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11 May 2012 at 5:53 p.m.
Wow, people remember what happens in the Kiwanis play (I'm impressed, really). Mr. Pilgrim probably would be better off having a change of venue for this trial but I hope it stays close as I really want to see how this case plays out in court. I don't remember any similar cases in the recent past and wonder what possible defense could help the defendant. Seems pretty cut and dried to me. But maybe Im missing something. Maybe our past Coloradans had reasons for hanging their neighbors caught in similar circumstances. Just sayin….
15 May 2012 at 9:29 a.m.
Hmmm, something isn't right about this story. Sent a letter to editor on Saturday in response to this story, and still waiting for it to see light of day.
Am totally for people getting justice, and can appreciate the anger of the neighbors at first blush of this alleged crime. Am sure that everyone (including Monty) wants these people to be compensated, if anything is legitimately owed.
What I do not get, is why the neighbors did not first go talk to Monty about it? The first that he heard about it, according to the story in the paper, was when a Sheriff's deputy arrived.
Coming from a ranching family, and living these days surrounded by ranchers, I know all about “fence crawlers.” Cattle will cross back and forth through fences at low spots or where the fence is loose, etc. Cattle likely went both ways across these property lines, and an imperfect system developed over the years.
It seems that this was likely a tacit status quo situation that developed over years…where there was a small amount of mingling, and people just presumed it would all balance out over time.
Or maybe it goes deeper than that? Maybe there were deep-seated long-term issues or hostility between some of the neighbors, so that they would rather let some mingling occur than have to talk with the neighbors? I dunno? It's just really odd to me that the neighbors did not first discuss it with Monty, if everything was being done in good faith. This all seemingly happened at once, like a trap slamming shut. Just sayin'.
And this alleged $68K that gov types came up with. Am confident that Monty would be (and would have been) happy to pay any valid and verified debt. Weren't his first words to the deputy something like, “We need to sort this out right now.”
But instead, this will drag out for another couple years and maybe turn into millions of dollars before all is said and done. You know, legal fees, restitution including for emotional suffering, etc., punitive damages, blah blah blah. Lawyers get paid, whether they win or lose.
As I understand it, if any punitives are assessed, those do not go to the plaintiffs…they go to the government. So, the gov can potentially make some serious money off of this, and it is a lot easier than prosecuting a big corporation.
The other odd thing about the plaintiffs, is why do they really want to pursue this? Besides not contacting Monty, why won't they just take compensation for any verified loss (presumably adjusted for any cattle of Monty's that may have landed on their land)?
You know, what value is there in a dragged-out 2-3 year stressful case, with every aspect of their operations likely also being examined and made public. It tears at the fabric of their little rural community. Are they hoping for a windfall, where any money they are actually owed grows by perhaps 10x? Is it all payback for some anger that has been simmering for years? That all does not seem right. It just does not seem that the plaintiffs are being _forced_ to pursue legal action as the only way to resolve this.
Can say I have faith in my rural neighbors to have good fences, and to engage in honest good-faith communication…to exhaust all avenues for resolving a dispute…before it goes to court. For one thing, everyone is too busy for a drawn-out drama. In a case like this, if everyone is honest, it likely is a lot more mundane and understandable than how it has been hyped.
Why not just calculate any verifiable debt, have that paid, and move on? Get back to the business of ranching and healing the community. Do not give the government training in how to take ranches, and do not let your community be divided.
Waiting for more of the story to come out, suspect there is a lot of information that is not as it seems. Am guessing that the hoped outcome for all of this is that Monty goes to prison and his ranch is seized and sold. That would potentially provide a nice windfall for everyone, even the government.
People seem to gloss to some situation where Monty was out there herding up cattle under the moonlight, you know…like in the movies. Is anyone even making such claims, nevermind having proof? Now _that_ scenario indeed would be heinous! Have not seen even a suggestion of such, though. This does not seem to be that.
From everything in the stories so far, this seems much more mundane, a tacit status quo. Sure, if that is the case, it is not the right way to handle mingling, but a lot of times these “tacit status quos” develop that are less than perfect…they are convenient.
Will see, but at least am leaving my mind open…and want to better understand why the neighbors are handling things as they are. May any legitimate debt be resolved, and may all aspects of this situation be revealed, and may it not be over-blown. If there is any guilt, let it be acknowledged, and reasonable restitution made, and maybe just maybe the relationships can…normalize?
15 May 2012 at 9:43 a.m.
Would also hope that any “bad-faith” efforts by any parties involved, are brought to light. May this be about legitimate justice, rather than gamesmanship.
16 May 2012 at 8:15 p.m.
Not sure what you mean by “bad faith by any parties involved”. It seems to me that Mr. Pilgrim had many opportunities to make this situation right many years ago as some of the returned stock has been missing for many years. Most ranch neighbors are usually pretty good about returning astrayed stock…. not sure why Mr. Pilgrim did not return stock for several years as it was evident such stock had been worked (and presumably identified as not belonging to Mr. Pilgrim). I don't believe any of the parties involved are looking for a huge windfall. I do believe that Mr. Pilgrim was aware of the astrayed cattle and presumably did nothing to make the situation right. I don't know Mr. Pilgrim at all but no neighbor I've ran stock next to would ever condone me keeping his cattle for several years (raising calves every year). Would Mr. Pilgrim (or you Reasonable) be ok with me keeping the calves off of your cattle? No, you would consider me a thief. Just sayin…….
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