(603) 473-4694 info@fojolaw.com

Fojo Law Files Lawsuit Challenging Three More School Districts’ Face Mask Requirements

This morning, we filed another lawsuit challenging three New Hampshire school districts’ requirements that students wear face masks while in school, riding the bus, or participating in extracurricular activities. This lawsuit comes after we filed one against the Hollis/Brookline School District (School Administrative Unit #41) and a second one against the Bedford School District (School Administrative Unit #25) in late May.  Like those lawsuits, this one was filed on behalf of 17 sets of parents and their children residing in Atkinson, Danville, Epping, Londonderry, Plaistow, and Sandown, and challenging each school district’s requirement that students wear face masks or coverings while in school, riding the bus, or participating in extracurricular activities because they violate a New Hampshire statute (RSA 126-U:4) that prohibits schools from requiring restraints on children that restrict their breathing (including any restraint that involves covering the face or body with anything) or that restrict the normal function of a portion of their bodies. The lawsuit, like the first action we filed on behalf of Mary Rivard last year, the action we filed last year challenging the City of Nashua’s face mask ordinance, and the action we filed challenging Governor Sununu’s closure of New Hampshire schools, also includes an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order enjoining each school district from enforcing its face mask requirement.  The motion can be found here. The lawsuit alleges that requiring children to wear face masks or coverings contradicts one or more of the prohibitions contained in RSA 126-U:4.  Wearing a mask requires a child to cover his or her face with certain material (whether a surgical mask or a cloth mask), mechanically restricts a child’s breathing...

Fojo Law Files Two Lawsuits Challenging NH School District Face Mask Requirements

Yesterday evening, we filed two lawsuits challenging two New Hampshire school districts’ requirements that students wear face masks while in school, riding the bus, or participating in extracurricular activities. The lawsuits — one was filed against the Hollis/Brookline School District (School Administrative Unit #41), and the other was filed against the Bedford School District (School Administrative Unit #25) — were filed on behalf of several parents and their children residing in Hollis and Brookline, and Bedford, respectively, and challenge each school district’s requirement that students wear face masks or coverings while in school, riding the bus, or participating in extracurricular activities because they violate a New Hampshire statute (RSA 126-U:4) that prohibits schools from requiring restraints on children that restrict their breathing (including any restraint that involves covering the face or body with anything) or that restrict the normal function of a portion of their bodies. Each lawsuit, like the first action we filed on behalf of Mary Rivard last year, the action we filed last year challenging the City of Nashua’s face mask ordinance, and the action we filed challenging Governor Sununu’s closure of New Hampshire schools, also includes an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order enjoining each school district from enforcing its face mask requirement.  The motion in the Hollis/Brookline lawsuit can be found here, and the motion in the Bedford lawsuit can be found here. Each lawsuit alleges that requiring children to wear face masks or coverings contradicts one or more of the prohibitions contained in RSA 126-U:4.  Wearing a mask requires a child to cover his or her face with certain material (whether a surgical mask or...

Fojo Law Amends Keene Face Mask Lawsuit to Challenge State-Wide Face Mask Mandate

On September 18, 2020, we filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire challenging the City of Keene’s 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. That 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 included a request for an order enjoining the Governor and the City from enforcing the order and the ordinance, respectively. Today, we filed an amended complaint in that lawsuit.  In addition to some minor changes addressing arguments raised by the Defendants in their recent motions to dismiss, it adds a new claim challenging Governor Sununu’s Emergency Order #74, which requires people to wear face masks or coverings when in public spaces without physical distancing (the so-called state-wide face mask mandate), and Emergency Order #81 which extended...

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 Keene’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...