Galvins appeal, plaintiff attorney withdraws

A notice of appeal was filed against a judge's order to construct a subdivision. Two spec homes and an entrance to Route 16 from a proposed subdivision near Robin Hood Woods Campground & Resort in Shelbyville remain in limbo.

David and Barbara Galvin, the owners of a popular campground in Shelby County, Robin Hood Woods Campground & Resort, had been ordered to start constructing a subdivision on their property by July 8. The Galvins filed an appeal and the lawyer for the plaintiff, Shelbyville Township Road District, has now officially withdrawn from the case.

According to the Galvins' attorney, John L. Barger, the notice of appeal halts the judge's order while the appeal is being resolved by the 5th District Appellate Court in Mt. Vernon.

The Galvins acquired a piece of property adjacent to their campground several years ago. Prior to that, the property was platted and to be developed into a small subdivision along Route 16. The original developers built two spec homes, but never constructed the subdivision. Intervenors in the suit, the Goodwins and the Curls, have each bought a spec home and the Galvins purchased the rest of the property.

The Galvins and Shelbyville Township Road District had a dispute about an entrance from the property onto Route 16. That dispute grew and became a lawsuit that also included Shelby County in 2005. This suit has dragged on and tied up the property and affected long-term Shelby County zoning plans for almost 15 years. The Goodwins and Curls are involved as intervenors, because the dispute has affected them. The latest decision to be enforced was issued by Judge Kimberly G. Koester, the Chief Judge of Effingham County, on June 4 of this year.

Galvins were ordered to "construct the subdivision pursuant to it's previous rulings. Defendants are sentenced as follows: 1) Fine of $25,000; 2) to pay attorney fees of the Goodwin and Curl's for the period of 3-19-19 to the June 4 hearing; 3) comply with construction of subdivision pursuant to it's 2008 order as modified beginning on 7-8-19 and/or be fined $100/day until construction begins."

The other shoe dropped on June 27, when the attorney for the Galvins, John L. Barger, filed notice to appeal the ruling. The attorney fees for the Goodwins and Curls were ordered in the amount of $2,360. Then on July 3, Elizabeth Nohren, who was representing Shelbyville Township Road District, the original plaintiff, officially withdrew as the plaintiff/petitioner attorney. Nohren is also representing the Goodwins and the Curls.

Attorney for the Galvins, John L. Barger explained the expected process for the appeal. After the notice of appeal, local circuit court records were being prepared to give the appellate court. That is suppose to be done by August 29.

The Galvins have 35 days from Aug. 29 to file a brief with the appellate court. Then Shelby County, a plaintiff represented by Effingham State's Attorney Bryan Kibler, and the Goodwins and Curls, represented by Nohren, have 35 days to file briefs. The Galvins then have 14 days to file an answer to those briefs. If each party uses the full amount of time for their filings it will be almost Thanksgiving before a date for arguments are set.

"After that it is up to the appellate court," Barger said. "The court will set a date for arguments in court in Mt. Vernon and then they will issue their opinion."

Barger also said that the Galvins filed a separate motion with the appellate court to stay paying attorney fees for the Goodwins and Curls, from March 19 until June 4, pending appeal.

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