HB 1135 – AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 1135
This bill establishes a civil action for certain disruptions of funerals of members or former members of the armed forces.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twelve
AN ACT establishing a civil action for certain disruptions of funerals of members or former members of the armed forces.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
119-A:1 Short Title. This chapter may be cited as the “Sanctity of Heroes Rest Act.”
119-A:2 Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to protect the dignity of the service of members of the armed forces, by protecting the privacy of their immediate family members and other attendees during funeral services for such members.
119-A:3 Prohibition on Disruptions of Funerals of Members or Former Members of the Armed Forces. For any funeral of a member or former member of the armed forces at a cemetery, it shall be unlawful for any person to engage in an activity during the period beginning 120 minutes before and ending 120 minutes after such funeral, any part of which activity:
I.(a) Takes place within the boundaries of the location of such funeral or takes place within 300 feet of the point of the intersection between:
(1) The boundary of the location of such funeral; and
(2) A road, pathway, or other route of ingress to or egress from the location of such funeral; and
(b) Includes any individual willfully making or assisting in the making of any noise or diversion that is not part of such funeral and that disturbs or tends to disturb the peace or good order of such funeral;
II.(a) Is within 500 feet of the boundary of the location of such funeral; and
(b) Includes any individual willfully and without proper authorization impeding or tending to impede the access to or egress from such location or disrupting or tending to disrupt a funeral procession; or
III. Is within 500 feet of the boundary of the residence, home, or domicile of any surviving member of the deceased person’s immediate family and includes any individual willfully making or assisting in the making of any noise or diversion that disturbs or tends to disturb the peace of the persons located at such location.
119-A:4 Civil Remedies.
I. The superior and district courts shall have jurisdiction:
(a) To prevent and restrain violations of this chapter; and
(b) For the adjudication of any claims for relief under this chapter.
II. The attorney general may institute proceedings under this chapter.
III. Any person, including a surviving member of the deceased person’s immediate family, who suffers injury as a result of conduct that violates this chapter may:
(a) Sue therefor in any appropriate court; and
(b) Recover damages and the cost of the suit, including reasonable attorneys’ fees.
IV.(a) In addition to any penalty imposed by the court, a violator of this chapter is liable in an action for actual or statutory damages.
(b) A person bringing an action may elect, at any time before final judgment is rendered, to recover the actual damages suffered by him or her as a result of the violation or, instead of actual damages, an award of statutory damages for each violation involved in the action.
(c) The attorney general may recover an award of statutory damages for each violation involved in the action notwithstanding any recovery under subparagraph III(b).
(d) A court may award, as the court considers just, statutory damages in a sum of not less than $10,000 or more than $25,000 per violation.
(e) It shall be a rebuttable presumption that the violation was committed willfully for purposes of determining relief under this section if the violator, or a person acting in concert with the violator, did not have reasonable grounds to believe, either from the attention or publicity sought by the violator or other circumstance, that the conduct of such violator or person would not disturb or tend to disturb the peace or good order of such funeral, impede or tend to impede the access to or egress from such funeral, disrupt or tend to disrupt a funeral procession, or disturb or tend to disturb the peace of any surviving member of the deceased person’s immediate family who may be found at the residence, home, or domicile of the deceased person’s immediate family on the date of the service or ceremony.
2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect upon its passage.