Thursday, June 10, 2010

Reserve: No Certification Dates Found

By John Severance

A hearing at the Catron County Courthouse June 2 on the Reserve election suit between Robert Caylor and Keith Riddle found that there were no certification dates on any of the documents presented, which means the suit will proceed.
Village attorney William Perkins had made a motion to throw the suit out, because he said Caylor and his attorney Sherry Tippett missed the deadline in filing a contest to the election.
“The judge (Matthew Reynolds) ordered them to go back and produce the evidence that he (Riddle) was certified on the fifth (of March),” Caylor said. “They can’t prove it. There are no dates on the certification. His claim that we were late in filing is invalid.”
Village clerk Kathaleen Harris said, “Mr. Caylor did file late. … As far as the certification dates, I didn’t put a date on it. It just escaped me.”
Riddle was sworn in on March 5 at the Village Board meeting by Harris and Edward Romero was sworn in on March 8 by Judge Clayton Atwood.
Riddle refused to comment.
The election took place on March 2 and the results had Riddle beating Caylor by one vote for the final trustee seat on the Village Board.
Caylor and Tippett filed suit on April 8. In his suit, Caylor named 12 people who he claims were not eligible to vote in the March 2 election.
Reynolds also ordered Riddle to get his own attorney and that he has 10 days to come up with proof in answering why he should not be found in default of not answering the suit.
Riddle likely was under the impression that he was being represented by Village attorney William Perkins. But that was not the case.
“He did not answer the petition on the suit,” Caylor said. “Perkins had to answer for the Village and Perkins was only representing the Village and not Keith, Keith has to answer why he should not be found in default for not answering the suit. …” Perkins said he could understand why there was a misunderstanding
“We have evidence that shows no certification date. The court will have to then legally rule they have jurisdiction over the case and since they have jurisdiction over the case they will deny Perkins’ request to throw the suit out.
“The judge can make a summary judgment and grant the default. He did say he wanted this thing to go forward. He found it very interesting how the law was interpreted,” Caylor continued.
“Reynolds said if you live outside the village and do not own property in the Village, you can not vote in the Village election and if you knowingly do so it is a fourth degree felony, 18 months in jail and probation. You can not vote again until probation has been lifted.”
And as far as the intent to return clause in the election code?
Caylor said, “The judge said there is nothing to come back to if you don’t own property. Even if you have property and leave for a long period of time and then come back that does not give you the right to vote. That was not the intent of the return clause. It was for short term only.”

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