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. 2020-0358

October 1, 2021

Reversed and Remanded.

 

  • Whether the trial court erred in ruling that the Town of Merrimack had statutory authority to make the 2017 reassessment when there had been no changes to the property and whether the trial court erred in dismissing constitutional claims with prejudice as a discovery sanction?

 

The plaintiff owned a large property in the Town of Merrimack that it leases to the Merrimack Premium Outlets Center.  The Town learned that the property had been valued at $220,000,000 in conjunction with a loan in the same year the Town had assessed the property at $86,549,400.  Four years later, in 2017, the Town believed that it had severely undervalued the property and reassessed the property at $154,149,500.  The plaintiff argued that there were no physical, zoning, or ownership changes in the property or the market to justify the 2017 assessment.  The plaintiffs also argued that the trial court erred in dismissing the constitutional claim with prejudice as a discovery sanction for the plaintiffs’ repeated failure to answer certain interrogatories.  The Court held that the Town lacked statutory authority to make the 2017 reassessment because the reassessment did not occur to reflect a change.

 

Sassoon Cymrot Law, of Hingham, Massachusetts (Anthony M. Ambriano on the brief and orally), for the plaintiffs.  Drummond Woodsum & MacMahon, of Manchester (Matthew R. Serge on the brief and Demetrio F. Aspiras on the brief and orally) for the defendant.