McDonald v. Town of Newington, Doc. No. 218-2005-E-523 (Rockingham Super. Ct., November 10, 2005) (McHugh, J.)

Pages: 1 2




Barbara McDonald


Town of Newington, Jan Stuart, John O'Reilly and
Cosmas Iocovozzi

Docket No: 05-E-523


The plaintiff has filed a Petition for Declaratory Judgment against the defendant and its 3-member Board of Selectmen, pursuant to RSA 91-A. The plaintiff alleges that the defendant is not following the dictates of said statute with respect to the creation and maintenance of minutes of all public and nonpublic sessions of the Board of Selectmen.

A temporary hearing was scheduled in this matter for November 10, 2005. Both parties appeared through counsel. The defendant concedes that there was a period of time when the strict requirements of RSA 91-A had not been met. It argues, however, that prior to this litigation being filed it has attempted to change the manner in which its records are kept so that full compliance with RSA 91-A occurs. The plaintiff concedes that some positive changes [2] have in fact taken place.

Given the present situation as represented by counsel, the Court finds that holding a temporary hearing at this time is not necessary. However, the Court reminds the defendant that it is required to follow the dictates of RSA 91-A in the future. Specifically, the defendant is ordered to take roll call votes; take and keep minutes of both public and nonpublic sessions; review any sealed nonpublic minutes at 30-, 60- and 90-day intervals to determine if they can be unsealed; go into nonpublic session to address only the issues specifically exempted from public session by RSA 91-A; and consult with its counsel if any questions are raised over any procedural issues such as the holding of meetings, meeting agenda or minutes issues. The defendant is put on notice that any future violations of RSA 91-A may subject the Town to the payment of the plaintiff's attorney fees.

So ordered.

   November 10, 2005       /s/   


Presiding Justice