Third Street Litigation: Hearing with Judge Proud

May 9, 2014 by

Today was the hearing before Judge Proud between Media Borough, Broomall’s Lake Country Club (BLCC), and Delaware County. The purpose of the hearing was to have a “record for the court” for Judge Proud to make his decision on the Petition for Contempt and Enforcement of Stipulated Order filed by BLCC on September 28, 2012 over Media Borough’s planned one-way roadway design for the dam. Judge Proud stated that he fully expects his decision to be appealed to Commonwealth Court by the losing party, and that today’s testimony would serve as a record for future proceedings.

The hearing was 3.5 hours, with witnesses called to testify primarily on the narrow issue of what the parties intended when they signed the Stipulation Agreement to “reestablish the West Third Street roadway,” and whether there was a delay in design of the project caused by Borough Council. Witnesses included a BLCC president, Borough Council members, and an engineer.

Judge Proud requested written submissions from each party by Friday, June 6. Each party will have until Friday, June 13 to reply to each other’s responses. Then Judge Proud will rule on the Petition for Contempt.

Throughout the hearing and again at the end, Judge Proud stated that his decision on the Petition for Contempt will do nothing to address the underlying substance of the case or to resolve the fundamental lack of agreement between the parties. He said the Stipulation Agreement as written was meant to move the project forward without resolving the “imponderable” questions of ownership of an over-hundred year old dam. Judge Proud wants parties to think about “where we go from here” regardless of his decision on the Petition for Contempt. He requested legal research submissions not just on the Petition for Contempt, but on where to go for a solution of the underlying issues and to move the project forward.

There were more aspects of this complicated legal case covered during the 3.5 hour hearing, including the disrepair of the dam and correspondence from the PA Department of Environmental Protection. There were two reporters present, so we expect more detailed coverage of the hearing.

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