LACONIA — Litigation arisen over the result of the 2013 municipal primary election in Ward 5 cost the city more than $3,500.
Dave Gammon, who with his wife and another voter wrote in the name of Tom Tardif for city council, challenged the result, which failed to record the votes, and ultimately petitioned the Belknap County Superior Court to order a recount. The city did not object, the recount was held and Gammon was vindicated.
However, no agreement was reached on Gammon's right to recover court costs. At a separate hearing in Belknap County Superior Court, at which the city was not represented, Justice Larry Smukler awarded Gammons costs amounting to $280.76. The city agreed to reimburse Gammon's costs, but asked the court to require him to submit an IRS W-9 form to comply with its internal accounting policies. The court granted the city's request, but Gammon balked, claiming he should not be required to report the award of costs to the Internal Revenue Service. He appealed to the New Hampshire Supreme Court, which in October ruled in his favor.
The Supreme Court ruled that although the city may require those receiving payments ordered by the court to submit a W-9, nothing in the rules of the court obliges the payee to comply with the internal accounting policies of the payor to be awarded costs.
The city requires a W-9 form of all individuals to whom it makes payments of any amount as part of its record keeping and internal control processes. The form has no bearing on whether or not a payment represents taxable income.
Altogether Gammon was awarded $816.49 in legal costs — the original $280.76 plus added costs incurred during the appeal to the Supreme Court — while the city spent $2,727.38 in attorney's fees, a significant share of which was incurred contesting his claim that he should not be required to submit a W-9 form.
- Category: Local News
- Hits: 274