Ten days ago I represented myself, unless that is a debatable point as well, in Hillsborough Superior Court in Manchester, NH in a Motion to Dismiss my appeal of a property tax abatement request denial for 2006. It gets weirder.
The corrupt town I live in, Deering, the one that taught me that in fact you can find something under a rock every time you look, denied my simple property tax appeal on two grounds, one, that it was late, two, that I am not the owner.
We had Judge Abramson. I am happy with that.
The Town’s attorney, from Mitchell and Bates in Laconia, put the town Administrative Assistant, Robin Buchanan, on the stand so she could retract the sworn statement she made to get this case started. It stated I handed her my appeal on Friday, March 2, a day late. I did not bother to cross examine her.
The town attorney obviously found it may be too difficult to prove I came in on Friday because the Town Hall is closed in Fridays. In my Objection to their case I simply stated I was not IN Deering on March 2, 2007 during the hours the town hall is open on the days they are open. Since I put in no further details they got scared and had to retract the sworn affidavit for fear I had evidence I was not in town – which I was not.
One false affidavit out of the way, on to - ownership.
The Town of Deering also claimed that I was not due any abatement because I am not the owner of the property. That is partly true. I do not own the property. It is in my wife’s name. We are married and have lived there for 30 years. I have been in a pitched political battle with these people for about twenty of those years.
The proper statute I submitted my appeal under only references “taxpayer” and “aggrieved party,” as being a person who can appeal, ownership is not to be found anywhere in the statute. It was stricken from the law in 1978 from what I can tell. It would stand to reason the Town would be asked by the Court to prove I am at least not an “aggrieved party” but, hey this is New Hampshire, that did not happen.
I do not know how Judge Abramson will rule. It was to my advantage to have the Town pull a stunt like this. It is the third Superior Court case I have had to endure to conduct simple town business.
In 1991 I won a case against them for holding documents from me for four months and again in 2004 I beat them in another case involving specific public documents required by law to be available they held them for four months as well. Here we are in 2008 and the Town needs to make up an affidavit and a flimsy case to try to stop me from getting a simple abatement, one in which they have made what appears to be a technical error.
While I was arguing my case I had the opportunity to enter into the record that this most recent action by the Town is certainly a pattern and looks malicious. The first case brought in 1991 led to the arrest of the three selectmen and road agent. In 2004 they opened the town hall on Columbus Day to make me the assessing manual I asked for in writing four months before so to have complied with RSA91-A, the Right to Know Law, for the next days court hearing. Now this new board wants in on the legal game of cat and mouse.
The must be having more fun than I am I guess.