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Lahm v. Farrington

Supreme Court of New Hampshire

March 14, 2014

Kenneth Lahm
v.
Michael Farrington & a

Argued: November 13, 2013.

Page 621

Belknap.

Michael J. Sheehan, of Concord, by brief and orally, for the plaintiff.

Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell, P.C., of Concord ( Charles P. Bauer and Robert J. Dietel on the brief, and Mr. Dietel orally), for the defendants.

Joseph A. Foster, attorney general ( Stephen D. Fuller, senior assistant attorney general, on the brief and orally), for the State of New Hampshire, as amicus curiae.

Terence M. O'Rourke, assistant county attorney, by brief and orally, for the Carroll County Attorney's Office, as amicus curiae.

Rath, Young and Pignatelli, P.C., of Concord ( Michael S. Lewis on the brief and orally), for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, as amicus curiae.

William Hart, of Derry, by brief, and Cullen Collimore PLLC, of Nashua ( Brian J.S. Cullen and Shelagh C.N. Michaud on the brief), for the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police, as amicus curiae.

Ransmeier & Spellman, P.C., of Concord ( Andrew B. Livernois on the brief), for Primex, as amicus curiae.

HICKS, J. DALIANIS, C.J., and CONBOY, LYNN and BASSETT, JJ., concurred.

OPINION

Page 622

[166 N.H. 148] Hicks, J.

The plaintiff, Kenneth Lahm, appeals an order of the Superior Court ( O'Neill, J.) granting summary judgment to the defendants, Detective Michael Farrington and the Town of Tilton (Town), in this negligence action. We affirm.

The trial court found, or the record supports, the following facts. On February 28 and 29, 2008, Farrington interviewed an alleged victim who was recovering from severe burns and bruises at Concord Hospital, and who stated that she believed she had been sexually assaulted. The alleged victim claimed that, three days earlier, she had gone home with Lahm after drinking approximately four beers at a bar. She claimed that, upon arriving at Lahm's house, Lahm gave her two drinks containing Red Bull, after which she " passed out" and did not remember anything until waking three days later in Lahm's bed, without any clothes, and discovering severe burns and bruises on her body. A urinalysis test detected the presence of multiple drugs.

After concluding his interview with the alleged victim, Farrington applied for warrants to arrest Lahm for second-degree assault, and to search his property for evidence of the crime. On February 29, 2008, a justice of the peace found probable cause to arrest Lahm, and issued an arrest warrant. That same day, a district court judge found probable cause to believe that evidence of aggravated felonious sexual assault may be found on Lahm's property, and issued a search warrant. Both warrants were executed on March 1, 2008. Following Lahm's arrest and the search of his [166 N.H. 149] ...


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