Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Matt/Amy Roloff And Washington County Reach Settlement In Trespassing Lawsuit

The trial was supposed to begin this week in the case between Matt and Amy Roloff vs Washington County over the trespassing incident that was featured in an episode of Little People, Big World in 2010. Matt, Amy and Jacob Roloff were among the people that were going to be called to testify in front of a jury this week.

However, court documents state that the Roloffs and Washington County have reached a settlement on the remaining issues. The trial date was wiped off the court schedule. The court documents announcing that the parties have reached settlement were filed when Amy Roloff, the person who claims she was "shattered" by this incident, was actually in Jamaica.

The Roloffs had originally sued Washington County for multiple constitutional claims -- that the county unfairly targets Roloff Farms, they were seeking an injunction preventing future inspections. All of those were tossed out by the judge. The case was reduced to a simple trespassing charge.

Matt and Amy Roloff were suing for $200,000 in "severe emotional distress" allegedly suffered by Amy Roloff as a result of this incident. Court documents throughout this process have the Roloffs describing their lives as "shattered" since the inspector incident in July 2010. They attribute their "shattered" lives and all the stress they have in life to this one incident.

Matt Roloff insisted throughout this process that the lawsuit was not about money and that they were pursuing legal action for the principle of it.

However, after all of this time, which included the Roloffs unsuccessfully attempting to subpoena the Spiritswander Blog, the Roloffs and Washington County have now reached a settlement.

36 comments:

Rap541 said...

Funny how Matt passed on that day in court....

Podge/Rodge groupie said...

I can't wait to see what the defendants propose as a form of judgement to submit to the court. Then we'll see what the settlement is. I personally hope they get $1.00. No legal fees, nothing else.

Smoke said...

Yeah, if it were truly about "the principle," he would have insisted on a public trial. Washington County settled because it is cheaper than paying the costs of a full trial, so Matt and Amy get a little extra money, which is all they wanted anyway. Blech... I kinda hope after all this that the damn ark DOES fall over (but not that anyone gets hurt as a result).

Kyle said...

What does this mean? That in the end they ARE going to get some money?!?

Rap541 said...

Kyle - they might. We don't have the full decision yet. However, a significant portion of the 200k they were requesting was due to the parts of the case that were decided against them and frankly I don't exactly see Matt crowing...

Mike P. said...

Weird. Are we sure of this?

I queried a reporter about this, and she says that as far as she knows, the case is still set for trial. That was this morning, 5/31/12.

What is the case number?

Podge/Rodge groupie said...

Smoke, the judge decided on a summary judgement based on the County's argument, this the only item left to try was simple trespass. The Roloffs lost all their motions so won't be getting the many thousands of dollars they were asking for

Timothy said...

Mike P, Spirits is right. The reporter you asked must not have bothered to look at the docket recently.

#: 3:10-cv-01487-MO

The most recent thing on there:

5/14/12 #126 Minutes of Proceedings: Status Conference held. The parties have reached a settlement of remaining issues. Order STRIKING the Pretrial Conference set for 5/14/2012 at 2:00pm and the 2-day Jury Trial set for Tuesday, May 29, 2012

krisa said...

The Roloffs are so phony, i can barely stand to read anything about any of them.

Leesa said...

I really do think that guy from the county was a huge jerk and hoped the Roloff's would have won that case. No, they don't need that money but citizens have rights and it made me mad watching it.

Dave said...

Rap541 said...
"Funny how Matt passed on that day in court...."


Can't imagine Matt having any great memories of court....just as well they gave it up.

Timothy said...

Leesa, some of the court documents about the unedited TLC video suggests that Amy was as much or more of a big jerk than the inspector.

To be fair to the inspector, he did have Amy Roloff in temper tantrum mode running after him and a crew sticking camera phones and boom microphones in his face. It wasn't the typical situation. He was trying to exit and remove himself from the situation. I can understand that.

Anonymous said...

The way I see it (imo) the county should be checking Roloff Farm etc out---watched there show & seen the punkin chunker hurt their kid & their worker..that ark looked shakey for the get go. Seems like they dont give a tinkers damn about the people going to their farm & paying them for whatever a punkin..get real roloffs. Wonder who they will take to court next? Ooh the drama in this big world!

Dave said...

I'm betting Matt was the one that finally pulled the plug. With all the humiliation he's had to endure on that show, he didn't need this too. I mean, it may sound chauvinistic, but what husband wants his wife on the stand trying to explain why jumping up in some other man's lap was the way to resolve the situation. I mean, if she didn't want him to leave she could have just settled in the passenger seat or offered him some hamburger pasta, gave him her cell number, smiled in an alluring way....or any number of other things.

Rap541 said...

Can't imagine Matt having any great memories of court....just as well they gave it up

I get you Dave, but Matt was the one who told us he was a *fighter* and this wasn't about the money but about he and Amy standing up for themselves, standing proud, defending their land and their rights!

The judge agreed with the defense that there were no federal violations - ie Matt and Amy's civil rights weren't violated, there's no pattern to treat the Roloffs differently - which the Roloffs claimed, and there was no official order from anyone telling Wheeler to trespass.

So everything that involved Matt *fighting for his rights* was tossed for lack of proof. The county didn't *approve* of Wheeler trespassing, btw. He got written up. He didn't get a pat on the back, and Matt certainly wasn't able to prove that everyone down at the County was plottin' and hatin' on the Roloffs.

Thats why I find it amusing that Matt the fighter, always telling us how he's gonna *fight*... didn't fight to stand up in court and lay it all out for us how he's the much put upon victim of the county.

Rap541 said...

Leesa - I am not picking on you when I ask what I am about to ask. I am geniunely curious.

The court says Matt and Amy didn't prove any of their federal claims of unlawful search and seizure, or that their civil rights were violated by the county etc etc. Matt and Amy were provided ample opportunity to provide evidence to prove those claims and frankly, in the court documents, its very very obvious that they had no case on their claimss of constant multiple abuses. They both describe Wheeler as professional in previous interactions and both admit Wheeler never said anything rude and that they never ever had a problem with Wheeler trespassing before this incident. (this is all in publically accessible court documents)

So here are my questions to you, Leesa. Wheeler's side of the story is that, right or wrong, he thought Matt had given him permission on previous occasions to just check things out when needed, and when Amy started yelling, with the camera crew in tow, he got flustered and overwhelmed.

Is that really so implausible? Really?

Based on the court documents, Wheeler caused no physical damage and left as soon as Amy told him to leave. How much do you think Amy is due?

We know, from online comments (and frankly from previous tidbits dropped by Roloff friends, and from the show itself) that the Roloff kids have on occasion "hopped fences" and walked past no trespassing signs and like WHeeler, commited no physical damage to property. How much should Roloffs pay to the people they violated?

Thecoolguy said...

What most people are thinking is in fact true. The county settled to avoid the high costs of a trial and this happens in federal court a lot. My dad is an attorney and sometimes this makes the most sense, they might have settled for 50k, maybe more, who knows.

Brandon said...

TheCoolGuy, I don't think so. If they county were going to settle for any significant amount, they would have done it in the beginning.

This case has been going since December 2010.

They've reached a settlement right before the trial and after the judge threw out all the major parts of this case.

All that was left is a basic trespassing charge.

Seriously, how much do you think the victim Jeremy and Audrey's trespassing that they talk about would get? $50,000? That's what was left of this case. A simple trespass.

I think the Roloffs and their lawyers could see the writing on the wall and didn't want the humiliation of losing in court and probably took Spirit's advice and didn't want the fact that Jacob's testifying in court would be used against them could attract attention that they don't want.

Rap541 said...

Yeah, TheCoolGuy - at this point, the cost for the trial has already pretty much been spent as far as the county is concerned. They've had a lawyer tied up for close to two years, and wasted a judge's time for close to two years.

By waste of time, to give you an example, the issue of subpeoning Spirit involved the judge having to do multiple go arounds with Spirit and both sets of lawyers, and it took three months from start to finish.... and Matt lost that particular fight. I assure you, get yourself a PACER id (thats free) and go look at the case (thats not free, but not expensive at all) and you'll see that the county actually rather vehemently fought Matt's claims of federal offenses - and won.

I have a lawyer friend too, and she told me something very interesting when I advised her of how this case shut down two weeks before the trial- the order came down on the 14th, SPirit and I were hoping the official judgement would have been filed by the 29th but the defense's lawyer has until June 14th -

Yeah, they had a pretrial conference and reached some sort of agreement. Quite often, once the issues are narrowed down to the real case (in this situation trespass) the judge will tell the lawyers to go sit down with their clients in the jury room and let the bailiff know when the reach an agreement. Then they come in and announce the agreement on the record. Since the defense attorney is writing the final judgement you should presume the agreement mostly went their way -- protocol is the winner writes the judgment. Generally, the judgment will say who won on which issues, state that a settlement was reached, and either attach a copy of the agreement or recite a few of the specifics into the record. Sometimes the judge will let the parties sooth hurt feelings by not stating the specifics, just that there was a settlement.

We know the county won the vast majority of the case since everything but simple trespass was dismissed.

But - Matt aaid it was NEVER about the money so why would he settle? I mean, let me be honest, I *know* why he settled, and its because it WAS about the money, and it WAS about Matt declaring himself a much put upon victim again.

Stop and consider, fans of Matt. Matt was crowing like cock of the walk how he was a man, standing up for himself when he filed this suit. It was all about his rights and his standing up!

Why haven't we heard a peep out of Matt on this? The case settled and he *had* to have agreed to the settlement so why isn't he proudly telling everyone THAT?

Thecoolguy said...

I agree with you guys, maybe they didn't win anything, sometimes they can have confidential agreements and they won't state them in records. But what about Jeremy and Audrey and trespassing, I didn't catch that. My dad has that login, I think it costs 10 cents a page.

vapor said...

Dont forget the cost of hauling in people for subpoenas. Friends of the Roloff's indicated they brought in several county employees and some neighbors. They tried to put the county, employees of the county and neighbors on notice that they will not tolerate complaints. Seems like it failed.

Brandon said...

TheCoolGuy, the Jeremy and Audrey (his girlfriend in Oregon) thing? They had a conversation on their public twitters.

Jeremy posted a picture of a No Trespassing sign with the comment (sarcastic obviously) that it was his favorite sign. Audrey commented stuff like No trespassing signs means nothing. Jeremy said 'Hoppin' fences"

It was quite blatantly obvious that Jeremy and Audrey don't take No trespassing signs seriously and often trespass themselves.

BeckyM said...

Glad that Jacob won't have to testify.

I wonder if Matt isn't trying to clean up his image? This and now the "happily married anniversary show"? I guess the "marriage falling apart" and "Amy doing alap dance on a public servant" isn't pulling in the diversity speaking gigs and tv time.

Peanut Butter Cups said...

I think the risk to both sides is that I've heard the loser has to pay all the winner's legal fees in federal court. If they settle, they each are responsible for their own. Again, that's what I have heard is usually the case.

imonlyhuman said...

To all you people with the negative comments. You hope his ark falls over...really ? I just don't get it !
I've met the whole Family, they are nice people and they are real just like you and me. If you can't say anything nice......

Rap541 said...

Imonlyhuman, does "if you can't say anything nice, don't say it at all" apply to the Roloffs too? How about their charity volunteers and friends? Matt calls people cheap bastard douchebags in his facebook... I trust you have an issue with that? How about Amy going on about Weiner Whiner? Bless them, they're dwarfs hurling hate! EVeryone else, shut up and take it or else! Amy and Matt and their kids and anyone closely associated with the Roloffs have the Jesus blessed right to judge and name call cause they be ROLOFFS and a Roloff calling you a nasty name like douchebag is you recieving a gentle blessing!

Yeah, the Roloffs are real but say anything other than "The Roloffs are nice people" and you are a hater who hates and who uses drugs and is depressed and jealous and the Roloffs have the RIGHT to say so.

Of course they don't have the courage to say so, thats why volunteers from Amy Roloff Charity Foundation have proudly stood up to tell all the haters that questioning a Roloff means you're a jealous depressed drug user who will never give to charity on a level that Amy and Matt will respect. Its not that you give, its HOW MUCH that matters and people who don't give as much as a Roloff are BELOW the Roloffs.

Would another anonymoys volunteer from ARCF like to dispute that?

General Contractor said...

Wheeler is the same inspector who required Matt to conform to the standards regarding the height of the railings for the deck back in season 2. In that episode, Matt and Amy were upset that the regulations would create an obstructed view on their deck because of their dwarfism. The county capitulated, Matt got his way and the deck railings, as a result, are unsafe for averaged height people. That was not discrimination as Matt alleged. But it was, however, part of his argument that the county treats him and Roloff Farms unfairly.

Matt Roloff wants people to believe he is a victim. I just don't see it.

Anonymous said...

There is to much government . Matt has the right to. protect his way of life. Everyone should be upset James ........

Anonymous said...

There is to much government . Matt has the right to. protect his way of life. Everyone should be upset James ........

Rap541 said...

Matt settled out of court instead of standing up and fighting in a trial. Matt also failed to prove any of his constitutional claims. He also hasn't had a word to say about the "victory" settlement he achieved.

I'm not surprised. When a Roloff loses, they shut up, and never ever mention it again. The silence is deafening... but hardly surprising considering Matt's character.

BeckyM said...

Lots of newbies flying to the defense of the Roloffs with the only trick they can pull out of the bag:

Don't say anything mean, you don't have the right - don't know them - they are nice people, change the channel, etc...etc...

ROFLMAO!! To the Roloffs - don't want to be discussed than stop the Reality Ho Fame act.

Don't want to be discussed? Stop with frivioulous lawsuits. Stop trying to have an on-air show, Amy. Stop filming specials, Matt. Stop opening your farm to visitors who fall off porches and want compensation for an injury that happened on YOUR BUSINESS PROPERTY.

Don't want inspectors on your property? Then stop building crappy shit that doesnt adhere to code and that is simply dangerous (see lawsuit data on woman suing the Roloffs due to injury).

When the Roloffs go AWAY...this website will fade away just like the Khate Gosselin websites that have moved their energy to other interests. Until then, yeah I'll keep my eye on the hypocritical Roloffs with their documented animal abuse, racist and homophobic name calling, and continual abuse of fans who provide themy any low level noteriety.

Don't like this blog or the comments? Then why don't you click to another website? Just as easy to do as me changing the channel (and I think by the low ratings we already know that MANY changed the channel on the Roloffs).

mel said...

Sounds like everyone is a little to judgmental. If it doesn't directly affect you, ghen you should worry about more important things. Like whats going on in your own home. Its a money making tv show like all the rest so why act so surprised

Tax Payer said...

Roloff's Screwing over the community that keeps there bgusiness alive! I hope they are boycotted ofrever by this community. Our schols and police need this valuable money not that greedy evil little women!

Heidi Johnson said...

its funny for most of you not liking the roloffs yall sure know allot about them what a bunch of hypocrites.

Rap541 said...

Yes, because if you don't like something, you should be ignorant of it :)

Right Heidi? Don't like taxes? Refuse to learn a thing about them! Don't like dogs? Don't know ANYTHING about them. Don't like a reality show? Of course stay completely ignorant - people take your opinions so much more seriously when your calling cry is "I don't like it so I know nothing about it, and I'm right to know nothing but also express how I dislike the thing I know nothing about!"

Oh wait... I kinda strongly suspect that if someone did a "I don't like little people and I refuse to know anything about them but don't you dare disrespect my opinion of how bad they are", there'd be some outcry, now wouldn't there?

Meanwhile I am still wondering why I am supposed to be jealous of Matt "I made poor business decisions and COULD LOSE THE FARM" Roloff who is currently on tv on a weekly basis telling us how he's on the edge of poverty.

I'm not on that edge in the slightest but Matt consistently says he is close to losing his farm... is he lying? Am I supposed to be jealous of a man who lies about his financial status to get pity and more money? I make my money by working, not by crying about what a bad business man I am on tv for money. I've never had to sadface on camera how I made a bad decision and could lose my home as a result. Not jealous of how Matt earns his money by humilating himself at all.

mjsims1996 said...

If you do not like the Roloffs then dont watch the show! Seems all of you who dislike them so much are he ones who know so much about them! Really?