Eric Wind Attorney at NH Public Utilities Commission in Concord.

Supreme Court At-a-Glance Contributor Eric Wind, Attorney at the NH Public Utilities Commission in Concord, N.H.

No. 2020-0259

September 8, 2021

Affirmed

 

  • Whether the trial court erred in denying three defendants’ motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.

 

In a complaint alleging claims for breach of contract, enforcement of security interest, fraudulent transfer, consumer fraud, civil conspiracy, and piercing the cooperate veil, defendants moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. The trial court noted the plaintiff has not argued that the court had general personal jurisdiction over the defendants, and limited its analysis to specific personal jurisdiction. The trial court concluded that all requirements for specific jurisdiction were met, and exercising specific jurisdiction in this case to be consistent with the notions of fair play and substantial justice.

The Court applied a three part test to determine whether specific personal jurisdiction over the defendants comports with due process, examining whether: (1) the contacts relate to the cause of action; (2) the defendants have purposefully availed themselves of the protection of New Hampshire’s laws; and (3) it would be fair and reasonable to require the defendants to defend the suit in New Hampshire. The Court found that although the trial court erred in failing to separately analyze the plaintiff’s contract and tort claims, it reached the correct result and affirmed the order denying the motion to dismiss.

 

Law Office of David N. Cole, Lyme (David N. Cole, on the brief) and Myers Associates, Lebanon (Howard B Myers on the brief and orally) for the plaintiff. Hughes Atwood & Mullally, Lebanon (John R. Hughes, III on the brief) and Buckley & Zopf, Clarement, (Melvin T. Diep orally) for the defendants.