United States District Court, D. New Hampshire
Christopher (Crystal) Beaulieu, pro se Laura E.B. Lombardi,
James (Ruiter) Bushnell, pro se
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
K. Johnstone, United States Magistrate Judge.
court held an evidentiary hearing on March 14, 2019 to assess
whether Rueben James Ruiter (a/k/a Rueben Bushnell)
(“Bushnell”) should be ordered to make periodic
payments on the $10, 300.00 default judgment he owes to
plaintiff Christopher (a/k/a Crystal) Beaulieu, pursuant to
N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. (“RSA”) § 524:6-a and
Fed.R.Civ.P. 69. See generally Jan. 28, 2019 Order
(Doc. No. 134). Beaulieu and Bushnell both appeared pro se at
the evidentiary hearing.
testified under oath and was examined by both Beaulieu and
the court regarding his property and sources of income. The
court had before it financial records relating to
Bushnell's inmate account filed under seal at Level II by
the New Hampshire Department of Corrections
(“DOC”), see Doc. No. 143, which this court used
in examining Bushnell.
Rev. Stat. Ann. (“RSA”) § 524:6-a, I,
provides this court with discretion to order a judgment
debtor to make periodic payments from non-exempt property and
income to satisfy the judgment and cost of the proceedings,
“after allowing the debtor an appropriate amount for
his or her support and that of the debtor's
family.” N.H. Super. Ct. R. 51(g).
The court may prescribe the times, places, amount of payments
and other details in making any of its orders. The court may
at any time review, revise, modify, suspend or revoke any
order made. Failure to obey any lawful order of the court,
without just excuse, shall constitute a contempt of court.
N.H. Super. Ct. R. 51(h).
court finds that “the debtor has no property other than
property that is exempt from attachment or execution and that
the debtor is unable to make weekly payments on the judgment,
” the request for periodic payments will be denied.
N.H. Super. Ct. R. 51(f). The judgment creditor bears the
burden of proof relevant to the identification of non-exempt
property and the debtor's ability to pay. See Key
Bank v. Latshaw, 137 N.H. 665, 674, 633 A.2d 952, 958
(1993); see also N.H. Cir. Ct.-Dist. Div. R. 4.10(d)
(plaintiff bears burden “to establish that the
defendant has the ability to pay the from non-exempt assets
either in full or in installments”).
and Employment History
is thirty-two. He is divorced and has a minor son, but he
does not presently have custody of his son and does not at
this time provide financial support for his son or ex-wife.
is an inmate at the Northern New Hampshire Correctional
Facility (“NCF”) who has been in and out of
prison at times in the last ten years. Although the maximum
term of Bushnell's current sentence is set to expire in
February 2022, he becomes eligible for parole in August 2019,
see DOC Online Inmate Locator,
https://business.nh.gov/inmatelocator/. Bushnell said he
anticipates he may be paroled at that time.
was named as a defendant in this case on a tort claim for
assaulting Beaulieu while they were both incarcerated in
January 2012. Bushnell did not file an appearance in this
case before the court ruled that he was liable for a $10,
300.00 default judgment on that claim. See Apr. 14, 2017
Order (Doc. No. 100) (approving Mar. 2, 2017 R&R (Doc.
No. 98)). In the March 14, 2019 hearing on Beaulieu's
request for periodic payments on that judgment, Bushnell