MARTINSBURG – U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey has cleared the way for construction of Far Away Farm residential development in Jefferson County.
On May 10, he reaffirmed an order finding he lacked jurisdiction to overturn a ruling of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.
County zoning commissioners sued Far Away Farm in federal court after the Supreme Court rejected their bid to stop the 123 acre project.
Bailey dismissed the suit in October, branding it as an improper collateral attack on the judgment of the Supreme Court.
"After finding that the West Virginia Supreme Court fully and fairly considered its jurisdiction this court's inquiry ends," he wrote.
"Any argument that the court acted in error is to be disregarded by this Court," he wrote.
For the commission, Bob Bastress of Morgantown moved for reconsideration. He asked Bailey to withdraw his order and permit full litigation.
"The Court's prior ruling was fundamentally flawed," Bastress wrote.
Bailey thought it over for half a year and found no flaw in his ruling.
He gave full faith and credit to the Supreme Court decision.
"Specifically, this Court finds no reason to alter its finding that the questions of jurisdiction challenged by plaintiff were already fully and fairly litigated and finally decided," he wrote.
Nathan Cochran of Berkeley Springs represented Far Away Farm.