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NH Nazis a No-Show in Drag Queen Lawsuit

Neo-Nazi leader Christopher Hood failed to respond to a civil rights lawsuit alleging he broke the law when he orchestrated his NSC-131 gang to violently protest a Drag Queen Story Hours event at the Teatotaler Cafe in Concord.

But don’t tell his donors. Hood’s already raised more than $17,000 for his legal defense through crowdfunding donation sites even after he was found in default on May 10.

Hood, a Massachusetts resident, allegedly led his masked supporters to be an intimidating and threatening presence at Teatotaler’s last summer. The hate group members shouted threatening white-power slogans and pounded on windows in an attempt to stop drag performer Juicy Garland from reading a children’s book, according to court records.

With Hood in default, he now faces the prospect of going straight to the judgment phase of the case without a trial on the evidence. The case is complicated by the fact NSC-131 as an entity was dismissed as a defendant in the case earlier this month as well.

Court records filed in Merrimack Superior Court indicate the group was not properly served with the lawsuit in the given timeframe, and dropped as a defendant. Michael Garrity, spokesman for the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, said lawyers with the Civil Rights Unit plan to appeal that decision.

“The Civil Rights Unit plans to ask the court to reconsider this order because NSC-131 was properly served as required by state law and served on time as required by the court,” Garrity said. “In that motion, the unit will ask the Court to reconsider the order, reinstate NSC-131 as party, and enter a notice of default against NSC-131 for failure to respond to the complaint as required by the court.”

Once NSC-131 is added back to the case, Garrity said the state will move to get the gang found in default just like Hood. The case can then go straight to judgment, and Garrity said the Attorney General’s Office will seek appropriate penalties, restraining orders, and damages as provided for under state law.”

Hood’s online fundraising pitch asks for $100,000 for a legal defense that has multiple cases. NSC-131 is facing sanctions in Massachusetts and another New Hampshire case that’s gone to the state Supreme Court. 

Formella’s team brought civil rights charges against Hood and NSC-131 over its 2022 “white power” demonstration in Portsmouth. That case was dismissed last year on First Amendment grounds, but Formella is appealing to the state Supreme Court.

Hood has had difficulty in the past obtaining the services of a lawyer, but he may not have to try too hard this time. The NH-ACLU recently filed a brief in support of the neo-Nazis’ free-speech rights in the Portsmouth case.

“Simply because speech is harmful – and it undoubtedly is here – does not mean that it can be prohibited because of its viewpoint,” ACLU lawyers wrote.

Formella called the ACLU’s decision to weigh in on behalf of Hood and NSC-131 “disappointing.”

“Hate has no place in New Hampshire, and we will not sit idly by while organized hate groups like NSC-131 commit illegal acts for the purpose of harassing and even terrorizing our citizens,” Formella said. “As my office articulated in its opening brief to the New Hampshire Supreme Court, the right to engage in speech does not permit people to commit unlawful acts, such as the trespass that NSC-131 has been accused of committing.”