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Small claims: Petty disputes clog the courts

EDITORIAL
October 10. 2017 8:09PM




Former Manchester school superintendent Debra Livingston is suing the school district for $590.50, asking to be paid for coming back to help with an arbitration case.

Alderman Joseph Kelly Lavasseur has agreed to represent the city pro bono, which would otherwise cost much more than the value of the lawsuit.

Livingston doesn’t claim the district actually agreed to pay her an hourly rate.

Livingston assumed she could “expect reasonable compensation,” and is trying to hold the school district responsible for her assumption.

A Nashua father is suing because his son was suspended from playing football after admittedly damaging school property. The school board denied his appeal, so he’s going to court.

In Derry, a former special education teacher claims her contract was not renewed because she was pregnant. The school district says she was abusing the district’s sick leave policy, and exercised its option to not renew. This is either a blatant case of employment discrimination, or a nuisance lawsuit.

New Hampshire courts handle 230,000 cases annually, including a suit from lawyers demanding more state funding to handle the backlog.

The courts must remain a refuge for people seeking to fight injustice. They should not be used to litigate every speed bump on the road of life. New Hampshire needs to reform its tort system to keep frivolous claims from blocking the courthouse door.


Courts Editorial