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Advocacy Help/ Wording Example From A Court

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Advocacy Help/ Wording Example From A Court

Unread postby jjbaker » Fri May 22, 2015 5:30 am

Hello Folks -

In a recent ruling of a Colorado court in favor of a Skydiving operation, accused of causing unreasonable noise, very valuable wording was used to turn down plaintiffs claims. While the bench ruling is linked below for those who write letters in ongoing advocacy cases, the statements of the court can be considered refreshing, according to today's standards.

Re: Hampton Airfield and several other cases currently ongoing;

I would kindly suggest to forward a link to this topic to the attorneys tasked with representing defendants.
I would further kindly suggest to share the wording with association heads as well, in an effort to provide information on useful rulings, as well as ammunition for advocacy letters formulated in defense of general aviation interests.

Excerpts from the court ruling, which can be found here: https://www.courts.state.co.us/userfile ... 0Trial.pdf

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It is important to point out that citizens moving to areas within close proximity to airports need to be aware and can be expected to deal with associated, increased noise levels. Neither certain types of aircraft nor certain kinds of operations can be arbitrarily limited nor can existing regulations be overruled by local zealots.

Considering that normal people at least attempt to think logically, it should then be assumed that noise complaints and claims stemming from "annoyed" citizens do not necessarily always hold water in a court of law.



Regards,
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Re: Advocacy Help/ Precedent From A Court

Unread postby RKittine » Fri May 22, 2015 8:58 am

Thank you Jason for sending this to me directly also. It went to the attorney that is representing us, this morning.

Will let you and all know how this turns out. We have a three week reprieve so far.

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Re: Advocacy Help/ Precedent From A Court

Unread postby CFII » Sun May 24, 2015 12:26 am

Check out FLYING MAGAZINES report of Judge Armstrong's ruling against a town's legal action against an airport in NJ. Airport owners won and town has to pay familiy's legal bill in the millions over 15 years. Judge's statement is worth forwarding to any aviation attorney in such battles.
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Re: Advocacy Help/ *Wording Examples* From A Court

Unread postby jjbaker » Sun May 24, 2015 2:53 am

Solberg Airport Flying Mag Article

Excerpt:

N.J. Superior Court Judge Paul Armstrong issued a 54-page ruling in which he blasted the town's eminent domain land grab, a case that has dragged on for nearly 15 years, saying it amounted to a "manifest abuse of power" and a waste of local taxpayers' dollars. He ordered the town to pay the Solberg family's legal bills, which are expected to tally into the millions of dollars.

But he didn't stop there. Armstrong set a new precedent by elevating GA airports to a special category, one they richly deserve. The judge had this to say:

"Not only is general aviation important to the national infrastructure, but it serves a critical role as the cradle of aviation. The security and economic vitality of the United States depends on this laboratory of flight where future civilian and military pilots are born.

"Airports such as Solberg blossomed in an era when local young men turned their dreams of barnstorming into air dominance in World War II and led this country into its golden age. These dreams still live in our youth, and general aviation endures as the proving ground for future pilots from all walks of life.


SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY - DOCKET# HNT-L-468-06 - Opinon

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Re: Advocacy Help/ Wording Example From A Court

Unread postby RKittine » Sun May 24, 2015 9:36 am

The first new Aircraft I ever bought, N98772, a 1986 (Last year before they initially discotiued, but built in 1985 and painted in 1996 colors) is at Solberg. I visit it from time to time to say hello to the old girl. Used as an instrument trainer, there is a lot of hours on it these days.

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Re: Advocacy Help/ Wording Example From A Court

Unread postby CFII » Sun May 24, 2015 6:54 pm

There is a lot of precedent value in the Solberg Airport victory for future cases now pending for attorneys aggressive enough to use it.
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Re: Advocacy Help/ Wording Example From A Court

Unread postby RKittine » Sun May 24, 2015 7:05 pm

One big difference though is that the owners are the Solberg family trying to overcome adversity. In the case of East Hampton Airport it is the owners, East Hampton Township that is putting the restrictions on what they own, even thoug they have receicved FAA grants.

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Re: Advocacy Help/ Wording Example From A Court

Unread postby jjbaker » Mon May 25, 2015 6:03 am

Maybe East Hampton would, by definition of law (IIUTC), not be authorized to restrict or otherwise limit the use and operation of federally certificated and registered aircraft operating in federally regulated airspace. At the very least I would expect attorneys worth their money to be capable to derive some useful information from the rulings found here. As long as any funds for the airport are received from the FAA, the town may not be able to interfere or limit operations. That's why I wanted to submit the ruling/ opinion to the attorneys, who are more adept to reading this mumbo jumbo. As you can see, most of our fellow aviators can't be bothered, there's all but a handful of people willing to follow such topics and pursue them aggressively. What the NIMBY's present in behavior, our fellow aviators display by constantly showing what they consider "not their coverage" either by geographical or emotional distance. Both behaviors are extremely damaging to the overall well-being and future of general aviation.

Meanwhile the Citizens for Quiet Skies "Organization" are reconfiguring their sad group for the next step in this witch-hunt. The show ain't over.
There is some hope to get them shut down as a political propaganda conglomerate, pending review if they are in fact registered as a non profit.

Reading some of "NIMBY Queen" Kimberly Gibbs statements shows how much propaganda and intentional misinformation can be spread.

There's evidence that more than 70% of noise complaints were filed by just a handful of very dedicated individuals, thereby defrauding the system in nasty ways. I suspect the same is the case in the super rich East Hampton case. A bunch of people who are offended by default, but take no offense to lawn mowers, screaming offspring, motorcycles, boats or anything, except for the things they cannot comprehend and do not like. Aviation sadly seems to be one of those targets. It is proven beyond doubt that such deep rooted hatred against certain groups in society lead to a complete loss of reality for affected people.

I'd submit that Mrs. Gibbs may well be suffering from or has developed a mental illness through her bitter fight against this certain group of people she refuses to acknowledge as part of the society she CHOOSES to live in. Many of those wishing to see East Hampton or any other airport gone may have that same psychological problem. Hatred and intolerance does this to people.

One statement shows what the future holds for our trouble ridden advocacy groups - those representing the few rich and privileged:

Eve Adams On Facebook wrote:Aviation triumps over residents nationwide---for now. Time to take back the skies, end the pollution, protect our homes and well being of our children and environment. Time for a national coalition --- we are many strong across the country, let's join together just as groups are doing in several states. Together we will far outnumber them---- by tens of thousands of npoise impacted sufferers. Enough already.


The writing on that wall is a painful reminder to an effort started by yours truly, suggesting to start a Aviation Advocacy Alliance amongst publishers, aviation media and forums. Clearly, associations with their largely dwindling membership numbers ain't cutting the cheese and neither is lobbying and bribing politicians with votes working all too well in Wasington D.C.

The local zealots and mini dictators are coming crawling out of the muck and I am afraid that they are organizing much faster than our small group will ever be able to. We could use boots on the ground (instead of slurping oysters) together with a more effective use of our legal system which at this point (still) has some leverage.
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Re: Advocacy Help/ Wording Example From A Court

Unread postby RKittine » Mon May 25, 2015 9:04 am

Actually Jason, the Township is not trying at all to regulate licensed aircraft operating in government airspace, BUT by restricting the use of the airport to aircraft that would have no reason to be in the surrounding airspace if they can not get into our out of East Hampton Airport, they are eliminating what they feel is the need to shut down the airport completely. With the value of land in that area - $500,000 and up an acre, around the airport, where the land has to be discounted to sell, builders like Ferrel and Ferrel are ready to walk in, pay a million per acre and put up $7 and $8 million dollar houses that will sell in a heat beat if the airport is not there.

Another interesting thing is that the FAA approved the setup and operation of a civilan tower funded by the East Hampton Township. From the gournd to 2,500 AGL and within a 5 mile radius, the civilian controller, has some control over trafficin the area. Though no absolute control, they can refuse to acknowledge communications and then the aircraft can not legally enter the airspace.

So far the celebrety jet owners have not taken a stance that I would have expected. They can go into Westhampton / Gabresky, which is government owned and houses a major air national guard base, but then they (even in their limos) need to sit in the traffic like the rest of us poor people. This is a real mess with non-flying people, not even close to the airport are in favor of it closing.

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Re: Advocacy Help/ Wording Example From A Court

Unread postby jjbaker » Thu May 28, 2015 5:41 pm

Looks like the courts are getting mightily tired of the "NIMBY Turds":

EWING — A federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit filed against the Federal Aviation Administration arguing that flyovers from the Trenton-Mercer Airport have negatively impacted the lives of residents in three Pennsylvania towns.

In his one-page order, U.S. Judge Peter Sheridan ruled the court did not have the jurisdiction to hear the case filed by Bucks Residents for Responsible Airport Management (BRRAM), setting back the Lower Makefield, Upper Makefield and Yardley residents' quest to have the FAA review the impact of rapid flight expansion at the airport.

"It's a major disappointment but it doesn't necessarily mean that the game is over, that the contest is done," said BRRAM attorney William Potter. "We have the right to appeal and I'll discuss all options with my clients."

BRRAM now has 60 days to file an appeal with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

BRRAM filed suit in April 2014 in the midst of rapid expansion by Frontier Airlines at the Trenton-Mercer Airport, arguing that flyovers negatively impacted their livelihood with unwanted noise.

In the suit, Potter argued the FAA should have conducted a review and prepared an environmental impact statement considering the effect expanded use of the airport would have on neighboring residents.

The original complaint named the Mercer County freeholder board and Frontier Airlines as defendants, but Sheridan in March approved a motion to dismiss the case against them.

"We always felt that we had done nothing wrong and, as we made improvements at the airport, we went by the book," Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes said on Tuesday. "Along with the airline and the FAA, we followed all the guidelines.

"Hopefully this will put the genie back into the bottle," he said.

At a May 6 hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Andrew Ruymann argued that the FAA was not required to conduct additional environmental impact studies after granting approval for Frontier Airlines to begin servicing Trenton-Mercer Airport.

The FAA's approval also allowed the airline to add as many flights as it wanted, Ruymann said.

"(Frontier Airlines) requested to add Trenton as a carrier on its operation specifications," Ruymann said. "The FAA approved that request and, per the Airline Deregulation Act, Frontier was then permitted — using their best business judgment — to increase the flights. And they've done that."

At the hearing, Ruymann argued that BRRAM's challenge of the FAA approval came well beyond the 60-day deadline and that federal law maintains it should be heard in Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

"Frontier Airlines has taken that very limited approval from the FAA and expanded it into approximately 60 flights per week over my clients' homes, schools, businesses and recreational areas," Potter said at the hearing.

Both Mercer County and Ewing officials have rallied around the recent turnaround at the airport, with freeholders recently approving contracts to sell advertising at the airport and create a "branding strategy."

The airport was briefly closed in 2013 for runway and parking lot improvements. In February, Hughes said the county was committed to replacing the airport's 48-year-old terminal.

"I want to ensure that our airport is prepared to take advantage of future opportunities and the economic impact that could result," Hughes said during his annual state of the county address. "The return on investment for our region will be huge."


Source: NJ.com
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Re: Advocacy Help/ Wording Example From A Court

Unread postby jjbaker » Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:11 am

jjbaker wrote:Hello Folks -

In a recent ruling of a Colorado court in favor of a Skydiving operation, accused of causing unreasonable noise, very valuable wording was used to turn down plaintiffs claims. While the bench ruling is linked below for those who write letters in ongoing advocacy cases, the statements of the court can be considered refreshing, according to today's standards.



Not to be forgotten anytime soon.

Although Boulder District Court Judge Judith LaBuda wished for both sides to move on, local organization Citizens for Quiet Skies has filed an appeal of its lost lawsuit against Mile-Hi Skydiving. Citizens for Quiet Skies, Gunbarrel resident Kimberly Gibbs and the five other original individual plaintiffs filed requests to the Colorado Court of Appeals on Thursday to review the case that was closed in May.

The plaintiffs sued Mile-Hi Skydiving and its owner, Frank Casares, claiming that Casares was being negligent and a nuisance by flying what they said were unusually loud planes too frequently over homes in southwest Longmont and unincorporated Boulder County. LaBuda ruled unilaterally in favor of Mile-Hi, concluding in her judgment that the Federal Aviation Administration rules regarding noise supersede local regulations.

LaBuda also concluded that Gibbs "is more sensitive to the noise produced by Mile-Hi's operations than the average community member who resides in the (Mile-Hi) flight box." LaBuda also wrote in her judgment that while people may find the sounds of motorcycles, trucks, lawn mowers or children's yells irritating, irritating a small group of people is not the same as being annoying enough to register with "a normal person in the community."

LaBuda expressed her hope that both sides and the community at large would move on after the lawsuit, which included a week-long trial and a site visit to two plaintiff homes while Mile-Hi pilots flew overhead. But Gibbs said she found the comments about the children yelling and lawnmowers "insulting" and feels that LaBuda "misapplied the law." "From the beginning I had a pretty strong commitment to see this through to the end," Gibbs said.

LaBuda's order requiring the plaintiffs to pay Mile-Hi $67,000 in damages out of a requested $85,000 was another reason Gibbs wanted to appeal the decision.
"It really ups the ante for me, because we feel it's a punitive statement and a punitive award ... so for me personally, that's going to fall on my shoulders and that was definitely a strong factor in my decision-making process." Casares said in a statement shared via his spokesman, Russ Rizzo: "We are confident in our legal position. Our focus remains on running a successful business that contributes to the local economy while continuing our commitment to being a good neighbor."


:lol:
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Re: Advocacy Help/ Wording Example From A Court

Unread postby RKittine » Fri Jul 17, 2015 5:33 am

The first fines have been levied.

Will be interesting to see the results.

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Re: Advocacy Help/ Wording Example From A Court

Unread postby jjbaker » Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:33 am

Priceless: $47K awarded in attorney fees to Sky Hi...

272970027-Mile-Hi-attorneys-fees-award.pdf
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Re: Advocacy Help/ Wording Example From A Court

Unread postby TriPacer » Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:23 pm

That's fantastic! Hopefully it serves as future justification - maybe the NIMBYs will think twice...
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Re: Advocacy Help/ Wording Example From A Court

Unread postby RKittine » Tue Aug 04, 2015 4:59 pm

On the 8th of August the East Hampton Town Board, will vote on q new landing fee structure that will be based on Weight and a surcharge for those aircraft defined as noisy by the FAA definition. One major change is that there is no language about aircraft based at HTO year round. Not sure how that will shake out, but aircraft under 2,600 (they also did not specify empty weight or Maximum Gross Weight, will be exempt for landing fees.

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