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Neighbors' $700,000 judgment in lawsuit stands

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Joe Potosky, Dec 31, 2009.

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  1. Joe Potosky

    Joe Potosky Well-Known Member

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    Neighbors

    Missouri Supreme Court denies appeal in gun club case

    Neighbors' $700,000 judgment in lawsuit stands

    BY Gregg Johnson

    COLUMBIA — The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld a $700,000 judgment against the Cedar Creek Rod and Gun Club in a nuisance lawsuit filed by Daniel and Donna Brown, who claimed that the noise and vibration from shooting at the club diminished their quality of life.

    The legal wrangling in the case, however, isn’t over. Tyler Breed, the Browns’ attorney, said the circuit court still must decide who is legally responsible for paying the Browns and whether the gun club is violating an injunction that limits the days and times that shooting can occur and the frequency of special events the club can host.

    The Supreme Court’s Dec. 22 decision not to hear the appeal of the gun club is the latest ruling in the legal battle. The issue of who is responsible for paying the judgment is complicated by the fact that the Cedar Creek gun club was dissolved in August 2008 and replaced by a new shooting range, Prairie Grove Shooting Sports Inc., which leases the property from Gates Payne LLC. Ralph Gates was the founder and former president of the Cedar Creek club.

    Breed said he has “received some documentation from Cedar Creek supporting that they do not have the money to pay.” Other parties that could be responsible, he said, include Gates, Prairie Grove Shooting Sports or the former Cedar Creek club’s insurance company.

    “We believe that we have several viable options to collect the judgment, and we’re going to pursue them," Breed said.

    The circuit court also will have to determine whether the gun club is violating terms of the injunction, which was imposed in April 2008. Five months later, on Aug. 28, 2008, an amendment to state law was enacted giving gun clubs immunity from lawsuits stemming from noise nuisances.

    Shortly thereafter, the Browns filed a motion in circuit court asking that the club be found in contempt, claiming it had been violating the injunction since the law was enacted. That motion, however, was denied pending the appeals court ruling on the lawsuit and a request by the gun club that the injunction be lifted.

    On July 31, Judge Lisa White Hardwick of the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District wrote the decision for the three-judge panel which upheld the $700,000 judgment but decided the legality of the injunction was a question for the circuit court. White Hardwick wrote that while the new statute protects the gun club from lawsuits over noise nuisances, it does not protect it from nuisance lawsuits based on vibrations caused by gunfire.

    Breed said he hopes to see the case placed on the circuit court docket soon.

    Attempts to reach attorneys who have represented the gun club were unsuccessful.

    http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2009/12/31/supreme-court-upholds-appelate-court-decision-brown-case/
     
  2. Bocephas

    Bocephas Well-Known Member

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    I would much rather listen to the gun fire of a gun club,than these #am Boom Boxes these kids have wide open in their cars.

    Hope the club wins.

    Bo
     
  3. j2jake

    j2jake Well-Known Member

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    I'm with BO. Jake
     
  4. Mr. D

    Mr. D Member

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    Who was there first, the Gun Club or the Brown's?
     
  5. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    Mr D is on track. If the club was there first I don't see the judgement ruling being correct. The grandfather clause always supercedes.
     
  6. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    This appears to be a complicated legal issue. Gun noise is a series of vibrations traveling through the air as is all sound. It is beyond my comprehension how a court can separate vibrations from sound. They are the same thing, but courts do unusual things.

    Grandfather clause? This typically applies to a variance granted to zoning regulations. It would have no standing in this case. Cocaine was legal to use and sell in 1900. Would a family business selling cocaine since 1900 be protected by a Grandfather clause?

    Pat Ireland
     
  7. TOOLMAKER 251

    TOOLMAKER 251 Active Member

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    There was a developer about 40 years ago who acquired a large tract of land which butted up against a pig farm. He built many homes on this land, and come spring, and summer the air was filled with the smell of pig shit. The owners got fed up with the conditions they had to live in and decided to sue the 2 brothers who owned and operated the farm. The farm was in operation for over 100 years by the same family members, and when the case was ruled on, the home owners lost. If you decide to take up residences next to railroad tracks, active gun clubs, quarries etc. expect vibrations and noise. Grandfather clauses do work in Pennsylvania.
     
  8. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    Toolmaker - do you mean the pig farm on Ridge Pike in Lafayette Hill??
     
  9. TOOLMAKER 251

    TOOLMAKER 251 Active Member

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    HSLDS, exactly, you remember also. In the summer I could smell the odor going back and forth while driving to north Phila on my way to work.
     
  10. Smithy47

    Smithy47 Member

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    Unfortunately, Daniel Brown owned the property prior to the gun club going into operation. His girlfriend at the time, later his wife, is the one that complained and basically brought the suit against the club.
    She bought a decimeter from Walmart to take readings.
    It looks to me that the club was let down by their lawyer. The case was heard by a jury of mostly women.
    It is a real bumer for everyone as this club got a raw deal.
    Bob
     
  11. CalvinMD

    CalvinMD Well-Known Member

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    My solution...(somebody really smart said it first) Kill all the lawyers
     
  12. Leo

    Leo Well-Known Member

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    Any judge who thinks he can create new definitions to define matters of physics is clearly too foolish to be a judge. He must be a socialist democrat appointee.
     
  13. 88oliver

    88oliver Member

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    What I read of the articles it sounds like mister brown and his son became very very obessed with the noise , they had a room full of videos they had made of the people shooting ? sounds sad to me , I have shot at this place but was years ago ,was a nice place
     
  14. merlynstrapguns

    merlynstrapguns Well-Known Member

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    Ralph Gates who I have known for a good while, could have had the best attorney but he could have been on the wrong side of the political fence. Ralph own several banking businesses in Columbia Mo as well as other interests. Most judges who make the big decisions in Mo are appointed by the Governor and support of the wrong candidate can be costly in more ways than one. Personally, I have witnessed 2 "slam-dunks" in court go into the crapper......Lets hope that he pulls the suit out of the crapper, but it doesn't look good.....merlyn....ps - I will go along with the final damnation of lawyers!!!
     
  15. Ljutic111

    Ljutic111 TS Member

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    If Mr. Brown sold the property to a group of people for the sole purpose of it becoming a shooting range then in my opinion he gave up all rights of closing it for noise polution . He knew what he got himself into His wife or girlfriend at the time also . It would be a different story if they built a quarry there that detonated explosives which was not the designed purpose of the sale of the property .
     
  16. Anchorsteam

    Anchorsteam TS Member

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    Hmmmm - if one looked deeper wonder if Walmart might be subtly helping for the recent decision. Is it possible that the club could be bulldozed and the land re-zoned for a mall or housing subdivisions? Might be worth checking as weird as it sounds. Big business has more power than big gov and if you think about it, you can't have one with out the other. Walmart is very crafty and greedy with their expansion goals. Check it out.
     
  17. Anchorsteam

    Anchorsteam TS Member

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    Hmmmm - if one looked deeper wonder if Walmart might be subtly helping for the recent decision. Is it possible that the club could be bulldozed and the land re-zoned for a mall or housing subdivisions? Might be worth checking as weird as it sounds. Big business has more power than big gov and if you think about it, you can't have one with out the other. Walmart is very crafty and greedy with their expansion goals. Check it out.
     
  18. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    Ok, check me & see if I'm reading this right.


    The "injunction" was placed in April 2008.


    In August 2008, 3 more events happened: the Cedar club was dissolved, the Prairie Grove entity began to function, AND a range-protection law went into effect.


    So - the $700,000 being sought by the nosy neighbors only covers the time period between April 2008 (when the injunction was enacted) and August 2008 (when the range protection statute began to cover the new range entity).


    They are suing the PREVIOUS range entity, now defunct, for 700 Grand for what basically amounts to a 5 month span of time? Presumably because they think the former club President (and owner of the land being leased to the new entity) has deep pockets, and they think they can somehow "get to" him for payment? Those are the "avenues" of collection they think they have?


    Am I getting this right?
     
  19. xringjim

    xringjim TS Member

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    I'm with Pat. You can't separate noise from vibration. They should have called in a phyics professor to testify. Since ALL things in existence vibrate the ruling is a joke. This judge went outside of known science. The courts ruling is thus invalid. Jim
     
  20. Frank C

    Frank C Well-Known Member

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    If the A-hole homeowners win, the club should appeal to ALL shooters nationwide for a one DOLLAR check, made out to the homeowners.....imagine signing 700,000 checks?
     
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