Manchester, NH. The New Hampshire State Supreme Court has ruled that a group of political activists from Keene can continue feeding meters before parking enforcement officers can write tickets. At issue in the lawsuit were claims by the City of Keene against the group—who call themselves Robin Hooders—of tortious interference with contractual relations, negligence, and civil conspiracy.
Anthony J. Galdieri, an attorney in our Manchester office, represented the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union in the matter pro bono and filed a successful amicus brief on its behalf arguing that, in the context of the case, the First Amendment barred the City of Keene from suing government protestors for tortious interference with contractual relations, negligence, and civil conspiracy.
The New Hampshire Supreme Court agreed and upheld the lower court’s decision, holding that the First Amendment barred the City’s tort claims against the protestors.
“We’re pleased that the Supreme Court agreed with our brief. The First Amendment rights of citizens to speak freely, to associate for a common purpose, and to petition their government for change are fragile enough without the threat of having tort liability imposed upon their exercise by others who disagree with their views,” said Anthony. “This important decision is based on principles that emanate from the civil rights protests of the 1960s and will continue to set precedent in future cases.”