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Right to Farm

Reviewed 02/01/2021

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Introduction

While there is a "right to farm" in New Hampshire, the phrase "right to farm" isn't found in the statutes. One small section of New Hampshire's RSA 432: Soil Conservation and Farmland Preservation - §32 to §35: “Nuisance Liability of Agricultural Operations” - is the “right to farm” statute for New Hampshire.

RSA 432’s grant of immunity from liability for farmers is an exception to the general common law rule (common law means court cases, not statutes) of possible liability for activities which create nuisances. The general right to sue for public and private nuisance arises from a well-established body of common law which developed over many years in New Hampshire, as well as in every other state in the country.  RSA 432:32 to 432:35 changed this common law in New Hampshire and gave those who work in “agricultural operations” (as defined by RSA 21:34-a) immunity from public or private nuisance suits under certain conditions.  This statute is therefore invalidating the pre-existing New Hampshire common law on nuisance to the extent that it conflicts with this statute.  

This is a good example of why it's important to be complete and thorough when doing legal research. Cases (or statutes, or rules) can be only part of the story. If they're not careful, researchers may end up with incomplete and incorrect information. Starting with a good secondary source (or, reading "about" the law)  will tell researchers whether they need to look at cases, or statutes, or rules, or all three. 

Online

“Right to farm” is a popular name for the laws in every state that protect farmers and encourage agricultural activity. These laws are also sometimes called "anti-nuisance" laws. 

Print

The first three books listed below are specifically about New Hampshire law. 


The books below are more general books on agricultural law. 

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.