The end of the Goat Case.


It must have been back in 2004, a friend was moving out of the area, and gave me 3 goats and around he a dozen chickens along with the sheds/coops and even fencing. Around this same time a peckerhead councilman here was pissed off at his neighbor for not hauling off their cow manure. Now, anyone else in town (if they had a problem like this) would have complained to the sheriff and the offending party might have been charged with the “Nuisance Ordnance” if there was a valid grievance. I said anyone else, but this lowlife politician figured he wasn’t just an average subject…I mean citizen, he had super-bureaucratic powers and decided it was his god given mission to rid the town of all livestock. Except of course the sheriff’s chickens, the other councilman’s horse, an old ranching families cows, a business owner’s daughter’s pony………………….Well, these kind of petty laws don’t sit well with me to begin with, and if you add some selective enforcement I get really really pissed off. They tried to sneak this crap by the public by using the title “penning ordinance” instead of “Ban of all Livestock” and provided no notice of the text of the document. So during the adoption process I put this sign up.
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Whoo hoo, that pissed off the councilman and he tried to get the sheriff to charge me with harassment, but of course there was no case. They did however pass the ordinance even though there was a huge amount of opposition to it. I don’t think anyone spoke in favor of it. Mind you these are the same idiots who think a town with 300 sewer hookups can afford a 10 million dollar sewer plant, and using that same level of intelligence they charged only myself and one other person (out of at least 5 people) who were “in violation” of the new ordinance.

Fast forward several years through 5 Motions to Dismiss, one trial, and countless appearances in two courts.

Today it, well part of it ended. In exchange for me not going to the second trial, and if necessary appealing to the State Supreme Court………..in which we (my lawyer friend and I) had a sure case….
The original trial took place in Justice Court, using a complaint from District Court which that court dismissed for lack of jurisdiction……

I took a plea. It was too sweet not to.

I will pay a grand total of $100, which will be divided as such:
$100 applied to the $210 in court costs, in other words the Town will need to pony up an additional $110 for the court, in addition to the money they have paid their attorney, the money they have paid to the surveyor, the money they have paid witnesses, and I’m sure other costs.

The really fun part is over winter I will be working to get a referendum on the ballot to repeal that bullshit law, and two others those bastards cherish.

The finial score:

Me: -$100
Town Hall: At least -$800
So even if there is a misdemeanor conviction on my record, in the starving the beast arena I whooped their asses.

Who ever said you can’t fight town hall, wasn’t as doggedly determined as myself.

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Bravo!

  2. Thanks for proving me wrong.

  3. Decided not to bleed them even more? Can’t blame you, but I was hoping to see it hit the State Supreme Court (and probably Reuter’s “Oddly Enough”).

  4. Well Dave P, that other “person charged”, won’t be copping a plea,for any amount,so you just might see it hit the MT Supremes. Might, if she doesn’t really “whoop ass” at the local level with the evidence she has.

  5. Ha, I finally figured out who you are Ele.

    Yea, I spoke with her yesterday, I’m glad she going all the way. The way I see it though is my lawyer friend can only do so much Pro Bono work for me and we need his time on the 3 referendums more.

    We’ll need some more help on that too. Are you interested in collecting signatures. There will be 3 separate ones, repeal of the penning ord, well ord, and that whole meters BS.

  6. Ele, thanks to the “other party” for having bigger balls than the IceWeasel (that’s gotta hurt). If y’all need some fiduciary help at the Supreme level, drop me a note…

    Can’t promise nothing, but there’s always a chance I can help support the goat-owners…

  7. Wow, Ice. Sorry. I didn’t mean to throw anyone off using the first three letters of my 5 letter name. Then again, I guess it could be short for…Elenore, or Eleen or…
    Your activism to repeal certain ordinances through referendums is admirable. However, do you still reside within town limits? If not, why would you have any standing to petition for referendums to repeal anything that doesn’t affect you personally? Well maybe it did at one time, but now you’re beyond that. If you didn’t or couldn’t motivate anyone to stop the ordinance from passing or even to delay it’s effective date until after it’s ratification by the voters, (MCA 7-5-132) while living in town what makes you think that you can pull it off now?
    A few of us still believe, as you did, that the “penning ordinance” wasn’t constitutionally passed or constitutional for that matter. You know what they say about laws that are repugnant to the Constitution. Well that also applies to local laws which have to be based on an enabling state statute/code which have to be based on the state constitution which have to be based on the fed constitution. Have you checked the Town Codes/Ordinance book? See if you or the town clerk can find the “penning ordinance” listed. I may be wrong, but I think you were in the perfect position to prove the illegally of this ordinance with your case and you were 3/4 there. After all, wasn’t that your grounds to appeal to district court? Violation of your constitutionally protected rights? Am I wrong in thinking that once you plead guilty, you not only acknowledged your guilt but also validated and legitimatized the statute/code/ordinance you initially plead not guilty of violating due to constitutional issues?

    BTW, thank you Dave P for your support. The ongoing case however, involves pet horses. Which is interesting as there have been many recent reports of people abandoning, starving or selling their family pet horses even for slaughter, due to the economic downturn. Yet here we have a situation where a woman faces a fine and/or 6 months in jail,for no other reason than the personal vendetta of one town councilman who usually abuses his position of power to satisfy his and his friends wants and/or needs. It has nothing to do with horses, goats, chickens, et al. Just with to whom they allegedly belong and as you know, “One dirty hand washes the other dirty hand.”

  8. E I happen to know someone in city limits who will be the head of the C-2, I’ll just be helping her. Dave, as for the continuation of the battle, I feel my time would be more productively used in fighting this bullshit via ballot issue, I was reaching a point of diminished returns.


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