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Fojo Law Files Appeal in New Hampshire Supreme Court in Rivard Lawsuit Against Sununu Over Shutdown

Yesterday, our law firm filed a notice of appeal with the New Hampshire Supreme Court in Mary Rivard’s lawsuit against Governor Christopher T. Sununu over his executive orders extending his “state of emergency” declaration he issued earlier this year in response to the Coronavirus.  Ms. Rivard had requested an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order enjoining Governor Sununu’s emergency measures.  Ms. Rivard also amended her complaint to allege an additional claim: that the emergency powers statutes (RSA 4:45 and 4:47) under which Governor Sununu issued and renewed the “state of emergency” declaration are an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power in violation of The New Hampshire Constitution. After a hearing on June 9, 2020, the Merrimack County Superior Court denied Ms. Rivard’s request for an injunction and dismissed the case.  We filed a motion to reconsider that order in early August 2020, highlighting many of the errors in the Court’s decision.  The Court denied that motion last month (one word: “Denied.”). In light of recent decisions from Pennsylvania and Michigan within the last two weeks that invalided shutdown orders in those states, we appealed the Court’s decision.  In New Hampshire, an appeal of a trial court decision on the merits goes directly to the New Hampshire Supreme Court. In Ms. Rivard’s lawsuit, we primarily requested that the Court conclude Governor Sununu’s orders are void because he lacked the authority under the applicable statutes to continue renewing New Hampshire’s “state of emergency.” Governor Sununu’s original shutdown orders in March 2020 were designed to “slow the spread” of the Coronavirus so New Hampshire’s healthcare system would not be overwhelmed.  Over a month later (and particularly...