New Hampshire Public Records: Notable Case Law

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Ortolano v City of Nashua, No. 2022-0237 (2023) | Found that government bodies must provide records even if they are difficult to access, such as stored only on backup tapes.

Union Leader Corp. v. City of Nashua, 141 N.H. 472 (1996); Salcetti v. City of Keene, 2020 N.H. Lexis 106 (2020); Seacoast Newspapers, Inc. v. City of Portsmouth, 173 N.H. 325 (2020); Union Leader Corp., et. al. v. Town of Salem, 173 N.H. 345 (2020) | This group of cases involves the public’s right to obtain records relating to the conduct of government officials and employees. While the records at issue in these cases involve the conduct of police officers, the legal concepts addressed are applicable to all governmental officers and agents.

Professional Firefighters of N.H. v. Healthtrust Inc., 151 N.H. 501 (2004) | Established that nongovernmental agencies serving governmental functions can be subject to the Right to Know Law.

Hawkins v. N.H. Dep’t of Health and Human Services, 147 N.H. 376 (2001) | Affirmed that records in any form must be disclosed.

Brent v. Paquette, 132 N.H. 415 (1989) | Established and affirmed the limits on how long is a reasonable time for record production.