Abuse of Power Granite County part 1 and 2
A little background to understand as to what’s happening. The man putting the commission on the spot was in essence punished by these commissioners for questioning the process they used to implement district zoning, affecting his property. Basically not in accordance the wishes of the people per the Growth Policy that they voted for in 2006. As a result they SLAPP‘d him and seized his property. See The View From Montana.org for more info.
What is SLAPP?
A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.
The typical SLAPP plaintiff does not normally expect to win the lawsuit. The plaintiff’s goals are accomplished if the defendant succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs or simple exhaustion and abandons the criticism. A SLAPP may also intimidate others from participating in the debate. A SLAPP is often preceded by a legal threat. The difficulty, of course, is that plaintiffs do not present themselves to the Court admitting that their intent is to censor, intimidate or silence their critics. Hence, the difficulty in drafting SLAPP legislation, and in applying it, is to craft an approach which affords an early termination to invalid abusive suits, without denying a legitimate day in court to valid good faith claims.
The absolute arrogance and belligerence of these public officials is astounding, at one point becoming so out of control that they become threatening to a resident. In Part 2, they admit they have not read and have no knowledge of Agenda 21 ….the basis for the plans they are trying to implement. Also in Part 2, you can hear the chilling effect of the SLAPP lawsuit as another county resident, obviously terrified of the commissioners, pleads for them to hear her without retaliating against her.