Testimony Template: HB295-FN-A

Testimony before the House Judiciary Committee
January 16, 2019



Dear Chairman Marjorie Smith, Vice Chair Sandra Keans, and members of the Judiciary Committee:

My name is _______ and I am a registered voter in _______ , a justice of the peace, as well as a member of the Justice of the Peace Association.

I am here to testify in opposition to [or strongly oppose or something similar] House Bill 295-FN-A, specifically as it relates to authorizing lay people to perform a single marriage ceremony.

Share your story about your experience as a JP and why you are opposed to this bill. We want our message to be focused on the needs of the broader community, so we don’t come across as just being self-serving. Some ideas you may consider include:

  • What do you offer that makes hiring a professional JP important?
  • JPs are standing in for the state when they perform their duties. Is the JP role more than someone just signing a form?
  • Reflect upon how you perform your duties when completing the paperwork and submitting it to the town clerk.
  • Consider the NH JP Manual for the official duties. Does this bill diminish the importance of JP’s responsibilities that being a professional JPs provides?
  • The state’s income from fees related to the Special Marriage Officiant License will be at the expense of JPs who let their commission expire so the state loses the JP application fees, negating the state’s benefits. 


If you are comfortable, feel free to be a storyteller. Paint a picture of what having a Special Marriage Officiant would look like for you.

Sum up your position again at the end and be sure to include “Please vote NO on HB295-FN-A.”

Thank you for this opportunity to speak and share my experience about how implementation of this bill would affect me.


Contact phone or email


PLEASE NOTE: All public hearing testimony, written & spoken, is public information. The Committee encourages witnesses to submit a written statement and to condense oral testimony to a summary of that statement. All public hearing testimony, written and spoken, is public information. As such, it will be made available on the NH House website and will be indexed by Internet search engines.