Revised Statutes Annotated (RSAs)
Throughout this reference, you will see the term RSA, followed by a series of numbers and letters. What do they mean? RSA refers to the Revised Statutes Annotated of the State ofNew Hampshire. A Statute is a law passed by a legislative body. The New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated (RSAs) constitutes the codified laws of the State, which are subordinate to the New Hampshire State Constitution and the United States Constitution. The NH Revised Statutes Annotated is the publication which contains those statutes, together with annotations to decisions by the New Hampshire Supreme Court and the federal courts that have construed them. The laws have been enacted throughout the State’s history.
The laws can be amended through the legislative process and can also be ruled unconstitutional by either New Hampshire’s State Supreme Court or the United States federal courts. The laws create the legal framework under which town governing bodies are created and regulated. As noted in many decisions of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, towns derive their powers from State law as political subdivisions of the State. So Rye is governed according to the RSAs and court interpretations of them. Many of the boards and commissions in the Town are regulated by rules set forth in the RSAs and where that is true this Handbook will provide references.
The RSAs are available on-line through the State’s websites at: http://www.nh.gov http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/nhtoc.htm.