NH Supreme Court

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: July 19, 2019

Jul 19, 2019

The governor signs a bill into law to protect New Hampshire children from discrimination at school. He also signed into law a bill requiring public schools to provide tampons or pads in all gender neutral and female restrooms. We discuss the controversy in Newington over Pride Month lawn signs. And the Supreme Court releases its decision on the Northern Pass appeal of the denial of its $1.6 billion high-transmission power line project.

GUESTS: 

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: July 12, 2019

Jul 11, 2019

The Executive Council shoots down the nomination of Attorney General Gordon McDonald to the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Two-thirds of Medicaid recipients in New Hampshire failed to comply with the new work requirement, prompting a delay of the penalties; the Concord School Board examines how it handles allegations of sexual abuse. 

GUESTS:

  • Ethan DeWitt - Concord Monitor statehouse reporter.
  • Sarah Gibson - NHPR Reporter.
  • Jason Moon - NHPR Reporter.
  • James Pindell – Political reporter for The Boston Globe.
  • Dean Spiliotes - Civic scholar in the School of Arts and Sciences at SNHU.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The New Hampshire Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in Eversource's bid to revive its Northern Pass transmission line.

The justices are considering whether the proposal – a nearly 200-mile high-voltage power line to bring Canadian hydropower through the White Mountains to New England – should get a new hearing with the state Site Evaluation Committee, or SEC.

Eversource

Opponents of a new Eversource transmission line on the Seacoast are asking the state Supreme Court to review the project, even as construction gets underway.

The Conservation Law Foundation and residents of Durham filed appeals Monday on the Site Evaluation Committee's decision last December to let construction of the “Seacoast Reliability Project” proceed.

Allegra Boverman

The New Hampshire Supreme Court says a new law that prevents the state's voter database from being subpoenaed as evidence in ongoing lawsuits is valid — which means it can also apply to a case that started before that new prohibition went into effect.

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

Indigent defendants who fail to pay fees assessed for their public defender cannot be jailed without adequate due process, including representation by an attorney. That’s according to an unanimous ruling released on Tuesday by the Supreme Court of New Hampshire in a case involving an indigent defendant who failed to repay approximately $450 owed to the state.

Flikr Creative Commons / Claudio Schwarz

New Hampshire's largest utility hopes regulators will revisit two big energy proposals – one dealing with natural gas and the other with Northern Pass – in the wake of a recent state Supreme Court decision.

The utility's filings this week seek to revive two 2016 cases where the Public Utilities Commission applied a view of the state law restructuring the electric industry that the Supreme Court overturned in May.

Consumer Energy / Flicker CC

The New Hampshire Supreme Court says electric utilities like Eversource should be allowed to invest in natural gas pipelines.

Tuesday’s ruling reverses a 2016 order by the state Public Utilities Commission.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Patrick Donovan is an Ivy League graduate, a standout football player, and a successful private practice attorney. You’d never hear him say that, though.

During his swearing in ceremony on Tuesday in Concord, the 54-year old was praised by colleagues in the legal community for his modesty, work ethic, and temperament.

“He questions incisively, he reasons logically, and he analyzes precisely,” said Judge Joseph LaPlante. “He speaks persuasively, but more important than all of these, Patrick listens carefully.”

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Surrounded by family and friends, Robert Lynn was sworn in as Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court on Monday.

After being tapped for the job by Governor Chris Sununu, the Windham resident sailed through his confirmation hearing in the New Hampshire Executive Council. He becomes the 36th Chief Justice in the state’s history, taking over for Linda Dalianis, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Lynn, who is 68, will serve less than two years in the role.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: February 9, 2018

Feb 8, 2018

A  New Hampshire woman won $560 million in the Powerball lottery, and now she is fighting in court to stay anonymous.  Governor Sununu nominates Robert J. Lynn for Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court.  The wife of the state education commissioner urges lawmakers to oppose a bill that would ban gay conversion therapy. F or the first time in nearly a decade, New Hampshire legislators are debating seat belt requirements.  And we'll see plenty of Olympic hopefuls from New Hampshire as the Winter Olympics get underway in South Korea. 

Sununu to Nominate Lynn for Supreme Court Chief Justice

Feb 6, 2018
N.H. Supreme Court

Governor Chris Sununu has nominated Justice Robert J. Lynn to lead the state's Supreme Court.

N.H. Judges Could Soon Serve Longer on the Bench

Dec 27, 2017
JOE GRATZ / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Judges in New Hampshire may soon get a few more years on the bench.

Courtesy of the N.H. Supreme Court

Linda Dalianis, the head of New Hampshire’s highest court, is stepping down after nearly eight years on the job.

Many in the state’s legal community say she’ll leave a lot to be remembered by after almost four decades as a judge.

Lauren Chooljian / NHPR

 

George and Maxine Maynard have what you might call a complicated relationship with New Hampshire's state motto.

And when the U.S. Supreme Court takes up a controversial free speech case next month, the Maynards' decades-old legal battle over the state’s ubiquitous “Live Free or Die” will be back in the spotlight.

The defendant in a high-profile defamation lawsuit in Grafton County is seeking a second opinion from the New Hampshire Supreme Court on whether the suit should go forward. It's the latest development in a case that questions how far free speech protections extend in the digital age.

Flickr Creative Commons / Brave Sir Robin

A Hanover planning board decision to deny a new athletic facility for Dartmouth College may be headed to the state’s highest court.

The board voted last year to deny a permit for the controversial nearly $18 million, 70,000-square-foot building. Dartmouth says it needs the space for athletes to practice in the winter. But local residents oppose it citing the building’s size and appearance and concerns about noise and light. 

Dartmouth argues those standards are subjective, but a Grafton superior court judge upheld the planning board’s decision last month.

NHPR Staff

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu's first appointee to the New Hampshire Supreme Court is going to be sworn in this week.

The ceremony for Associate Justice Barbara "Bobbie" Hantz Marconi is scheduled for Tuesday morning.

She is replacing retiring Associate Justice Carol Ann Conboy.

Sheehan, Phinney, Bass & Green

Governor Chris Sununu’s pick to join New Hampshire’s Supreme Court, Bobbie Hantz, was questioned by the Executive Council Monday.  

Sheehan, Phinney, Bass & Green

Gov. Chris Sununu will nominate attorney Anna Barbara Hantz of Stratham to the state Supreme Court Wednesday.

File photo

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has settled a dispute between towns and electric companies in the state over how to appraise the value of land used by utilities.

Last Friday, the state’s highest court ruled in favor of 60 towns across New Hampshire that argued they should be the ones to appraise the land used by utilities in their towns.

Power companies Eversource and New Hampshire Electric Coop argued that a different appraisal of the property, done by the state, is more accurate.

That state appraisal would result in a lower tax burden for the companies.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire’s governor doesn’t have a whole lot of executive power, at least compared to peers in other states. But one of the few ways a governor can exert his or her influence is through nominations to fill open seats across state agencies.

AP/FILE

 

The N.H. Supreme Court has denied Seth Mazzaglia's appeal for a new trial for the 2012 rape and murder of UNH student Lizzi Marriott.

The court unanimously upheld the lower court's decision to exclude evidence about the victim’s sexual past from trial, which was protected under the state’s Rape Shield Law.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The adoptive parents of two children who were sexually abused are suing the Division of Children, Youth, and Families, arguing the state agency didn’t do enough to protect the victims even after social workers became involved.

The lawsuit also names Easter Seals New Hampshire, a non-profit contracted to provide supervision during parental visits.

Ben McLeod / Flickr Creative Commons

The state supreme court has cleared the way for hundreds of low-income families to receive more financial assistance from the state.

flickr/barjack

A ruling by the New Hampshire Supreme Court could make it easier for out-of-state gun owners to obtain concealed-carry licenses.

The court on Thursday sided with a New Jersey man who argued that the New Hampshire Department of Safety overstepped its authority in 2013 when it enacted new rules for nonresidents applying for concealed-carry permits. Under those rules, applicants must supply proof that they have such licenses in their home states.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

A proposed rule change to the state’s circuit court system aims to end so-called debtors’ prison in New Hampshire.

The change comes six months after a report from the New Hampshire ACLU found judges across the state routinely engaged in an illegal practice – sending defendants to jail who couldn’t afford to pay fines, often without an attorney present.

NHPR Staff

The state Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday on whether a lawsuit over the state’s handling of child abuse and neglect cases should be open to the public.

The details of these types of lawsuits are almost always sealed by court order.

But attorneys for an adoptive family of two young victims of sexual abuse told the court that the case should be heard in open court.

All Things Considered host Peter Biello spoke with NHPR digital reporter Brian Wallstin, who has reported on this case and attended the hearing at the Supreme Court.

 A hearing before the state Supreme Court on Tuesday will center on a sensitive question: Should lawsuits involving child abuse and neglect be open to the public?

 

The issue stems from a series of high-profile cases in New Hampshire in which two children died and two others were sexually abused. Almost without exception, the details of these types of lawsuits are sealed by court order, making them among the most secretive legal proceedings in the state.

 

NHPR Staff

  CONCORD, N.H.  - The New Hampshire Supreme Court says a couple who sought visitation rights with their grandchildren after their son-in-law died should get the chance to argue their case.

Pamela and Robert Lundquist filed a petition seeking visitation rights with their three grandsons in 2014, four years after their son-in-law died. Their daughter argued they had no standing to make the request, and a lower court agreed. 

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