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Private Roads: Introduction

Introduction

Although there is a lot of information about New Hampshire road law in the statutes and in books explaining the law, there is very little written specifically about private roads. 

According to the New Hampshire Municipal Association, “there is currently no clear definition of a ‘private road’; there is no bright-line test to distinguish, for example, an easement for a driveway to serve a few houses in common from a private road”. In Chapter 3 of Road and Access Law: Successfully Handling Disputes, Attorney Paul J. Alfano states that a private road is nothing more than an access easement and may be created by any of the manners set forth in that book. Attorney Peter J. Loughlin, in Municipal Taxation and Road Law, defines public roads as “free and common to all citizens” but does not define private roads; however, based on the Loughlin discussion, they are clearly roads which are not “free and common to all the citizens”. Private roads are not included in the statute RSA 229:5 which categorizes public roads as Class 1 through Class VII. 

Disclaimer

Please remember that this guide is for information purposes only and is not comprehensive. It is intended as a starting point for research, to illustrate the various sources of the law, and to provide guidance in their use. NH Law About ...  is not a substitute for the services of an attorney.