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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...

Fojo Law Files Lawsuit Challenging Keene’s Face Mask Ordinance and Governor Sununu’s Emergency Order Requiring Face Masks for Gatherings of 100 or More People, Requests Order Enjoining Both Measures

This morning, we filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire challenging the City of Nashua’s recent enactment of an ordinance requiring individuals to wear face masks and Governor Sununu’s Emergency Order #63, which requires individuals to wear face masks in certain gatherings of 100 people or more. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of three Keene business owners (Ian B. Freeman, Malaise Lindenfeld, and Aria DiMezzo), challenges (1) the City of Keene’s enactment of an ordinance (O-2020-09-A) requiring individuals who enter any business, who are present in any outdoor area serviced by a business, or who enter or are present in the common areas of any business, or in the common areas of any residential building with three or more units, to wear face masks or coverings; and (2) Governor Sununu’s Emergency Order #63, which requires individuals to wear face masks in certain gatherings of 100 people or more.  The lawsuit, like the first action we filed on behalf of Mary Rivard, and the lawsuit challenging the Governor’s order closing schools and implementing remote instruction, also includes an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order enjoining the Governor and the City from enforcing the order and the ordinance, respectively. More specifically, the lawsuit addresses two main concerns. First, the purpose for, and supposed “emergency” underlying, Governor Sununu’s original shutdown orders in March 2020 was that New Hampshire needed to “slow the spread” of the Coronavirus so the state’s healthcare system would not be overwhelmed.  Over several months later, there is no question New Hampshire’s hospitals never reached capacity, and New Hampshire’s curve...

Federal Appeals Court Schedules Oral Argument in Appeal of District Court’s Denial of New York Life’s Motion to Compel Arbitration of Former Agent’s $14 Million Lawsuit

Yesterday, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit scheduled oral argument in an appeal by New York Life (and two related companies) of the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire’s denial of a motion to compel arbitration filed by New York Life in a lawsuit filed by Ketler Bossé, a former soliciting agent and district agent for the company. The parties filed their appellate briefs earlier this year and then, at the First Circuit’s request, supplemental briefs in July.  Oral argument is scheduled for September 24, 2020, at 10 a.m.  It will be conducted via Zoom due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Factual Background Mr. Bossé engaged Fojo Law and filed a Complaint in the District Court in January 2019, asserting various federal and state employment-related claims against New York Life, including claims for discrimination and retaliation under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, conspiracy to interfere with civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1985, and breach of contract under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and various state law claims, including claims for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraud, wrongful termination, tortious interference with economic advantage, violation of New Hampshire’s Consumer Protection Act (RSA 358-A), breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, quantum meruit, conversion, and defamation. Mr. Bossé alleged that, despite excelling as an agent for New York Life and the many accolades he earned during his 14-year affiliation with the company, New York Life terminated him because he is black and then defamed him and appropriated his clients. He alleged he is owed over $14 million in lost commissions, residual commissions,...

Hearing Scheduled for June 18, 2020 in Lawsuit Challenging Nashua’s Face Mask Ordinance and Governor Sununu’s State of Emergency Declaration

This afternoon, the Hillsborough County Superior Court scheduled a hearing for June 18, 2020, at 9 a.m., on our client’s lawsuit challenging Governor Sununu’s “state of emergency” declaration and the City of Nashua’s recent enactment of an ordinance requiring individuals to wear face masks.  Like the school closure lawsuit, this action contains another troubling revelation about government transparency and whether local governments are following the rule of law during this “pandemic.” The lawsuit, filed on behalf of a Nashua resident, challenges (1) Governor Christopher T. Sununu’s Executive Orders 2020-08 and 2020-09, which extended New Hampshire’s declaration of a state of emergency until June 5, 2020 (totaling 84 days); and (2) and the City of Nashua’s enactment of an ordinance (O-20-018) requiring individuals who enter any business, who are present in any outdoor area serviced by a business, or who enter or are present in the communal spaces of any commercial or residential building with two or more units to wear face masks or coverings.  The lawsuit, like the first action we filed on behalf of Mary Rivard, and the lawsuit challenging the Governor’s order closing schools and implementing remote instruction, also includes an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order enjoining the Governor and the City from enforcing the orders and the ordinance, respectively. More specifically, the lawsuit addresses two main concerns, the second of which is more troubling and was referenced above. First, this lawsuit includes the same principal argument underlying the Rivard and school closure lawsuits: the purpose for, and supposed “emergency” underlying, Governor Sununu’s original shutdown orders in March 2020 was that New Hampshire needed to “slow the spread” of the Coronavirus so the...

Fojo Law Files Lawsuit Challenging Nashua’s Face Mask Ordinance and Governor Sununu’s State of Emergency Declaration, Requests Emergency Order Striking Both Measures

This morning, we filed the firm’s third lawsuit challenging Governor Sununu’s “state of emergency” declaration, and also challenging the City of Nashua’s recent enactment of an ordinance requiring individuals to wear face masks.  Like the school closure lawsuit, this action contains another troubling revelation about government transparency and whether local governments are following the rule of law during this “pandemic.” The lawsuit, filed on behalf of a Nashua resident, challenges (1) Governor Christopher T. Sununu’s Executive Orders 2020-08 and 2020-09, which extended New Hampshire’s state of emergency until June 5, 2020 (totaling 84 days); and (2) and the City of Nashua’s enactment of an ordinance (O-20-018) requiring individuals who enter any business, who are present in any outdoor area serviced by a business, or who enter or are present in the communal spaces of any commercial or residential building with two or more units to wear face masks or coverings.  The lawsuit, like the first action we filed on behalf of Mary Rivard, and the lawsuit challenging the Governor’s order closing schools and implementing remote instruction, also includes an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order enjoining the Governor and the City from enforcing the orders and the ordinance, respectively. Contact us for a FREE consultation! More specifically, the lawsuit addresses two main concerns, the second of which is more troubling and was referenced above. First, this lawsuit includes the same principal argument underlying the Rivard and school closure lawsuits: the purpose for, and supposed “emergency” underlying, Governor Sununu’s original shutdown orders in March 2020 was that New Hampshire needed to “slow the spread” of the Coronavirus so the state’s healthcare...

Hearing Scheduled for June 2, 2020 in Lawsuit Challenging Governor Sununu’s Orders Closing Schools

This morning, the Rockingham County Superior Court scheduled a hearing for next Tuesday, June 2, 2020, at 1:30 p.m. on our clients’ emergency motion for a temporary restraining order against Governor Christopher T. Sununu’s Executive Orders 2020-08 and 2020-09, which extended New Hampshire’s state of emergency until June 5, 2020 (totaling 84 days); (2) Governor Sununu’s Emergency Orders #1, #19, and #32, and the New Hampshire Department of Education’s “emergency” amendment to one of its internal rules, ED 306.18(a)(7), all of which collectively canceled the rest of the 2019-2020 school year for all New Hampshire public schools, and substituted in its place an inadequate system of remote instruction that is failing to meet the needs of students across the state; and (3) the Salem School District’s implementation of remote instruction pursuant to the directives above. The Honorable Andrew R. Schulman denied the emergency request, for the time being, because he prefers Governor Sununu, the Department, and the Salem School District be provided with notice and an opportunity to be heard before the Court rules.  (Judge Schulman labeled the request for a ruling without notice (known as an “ex parte” request) “wholly inappropriate.”  The Defendants’ actions, however, in changing a Department rule overnight without notice to the public, and then waiting six days to post it online, is what is truly “inappropriate.”). The June 2 hearing takes place one week earlier than the hearing in the Rivard lawsuit. Late last week, we filed the firm’s second lawsuit challenging Governor Sununu’s shutdown orders, and this action contains a potentially explosive revelation that calls into question the transparency of our government officials and whether they...