The Town of Pawlet has won a preliminary injunction against Daniel Banyai in the Environmental Division of Superior Court today.
Judge Thomas Durkin issued the preliminary injunction against Banyai ordering him to not hold or allow any firearms training related activities on his property at 541 Briar Hill Road, a property commonly referred to as Slate Ridge.
Pawlet’s town attorney Merrill E. Bent, of the Manchester firm Woolmington, Campbell, Bent & Stasny, asked for the preliminary injunction while the court considers the larger issues of requiring unpermitted structures on the property to be removed, the imposition of fines, legal fees, and a permanent injunction.
Bent asked for the temporary order at a hearing Dec. 16.
In the written decision filed today, the court finds that Daniel Banyai owns the property in question and began operating a firearms training facility in 2017 without a permit required by the town’s zoning bylaws.
The court order says Banyai has been served with a notice of violation by the town but has refused to cure the violations and, instead, “continues to develop infrastructure and expand the facility.”
The order says, “The town will suffer immediate, irreparable harm because it will not be able to exercise its police powers to maintain the public health, safety, and welfare by enforcing its own zoning regulations, and by preventing ongoing disturbance to neighboring property owners caused by “Defendant’s unpermitted activity.”
The order prohibits Banyai “shall not conduct or permit to be conducted any school and/or firearms training related activities on the property situated [at] 541 Briar Hill Road, nor host clases of any type on the property, from the receipt of the order until further order of this court.”
Bent said late Thursday that she had sent a copy of the order to Banyai and he responded with questions and would receive a copy from the court soon.
Bent also said that should Banyai not abide by the court order, the town would likely pursue a contempt action that could result in a fine, and if that did not stop the violations, an escalated contemp action could ask for a jail sentence if the order was not followed.
This article will be updated.