City of Portsmouth Receives NH Board of Land and Tax Appeals Decision on Reduced Damages in Boyle Case

June 25, 2021

Given the public interest in the litigated matter -- City of Portsmouth v. 150 Greenleaf Avenue Realty Trust et al -- the City of Portsmouth reports that on June 23, 2021, the State of NH Board of Land and Tax Appeals (BTLA) rejected Mr. Boyle’s claims for over $2.4 million in damages and instead awarded total damages of $135,450 for temporary taking by eminent domain of Mr. Boyle's property.

City Attorney Robert Sullivan and outside counsel Bruce Felmly of McLane Middleton commented that this is a very favorable result for the City. 

Further, while the BTLA completely accepted the Schubert appraisal presented by the City, the BTLA found that the La Porte appraisal relied upon by Boyle was not convincing because it “rest(ed) largely on speculations and assumptions that are inadequately supported by the evidence presented and insufficient consideration of wetlands, extraordinary site costs and risks that will be involved in further development of the (Boyle) Property.” The BTLA found “no merit” in Boyle’s claim to be entitled to recover attorney’s fees and enhanced damages in this proceeding, noting that both the Superior Court and the Supreme Court have repeatedly rejected Boyle’s claims for attorney’s fees based on bad faith and other theories. The BTLA similarly found “no merit” in Boyle’s alternate common law arguments for recovery of attorney’s fees, including claims based on bad faith and public policy.

The BTLA made no award of enhanced damages as requested by Boyle, finding them to be not “warranted, either on the facts presented or the sole case authority cited by (Boyle).”

It is expected that Mr. Boyle will appeal this decision by the BTLA to Superior Court.  He has 20 days from the date of the order to do so.