Domestic violence case under review, task force being formed

November 18, 2021 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire’s judicial branch is conducting a review in the case of a woman who was shot, allegedly by her ex-boyfriend, a month after a judge denied her request for a protective order, and is forming a task force to review domestic violence cases in the court system.

The woman was shot Monday in Salem, Massachusetts, and was in critical condition in a Boston hospital. The man, who had lived in New Hampshire, died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

The woman had obtained a temporary restraining order against the man in September alleging that he sexually and physically abused her for years. A month later, a New Hampshire judge dismissed the woman’s petition for a permanent order, writing “the court cannot find that the defendant’s conduct constitutes a credible present threat to plaintiff’s safety.”

New Hampshire Supreme Court Chief Justice Gordon MacDonald called for the internal review of the petition denial. It’s expected to be completed next week and is being led by Circuit Court Judge Susan Carbon, former director of the Office on Violence Against Women at the U.S. Department of Justice.


The task force will be led by state Supreme Court Associate Justice Anna Barbara Hantz and include representatives from the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, law enforcement, prosecutors, defense counsel, and others.

“What happened ... is an absolute tragedy and my thoughts and prayers are with her and her family,” Gov. Chris Sununu said earlier in a statement. “As soon as this was brought to our attention, I immediately contacted the judicial branch and confirmed this matter is being reviewed to the fullest extent possible.”