A Montgomery County judge today found the tree-sitters protesting the Mountain Valley Pipeline in contempt of court, and he ordered fines of $500 a day for each day they remain in the trees. The tree-sitters had been ordered to come down by last Monday. Montgomery County Sheriff Hank Partin says his department will “continue to plan and coordinate – so the situation can be resolved quickly and in a safe manner for all parties involved”. He did not indicate enforcement was imminent, but he did say he will ensure the court order is enforced in what he called “due time”.
SHERIFF’S STATEMENT: “Last week the Montgomery County Circuit Court issued a temporary injunction ordering three persons to vacate trees located on Yellow Finch Lane, by Monday. Some of the individuals who were not in the trees chose to do the right thing and leave. Today, Circuit Court Judge Turk found the tree-sitters in contempt of court and are being fined $500 a day for each day they remain in the trees.We have been and continue to plan and coordinate, to ensure we have all the necessary resources available, so the situation can be resolved quickly and in a safe manner for all parties involved. It was our hope the tree-sitters would choose to leave on their own to avoid unnecessary confrontations. However, we will ensure the court order is enforced in due time.”