Slate Ridge owner files federal lawsuit to prevent dismantling of paramilitary camp

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 12:40 PM EDT
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PAWLET, Vt. (WCAX) - The owner of Slate Ridge, a controversial paramilitary training camp, is suing the town of Pawlet and a Vermont judge to prevent them from enforcing the removal of unpermitted structures on his property.

The Vermont Environmental Court has given Daniel Banyai until June 23rd to take down the structures. If he does not meet the requirements, he can be sent to prison and the town can complete the deconstruction. Banyai also continues to face fines of $200 per day until he complies.

Banyai bought the West Pawlet property in 2013. In 2017, town officials say he began operating a firearms training facility without the proper permits. After noise complaints and other concerns from neighbors, the town took Banyai to court. A judge two years ago ordered him to end any firearms training, pay thousands in fines, and remove all unpermitted buildings. Banyai appealed that decision to the Vermont Supreme Court but lost.

Banyai’s lawsuit claims his Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights have been violated.

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