Several months ago, the New Hampshire Supreme Court reviewed and reversed a decision out of Manchester Family Division granting a RSA 173-B domestic violence abuse protection restraining order to a former spouse whose former husband texted her “Whatever. Wish you die in a fiery crash.”

The lower court found this sufficient to issue a final restraining order, considering the text criminal threatening, because, as an auto mechanic, he had worked on her car and knew where she lived.

The Supreme Court did not agree, holding that she had not proved that he sent the text with the purpose of terrorizing her. Nor did he ever threaten to tinker with her car or start a fire.

The text, although ill advised, was mere transitory anger, not a threat to commit a crime.

I’ve tried a lot of these cases, representing both plaintiffs and defendants, in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. In Massachusetts, they are called 209A.