Monadnock Rod & Gun Club ordered to pay town’s attorney fees in lawsuit

  • The Monadnock Rod and Gun Club in Peterborough. Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 6/8/2021 10:23:11 AM

The Monadnock Rod & Gun Club in Peterborough has been ordered to pay $28,000 in attorney’s fees to the town of Peterborough in addition to already outstanding court judgments related to a case where the club extended one of its ranges without obtaining proper permits.

The case dates back several years to when it was discovered the club had expanded one of its ranges without gaining the proper building permits, and filled in wetland areas as part of the project. The range was also extended beyond the club’s property lines, and onto land owned by neighbors Scott and Bridgette Perry.

The club initially attempted to purchase the land where the range was located from the Perrys, but the Perrys declined their offer. The gun club then attempted to claim the land by adverse possession through the courts – essentially arguing they had been using the property without challenge for long enough that the land had become theirs by matter of course – but lost the case in court.

Both the Perrys and the town of Peterborough sued the club, the Perrys were awarded a judgment of $650,000 to restore their property and wetlands to pre-range expansion conditions. The town of Peterborough also won its case, and the club was ordered to pay $3,575 in civil penalties for violations made in the expansion process.

While the club has yet to make any payments to either the Perrys or the town of Peterborough, and restoration work has yet to begin on the property, the town of Peterborough filed a motion on May 18, requesting the attorney fees Peterborough accrued over the course of the case also be paid by the club.

The total attorney costs for Peterborough were $28,027, according to court documents.

The Monadnock Rod & Gun Club had 10 days to file an objection or response to the court in response to the request for attorneys fees, and a hearing would have been scheduled upon the request of either side or by court order, but no response was filed, according to court records.

With no response filed by the Rod & Gun Club, Judge David Anderson of the Hillsborough Superior Court, Northern District, granted the motion on June 3.

Attorney Phil Runyon, who represented the Perrys in the case, said thus far, the club has not started on the process of making payments on the judgment, or remediation of the damage, and have not been responsive to attempts to start that process.

“I have not heard anything at all,” Runyon said. “It is something we would like to move forward on, but at this point, I’m pessimistic they have the ability to pay that judgment. It’s a significant judgment.”

Runyon said the club has not yet responded to prior offers of payment plans to begin payment on either judgement.

 

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.


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