United States District Court, D. New Hampshire
David W. Doyon
Joel R. Porter, Jr.
A. DiClerico, Jr. United States Judge.
Doyon filed this action against his stepbrother, Joel Porter
Jr. (“Porter Jr.”), alleging intentional
interference with an inheritance (Count I) and unjust
enrichment (Count II). Porter Jr. filed a motion to dismiss
Count I for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. Porter Jr. argues that New Hampshire does not
recognize the tort of intentional interference with an
inheritance. Doyon opposes dismissal.
Jr. answered the complaint before filing the motion to
dismiss. Accordingly, the court will consider the motion
under the standard for judgment on the pleadings. See,
e.g., Weeks v. Five Bros. Mortg. Servs. & Securing,
Inc., 2014 WL 1379335, at *3 (D.N.H. Apr. 9, 2014).
motion for a judgment on the pleadings is evaluated under the
same standard as a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Diaz-Nieves v. United
States, 858 F.3d 678, 689 (1st Cir. 2017); Grajales
v. P.R. Ports Auth., 682 F.3d 40, 44 (1st Cir. 2012).
Judgment on the pleadings, therefore, is appropriate if the
facts from the pleadings, taken in the light most favorable
to the nonmovant, fail to allege a plausible entitlement to
relief. Perez-Acevedo v. Rivero-Cubano, 520 F.3d 26,
29 (1st Cir. 2008) (citing Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555-58 (2007)).
noted above, Doyon and Porter Jr. are stepbrothers.
Doyon's mother, Bernadette Porter
(“Bernadette”), was married to Porter Jr.'s
father, Joel Porter Sr. (“Porter Sr.”). Doyon
lives in Arizona, and Porter Jr. lives in California.
March 15, 2018, Bernadette and Porter Sr. met with Attorney
Virginia Sheehan in Concord, New Hampshire, to prepare an
estate plan. At that time, Bernadette and Porter Sr. had cash
and financial assets worth $1, 063, 200 (the “Financial
Assets”) and joint ownership of property located in
Port Charlotte, Florida (the “Florida Property”).
Porter Sr., alone, owned property in Raymond and Epping, New
Hampshire (the “Raymond Property” and the
“Epping Property”). Bernadette, alone, owned
property in Hooksett, New Hampshire (the “Hooksett
Property”). Bernadette and Porter Sr. resided together
at the Hooksett Property. This property together comprised
Bernadette and Porter Sr.'s marital estate.
to Doyon's allegations, on March 15, 2018, Bernadette and
Porter Sr. agreed on a “mutual and reciprocal scheme of
distribution” of their marital estate. Doc. 1
(“Compl.”) ¶ 17. The plan was as follows:
(1) upon Porter Sr.'s death, the Raymond and Epping
Properties would pass to his son, Porter Jr.; (2) upon
Bernadette's death, the Hooksett Property would pass to
her son, Doyon, but Porter Sr. would retain a life estate in
the property if he survived Bernadette; (3) the remaining
marital assets (i.e., the Financial Assets and the Florida
Property) would pass to the surviving spouse; and (4) upon
the death of the surviving spouse, the Financial Assets and
the Florida Property would be divided equally between Porter
Jr. and Doyon. However, Porter Sr. and Bernadette did not
sign documents effectuating the entire inheritance plan at
between March 20, 2018, and April 2, 2018, Porter Jr. and his
wife Martina Porter began residing with Porter Sr. and
Bernadette in Hooksett. On April 2, 2018, Bernadette, Porter
Sr., Porter Jr., and Martina Porter met with Attorney Sheehan
to review and execute the documents to effectuate the
inheritance plan. Porter Jr. and Martina were asked to leave
while Porter Sr. and Bernadette reviewed and signed the
Sheehan told the group that Bernadette's and Porter
Sr.'s living wills had been executed and that Bernadette
had executed her will. Porter Sr., however, was “having
some difficulty by the time [Attorney Sheehan] sought to have
him execute his will.” Compl. ¶ 20. Because they
had covered a lot of material, Attorney Sheehan felt that
Porter Sr. needed to rest and come back at another time to
execute his will.
Jr. agreed to call Attorney Sheehan to schedule a follow up
appointment for Porter Sr. Porter Jr., however, did not
schedule a follow up appointment, although Attorney Sheehan
reached out to Porter Jr. on several occasions.
died on April 19, 2018, due to complications from surgery.
Porter Jr. and Martina continued to live with Porter Sr. in
Hooksett while deciding whether Porter Sr. should relocate to
California to live with them.
had appointed Porter Sr. as her executor in her will, with
Porter Jr. and Doyon to serve as alternates. Porter Jr.,
Doyon, and Attorney Sheehan determined that Porter Jr. and
Doyon should serve as co-executors, and a New ...