Memo Outlines Enforcement of N.H.'s Stay-At-Home Order

Mar 27, 2020

The N.H. Attorney General's office issued a memo March 27, 2020 on enforcement of New Hampshire's stay at home order.
Credit Ali Oshinskie for NHPR

Law enforcement has the authority to bring charges against a business or person who violates Gov. Chris Sununu's stay-at-home order.

That's according to a memo from the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office on Friday.

Matt Broadhead of the Attorney General’s office says the primary objective of enforcing the order is to inform the public, and police are not encouraged to arrest or charge someone on their first violation.

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According to the memo, officers may use their own discretion to enforce criminal penalties.

“It’s important that they provide the information about the risk of harm to self and others first, provide a copy of the governor’s emergency order, and only if there’s repeated violations of that does that trigger their discretion for further enforcement,” Broadhead said.

The Attorney General’s memo says police should be promoting voluntary compliance as much as possible, and criminal enforcement is not the main purpose. Though, non-essential businesses that are supposed to close until May 4, could be subject to a fine of up to $20,000 if they defy the order.