CONCORD — The New Hampshire Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in January regarding the conviction appeal of Christina Fay, the former Wolfeboro woman who was convicted last year in Carroll County Superior Court of 17 counts of animal cruelty.
Fay, 61, was convicted of neglecting roughly 75 Great Danes she owned. Charges said she withheld water and allowed giardia to fester in an atmosphere rife with feces. Most of the charges pertained to specific dogs or groups of dogs. The Great Danes had been kept in and on the property of her Wolfeboro mansion.
Oral arguments will he heard Jan. 9 starting after 10:30 a.m. People may watch the arguments at tinyurl.com/NHsupremecourt.
The attorneys scheduled to participate are: State — Susan P. McGinnis; Appellant/Fay — Theodore M. Lothstein. Each side will have 15 minutes to argue.
It may take from two to six months for the Supreme Court to issue a decision.
After her sentencing on June 14, 2018, in Carroll Superior, Fay, through attorney Kent Barker of Winer and Bennett of Nashua, told Judge Amy Ignatius she would be appealing to the state Supreme Court. Most of the sentence was stayed until that appeal winds its way through the court system.
Fay was given a 12-month jail sentence that was suspended for five years, fined about $50,000 and ordered to pay almost $2 million in restitution to The Humane Society of the United States and about $18,700 to the town of Wolfeboro. She also was required to participate in counseling.
During her trials, dogs seized by Wolfeboro police were held in a secret location by the HSUS for 451 days.
On June 3, Fay’s attorney for the appeal, Lothstein of Lothstein and Guerriero of Concord, filed a 49-page brief.
The gist of Lothstein’s argument is that Fay’s rights to privacy were violated by the seizure. Lothstein said evidence from that seizure should be thrown out because the police allowed the HSUS to participate in the execution of the warrant without judicial approval and that the HSUS used evidence from the scene for its own fundraising purposes.
He asked the high court to vacate Fay’s convictions, reverse the Superior Court’s ruling on the motion to suppress and send the case back down to Superior.
In her brief, McInnis responds to Lothstein’s arguments. Among her points are:
• Part I, Article 19 (of the state constitution) does not require the police to get the magistrate’s authorization to bring civilians into a private home or to allow them to use the evidence for their own purposes because doing so is unnecessary to protect a defendant’s rights.
• The state’s agreement to allow the HSUS to use the evidence for publicity and fundraising did not violate the defendant’s right to privacy because she had no such right.
Documents related to the Fay case, including the briefs, can be found on the New Hampshire Judicial Branch’s website.
To view them, go to tinyurl.com/Fay-case.