Argued: September 27, 2018
Circuit Court-Manchester Family Division.
Sturm Law, PLLC, of Milford (Sheila J.
Sturm on the brief and orally), for the plaintiff.
Smith-Weiss Shepard, P.C., of Nashua (Tanya L.
Spony on the brief and orally), for the defendant.
plaintiff, T.P., appeals the decision of the Circuit Court
(Chabot, J.) denying her motion to extend her
domestic violence final order of protection against the
defendant, B.P. See RSA 173-B:5, VI (2014). We
following facts are derived from the record submitted on
appeal. In August 2015, the trial court granted the plaintiff
a domestic violence temporary order of protection against the
defendant. On December 17, 2015, the trial court issued a
final order of protection effective from December 15, 2015,
to December 15, 2016.
a year later, the plaintiff timely sought an extension of the
final order. On November 11, 2016, the trial court
temporarily extended the final order until December 15, 2017.
The November 2016 order stated that, if the defendant
objected, he was entitled to a hearing and that, "[a]t
such hearing, the Court may . . . reaffirm, modify or vacate
this extension order." Thereafter, the defendant timely
objected and a hearing was held. The trial court subsequently
issued a narrative order on January 27, 2017, finding that
the plaintiff had "met her burden to establish good
cause to support the extension of the Restraining Order for
an additional year."
later, believing that the restraining order had been extended
to January 27, 2018, the plaintiff filed for a five-year
extension of the order on January 19. The defendant objected,
arguing that the plaintiff "failed to timely file her
request for an extension under RSA 173-B" and that she
could not "seek extension of a restraining order that
[had] expired 35 days prior to her request." The
defendant contended that the January 2017 narrative order
"simply confirmed the extension until December 15,
the trial court denied the plaintiff's request for
Notwithstanding Plaintiff's arguments, the Court
interprets "good cause to support the extension" of
the 12/15/2016 Order, as synonymous with "reaffirm"
the [November 2016 order]. Under the 11/21/2016 Order . . .,
the extension was granted to 12/15/2017. Absent
definitive statutory language to the contrary, the Court
respectfully denies Plaintiff's 1/19/2018 Motion for
Thereafter, the plaintiff filed a motion to reconsider, which
the court denied. This appeal followed.
central question before us is whether RSA 173-B:5, VI sets
forth a deadline by which a plaintiff must file a motion to
extend a final order of protection. Statutory interpretation
is a question of law, which we review de novo.
Hogan v. Pat's Peak Skiing, LLC, 168 N.H. 71, 73
(2015). In matters of statutory interpretation, we are the
final arbiter of the intent of the legislature as expressed
in the words of the statute considered as a whole.
Id. We first look to the language of the statute
itself, and, if possible, construe the language according to
its plain and ordinary meaning. Id. We interpret
legislative intent from the statute as written and will not
consider what the legislature might have said or add language
that the legislature did not see fit to include. Id.
Moreover, we do not consider words and phrases in isolation,
but rather ...