Hartford v. Bullies

Written by Nexcerpt on June 21st, 2013 in Patterns & News.
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Now and then — though very rarely — a court decision renews my faith in the justice system. A recent ruling by the Vermont Supreme Court is such a decision: one in which The Good Guys prevail over The Relentless Bully. I refer to In re Wood NOV, Town of Hartford v. Wood, Docket 2012-146, issued 14 Jun 2013 by Vermont Supreme Court Judge Beth Robinson.

(Notable, though not relevant to the case at hand: “Robinson is one of seven openly LGBT judges serving on state supreme courts.”)

Instead of spending time today scanning a dozen brief articles about local goings-on, pop culture, or sports summaries, I recommend you settle in with Judge Robinson’s highly readable 7,600-word opinion.

Stop Work Means Stop Work

You will be relieved to see that at least one judge believes lying is bad.

You will be encouraged to learn that at least one state supreme court discourages dishonesty.

You will have faith that at least one courtroom still functions as a bullshit detector.

The Relentless Bullies here are played by Marc and Susan Wood. They receive the dressing down they so richly deserve, after litigating over ten years to validate their blatant, constant violations of a simple construction permit. The Good Guys, ably represented by the Town of Hartford, simply go about the business of enforcing their ordinance. As it should, the court sides with the law.

Note: I have no firsthand knowledge of the circumstances, site, or litigants in this case. I am not an attorney. But I am damn glad to see clear, final, unflinching closure of a nuisance case, where methods of wrongdoing were employed in the defense of wrongdoing itself. I enjoy seeing bullies get their due, especially in court.

You do not need to understand legalese to appreciate this opinion. It’s long, but not complex. The first half of the ruling resembles the outline of a soap opera — one with “Club Parcel” or “Diner Parcel” in the working title.

Then, along around ¶ 39. the Court begins to use more substantive language: “We find no merit to landowner’s further assertion…”. It gets more direct from there.

“¶ 44. The opposite is true.”

“¶ 47. This argument has no merit.”

“¶ 54. We find no merit to these arguments.”

Honestly, I loved reading Town of Hartford v. Wood — a ruling that actually respects rules. I hope you will, too.
   

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