ROUSES POINT - The village of Rouses Point has learned the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by Susan Clarke, Gary Clarke and WWBI-TV Inc. against the village of Rouses Point, Mayor George A. Rivers, code enforcement officer Michael Tetreault Jr., and Brian Pelkey. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals' decision ruled the earlier dismissal of the case by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York was correct.
The lawsuit was filed in response to action taken following a June 6, 2006 fire in which the WWBI-TV building - the former Holland Hotel - was badly damaged. The Rouses Point Volunteer Fire Department, as well as many neighboring fire departments from Vermont and Canada, responded.
According to a press release issued by the village, after the fire was brought under control, "it was evident the southern portion of the building was a threat to the public, as it appeared to be in danger of collapse." The village authorized the southern portion walls to be made safe by demolition. The Clarkes and WWBI-TV contended, in their lawsuit, the village's actions in rendering the building safe after the fire violated their constitutional rights.
In the end, the court confirmed the action of the village, Rivers and Tetreault in protecting the public well-being did not violate the Clarke's constitutional rights.