Easements sometimes sit dormant for decades, even centuries. Our office often defends easements created 50, 100 and even 250 years ago and rarely used by the owners and their predecessors in title. Times change, memories lapse, and easement references get dropped from deeds. When that happens, does the holder of the easement lose any rights? How does nonuse of an … Read the rest
A Landmark Decision on Short-Term Rentals and Zoning
Town of Conway v. Kudrick:
A Landmark Decision on Short-Term Rentals and Zoning
In the recent case of Town of Conway v. Kudrick, the New Hampshire Supreme Court grappled with a zoning ordinance question that has implications for property owners, municipalities, and the growing short-term rental (“STR”) market. The Court was asked to determine whether non-owner-occupied STRs are … Read the rest
A Lesson in Preemption and Local Zoning Ordinances
Joy Street, LLC v. Town of Chesterfield:
A Lesson in Preemption and Local Zoning Ordinances
The New Hampshire Supreme Court’s recent decision in Joy Street, LLC v. Town of Chesterfield provides valuable insights into the complex relationship between local zoning ordinances and state statutes in the context of land use regulations. This case offers a reminder of … Read the rest
Confirm Your Boundary Lines Before Purchasing Property
When buying a new house, it is important to have a property survey done in addition to an inspection of the house. If you did not have a survey done when purchasing the house, you should make sure to have one done before making improvements or additions to the property. Additions such as sheds or fences can accidentally encroach upon … Read the rest
Clearview Realty Ventures, LLC v. City of Laconia
Clearview Realty Ventures, LLC v. City of Laconia: Can a Global Pandemic Justify a Prorated Tax Assessment?
In Clearview Realty Ventures, LLC v. City of Laconia, the New Hampshire Supreme Court addressed the question of whether a commercial property owner is entitled to a prorated tax assessment based on the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated closure of certain non-essential … Read the rest
Petition of Pamela Smart
In Re: In the Matter of Pamela Smart
If you have been following the case of Pamela Smart, the former school employee convicted of conspiring with her teenage lover to murder her husband in 1990, you may have heard that her latest petition was denied by the New Hampshire Supreme Court. But what you may not know is that the … Read the rest
Shaff v. Leyland
Restrictive Covenants – New Hampshire Supreme Court Precedential Opinion
In the December 6, 2006, opinion of Shaff v. Leyland, the New Hampshire Supreme Court (the “Court”) took up an issue of first impression concerning the standing required to enforce restrictive covenants attached to land. 154 N.H. 495, 914 A.2d 1240 (N.H. 2006).
The facts surrounding this dispute first began in … Read the rest
Welcome Jason Curtis, Estate Planning and Probate Attorney
Alfano Law Office would like to welcome Jason Curtis to the firm as an estate planning and probate attorney. Jason focuses his practice only on estate planning and probate. He is a member of WealthCounsel, a well-known national estate planning organization of over 4,000 attorneys. WealthCounsel membership brings with it the sharing of collective knowledge and cutting-edge estate planning … Read the rest
An Introduction to New Hampshire State and Local Taxes
In addition to federal taxes, states impose additional state and local taxes (SALT). Since New Hampshire does not have traditional income or sales taxes, it uses SALT to generate revenue. Locally, New Hampshire taxes property and real estate, whereas on the state level, goods and services may be taxed (this includes things such as business income and sales and use).… Read the rest
Appeal of Town of Amherst
Housing Appeals Board Decision Affirmed by New Hampshire Supreme Court in Planning Board Appeal
In a January 18, 2023 opinion, the New Hampshire Supreme Court (the “Court”) affirmed an order rendered by the Housing Appeals Board (the “HAB”) vacating the Town of Amherst’s Planning Board’s (the “Board”) denial of a subdivision and site plan submitted by Migrela Realty Trust II … Read the rest
VT Telephone Co. v. FirstLight Fiber Inc.
Denied! Superior Court for the Northern District of Hillsborough denies dueling motions for summary judgment
In a recent decision out of the Superior Court for the Northern District of Hillsborough (the “Court”), dueling motions for summary judgments submitted by Vermont Telephone Company, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) and FirstLight Fiber, Inc. (“Defendant”) were denied.
The conflict between Plaintiff and Defendant goes all the … Read the rest
What Is Road Acceptance?
(This is an excerpt from our Road Law Guide. To read more and download the full guide click here.)
In the context of public roads, acceptance is an act by a municipality or the general public to make a dedicated road available for use by the traveling public. Acceptance can be accomplished formally, such as by vote of the … Read the rest
Why Developments Use Ponds to Prevent Stormwater Damage
If you have ever driven through newer developments, you may have seen that many of them have ponds. These ponds are installed to assist with stormwater damage by giving the water a place to go. There are a couple different types of ponds used in new developments but first, let’s discuss some of the potential damaging effects of stormwater runoff. … Read the rest
Appeal of Todd McIntire
Wetland Council Decision Upheld – Beneficiary Lacks Standing to Bring Claim on Behalf of Trust
In a November 2022 order, the New Hampshire Supreme Court (the “Court”) affirmed a ruling of the New Hampshire Wetlands Council (the “Wetlands Council”), holding that a trust beneficiary lacked the requisite standing to maintain an action challenging the issuance of a shoreland impact permit.… Read the rest
Benner v. Grenier
New Hampshire Supreme Court Issues Mixed Ruling in Sibling Estate Squabble
In a December 1, 2022, Order, the Supreme Court of New Hampshire (the “Court”) rendered judgment on a matter concerning a sibling versus sibling fight over their mother’s estate. In the case of Gaetane Benner v. Claudetter Grenier (Case No. 2021-0506), Plaintiff Gaetane Benner (“Plaintiff”) appealed an order of … Read the rest
How to Read a Property Tax Card And Confirm The Info Is Correct
Have you ever looked at your property tax card? If you haven’t, you may want to check it out sooner than later. We have heard from a few people that they were paying too much in property taxes. The reason being their property tax card had incorrect information listed. Your tax card may not have any errors. However, you won’t … Read the rest
TransFarmations, Inc. v. Town of Amherst
New Hampshire Supreme Court Reverses Planning Board Decision – Clarifies Fisher Subsequent Application Doctrine
In November 30, 2022, opinion, the New Hampshire Supreme Court (the “Court”) clarified the longstanding case law established in Fisher v. City of Dover, otherwise known as the Fisher subsequent application doctrine, which relates to the standard by which planning boards or zoning boards of … Read the rest
Keene Auto Body v. State Farm
ATTENTION INSURANCE COMPANIES! It’s time to look closely at those anti-assignment clauses
The New Hampshire Supreme Court (the “Court”) recently issued an opinion that will have insurance companies taking a much closer look at their anti-assignment clauses. In a controversial decision handed down November 15, 2022, the Court addressed the appeal of an order granting Defendant State Farm Mutual Automobile … Read the rest
The Story of the Hermit and His “Generous” Deed Gift
Have you heard of a famous hermit named Perley E. Swett? He was a resident of Stoddard, New Hampshire, at the time of his death in 1973.
Native residents of New Hampshire have probably heard the story of Mr. Swett before. He was a man with no money or means of financial support other than the massive property he owned. … Read the rest
GTI Spindle Technology v. Bukowitz
Summary Judgment Denied in Trade Secrets Dispute
In a November 7, 2022, Order handed down by the Superior Court for the Northern District of Hillsborough (the “Court”), Defendants David Bukowitz, Paul Berberian, and Jose Flores (“Defendants”) failed to persuade the Court that summary judgment was appropriate in an action brought against them for various alleged violations of trade secrets and … Read the rest
Costa and McCann v. PureFacts Financial Solutions
You’re Going to New York!
Superior Court for the Northern District of Hillsborough Enforces Forum Selection Clause
In a recent opinion handed down by the Superior Court for the Northern District of Hillsborough (the “Court”), Plaintiffs Grace Costa and Michael McCann (Plaintiffs) found themselves on the wrong side of a forum selection clause.
The case in controversy originated from a … Read the rest
The New Rules That Govern New Hampshire Wetlands
The Department of Environmental Services did something it hasn’t done in more than 25 years by making massive updates and alterations to the rules and regulations governing New Hampshire wetlands.
Some of the most notable updates have been made to the quality standards of surface water and shorelines. These are statutory updates involving modernized and scientific advancements to accommodate the … Read the rest
The Rules of Homestead Exemptions and Mortgages
Homestead is a property tax exemption term referring to a homeowner who occupies their own primary residence. When someone claims a homestead tax exemption on the property they own and occupy, they are entitled to receive up to a $120,000 exemption on the tax-assessed value of their property. Married couples who own and occupy the same residence can receive an … Read the rest
Do Extended Stay Hotels Rent Rooms to Customers or Tenants?
New Hampshire law doesn’t consider the occupants of extended-stay hotel rooms as tenants. If extended-stay hotel customers were considered tenants under New Hampshire law, they would be entitled to statutory protections preventing them from being forcibly removed. These protections are not offered to hotel guests because they are considered customers.
The New Hampshire Supreme Court addressed this controversy in the … Read the rest
An Overview of Property Tax Exemptions, Lease Default Notifications, and Easement Rights in New Hampshire
New Hampshire law provides special tax exemptions to municipality-owned real estate. This means the municipalities are not required to pay state real estate taxes on their properties. However, the municipalities are not exempt from paying taxes if non-exempt parties occupy or use their properties as part of a lease or tax agreement.
Is a non-exempt party allowed to sublicense … Read the rest