Glimmer of Hope

Last Friday, the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled in partial favor of Judge Raymond Cloutier and several other judges in their suit against the State of New Hampshire. Judge Cloutier filed the suit in 2008 claiming that his pension was erroneously calculated under RSA 100-C, after changes in the law.

The Supreme Court ruled that judges’ contract rights to their pension attach at the time they are appointed, which is a very positive sign for the NH Retirement Security Coalition. In addition, the judges cited other cases in their ruling, which the Coalition has repeatedly said are existing precedents for contract rights attaching at the start of employment.

The Cloutier Case will be submitted as part of the Coalition’s case currently being considered by the Merrimack Superior Court. Judge McNamara ruled that RSA100-A is a contract, and that the employee rate increases for ‘vested’ members is a substantial impairment and a violation of the contract clause. Therefore they are unconstitutional. However, his ruling understands vesting at 10 years, and not at permanent employment.

The New Hampshire Retirement Security Coalition has long argued that contract protections attach at the time the employee reaches permanent employment status. The coalition believes the Cloutier decision greatly bolsters its case and affirms its position. SEA, as a member of the coalition, will continue to fight in court to protect the contractual protections for all employees. In fact, this Monday, Glenn Milner of Molan, Milner & Krupsky filed a renewed Motion to Dismiss in Merrimack County Court. The Cloutier Case was cited as the precedent for Judge McNamara’s reconsideration.

Stay tuned. We will provide you with information as it becomes available.

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