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Posted December 20. 2013 1:51PM

NH Supreme Court reverses domestic violence order predicated on hyperbole

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The following facts are drawn from the record. The parties have been divorced since 2008. On December 9, 2012, the defendant sent a text message to the plaintiff telling her that his grandmother had just died, but asking her not to tell their child. During the course of approximately fifteen subsequent reciprocal messages, the exchanges became heated, and the plaintiff testified 2 that, in his final text, the defendant wrote, “Whatever. Wish you would die in a fiery crash.” She filed her petition for a domestic violence protective order the

following day. ..

...Although the defendant’s “wish” may well be regarded as reprehensible, we conclude that the plaintiff did not present sufficient evidence that the defendant’s “wish” amounted to a threat to commit a crime or that his purpose in sending the message was to terrorize her, rather than merely to express transitory anger. ...