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Judicial Reform States New Hampshire

New Hampshire Supreme Court

Pro Government
Total Judgeships: 

7 (0 vacancies)

Political Makeup: 

Non-Partisan

Location(s): 
Concord
Caseload: 

900

Recent Cases

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LISTEN NOWThe Freedom Files Podcast Episode 37: Shon HopwoodListen Here
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Police and the "Firefighter Rule"

Fri, 06/20/2014

Boulter v. Eli & Bessie Cohen Foundation: The Cohen Foundation hosts a camp which hired Michael Feld. Feld had a history of bi-polar disorder. One night, he became increasing erratic and broke into a private residence bordering the camp. Officer Boulter responded to the homeowner’s call to the police and arrived at the scene with instruction to detain Feld. Feld attacked her, strangling her, but then the homeowner knocked Feld off of Boulter. Boulter filed suit on the grounds that CF owed her a duty of care because they knew of Feld’s disorder.

Decision

The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the lower courts by dismissing Boulter’s case because of the Firefighter’s rule. The Rule states that a public servant, such as a firefighter or police officer, cannot recover negligence compensation or awards as a result of injuries that are caused by the same conduct required of them by their profession.

Read the full decision here
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Temporary Tax on Gambling Winnings Deemed Fair and Reasonable

Fri, 06/13/2014

Eby v. New Hampshire: From 2009 to 2011 New Hampshire issued a Gambling Winnings Tax which was a 10% tax on all winnings that are received through gambling. Eby filed suit against the State on the grounds that the tax is not uniform and that it is “unfair, unreasonable, and disproportional” in accordance with the New Hampshire State Constitution.

Decision

The Supreme Court of New Hampshire granted summary judgment to the State on the grounds that Eby could not adequately prove that the tax was inherently unfair. Also, since no harm came to the plaintiff under the Commerce Clause, since he is not a professional gambler, and since they could not prove their entitlement to the winnings, the Gambling Winnings Tax and money paid to the state government as a result of it was upheld. This decision is interesting because of its determination of how a tax that is only applicable to winnings through participation in a particular activity is deemed uniform. If it had not been deemed fair or uniform, the effects of this decision could have been applied to other 'vice taxes' such as tobacco taxes.

Read the full decision here
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Free Speech on Your License Plate Upheld

Wed, 05/07/2014

Montenegro v. New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles: Montenegro went to the DMV in order to get a customized license plate that read “COPSLIE”. The DMV denied his request so he filed suit against the DMV seeking injunctive relief on the basis that the denial violated his freedom of speech.

Decision

The Supreme Court of New Hampshire ruled in favor of Montenegro. The Court found that the regulation on which the DMV based their denial of Montenegro’s request is unconstitutionally vague and therefore cannot be upheld. The Court reversed and remanded the case for further proceedings.

Read the full decision here