Late on Friday afternoon, Nov. 13 word came from the state superior court that Judge Kenneth Povodator had issued his decision on whether the Sensible Wilton lawsuit against the town of Wilton could proceed. Following a July 20 hearing at which attorneys for the town and Sensible Wilton argued the merits of the lawsuit, Povodator took 116 of the maximum 120 days to issue his order, stating that he was ruling in favor of Sensible Wilton and denying the town’s request for dismissal.

The town had sought to have Sensible Wilton’s lawsuit dismissed. The group had filed suit on June 1 to compel the town to call a special town meeting to reconsider the Miller Driscoll renovation referendum. Lawyers for Sensible Wilton (plaintiffs Alex Ruskewich and Curtis Noel) and the town (defendant) appeared at a day-long hearing in July to argue in front of Povodator.

During the hearing, the town’s lawyers had tried to make the case that Sensible Wilton had no statutory standing to bring a lawsuit. However, Povadator disagreed, stating, “The facts presented to this court appear to be sufficient to establish the standing of the plaintiff to pursue this matter further.” The judge found that the town’s executive branch–the Board of Selectmen–had prevented residents from being able to consider a new ordinance as requested in the Sensible Wilton petition.

Significantly, the judge said that the petition signers were “in a sense, being disenfranchised” by Wilton’s Board of Selectmen.

“Those electors are, in a sense, being disenfranchised by the actions of the defendants… That loss of the Charter-based right to submit a proposed ordinance constitutes a colorable claim of injury for each of the petition-signing electors including Mr. [Alex] Ruskewich and Mr. [Curt] Noel, and…sufficiently establishes the standing of plaintiff to pursue this action,” writes Povodator.

The judge did not make a ruling on whether the town must now hold a special town meeting to consider a revote.

In a statement on its website, Sensible Wilton stated it was “pleased” with the “thoughtful” decision.

One reply on “Sensible Wilton Wins ‘Round 1’: Judge Denies Town’s Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit”

  1. SW did not exist a year ago. It was formed as a direct result of the MD proposal. Fiscal conservatives in town now have an SW hook on which to hang their hats. Their mission is simple. It is time for entrenched tax and spend advocates to stop and listen to a growing town sentiment. It would be wise for elected officials and committee members to listen, to consider their views and budget accordingly. Simple, really.

Comments are closed.