For the 24th consecutive year, Wake Forest Law is a place for oral arguments to the Vermont Court of Appeals. On Tuesday, Oct. 4, oral arguments are set to start at 3 pm at the Worrell Professional Center, Room 1312. The courtroom session is available to the general public.
They’re scheduled to hear oral arguments for 2 cases: “State v. Bass” and”Hildebran Heritage & Development Association v. Town of Hildebran.”
Hildebran Heritage & Dev. Ass’n v. Town of Hildebran
Ass’n v. the City of Hildebran” involves state open meetings law, which generally requires that public figures meet and conduct public business openly. In early August, Engstrom Law PLLC filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs, who assert that the City of Hildebran illegally voted to demolish a historical school in breach of the open meetings law.
The case concerns old Hildebran School, which functioned as a public school for years. On Sept. 22, 2014, the Hildrebran Town Council discussed the option of demolishing the construction. On Oct. 27, 2014, the town Council entered into a closed session also discussed remodeling or ruining the construction. Next, ahead of the Town Council meeting on Jan. 26, 2015, a council member approached other council members separately to talk about amending the schedule to include a vote to destroy the construction. Adhering to discussions but ahead of the meeting, people notice regarding the meeting at the Town Council’s Chambers (which chairs 49) was submitted with an agenda. The note didn’t mention a vote to demolish the construction. After the interview began, the Town Council approved a motion to create these changes to the meeting schedule:
- to switch the item from school building “discussion” to building “discussion/vote”;
- to add the discussion of the demolition quotes.
As a result of a large public turnout, people asked that the meeting has been transferred into the Town’s Auditorium (which chairs 500) to adapt the audience. The Council declined, explaining that it had been prevented from doing this for legal reasons. The Town Council then voted to destroy the school.
HHDA filed a suit against the Town Council for violating the Open Meetings Act and that the consequent demolition contract was void as a question of law. The trial court reasoned that the Town violated the Open Meetings Law on Oct. 27, 2014, but led a verdict in favor of the Defendants concerning any or all other allegations. The trial court declined to nullify the town’s vote to demolish the institution and grant the demolition agency. On appeal, HHDA asserts the trial court erred the following: (1) by a failure to find out that the town violated the Open Meetings Act; (2) by a failure to find out the town hadn’t given adequate public access into this Jan. 26, 2015 meeting; (3) by neglecting to nullify town’s vote to demolish the faculty construction and also award the demolition arrangement; also (4) by choosing the Defendants as a predominant party and a failure to award HHDA lawyers’ fees to the breach of this Open Meeting Act.
“State v. Bass”
The case is a criminal appeal of a defendant’s conviction for assault with a deadly weapon.”
Justin Bass was prosecuted after he shot Jerome Fogg. Over a couple of weeks ahead of the shooting, Fogg had beaten Bass, breaking his jaw in two places, which necessitated four screws and enabled Bass to eat just liquid foods. Bass then got a handgun. Later, when Fogg approached Bass at the apartment complex where Bass dwelt, Bass shot Fogg, seriously injuring him. On appeal, Bass attempts a new trial, and it has raised three problems. To begin with, Bass asserts that the trial court erred in denying Bass’s petition to instruct the jury that Bass had “no duty to retreat” at the area where he had a legal right to be, according to the “stand your ground” form of law. The matter is perhaps the “no duty to retreat” statute applies in the conditions of the situation. Second, Bass asserts that the trial court erred in not allowing witnesses to testify about additional special actions of violence Fogg had perpetrated. Finally, Bass asserts the trial court erred in denying his motion to continue trial after the State advised defense counsel that Fogg was engaged in five additional assaults with thirteen witnesses along with four police officials. The refusal of the continuance interfered with Bass’s right to provide a defense, he claims.