Individuals seeking to block construction along the Mountain Valley Pipeline by sitting in trees on Yellow Finch Lane in Montgomery County near Elliston Thursday have been found in contempt of court for failing to vacate.
According to a statement issued by Sheriff Hank Partin, Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Robert Turk of the 27th Judicial Circuit of Virginia last week “issued a temporary injunction ordering three persons to vacate trees located on Yellow Finch Lane by Monday.
Some of the individuals who were not in the trees chose to do the right thing and leave. [Thursday] Circuit Court Judge Turk found the tree-sitters in contempt of court, and [they] are being fined $500 a day for each day they remain in the trees.”
The sheriff’s statement went on to say, “We have been and continue to plan and coordinate, to ensure we have all the necessary resources available so the situation can be resolved quickly and in a safe manner for all parties involved. It was our hope the tree-sitters would choose to leave on their own to avoid unnecessary confrontations. However, we will ensure the court order is enforced in due time.”
Two 50’-high tree stands have been occupied continuously since Sept. 5, 2018, by anonymous individuals in a protest aimed at blocking the pipeline’s construction.