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Petitioner Wendy White (Mother) appealed a trial court order finding respondent Michael White (Father) was entitled to a retroactive modification of his support obligation based upon the emancipation of the parties’ older child. The terms of the divorce were set out in the parties’ permanent stipulation, which provided that Father was to pay child support for the two children. In June 2014, the parties’ older child became emancipated upon graduation from high school. In 2016, the Father petitioned for “a three year review” of the support order. Following a hearing, the trial court issued an order ruling that “modification [was] required to be made as of the date of emancipation [of the parties’ older child], which in this case means the modification should take place as of August 2014.” The court found that RSA 461-A:14, IV “requires termination of the child support [for the older child] without further legal action” and, therefore, that “there can be no arrearages accrued in connection with child support calculated for [the child] after July 2014 because no further child support for [the parties’ child] could be ordered after July 2014.” As a result, the court recalculated the Father’s child support obligation “from July 2014 through December 2016, using the income and expenses in effect at that time based on one minor child . . . rather than two.” Based upon this recalculation, the court reduced the total amount of arrearages owed by the Father dating back to July 2014. The court also issued a new support order based upon the three-year review as requested by the Father, which reduced his child support obligation to $500 per month. The New Hampshire Supreme Court determined the trial court erred by retroactively modifying the Father’s support obligation and thereby reducing the total amount of arrearages owed by the Father dating back to July 2014. The matter was reversed and remanded for further proceedings. View "In the Matter of Wendy S. White and Michael L. White" on Justia Law

Posted in: Family Law

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Defendant Meghan Sage appealed her conviction for driving under the influence (DUI), second offense. On appeal, she argued that the trial court erred by: (1) denying her motion to suppress evidence derived from expansion of the underlying traffic stop; (2) declining to exclude breathalyzer test results, or alternatively dismiss her charge, for an alleged violation of her due process rights under Part I, Article 19 of the New Hampshire Constitution; and (3) enhancing her sentence under RSA 265-A:18, IV based upon a 2008 conviction from Maine for operating under the influence (OUI). Finding no reversible error, the New Hampshire Supreme Court affirmed. View "New Hampshire v. Sage" on Justia Law

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The New Hampshire Banking Department (Department) initiated an adjudicative proceeding against CashCall, Inc. (CashCall), WS Funding, LLC (WS Funding), and John Paul Reddam, for violations of RSA chapter 399-A (2006 & Supp. 2012) (repealed and reenacted 2015). Reddam is the president and chief executive officer of CashCall, a lending and loan services corporation headquartered and incorporated in California. Reddam owned all of CashCall’s corporate stock. Reddam was also the president of WS Funding, a wholly owned subsidiary of CashCall. WS Funding was a Delaware limited liability company with a principal place of business in California. CashCall appeared to be engaged in the business of purchasing and servicing small loans or “payday loans” in association with Western Sky Financial. Neither Reddam, CashCall, nor WS Funding was licensed under RSA chapter 399-A to issue small loans in New Hampshire. In June 2013, after analyzing and reviewing CashCall’s responses to an administrative subpoena duces tecum and reviewing the business relationships among CashCall, WS Funding, and Western Sky Financial, the Department issued a cease and desist order to CashCall, WS Funding, and Reddam. In the cease and desist order, the Department found that either CashCall, or WS Funding, was the “actual” or “de facto” lender for the payday and small loans, and that Western Sky Financial was a front for the respondents’ unlicensed activities. Reddam challenged the Department’s denial of his motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. The New Hampshire Supreme Court determined the Department made a prima facie showings that: (1) Reddam’s contacts related to the Department’s cause of action; (2) he purposefully availed himself of the protection of New Hampshire law; and (3) it was fair and reasonable to require him to defend suit in New Hampshire. The Court therefore found no due process violation in the Department’s exercise of specific personal jurisdiction over Reddam. View "Petition of John Paul Reddam" on Justia Law

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The plaintiffs were four companies with common owners and operators: Halifax-American Energy Company, LLC; PNE Energy Supply, LLC (PNE); Resident Power Natural Gas & Electric Solutions, LLC (Resident Power); and Freedom Logistics, LLC d/b/a Freedom Energy Logistics, LLC (collectively, the “Freedom Companies”). The defendants were three companies and their owners: Provider Power, LLC; Electricity N.H., LLC d/b/a E.N.H. Power; Electricity Maine, LLC; Emile Clavet; and Kevin Dean (collectively, the “Provider Power Companies”). The Freedom Companies and the Provider Power Companies were engaged in the same business, arranging for the supply of electricity and natural gas to commercial and residential customers in New Hampshire and other New England states. The parties’ current dispute centered on a Freedom Company employee whom the defendants hired, without the plaintiffs’ knowledge, allegedly to misappropriate the plaintiffs’ confidential and proprietary information. According to plaintiffs, defendants used the information obtained from the employee to harm the plaintiffs’ business by improperly interfering with their relationships with their customers and the employee. A jury returned verdicts in plaintiffs’ favor on many of their claims, including those for tortious interference with customer contracts, tortious interference with economic relations with customers, tortious interference with the employee’s contract, and misappropriation of trade secrets. The jury awarded compensatory damages to plaintiffs on each of these claims, except the misappropriation of trade secrets claim, and included in the damages award attorney’s fees incurred by plaintiffs in prior litigation against the employee for his wrongful conduct. Subsequently, the trial court awarded attorney’s fees to the plaintiffs under the New Hampshire Uniform Trade Secrets Act (NHUTSA). On appeal, defendants challenged: (1) the jury’s verdicts on plaintiffs’ claims for tortious interference with customer contracts and the employee’s contract; (2) the jury’s award of damages for tortious interference with customer contracts and tortious interference with economic relations, and its inclusion in that award of the attorney’s fees incurred in the plaintiffs’ prior litigation against the employee; and (3) the trial court’s award of attorney’s fees to plaintiffs under the NHUTSA. Finding no reversible error, the New Hampshire Supreme Court affirmed. View "Halifax-American Energy Company, LLC v. Provider Power, LLC" on Justia Law

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Defendant Felix Ruiz was convicted by jury of misdemeanor receipt of stolen property; namely, a United States passport belonging to someone else. Defendant was suspected of helping others forge identity papers for others. The defendant told a New Hampshire State Trooper that he was paid to perform “backgrounds” on individuals and that the information he obtained was then given to someone else who would generate the false identity documents. During an interview with policy, defendant was “extremely cooperative” with and “polite” to the troopers. As a result, officers offered to release him provided that he produce the minimum amount of cash bail for a misdemeanor charge. The defendant had no cash available, but claimed that his girlfriend could bring it. The troopers allowed him to text his girlfriend, who agreed to come to the DMV with the money. However, the girlfriend never arrived and, after a few hours of waiting, the police decided to transport the defendant to jail and allow his girlfriend to meet him there. Police asked defendant if he would consent to a search of his vehicle. Defendant readily agreed, signing a handwritten consent form that the officer drafted. Police conducted a full search of the vehicle, during which he found a black bag containing, among other items, the passport at issue in this case. On appeal of his eventual conviction, defendant argued the Superior Court erred when it: (1) denied his motion to suppress certain evidence, including his post-Miranda confession; and (2) denied his motion to dismiss based upon insufficiency of the evidence. Finding no reversible error, the New Hampshire Supreme Court affirmed. View "New Hampshire v. Ruiz" on Justia Law

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Defendant-landowner Carl Casagrande appealed a superior court order that granted summary judgment to plaintiff Town of Goshen. The issue before the trial court was whether a section of road abutting Casagrande’s property was an unmaintained town road, or whether, as Casagrande contended, it was private property because the residents of Goshen voted at a town meeting in 1891 to discontinue the road. After reviewing the record of the 1891 town meeting, including the language of the warrant article, the trial court concluded that the town had not voted to discontinue the road, and, therefore, the abutting road was a public highway. View "Town of Goshen v. Casagrande" on Justia Law

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Defendant Gedeon Karasi appealed his conviction after a jury found him guilty of attempted murder, first degree assault, armed robbery, and resisting arrest or detention. On appeal, he argued the trial court erred when it denied his motion to dismiss the attempted murder charge because the evidence was insufficient to prove a purpose to kill, and that it committed plain error by allocating all of the defendant’s presentence confinement credit to his misdemeanor sentence. The State agreed the trial court erred when it sentenced the defendant and that defendant should have been resentenced. The New Hampshire Supreme Court affirmed defendant’s attempted murder conviction, vacated the sentences imposed, and remanded for resentencing. View "New Hampshire v. Karasi" on Justia Law

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The Town of Bow (town) appealed a superior court order granting plaintiff Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSNH) an abatement of taxes on its property in the town for tax years 2012 and 2013. PSNH owns certain special-purpose utility property in the town, including Merrimack Station, two combustion turbines, and a high-voltage regional electric transmission and distribution network. Merrimack Station consists of two coal-fired units that produce steam to rotate turbines and generators to produce electricity. The combustion turbines cannot be remotely turned on and, instead, must be physically turned on in a control room at the Merrimack Station site. At trial, the sole issue was the determination of the proper value of this special-purpose utility property for the tax years in question. Following a six-day bench trial, the trial court found PSNH's expert “testimony [to be] more credible than” the town's and, therefore, ruled that PSNH had met its burden of demonstrating that it was entitled to an abatement for tax years 2012 and 2013 with respect to the disputed property. The town moved for reconsideration, which the court denied, and this appeal followed. Finding no reversible error, the New Hampshire Supreme Court affirmed the superior court's judgment. View "Public Service Company of New Hampshire v. Town of Bow" on Justia Law

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Defendants Brad Balise (Brad), Jon Carpenter, and his mother, Winifred Carpenter, appealed a trial court order quieting title in favor of the plaintiffs Janet and Stanley Balise, and declaring plaintiffs had a right to use a discontinued portion of a road to access their property and install utilities to service it. Finding no reversible error, the New Hampshire Supreme Court affirmed. View "Balise v. Balise" on Justia Law

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Appellant International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) appealed a superior court order upholding a wage claim decision issued by the New Hampshire Department of Labor (DOL) in favor of appellee Gary Khoury. As part of his work, Khoury sold IBM’s products to the federal government. Khoury testified that, prior to July 2014, IBM paid its sales representatives commissions based solely upon revenue-generating sales. According to Khoury, under this arrangement, sales representatives lacked an incentive to promote the deployment of IBM products that had previously been sold to an intermediary business partner (for which they received no commission), and a number of sales representatives had quit and found other jobs within IBM. In July 2014, IBM rolled out a new pilot program that allowed sales representatives to earn commissions on both the sale and deployment of IBM’s products. Under this program, sales representatives would receive a “primary” commission for reaching a revenue or sales quota and a “secondary” commission for reaching a deployment quota. Khoury testified that, approximately every six months, IBM sent each sales representative an individualized Incentive Plan Letter (IPL) defining the method by which the sales representative’s commissions would be calculated for sales and new deployments. IBM presented Khoury with an IPL for the period of July 1 to December 31, 2014. Pursuant to the terms of the IPL, Khoury would receive the “secondary” commission at issue in this case after meeting a quota of $571,000 for certain specified signings. The IPL contained several prominent disclaimers. By the end of the IPL period, he had met and surpassed his quota for the specified signings. At the DOL hearing, he testified that, in December 2014, his manager informed him that this entitled him to a commission payment of $154,124.21. That same month, he received $47,619.23 in advances from IBM towards this commission. Khoury testified that he subsequently made repeated unsuccessful inquiries about the additional funds. In March 2015, Khoury filed a wage claim with the DOL for $106,504.65, the balance of the commission. One month later, Khoury was informed that IBM planned to change his IPL terms by increasing the original quota from $571,000 to $1,000,000. Khoury testified that he was told that he could expect to receive a final payment of approximately $35,000 to $36,000. He stated that he then received a payment of $34,558.71 in May. Upon receiving this payment, Khoury reduced his wage claim against IBM from $106,504.65 to $71,946.27. The New Hampshire Supreme Court found no reversible error in the superior court's order, and affirmed it. View "International Business Machines Corp. v. Khoury" on Justia Law