New Ruling in High Plains Reader Publisher's Lawsuit

september 13, 2006  02:49 pm
In-Forum reports that the North Dakota Supreme Court has put the legal issues between John Strand and Cass County (mostly) to rest, and "both sides claimed victory." (The article is available here for $1.95.) Strand, the publisher of the High Plains Reader, first sued the county back in 2003, claiming that it illegally demolished a jail without a public vote. The county countersued, alleging Strand was responsible for the costs of delaying the demolition for six days. Strand then alleged that the county was penalizing him for using his right to petition the government. A district court jury last year found that Strand was not responsible for the delays, nor did the county violate his rights, and the state Supreme Court upheld those rulings. However, the justices ruled that the lower court judge did not address all Strand's claims in his motion for attorney's fees, so that question has not been settled. Strand said he was "very relieved" by the verdict, because his legal fees total about $110,000. The High Plains Reader applied for AAN membership in 2002, 2004 and 2005.