ROCKLAND, Maine — A district court judge has ruled that Harold Dale Hayward and his wife Geraldine must pay a $150 filing fee if they want to appeal a consent order they agreed to with the city to settle a land-use complaint.
Judge Patricia Worth issued the ruling Wednesday in Rockland District Court.
The Haywards filed an appeal on Oct. 1 concerning the agreement they had reached in May with the city over a fabric structure that was erected on their property without a permit from the city. The structure is being used to store items for resale in an area that is not zoned for such use, according to the city.
The Haywards agreed that the structure would be taken down by Sept. 30 and that they would reimburse the city $181 for its costs to file the land-use complaint. The structure remains up and no reimbursement has been paid to Rockland.
The Haywards also asked the court to proceed with the appeal while waiving the $150 filing fee.
“Defendants then met with the financial screening officer. The officer concluded, after an interview of defendants and a review of their financial circumstances, that defendants are not eligible for waiver of the appeal filing fee. Their income exceeds the guidelines, they have assets and their discretionary spending decisions indicate an ability to pay the costs of this litigation,” Judge Worth ruled.
The file is being sent to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court for that body to decide whether to hear an appeal of the denial of the filing fee waiver.
That decision must be made before a ruling on the actual appeal on the consent order.
The Haywards say their attorney did not properly represent them and that they were coerced into signing the consent order. The city has denied that the Haywards were coerced.
Hayward is one of three candidates running for Rockland City Council.