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New Hampshire v. Merritt

Supreme Court of New Hampshire
738 A.2d 343 (1999)


Facts

Kevin Merritt (defendant) and his girlfriend, Kelly Higgins, used two stolen credit cards to make purchases at several stores in a single day. Each time a purchase was made, Higgins handed the credit card to the sales clerk and signed the credit card slip, and Merritt was present nearby. The sales clerk at the Jordan Marsh department store told police that Higgins purchased jewelry and that Merritt was present in the store. At American Eagle, Higgins purchased men’s clothing. The sales clerk testified that Merritt stood by the counter as Higgins paid for the clothes and that Merritt “did all the talking.” Merritt also spoke extensively with the sales clerks at three jewelry stores. At J.C. Penney, Higgins purchased a pair of men’s work boots and a men’s diamond ring, both of which Merritt selected. The sales clerk in the jewelry department testified that staff spoke mainly with Merritt before the sale was made. Merritt was indicted for fraudulent use of credit cards (four counts) on the theory that Merritt acted in concert with Higgins. The jury convicted Merritt as charged. Merritt appealed, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the conviction of fraudulent use of credit cards.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Broderick, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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