Kaleta opposes objections in land access case
SUNBURY - A Shamokin man is refuting objections filed by attorneys for Northumberland County and commissioners Vinny Clausi and Stephen Bridy in federal court over a recent decision to allow his lawsuit to proceed.
Attorneys Kymberly L. Best and Timothy A. Bowers filed a brief of opposition in U.S. Middle District Court Thursday on behalf of their client, outdoor enthusiast David Kaleta, against the objection filed by the law firm of Lavery, Faherty and Patterson, of Harrisburg, on behalf of the county, Clausi and Bridy, earlier this month.
The objection followed a June 18 report by U.S. Magistrate Judge Martin Carlson which recommended that two of Kaleta's claims - that the county violated the Sunshine Act by banning him from the AOAA grounds and that his First Amendment rights were violated by the commissioners' decisions - should be brought to trial.
Kaleta's brief of opposition concurs with the statements made by Carlson while pointing out that no "error of law" occurred when Carlson made his decision.
"We agree with the federal district magistrate's decision," said Best, speaking on behalf of Kaleta. "We feel confidently that the federal judge will concur."
The 12-page objection filed by county's attorneys says one of Kaleta's claims should be dismissed because a report concerning a Sept. 10, 2012, letter from county planning director Pat Mack and signed by Bridy and Clausi rejecting Kaleta's request to use the land for hunting and walking his dog was erroneous.
The other claim, says the objection, should be dismissed because it is also without merit.
Clausi, when contacted by phone Thursday, said "We never violated his civil rights."