The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Stephan Shurtleff, and Senate President Donna Soucy have refused to perform their Constitutional duties to provide me with Due Process of Law, and my Right of Redress of Grievance as protected by the New Hampshire Constitution.
I have filed for a Writ of Mandamus (below) at the Merrimack County Superior Court, by my legal counsel, Robert Fojo.
Speaker Shurtleff and Senate President Soucy have also deprived the membership of the General Court evidence that they acted outside of there delegated powers in order to pass legislation that prohibited such actions. They have also concealed and obstructed from the membership of the General Court my underlying protest (Remonstrance), that they have violated their oaths of office, and that such actions are impeachable offenses. See Attached petition.
My case is to be heard in Merrimack County Superior Court and is scheduled for July 30, 9am.
Writ of Mandamus: “We Command”
[Latin, We comand.] A writ or order that is issued from a court of superior jurisdiction that commands an inferior tribunal, corporation, Municipal Corporation, or individual to perform, or refrain from performing, a particular act, the performance or omission of which is required by law as an obligation.
A writ or order of mandamus is an extraordinary court order because it is made without the benefit of full judicial process, or before a case has concluded. It may be issued by a court at any time that it is appropriate, but it is usually issued in a case that has already begun.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
MERRIMACK COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
In His Official Capacity,
DONNA SOUCY, SENATE PRESIDENT
In Her Official Capacity,
COMPLAINT FOR MANDAMUS AND PROHIBITION
Plaintiff Daniel Richard brings this Complaint for Mandamus and Prohibition against Stephen Shurtleff, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, in his official capacity, and Donna Soucy, the Senate President, in her official capacity.
Our Constitutional Republic rests on the unassailable proposition that we are a country of laws, not of individuals. When public officials elevate and enforce alternative agendas over the laws of the State and our Constitution, it imperils our Republican form of government. When the leaders of the legislative bodies refuse to present, as is their duty, information that the Constitution of New Hampshire expressly requires – information that would inform citizens on how to instruct their representatives by petition or remonstrance – they not only violate their oath, but keep other representatives ignorant of what people are telling them.
- Daniel Richard is an individual who resides at 95 Rockingham Road, Auburn, New Hampshire 03032.
- Stephen Shurtleff serves as a Representative for Merrimack, District 11, and is the Speaker of the House of Representative. He has an office at 107 North Main Street, Concord, New Hampshire 03110.
- Donna Soucy serves as a State Senator for District 18, and is President of the Senate. She has an office at 107 North Main Street, Concord, New Hampshire 03110.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
- This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this Complaint pursuant to RSA RSA 491:7.
- This Court also has authority to issue orders that state which actions the Constitution proscribes. Those actions are defined by the Constitution: that the legislative bodies shall assemble for redress of grievances of the people. See N.H. Const., Part I, Art. XXXI, XXXII.
- The Court has personal jurisdiction over the Defendants because the their offices are located in New Hampshire, and their conduct occurred in New Hampshire.
- Venue is appropriate in Merrimack County pursuant to RSA 507:9 because the Defendants are located in this county.
- The New Hampshire Constitutional Provisions at Issue
- The Constitution of New Hampshire is part of the Laws of the State. It begins and ends with the consent of the people, who are the qualified inhabitants who retain power unto themselves. The Constitution precludes the General Court from amending the Constitution without the consent and approval of the representative body of the people, by a two-thirds majority of the voters in the bi-annual elections. One power retained by the people is the right to present a petition or remonstrance.
- Mr. Richard has the fundamental right to require that all public officials be held accountable at all times. N.H. Const., Part I, Art. VIII.
- Mr. Richard has the fundamental right to require that his law-givers constantly observe the fundamental principles of the Constitution, and that they direct the formation and executions of the laws necessary for the good administration of government. N.H. Const. Part I, Art. 38.
- Mr. Richard is not controllable by any other laws than those to which the inhabitants of this state, or their representative body (the voters), have given their consent to, including, but not limited to, observing and directing the creation, enactment, and enforcement of, or the repeal of, or the amending of the laws of the land. N.H. Const., Part I, Art. 7.
- “The Legislature shall assemble for the redress of public grievances and for making such laws as the public good may require.” N.H. Const., Part I, Art. 31.
- “The People have a right, in an orderly and peaceable manner, to assemble and consult upon the common good, give instructions to their Representatives, and to request of the legislative body, by way of petition or remonstrance, redress of the wrongs done them, and of the grievances they suffer.” N.H. Const., Part I, Art 32.
- While the General Court selects a speaker and a president for their bodies, no authority permits either individual to suppress a petition or remonstrance or conceal any documents, from those legislative bodies.
- A petition may be used to make a request of the General Court to perform an act constitutionally delegated to the General Court by the Constitution.
- The first use of a Remonstrance in New Hampshire was filed on November 7, 1783, a week after the ratification of the New Hampshire Constitution on October 31, 1783. This was done to protest a legislative act.
- James Madison famously remonstrated in his Memorial and Remonstrance in June 1785 to protest (“remonstrate”) the petition that Patrick Henry had proposed to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia on December 3, 1784, a bill “establishing a provision for Teachers of Religion” as was reported to the General Assembly of Virginia.
- A remonstrance may be used to protest any legislative act that is repugnant or contrary to the Constitution or to remonstrate (protest) a proposed legislative act. These two words – “petition” and “remonstrance” are not synonymous.
- Mr. Richard’s Remonstrances
- Mr. Richard filed a Remonstrance on May 20, 2019, with the office of the Secretary of State of New Hampshire, office of the Governor, Clerk of the House of Representatives, and the Clerk of the Senate. See Exhibit A (5/20/2010 Remonstrance). He remonstrated that RSA Chapter 654 of the voting laws of the state was repugnant and contrary to the New Hampshire Constitution. The constitutional questions that were put to the voters on the ballot in November 1976 were intentionally misleading and deceptive.
- The New Hampshire Supreme Court has stated, “we likewise continue to be governed by the principle that the clearly expressed intent of the voters must prevail over any undisclosed purpose.” Gerber v. King, 107 N.H. 495, 499 (1967) (quoting Concrete Co. v. Rheaume Builders, 101 N.H. 59, 61 (1957)).
- When Mr. Richard filed his first Remonstrance with the House Clerk, Paul Smith, Mr. Smith tried to refuse Mr. Richard’s filing. Mr. Smith then attempted to coerce Mr. Richard to change his Remonstrance to a petition. Mr. Richard refused and instructed him to review the Constitution. Upon reviewing Part I, Article 32, Mr. Smith confirmed Mr. Richard’s right and received the Remonstrance.
- On July 23, 2019, a meeting was held at the request of the Chief of Staff of the House, Eileen Kelly, and House legal counsel Jim Cianci, from the Office of Speaker Shurtleff. Mr. Smith and Ms. Kelly represented the Speaker’s position. They cited the House’s rules of “procedure for a petition” to justify concealing Mr. Richard’s Remonstrance.
- On July 23, 2019, Representative Raymond Howard, David Dapkus, and Mr. Richard called the Office of the President of the Senate and were received by the Chief of Staff of the Senate, Donald Manning. Manning denied all knowledge of Mr. Richard’s Remonstrance, which had been filed two months earlier. Manning assured them he would get back to them with an answer. As of the date of this filing, he has failed to do so.
- Mr. Richard also spoke with Legal Counsel for the Senate, Greg Silverman, and received the same response: a polite denial with the promise of a return call with an answer. As of the date of this filing, Mr. Silverman has failed to do so.
- Mr. Richard filed a second Remonstrance on January 6, 2020 with the office of the Secretary of State of New Hampshire, office of the Governor, Clerk of the House of Representatives, and the Clerk of the Senate. See Exhibit B (1/6/2020 Remonstrance). He remonstrated against the proposed legislation of HB 687-FN, a.k.a. a Red Flag Bill.
- On January 8, 2020, Speaker Shurtleff summoned Representative Raymond Howard from Alton, New Hampshire, to his Office to inform him that Mr. Richard’s Remonstrance was received, and that notice of its receipt would be published in the next publication of the House Calendar. This publication occurred. It violates, however, the Speaker’s duty to assign the Remonstrance to the House committee for a hearing.
- On January 8, Speaker Shurtleff, after receiving Mr. Richard’s second Remonstrance, and as the custodian of both of Mr. Richard’s Remonstrances, concealed a Remonstrance for the second time (the second Remonstrance Mr. Richard filed, above) from the members of the House, thereby denying the House knowledge of it.
- On January 10, 2020 the Clerk of the House, Mr. Smith, published a notice in the House calendar, stating: “A remonstrance has been filed with the New Hampshire House regarding House Bill 687, It is available for inspection in the Office of the Clerk of the House.”
- Speaker Shurtleff claims he may suspend, and continues to do so, Mr. Richard’s Constitutional rights. He has negated the Speaker’s Constitutional obligation to provide Mr. Richard with due process, as well as to provide the House with the Remonstrances so it may be informed, as stated in Part I, Articles 31 and 32, of the New Hampshire Constitution. Rather, he is concealing the Remonstrances, citing House rules of procedure for a petition. Those rules, however, do not supersede the Constitution.
- President Soucy has deprived Mr. Richard of his Constitutional rights, and she has failed in her Constitutional duty to provide Mr. Richard with due process and redress of grievances by ignoring receipt of the Remonstrances, refusing to answer them, and refusing to provide them to the Senatorial body.
- Senatorial Chief of Staff Donald Manning and counsel for the Senate, Greg Silverman, have refused to answer Mr. Richard’s queries regarding why the Remonstrances have not been publicly presented as required above.
- Speaker Shurtleff and President Soucy do not possess any authority to suspend Mr. Richard’s Constitutional rights, conceal a Remonstrance, interfere with the legislative process by depriving members of the General Court knowledge of a Remonstrance, affect the outcome of certain proposed legislation, or interfere with any investigation into Mr. Richard’s claims that they have violated their respective oaths of office.
CAUSES OF ACTION
Writ of Mandamus
- Mr. Richard repeats and incorporates by reference the allegations of the paragraphs above as if fully stated herein.
- “A writ of mandamus is used to compel a public official to perform a ministerial act that the official has refused to perform, or to vacate the result of a public official’s act that was performed arbitrarily or in bad faith” In re Petition of Cigna Healthcare, Inc., 146 N.H. 683, 687 (2001).
- A court “will, in its discretion, issue a writ of mandamus only where the petitioner has an apparent right to the requested relief and no other remedy will fully and adequately afford relief.” Id.
- Mr. Richard requests an order compelling Speaker Shurtleff and President Soucy of the General Court to assemble said committees for public hearing as stated in the Constitution for redress of grievances. Mr. Richard requests that his Remonstrances be received and read into the public record for action upon the legislative body to act as per the Constitution.
Writ of Prohibition
- Mr. Richard repeats and incorporates by reference the allegations of the paragraphs above as if fully stated herein.
- “A writ of prohibition is used ‘to prevent subordinate courts or other tribunals, officers or persons from usurping or exercising jurisdiction with which they are not vested.’” In re Petition of Cigna, 146 N.H. at 687 (quoting Hillsborough v. Superior Court, 109 N.H. 333, 334 (1969)).
- A Writ of Prohibition will lie “when the necessity to act is clear.” American Fed’n of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 572 v. City of Dover, 115 N.H. 491, 492 (1975); see also N.H. Retail Grocers Ass’n v. State Tax Comm’n, 113 N.H. 511, 516 (1973) (prohibition issued to prevent state agency from enforcing an erroneous interpretation of the law).
- Mr. Richard requests an order prohibiting Speaker Shurtleff and President Soucy, on behalf of the General Court, from concealing, or exercising any jurisdiction over any document filed or by concealing, omitting, or holding such a document from being publicly recorded and heard.
REQUESTS FOR RELIEF
Wherefore, Mr. Richard respectfully requests that this Honorable Court enter the following relief:
- An order compelling Speaker Shurtleff and President Soucy to act upon the Remonstrance as defined by the Constitution.
- An order preliminarily and permanently enjoining Speaker Shurtleff and President Soucy of the General Court from concealing or omitting lawfully-filed documents.
- An order preventing the removal of Mr. Richard’s due process and allow his Constitutional right to redress of grievances.
- Such other actions, remedy, or relief as the Court deems just and proper.
By His Attorneys,
FOJO LAW, P.L.L.C.
Dated: June 24, 2020 /s/Robert M. Fojo
Robert M. Fojo, Esq. (#19792)
264 South River Road, Suite 464
Bedford, NH 03110
I, Daniel Richard, certify that the foregoing facts are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
COUNTY OF ___________
The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this _____ day of June, 2020, by Daniel Richard.
(Seal) Signature of Notary Public
Print, Type/Stamp Name of Notary
Personally known: _________
OR Produced Identification: _________
Type of Identification Produced: _________