New Hampshire Municipal Association
New Hampshire Municipal Association

Court Update

Frivolous motions under RSA 91-A result in award of fees and costs to defendant town

Cady v. Deerfield Selectmen
No. 218-2001-EQ-00498, Rockingham County Superior Court, 4/23/2012

The following summary is based on a decision of the superior court. Please note that (a) superior court opinions are not binding on the New Hampshire Supreme Court, and (b) at the time this summary went to print, it was still possible for this decision to be appealed to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

This short decision is the latest in a string of litigation between the plaintiff and the Town of Deerfield. Most recently, the plaintiff claimed that the Town had violated a prior court order and settlement agreement regarding posting notice of meetings and the appropriateness of a non-public session. The Court found no merit in the allegations, instead ruling that the plaintiff’s motion was frivolous, brought in bad faith, and required the Town to expend considerable taxpayer resources to defend the action. Relying on N.H. Superior Court Rule 59 (authorizing the court to assess costs against parties who file frivolous or unreasonable motions), the Court ordered the plaintiff to pay the Town’s attorney’s fees as well as the reimbursement for salary or other wages required to have Town officials attend court to defend the matter. (Please note that a motion to reconsider had been filed in this matter at the time this publication went to press.)

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