Municipal and Government Practice

Lawyers at Hage Hodes have been engaged in the representation of municipalities since 1976. Our firm is presently Town Counsel for the towns of Hudson and Hooksett and the Swain’s Lake Village District. We have also been engaged separately on individual matters by various other towns and cities including the City of Dover, Town of New Durham, Town of Hooksett, Town of Greenville, Town of Merrimack, Town of Deering and the Town of Weare. This work has included the drafting and revising of Warrant Articles, petitioning the Superior Court for permission to hold special town meetings and ensuring compliance with the key statutes that govern the town meeting, RSA Chapter 39 and RSA Chapter 40 as well as related State Election Codes.

In the course of representing New Hampshire municipalities, we advise boards of selectmen, town councils, town managers, welfare administrators, building inspectors, road agents, code enforcement officers, fire departments, fire marshals, sewer commissions (including the drafting of definitive sewer ordinances and enforcement thereof), police departments, trustees of trust funds, library trustees, planning boards, conservation commissions, zoning boards of adjustment, town clerk/tax collectors, cemetery trustees, health officers, town moderators, parks and recreation commissioners and supervisors of the checklist.

The firm has handled property tax appeals before the New Hampshire Board of Tax and Land Appeals, the New Hampshire Superior Court, and the New Hampshire Supreme Court. The firm has also handled eminent domain proceedings and advises towns on tax exemption issues. We have represented municipal clients before the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission on cases involving changes in water rates for water utilities.

One of our goals in representing a municipality is to reduce its exposure to unnecessary litigation. To this end, we have successfully minimized the involvement of our municipal clients in litigation by taking preventive measures. This includes reviewing and updating policies and internal procedures as well as reviewing and writing proposed ordinances. We strive to keep the client abreast of state and federal law requirements as an ongoing process that develops during the course of our relationship with our client.

Attorney Jay L. Hodes