April 23, 2014
8:05 am

Citizens File Contempt of Court Charges

The debate over the use of a gun range outside of Coloma escalates this afternoon as a citizens group files contempt of court charges, and motions for a re-opening of a Supreme Court ruling five years ago.

Judge John Dewane was expected to recieve documents filed by Joe & Sue Herman, Jay & Sarah Jollay, Tony & Liz Peterson, Randy & Annette Bjorge, Tina Buck, Jerry Jollay, and Neal Kreitner asking that an order directing Berrien County immediately cease utilization of the shooting ranges constructed by the County on the Angling Road site and show cause as to why they should not be held in civil & criminal contempt for violation of a permanent injunction issued by the Michigan State Supreme Court on November 10, 2008.  

The majority of the plaintiffs are businessmen and women who own destination attraction types of businesses in close proximity to the firing range, however they are all filing as private citizens, not as business entities.

In a plaintiff's brief intended to be filed at the same time as the motion, the Grand Rapids law firm of Rhoades McKee cites the Permanent Injunctive Order (PIO) "explicitly ordering (the county) be permanently enjoined from utilization of the shooting ranges" in Coloma Township.  The citizens group contends that despite the clear and unambiguous prohibition, the county recently began using the shooting range for firearms training, "in clear violation of the PIO of five years ago.  

The group asks that Berrien County "be held in contempt for the clear violation of the PIO" and must be "ordered to immediately cease firearms training or any other utilization of the Angling Road shooting range."

The motion suggests that resumption of firearm activity, "has caused Plaintiff Sarah Jollay and other local residents to suffer considerable mental and emotional distress."

The plaintiffs also suggest that the Sheriff's Department's disregard for the PIO, "warrants a significant monetary fine and an award of attorney fees that (they) have incurred in bringing this motion." 

The motion also provides detailed background of the situation dating back to the spring of 2005, actions and court deallings leading up to now.  

In conclusion, the motion contends the county's "disregard for and violation of the PIO clearly constitutes contemptuous behavior," and "must be punished." 
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Topics : Law_Crime