Monday, December 7, 2009

Judge for a Day


A man in Superior, Wisconsin was arrested last week for trespassing on his own property.

Jeremy Engelking and his father Jerry have had a long-running disagreement with an energy company who is trying to lay new pipeline across their land. The Engelkings deemed that Enbridge Energy's $15,000 check was inadequate compensation for the limitations that resulted from broadening the scope of the existing easement across their property.

Local judge George Glonek disagreed, and gave Enbridge the green light to proceed over the Engelking's objections. When work resumed last Wednesday, Jeremy happened upon the work site and told the Enbridge crew to pack up shop. The workers consented and made to leave, but at that point Engelking was greeted by taser-wielding Sgt. Robert Smith. Engelking was cuffed and arrested, had his car impounded, and received a lecture from the sergeant for interfering with Enbridge's business.

If I'm the judge who hears this matter, I:
(1) Apologize on behalf of the county to Jerry Engelking.
(2) Direct Sgt. Smith to apologize to Engelking.
(3) Order the police department to compensate Engelking for the $300 he spent to post bail and reclaim his impounded car.
(4) Lecture Enbridge Energy about its arrogance in beginning work on a man's private property before it had settled matters with him.
(5) Advise the Engelkings to get a good attorney because Enbridge will be back to explore its legal alternatives for expanding its pipeline across their land.


Unknown said...

what happend with this?

Sean said...

The trespassing charge against the property owner was initially dropped, and then the disorderly conduct charge was dropped as well.

Enbridge subsequently completed installation of its pipe across the Engelkings’ property.

The utility company later made noises of hitting the property owner with attorney's fees, while the owner suggested he was considering a civil suit. What came of all that I haven't heard.

Anonymous said...

Wis Court Of Appeals decision has been filed and is on the web.