Folks:    I have been involved in  lawsuit whereby the town took three members of one family off the checklist, and after two hearings in Superior Court the court ordered them back on the checklist (one actually had filed an application but it somehow got “lost” so he was never on the checklist).  The court ordered the mother to be placed on the checklist at the first hearing;  she had lived in the town for well over ten years, her husband was still on the checklist, and she had never separated or been divorced from him.  This is her home.  The other two people are my client’s sons from  previous marriages who always lived with their mother.  One is active duty military and the other is a full time college student.   Between the first and second hearing,  we provided proof by driver’s license for the student and military ID  for the Airman—at the town’s request,  but the town would not place these boys on the checklist, so we had to have a second hearing.  Between the first and second hearing, the town clerk put two young adult men on the checklist from Connecticut (their parents are already on the checklist and they also live in Connecticut—a next door neighbor had testified at the second hearing that the Connecticut parents had not stayed overnight at their vacation home since Nov 2014, and their sons had not been at the house for sometime before then ).  The town clerk testified under oath at the second hearing that she accepted the Connecticut applications “online”, and she did not require a driver’s license, as she had with my client.  She agreed that that Connecticut family she now has on the checklist have Connecticut plates on their car.  She also put back on the checklist a third person who had moved out of town who had been taken off the checklist in September because of the move.  The town clerk testified under oath that that person had not moved back to town “yet”, and she agreed that that person was renting out her house to someone else.  This is scandalous,  but there appears to be no statutory remedy—and I have talked to various people from SOS and the attorney generals office, but nothing has been done, and everyone from the state says nothing can be done.   This goes to the heart of the integrity of our democratic system of government. .  My clients had to spend thousands in attorneys fees to get back on the checklist, but the town clerk can just put anyone on the checklist she wants to, and there is essentially nothing that can be done.  I would have expected a more robust response from the state.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deborah T. Bucknam, Esq.

Bucknam &  Black

1097 Main Street, PO Box 310

St. Johnsbury, VT  05819

(802) 748-5525 ext 101

(802) 748-4888 fax

www.vtlegalhelp.com

 

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