Call for Legal Observers!!

The NLG Legal Observer® Program

The National Lawyers Guild Legal Observer® program was established in 1968 in New York City in response to protests at Columbia University and city-wide antiwar and civil rights demonstrations. That same year, Guild students organized for the defense of people swept up in mass arrests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The Legal Observer® program is part of a comprehensive system of legal support designed to enable people to express their political views as fully as possible without unconstitutional disruption or interference by the police and with the fewest possible consequences from the criminal justice system. In addition to Legal Observers®, Guild attorneys often provide legal defense for protesters who are arrested and bring civil litigation if needed. Legal Observers® are typically, but not exclusively, law students, legal workers and lawyers who may or may not be licensed locally. Legal Observers® are trained and directed by Guild attorneys, who often have established attorney-client relationships with activist organizations, or are in litigation challenging police tactics at mass assemblies. The presence of Legal Observers® may serve as a deterrent to unconstitutional behavior by law enforcement during a demonstration. To request Legal Observers for an upcoming event, contact the National Office.


Download the Legal Observer Manual here!!


Legal Observer is a free downloadable app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch that can be used to record and report interactions with the police at protests, demonstrations and other events. A legal observer acts as a witness to hold police accountable for their actions.

The functionality of this app allows a legal observer to document an event quickly and securely.


  • ✭ Clear and easy to navigate quickly
  • ✭ Input form for key data about the overall incident
  • ✭ Profile creation for police officers and other involved persons
  • ✭ Access to the device’s camera (for photos and video)
  • ✭ Space for general notes on every section of the app
  • ✭ Export incident information by email
  • ✭ Legal Observer guide


The Legal Observer helps you document interactions between police and protesters. For each incident, you can:
1) Record all the police officers involved and the weapons they used, 2) Record the people involved and whether they were arrested or cited,
3) Take pictures related to the incident, and
4) Email an incident report which contains the above information as well as notes.
It also contains context sensitive help and the ability to include a twitter feed on the front screen. It maintains a database of:
1) All the incidents you’ve recorded so you can edit them at a later time.
2) Each person you’ve recorded to make it easier to add them to another incident, and
3) All the police you’ve recorded to make it easier to add them to another incident.
Film the Police

♦ N.H. Bill of Rights ♦


Please note that the BOLD and ITALIC lettering is for added emphases of  the set of privileges that has been so granted to its constituents to be carefully & deeply considered. ☮♥Ⓥ

New Hampshire Bill of Rights

Established October 31, 1783   Effective June 2, 1784 As Subsequently Amended and in Force January 2007

Article 1. [Equality of   Men; Origin and Object of Government.] All men are born equally free and independent; therefore, all   government of right originates from the people, is founded in consent, and   instituted for the general good.



June 2, 1784**The date on which each article   was proclaimed as having been adopted is given after each article. This is   followed by the year in which amendments were adopted and the subject matter   of all the amendments.


[Art.] 2. [Natural   Rights.] All men have certain natural,   essential, and inherent rights – among which are, the enjoying and defending   life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting, property; and, in a   word, of seeking and obtaining happiness. Equality of rights under the law   shall not be denied or abridged by this state on account of race, creed,   color, sex or national origin.


June 2, 1784Amended 1974 adding sentence to   prohibit discrimination.


[Art.] 2-a. [The Bearing   of Arms.] All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of   themselves, their families, their property and the state.


December 1, 1982

[Art.] 3. [Society, its   Organization and Purposes.] When men enter into a state of society, they   surrender up some of their natural rights to that society, in order to ensure   the protection of others; and, without such an equivalent, the surrender is   void.

June 2, 1784

[Art.] 4. [Rights of   Conscience Unalienable.] Among the natural rights, some   are, in their very nature unalienable, because no equivalent can be given or   received for them. Of this kind are the Rights of Conscience.

June 2, 1784

[Art.] 5. [Religious   Freedom Recognized.] Every individual has a natural and unalienable right to worship God   according to the dictates of his own conscience, and reason; and no subject   shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his peers on, liberty, or estate,   for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates   of his own conscience; or for his religious profession, sentiments, or   persuasion; provided he doth not disturb the public peace or disturb others   in their religious worship.

June 2, 1784

[Art.] 6. [Morality and   Piety.] As morality and piety, rightly grounded on high principles, will   give the best and greatest security to government, and will lay, in the   hearts of men, the strongest obligations to due subjection; and as t he   knowledge of these is most likely to be propagated through a society,   therefore, the several parishes, bodies, corporate, or religious societies   shall at all times have the right of electing their own teachers, and of   contracting with them for their support or maintenance, or both. But no   person shall ever be compelled to pay towards the support of the schools of   any sect or denomination. And every person, denomination or sect shall be   equally under the protection of the law; and no subordination of a ny one   sect, denomination or persuasion to another shall ever be established.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1968 to remove obsolete   sectarian references.

[Art.] 7. [State   Sovereignty.] The people of this state have the sole and exclusive right of   governing themselves as a free, sovereign, and independent state; and do, and   forever hereafter shall, exercise and enjoy every power, jurisdiction, and   right, pertaining thereto, which is not, or may not hereafter be, by them   expressly delegated to the United States of America in congress assembled.

June 2, 1784

[Art.] 8. [Accountability   of Magistrates and Officers; Public’s Right to Know.] All power residing originally in, and   being derived from, the people, all the magistrates and officers of   government are their substitutes and agents, and at all times accountable to   them. Government, therefore, should be open, accessible, accountable and   responsive. To that end, the public’s right of access to governmental   proceedings and records shall not be unreasonably restricted.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1976 by providing right   of access to governmental proceedings and records.

[Art.] 9. [No Hereditary   Office or Place.] No office or place, whatsoever, in government, shall be hereditary –   the abilities and integrity requisite in all, not being transmissible to   posterity or relations.

June 2, 1784


[Art.] 10. [Right of   Revolution.]

Government being instituted   for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and   not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of   men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public   liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are   ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or   establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary   power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and   happiness of mankind.

June 2, 1784

[Art.] 11. [Elections and   Elective Franchises.] All elections are to be free, and every inhabitant of the state of   18 years of age and upwards shall have an equal right to vote in any   election. Every person shall be considered an inhabitant for the purposes of   voting in the town, ward, or unincorporated place where he has his domicile.   No person shall have the right to vote under the constitution of this state   who has been convicted of treason, bribery or any willful violation of the   election laws of this state or of the United States; but the supreme court   may, on notice to the attorney general, restore the privilege to vote to any   person who may have forfeited it by conviction of such offenses. The general   court shall provide by law for voting by qualified voters who at the time of   the biennial or state elections, or of the primary elections therefor, or of   city elections, or of town elections by official ballot, are absent from the   city or town of which they are inhabitants, or who by reason of physical   disability are unable to vote in person, in the choice of any officer or   officers to be elected or upon any question submitted at such election.   Voting registration and polling places shall be easily accessible to all   persons including disabled and elderly persons who are otherwise qualified to   vote in the choice of any officer or officers to be elected or upon any   question submitted at such election. The right to vote shall not be denied to   any person because of the non-payment of any tax. Every inhabitant of the   state, having the proper qualifications, has equal right to be elected into   office.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1903 to provide that in   order to vote or be eligible for office a person must be able to read the   English language and to write.
Amended 19l2 to prohibit those   convicted of treason, bribery or willfull violation of the election laws from   voting or holding elective office.
Amended 1942 to provide for   absentee voting in general elections.
Amended 1956 to provide for   absentee voting in primary elections.
Amended 1968 to provide right to   vote not denied because of nonpayment of taxes. Also amended in 1968 to   delete an obsolete phrase.
Amended 1976 to reduce voting age   to 18.
Amended 1984 to provide   accessibility to all registration and polling places.

[Art.] 12. [Protection and   Taxation Reciprocal.] Every member of the community has a right to be protected by it, in   the enjoyment of his life, liberty, and property; he is therefore bound to   contribute his share in the expense of such protection, and to yield his   personal service when necessary. But no part of a man’s property shall be   taken from him, or applied to public uses, without his own consent, or that   of the representative body of the people. Nor are the inhabitants of this   state controllable by any other laws than those to which they, or their representative   body, have given their consent.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1964 by striking out   reference to buying one’s way out of military service.

[Art.] 12-a. [Power to   Take Property Limited.] No part of a person’s property shall be taken by eminent domain and   transferred, directly or indirectly, to another person if the taking is for   the purpose of private development or other private use of the property.

November 7, 2006

[Art.] 13. [Conscientious   Objectors not Compelled to Bear Arms.] No person, who is conscientiously   scrupulous about the lawfulness of bearing arms, shall be compelled thereto.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1964 by striking out   reference to buying one’s way out of military service.

[Art.] 14. [Legal Remedies   to be Free, Complete, and Prompt.] Every subject of this state is entitled to a certain remedy, by   having recourse to the laws, for all injuries he may receive in his person,   property, or character; to obtain right and justice freely, without being   obliged to purchase it; completely, and without any denial; promptly, and   without delay; conformably to the laws.

June 2, 1784

[Art.] 15. [Right of   Accused.] No subject shall be held to answer for any crime, or offense, until   the same is fully and plainly, substantially and formally, described to him;   or be compelled to accuse or furnish evidence against himself. Every subject   shall have a right to produce all proofs that may be favorable to himself; to   meet the witnesses against him face to face, and to be fully heard in his   defense, by himself, and counsel. No subject shall be arrested, imprisoned,   despoiled, or deprived of his property, immunities, or privileges, put out of   the protection of the law, exiled or deprived of his life, liberty, or   estate, but by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land; provided   that, in any proceeding to commit a person acquitted of a criminal charge by   reason of insanity, due process shall require that clear and convincing   evidence that the person is potentially dangerous to himself or to others and   that the person suffers from a mental disorder must be established. Every   person held to answer in any crime or offense punishable by deprivation of   liberty shall have the right to counsel at the expense of the state if need   is shown; this right he is at liberty to waive, but only after the matter has   been thoroughly explained by the court.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1966 to provide the right   to counsel at state expense if the need is shown.
Amended 1984 reducing legal   requirement proof beyond a reasonable doubt to clear and convincing evidence   in insanity hearings.

[Art.] 16. [Former   Jeopardy; Jury Trial in Capital Cases.] No subject shall be liable to be   tried, after an acquittal, for the same crime or offense. Nor shall the   legislature make any law that shall subject any person to a capital   punishment, (excepting for the government of the army and navy, and the   militia in actual service) without trial by jury.

June 2, 1784

[Art.] 17. [Venue of   Criminal Prosecutions.] In criminal prosecutions, the trial of facts, in the vicinity where   they happened, is so essential to the security of the life, liberty and   estate of the citizen, that no crime or offense ought to be tried in any   other county or judicial district than that in which it is committed; except   in any case in any particular county or judicial district, upon motion by the   defendant, and after a finding by the court that a fair and impartial trial   cannot be had where the offense may be committed, the court shall direct the   trial to a county or judicial district in which a fair and impartial trial   can be obtained.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 to change   “assembly” to: legislature.
Amended 1978 so that court at   defendant’s request may change trial to another county or judicial district.

[Art.] 18. [Penalties to   be Proportioned to Offenses; True Design of Punishment.] All penalties   ought to be proportioned to the nature of the offense. No wise legislature   will affix the same punishment to the crimes of theft, forgery , and the   like, which they do to those of murder and treason. Where the same   undistinguishing severity is exerted against all offenses, the people are led   to forget the real distinction in the crimes themselves, and to commit the   most flagrant with as little compunction as they do the lightest offenses.   For the same reason a multitude of sanguinary laws is both impolitic and   unjust. The true design of all punishments being to reform, not to   exterminate mankind.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 deleting “those   of” after do in 3d sentence and changing “dye” to: offenses.

[Art.] 19. [Searches and   Seizures Regulated.] Every subject hath a right to be secure from all unreasonable   searches and seizures of his person, his houses, his papers, and all his   possessions. Therefore, all warrants to search suspected places, or arrest a   person for examination or trial in prosecutions for criminal matters, are   contrary to this right, if the cause or foundation of them be not previously   supported by oath or affirmation; and if the order, in a warrant to a civil   officer, to make search in suspected places, or to arrest one or more   suspected persons or to seize their property, be not accompanied with a   special designation of the persons or objects of search, arrest, or seizure;   and no warrant ought to be issued; but in cases and with the formalities,   prescribed by law.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 to change order of   words.

[Art.] 20. [Jury Trial in   Civil Causes.] In all controversies concerning property, and in all suits between   two or more persons except those in which another practice is and has been customary   and except those in which the value in controversy does not exceed $1,500 and   no title to real estate is involved, the parties have a right to a trial by   jury. This method of procedure shall be held sacred, unless, in cases*   arising on the high seas and in cases relating to mariners’ wages, the   legislature shall think it necessary hereafter to alter it.

June 2, 1784
Amended in 1877 to prohibit jury   trials unless the amount in controversy exceeds $l00.
Amended in 1960 to increase the   amount to $500 before a jury trial may be requested.

*”Cases” appears in   1792 parchment copy of constitution. Original constitution had   “causes.” Amended in 1988 to change $500 to $1,500

[Art.] 21. [Jurors;   Compensation.] In order to reap the fullest advantage of the inestimable privilege   of the trial by jury, great care ought to be taken, that none but qualified   persons should be appointed to serve; and such ought to be fully compensated   for their travel, time and attendance.

June 2, 1784

[Art.] 22. [Free Speech;   Liberty of the Press.] Free speech and liberty of the   press are essential to the security of freedom in a state: They ought,   therefore, to be inviolably preserved.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1968 to include free   speech.

[Art.] 23. [Retrospective   Laws Prohibited.] Retrospective laws are highly injurious, oppressive, and unjust. No   such laws, therefore, should be made, either for the decision of civil   causes, or the punishment of offenses.

June 2, 1784

[Art.] 24. [Militia.] A well   regulated militia is the proper, natural, and sure defense, of a state.

June 2, 1784

[Art.] 25. [Standing   Armies.] Standing armies are dangerous to liberty, and ought not to be   raised, or kept up, without the consent of the legislature.

June 2, 1784

[Art.] 26. [Military   Subject to Civil Power.] In all cases, and at all times, the military ought to be under   strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

June 2, 1784

[Art.] 27. [Quartering of   Soldiers.] No soldier in time of peace, shall be quartered in any house,   without the consent of the owner; and in time of war, such quarters ought not   to be made but by the civil authorities in a manner ordained by the   legislature.

June 2, 1784
Amended in 1980 substituting   “authorities” for “magistrate.”

[Art.] 28. [Taxes, by Whom   Levied.] No subsidy, charge, tax, impost, or duty, shall be established,   fixed, laid, or levied, under any pretext whatsoever, without the consent of   the people, or their representatives in the legislature, or authority derived   from that body.

June 2, 1784

[Art.] 28-a. [Mandated   Programs.] The state shall not mandate or assign any new, expanded or modified   programs or responsibilities to any political subdivision in such a way as to   necessitate additional local expenditures by the political subdivision unless   such programs or responsibilities are fully funded by the state or unless   such programs or responsibilities are approved for funding by a vote of the   local legislative body of the political subdivision.

November 28, 1984

[Art.] 29. [Suspension of   Laws by Legislature Only.] The power of suspending the laws, or the execution   of them, ought never to be exercised but by the legislature, or by authority   derived therefrom, to be exercised in such particular cases only as the   legislature shall expressly provide for.

June 2, 1784

[Art.] 30. [Freedom of   Speech.] The freedom of deliberation,   speech, and debate, in either house of the legislature, is so essential to   the rights of the people, that it cannot be the foundation of any action,   complaint, or prosecution, in any other court or place whatsoever.

June 2, 1784

[Art.] 31. [Meetings of   Legislature, for What Purposes.] The legislature shall assemble   for the redress of public grievances and for making such laws as the public   good may require.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 generally rewording   sentence and omitting “for correcting, strengthening and confirming the   laws.”

[Art.] 32. [Rights of   Assembly, Instruction, and Petition.] The people have a right, in an orderly and peaceable manner, to assemble   and consult upon the common good, give instructions to their representatives,   and to request of the legislative body, by way of petition or remonstrance,   redress of the wrongs done them, and of the grievances they suffer.

June 2, 1784

[Art.] 33. [Excessive   Bail, Fines, and Punishments Prohibited.] No magistrate, or court of law,   shall demand excessive bail or sureties, impose excessive fines, or inflict   cruel or unusual punishments.

June 2, 1784

[Art.] 34. [Martial Law   Limited.] No person can, in any case, be subjected to law martial, or to any   pains or penalties by virtue of that law, except those employed in the army   or navy, and except the militia in actual service, but by authority of the   legislature.

June 2, 1784

[Art.] 35. [The Judiciary;   Tenure of Office, etc.] It is essential to the preservation of the rights of every   individual, his life, liberty, property, and character, that there be an   impartial interpretation of the laws, and administration of justice. It is   the right of every citizen to be tried by judges as impartial as the lot of   humanity will admit. It is therefore not only the best policy, but for the   security of the rights of the people, that the judges of the supreme judicial   court should hold their offices so long as they behave well; subject,   however, to such limitations, on account of age, as may be provided by the   constitution of the state; and that they should have honorable salaries,   ascertained and established by standing laws.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 to provide for age   limitation as provided by the constitution.

Art.] 36. [Pensions.] Economy being   a most essential virtue in all states, especially in a young one, no pension   shall be granted, but in consideration of actual services; and such pensions   ought to be granted with great caution, by the legislature, and never for   more than one year at a time.

June 2, 1784

[Art.] 36-a [Use of   Retirement Funds.] The employer contributions certified as payable to the New Hampshire   retirement system or any successor system to fund the system’s liabilities,   as shall be determined by sound actuarial valuation and practice, independent   of the executive office, shall be appropriated each fiscal year to the same   extent as is certified. All of the assets and proceeds, and income there   from, of the New Hampshire retirement system and of any and all other   retirement systems for public officers and employees operated by the state or   by any of its political subdivisions, and of any successor system, and all   contributions and payments made to any such system to provide for retirement   and related benefits shall be held, invested or disbursed as in trust for the   exclusive purpose of providing for such benefits and shall not be encumbered   for, or diverted to, any other purposes.

November 28, 1984

[Art.] 37. [Separation of   Powers.] In the government of this state, the three essential powers thereof,   to wit, the legislative, executive, and judicial, ought to be kept as   separate from, and independent of, each other, as the nature of a free   government will admit, or as is consistent with that chain of connection that   binds the whole fabric of the constitution in one indissoluble bond of union   and amity.

June 2, 1784

[Art.] 38. [Social Virtues   Inculcated.] A frequent recurrence to the fundamental principles of the   constitution, and a constant adherence to justice, moderation, temperance,   industry, frugality, and all the social virtues, are indispensably necessary   to preserve the blessings of liberty and good government; the people ought,   therefore, to have a particular regard to all those principles in the choice   of their officers and representatives, and they have a right to require of   their lawgivers and magistrates, an exact and constant observance of them, in   the formation and execution of the laws necessary for the good administration   of government.

June 2, 1784

[Art.] 39. [Changes in   Town and City Charters, Referendum Required.] No law changing the charter or   form of government of a particular city or town shall be enacted by the   legislature except to become effective upon the approval of the voters of   such city or town upon a referendum to be provided for in said law. The   legislature may by general law authorize cities and towns to adopt or amend   their charters or forms of government in any way which is not in conflict   with general law, provided that such charters or amendments shall become   effective only upon the approval of the voters of each such city or town on a   referendum.

November 16, 1966