NH RSA169 Delinquent Children-B:10 Juvenile Diversion

I. An officer authorized under RSA 169-B:9 to take a minor into custody may dispose of the case without court referral by releasing the minor to a parent, guardian, or custodian. The officer shall make a written report to the officer’s department identifying the minor, specifying the grounds for taking the minor into custody and indicating the basis for the disposition.

I-a. Prior to filing a delinquency petition with the court, the arresting agency or prosecutor shall screen the petition for participation in diversion. The petitioner shall identify why diversion was not an appropriate disposition prior to seeking court involvement.

II. At any time before or at arraignment pursuant to this chapter, a minor and the minor’s family may be referred to a court-approved diversion program or other intervention program or community resource. Referral may be made by the arresting or prosecuting agency or juvenile probation and parole officer, prior to filing a petition with the court or after the filing of a petition by such agency with the court’s approval, or by the court on its own, or any party’s motion. When the arresting or prosecuting agency, or juvenile probation and parole officer suspects that a minor has a disability, an administrator at the responsible school district shall be notified. If appropriate, the school district shall refer the minor for evaluation to determine if the child is in need of special education and related services.

II-a. The administrative judge of the judicial branch family division shall have the authority to approve diversion referral procedures for use in all juvenile matters throughout the state.

III. Referral to diversion or other community resource after filing is appropriate if:
(a) The facts bring the case within the jurisdiction of the court;
(b) Referral of the case is in the best interest of the public and the minor; and
(c) The minor and the parents, guardian, or other custodian give knowing, informed, and voluntary consent.

IV. Referral after filing shall stay the proceedings for a period not to exceed 6 months from the date of referral, unless extended by the court for an additional period not to exceed 6 months and does not authorize the detention of the minor.

V. During the period of referral, the court may require further conditions of conduct on the part of the minor and the minor’s parents.

VI. No person who performs public service as part of his or her participation in a court approved diversion program under this chapter shall receive any benefits that such employer gives to its employees, including, but not limited to, workers’ compensation and unemployment benefits and no such employer shall be liable for any damages sustained by a person while performing such public service or any damages caused by that person unless the employer is found to be negligent.