Razor wire lawsuit settled

Shirley Presley, the razor wire widow, has settled her $1.5 million lawsuit against the city of Charlottesville and the Rivanna Trails Foundation for violating her constitutional rights by seizing her property without permission.

"I'm pleased to report we've amicably resolved the dispute," says Presley's attorney, Debbie Wyatt. Citing confidentiality, Wyatt refused to elaborate on how much Presley gets, repeating only, "We are pleased to resolve this dispute."

The problem began years ago when the Rivanna Trails Foundation attempted to cobble together a 20-mile network around Charlottesville– without getting permission from some property owners, such as Presley. By 2002, Presley was piling brush on the trail below her Bland Circle house, and in 2003, the gleaming razor wire appeared.

The city unsuccessfully took Presley to court in 2004 but discovered that the city's law banning razor wire didn't apply. Presley turned around and filed her own suit in 2005.

Will the razor wire remain? Presley did not immediately return a phone call from the Hook, and Wyatt would only refer to a comment she made last fall: "It is not her desire or mine to need razor wire."
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25 comments

"The presence of razor wire fencing is aggressive and inhumane and can be defended against accordingly."

This kind of lawless stupidity is how the whole thing got started.

You stay on public land and leave private property alone and everyone wins. If I have to pay taxes on my land and I'm not breaking the law, I should be able to do what I please.

Suppose there had simply been a pile of old rusted discarded barb wire in the back yard from a hundred years ago when it was a farm? Do you think the city would then have the right to come in and demand she remove it? Suppose it was intertwined in some honeysuckle where she never walks? Suppose she had put up an electric underground fence, with lots and lots of no trespassing signs and then got a poodle who happens to bite treapassers? Should the dog then be put down for defending the property?

The City tried to TAKE her property without due process. They lost. the people won.

Suppose they just put a sidewalk through your backyard without asking or compensation? how would you feel.

Like it or not the world is getting more and more dangerous and she didn't up the ante, the liberal piece of crap tree huggers did.

"Razor wire; vicious attack dogs that are trained to kill people...." Thank you Jane Fonda.

There are two ladies that should be congratulated. What a wonderful way to start off a new year.
What a wonderful message to send to Mr. Huja before he really gets started on Council.

PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT
As the Mayor-in-exile of this fair city I now declare open season on all razor wire in the vicinity of the Rivanna River trails system. Citizens are asked to take appropriate safety precautions when cutting and/or destroying the razor wire. The presence of razor wire fencing is aggressive and inhumane and can be defended against accordingly.

Signed X
Mayor-in-Exile

Her razor wire was never a threat to me, I stayed off of her property. Dave, I'm going to superimpose a small picture of the razor wire with the picture of her published recently to place a crown on her head and title it the "Razor Wire Widow."

Glo
I just need to clarify something in your post.
Are you encouraging people to break the law?

No laws have ever been broken by Mrs. Presley! She has had to spend four plus years defending her rights and attempting to keep criminals and thugs, that insist on breaking the law, off her land. I am proud of her success and would want no less for any property owner. I am sorry there are a few people that continue to abuse the property rights of others. Destruction of property contines while the simple minded rant about razar wire. Walk a mile in Mrs. Presley's shoes.....no maybe not...just keep your simple minded self off her property!

GLO- Yet the 4th Amendment still excludes American Indians, ¢Ã¢â??¬Ã?â??illegal aliens¢Ã¢â??¬, as well as animals & eco-systems.

The animals and the eco system- really? Who gets to determine what their rights are- you?

I hope you are nothing more than a troll because your view of democratic rights don't look like mine.

And there will be even more as the population continues to grow.

Razor wire; vicious attack dogs that are trained to kill people, including children; people sitting on their porches with shotguns, menacing passersby; car alarms being turned on off so obnoxiously,even when people are just stepping in for a quick drink at starbucks; people clutching their cell phones when they walk past strangers just in case they might need help; the police pushing for surveillance cameras everywhere they can put them; so much fear people, look what you're doing to this beautiful place. your concentration camp mentality will consume you, I can't follow Ms. Presley into her penitentiary, even if she seems like a nice elderly lady, I can't support her aggressive razor wire mentality.

"Private Property claims do not justify the hostility and aggression that is evidenced by razor wire fencing. This kind of fencing is a public health hazard that must be removed and destroyed when it poses a threat to public safety." Thank you Chairman Mao for those words of inspiration!

We should make her head of Homeland Security and put her in charge of our southern border!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

let me be the first to congratulate her! Good for you!

I respect you for sticking to your guns!

Damn right! This is one woman who showed the city she simply wasn't dirt under their feet. More people should do it more often.

Good for her!

I'm glad to know my tax money is going to a good cause. Time to go out and buy more Virginia toys...guns and razor wire.

Virginia is for lovers (of really sharp and projectile-like stuff).

Now, time for a smoke.

GLO-
"PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT
As the Mayor-in-exile of this fair city I now declare open season on all razor wire in the vicinity of the Rivanna River trails system. Citizens are asked to take appropriate safety precautions when cutting and/or destroying the razor wire."

You didnt answer the question. Are you encouraging people to destroy private property? Yes or no Do you plan on destroying her private property? Yes or no. Do the "Higher laws" that you encourage others to abide include destroying private property? Yes or no.

I'm no lawyer but in my opinion it sounds like you are encouraging people to break the law and freedom of speech only goes so far.

As for a higher law, how about respecting a persons privacy? How about not messing with things (or places) that don't belong to you. How about leaving this lady, who i assume you have never met, alone.

It sounds like both Mrs Presley and the City have settled their issues and the rivanna trail still has miles of trail that you can enjoy without breaking the law. It sounds like a win-win to me. Lets move on.

"......what next, armed guards marching up and down the streets? Razor wire surrounding our front yards too? Bars and iron gates around our doors and windows? Vicious killer guard dogs in every home?..."

I know one lovely lady that would say "HELL, YEAH"! to your questions if she could. But she was murdered in her home recently in Charlottesville. Nobody can depend on the local police to keep them safe and sound.

To 4th Amendment lover:
Break no laws that you believe in. But I would encourage others, including Ms. Presley, to abide by higher laws than that represented by barbed razor wire.

We have sunk to one of our lowest common denominators, what next, armed guards marching up and down the streets? Razor wire surrounding our front yards too? Bars and iron gates around our doors and windows? Vicious killer guard dogs in every home? Private property rights notwithstanding, there are higher laws than that represented by the fortress of fear that afflicts Ms. Presley. Michael Vick and Co., and their mad dog fighting clubs are part of parcel of this same mentality, both show no regard for other life forms.

Addendum to Public Announcement:

Private Property claims do not justify the hostility and aggression that is evidenced by razor wire fencing. This kind of fencing is a public health hazard that must be removed and destroyed when it poses a threat to public safety. Fencing is permissible but not razor-wire fencing. No man or woman is an island, we must learn to live together without embedding ourselves in concentration camp razor wire fortifications.

Razor Wire Removal Order still stands.

x signed
Mayor-in-Exile

Kind of needlessly mean to refer to her as the "razor wire widow," no?

To all those who are obsessed with the 4th Amendment;
The recent interpretation of the right is just the latest incarnation of the principle. In Jefferson's view this right did not apply to slaves, women, or children, but we overturned that bit of tyranny didn't we? Yet the 4th Amendment still excludes American Indians, "illegal aliens", as well as animals & eco-systems. One day our society may evolve to the point where we recognize that the very land itself has a right to be free from destructive human seizure.

As the streams one day will be free from beaver seizure.

Yo Phil,
Animals do have some rights under US laws, I suppose that is why Michael Vick is sitting in prison? Even wild animals such as deer, etc., have rights, like to not be hunted out of season. As for the ecosystems, they also have rights to not be clearcut (when designated as wilderness). Other ecosystem rights include protection for their water, air, and certain endangered species of plant and animal. These are rights recognized currently in US as well as international law and while these laws exist they are far from being fully developed or expressed. The point is that we live in a universe where the realization of rights is an ongoing project, thus we no longer practice slavery as Jefferson did.
And another thing, if it is true that Trolls do exist, they as well as their habitat would certainly have protections under the Endangered Species Act and other laws.