSA 20:15, which dates back to 1955, requires the RSAs to "be bound in a manner suitable for the insertion of cumulative pocket parts to contain subsequent session laws and annotations."
31. They are: Revised Statutes (RS) 1842; Compiled Statutes (CS) 1853; General Statutes (GS) 1867; General Laws (GL) 1878; Public Statutes (PS) 1891; Public Laws (PL) 1926; and Revised Laws (RL) 1942.
32. Report of Revision Commission, p. vii, introductory pages of the first volume of the RSAs (1988).
33. Early supplements came out every other year instead of every year, corresponding to biennial rather than annual legislative sessions.
34. See RSA 20:2-b.
35. RSA 20:2-b.
36. For example, RSA 77-B, the commuters income tax, is still part of the statutes, even though it was found to be unconstitutional in 1975 by the United State Supreme Court for violating the Privileges and Immunities clause of Article IV of the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court’s holding is noted in annotations to RSA 77-B, but a person using an unannotated version would see nothing in the statute to indicate this important fact.
37. RSA 14:8.
38. RSA 17-A:1, I requires the director of legislative services to "check and examine all bills and joint resolutions prior to final engrossment."
39. RSA 17-A:1, III requires the director of legislative services to "perform a continuing review, revision and codification of the Revised Statutes Annotated."
40. RSA 20:2-a.
41. The editorial work for the RSAs is done by a private publisher under contract for the editorial preparation and publication of the "official" RSAs and supplements under RSA 20:2-b. Work done by the publisher is reviewed by the Office of Legislative Services.
42. The 61 titles are roughly identifiable as being organized into six broad subject areas, but are not labeled as such. The areas are: government (Titles I through IX), public health and welfare (Titles X through XXVI), business and commercial (Titles XXVII through XLII), real and personal property (Titles XLIII through L), procedure (Titles LI through LVII). and criminal (Titles LVIII through LX). Title LXI is housekeeping in nature, and is entitled "Acts Repealed"
43. Title 4 is repealed, and Titles 19-A, 33-A, and 34-A are inserted into the numbering sequence.
44. RSA 382-A.
45. RSA 293-A.
46. See "Recodifications Within the RSAs" infra.
47. See, e.g., 1991, 255 (alcoholic beverages) and 1995, 299 (forestry laws).
48. 1989, 339.
49. RSA 17-A:1, III provides, "The director shall perform a continuing review, revision and codification of the Revised Statutes Annotated...The director shall prepare legislation providing for the revision and recodification of such statutes..."
50. See, e.g. the source note of RSA 227-L:13, I (duty to report a forest fire). The source given is 1995, 299:1 (the recodification of the forestry laws), but the source note of the corresponding provision before the recodification (former RSA 224:35) shows that the history of the statute goes back to 1909, 128:18.
51. Sometimes these tables are in a superseded RSA volume or cumulative supplement.
52. Supreme Court Building, 2 Noble Drive, Concord (271-3777).
53. 2 White Street, Concord (228-1541). Not open to the general public.
54. 20 Park Street, Concord (271-2144).
55. 71 South Fruit Street, Concord (271-2236).
56. INDEX TO THE LAWS OF NEW HAMPSHIRE RECORDED IN THE OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE, 1679-1883 (1886).
57. These are housed in secure stacks at the Division of Records Management and Archives.
58. The states are Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, Nevada, and Vermont.
59. THE BLUEBOOK: A UNIFORM SYSTEM OF CITATION (16th ed., 1996), Rule 12.5.
60. Id. at Table 1.
The Author

Attorney Susan E. Marshall is a freelance legal writer and former Deputy Director of New Hampshire Legislative Services, Concord, New Hampshire.

The Author

Professor Cynthia R. Landau teaches Legal Research at Franklin Pierce Law Center, Concord, New Hampshire and is the Assistant Director of the Law Library.

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