Don't Want To Shovel Your Sidewalks? The N.H. Constitution May Have Your Back

Jan 3, 2014

The decision in State v. Jackman may bar the state from fining you if you refuse to shovel sidewalks, but it doesn't bar your neighbors from thinking ill of you when you leave snow all over the neighborhood.
Credit MrSchuReads via Flickr/CC -

Plow trucks have been busy in New Hampshire today, cleaning up nearly a foot of snow that fell in the first winter storm of the year. Of course, plow trucks can’t clear everything – to remove snow from sidewalks, for example, cities have to rely on smaller plow vehicles, snowblowers, or snow shovels (along with a fair bit of strength and patience).

One thing that New Hampshire cities apparently can't turn to when it's time to clear sidewalks: residents. That’s because of a State Supreme Court ruling, State v. Jackman, more than a century ago.

Mark Hayward reported on this unusual ruling for the Union Leader. He explains the ruling to All Things Considered host Brady Carlson.