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6 November 2012
at 12:58 p.m.
Greg Cortez -
Indeed agree that such a cartoon would be insensitive given the context of Craig, Colorado.
Also, passing along belated condolences for the passing of your father…and appreciation for all he taught me in High School.
Lastly, wishing you well. It's not the best forum, but my apologies for a misstep years ago. I did not know how to fix it, and was embarrassed that I had been misled by people I dared to trust…and had unwittingly then misled a friend. Apologies.
21 September 2012
at 7:05 a.m.
Am impressed by Judge Lass's impartiality and objectivity throughout the case, plus his wisdom and discernment shown in the sentencing. May it move the rural community toward healing and normalization of relationships, and allow people to move forward with their lives.
Have seen the misery created with poor judges. If memory serves, the way it works is that judges are appointed but then we vote to keep them. There are impartial committees (Google for yours) that assess the performance of judges based on a number of criteria (oddly, judgment is not one of the criteria). These committees publish an opinion on whether or not to retain each judge.
Please, folks, when you vote to retain a judge, do some research ahead of time. Maybe even sit in on a few cases. A little wisdom and discernment in judges is a good thing.
Good job, Judge Lass.
13 July 2012
at 10:20 p.m.
Well sounds like the jury is in on this case, no idea if there will be years of appeals and what-not. The personal business of the nine plaintiffs was made a matter of public record. Everyone can appreciate the anger of the plaintiffs over the perceived crime but again, were the party refusing to make things right, this case would make more sense. When one goes to court, much of the time you have already lost…the question is more one of who loses less.
Yes, a lot of my questions did get answered in the case, though I was not able to attend the whole trial, and not all answers were in support of Monty but some were. As I understand it there was conviction on 15 out of 27 counts, for five of the nine plaintiffs. I am watching to see the full story on restitution amounts, punitives, etc. My googling suggests punitives can generally go to the plaintiffs. Presumably since five of nine were involved, the original $68k claimed theft would be diminished appropriately too. Will the presumable restitution be something like $42k-$50k or will it plus punitives be hundreds of thousands or even millions (windfall)?
Thanks to ruralmom and others for your insights. May the community be able to heal
25 May 2012
at 12:06 p.m.
If this alleged crime is as they say, if they are saying the whole truth, and if this situation is one that warrants the potential destruction of their neighbor…their names should be publicly disclosed and their stories should be able to hold up under scrutiny.
Jaxx, if we want to discuss intelligence, I have to say that I just don't think Monty is dumb enough to be doing what is claimed against these nine people in broad daylight…that is what suggests to me that some sort of tacit status quo arrangement is going on. Would like to find out if any of these nine have ever taken ownership of any of Monty's strays. Dunno if they have, but seems a question worth investigating.
Jaxx and Ruralmom, no one has answered what happens to this case if it is resolved out of court? Or why this was not first attempted by these nine anonymous alleged victims? Sit down, figure out what if anything is owed…and pay that.
Save the taxpayer some money, get what if anything you are owed (sorry, no windfall), and be done with it.
Ruralmom, I agree that the branding of calves that a stray cow subsequently had while on Monty's land is indeed a questionable practice. Seems true ownership would depend on a number of factors, such as whether or not it was Monty's bull that impregnated the cow, and whether or not it is the status quo (have other neighbors done the same thing with Monty's cow/calf pairs?). I do not know the answers to those sorts of questions, but suspect that once one dives in and gets the full picture, that things are not as cut and dried.
Suspect you are right when you say this is not the first time this has happened in NW Colorado…suspect there is a tacit “status quo” arrangement amongst some ranchers. As for getting “caught”, if it is a status quo…one has to wonder if it is more a case of getting set up? If people allow this to go on, why are they suddenly calling foul?
Is someone seeking retaliation for something else that has nothing to do with these cows? Have been around the block enough to know that that kind of manuever does indeed happen pretty regularly. Not saying it happened here, but I think it is important in the name of justice that prosecutors and jury evaluate the facts and be open to factoring these sorts of machinations into this situation.
Can name several instances in the corporate world I have witnessed along this line, just to clarify what I am saying. For example, have seen an assistant that was signing documents for the convenience of her boss when out of the office. Of course she had the permission of the boss to sign the papers. It was not corporate policy, but it was a corner cut in the name of convenience. However, when the assistant got sideways with the boss, suddenly this became a horrible crazy act of forgery! The assistant got fired. What hokum. Like that; it happens. Not so quick to buy into this victim story, that's all.
Ruralmom, when you say that the DA is pursuing the case, that is misleading. This all had to start with a criminal complaint filed by one or more of the alleged victims through the Sheriff's office. That is how it is done in a case alleging stolen property. No complaint, no case.
For there to be nine victims, it seems to me that they must all be the plaintiffs in this criminal suit. To date, these nine have remained oddly anonymous (as with the [other] commenters here…at least I signed my name to the LTE). Why is it that their names must be kept secret or are deemed irrelevant to the story? I do not believe their names are protected in this type of case. Journalists should include them in their stories.
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.
15 May 2012
at 9:29 a.m.
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?
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.
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