First Arriving Network
First Arriving Network

New Twist in Chopmist Hill Case

A new twist arose this week in the ongoing controversy between the Chopmist Hill Volunteer Fire Department and the Town of Scituate, RI. The lawyer for the town's insurer, Marc DeSisto, has asked that the case be removed from State Superior Court, to Federal District Court.

DeSisto represents the Rhode Island Interlocal Risk Management Trust, who insures the town. The stratetgy behind the move to Federal Court remains open to interpretation. According to the Valley Breeze, the court documents say the move is because the fire department has alleged civil rights violations. Yet the lawyer for Chopmist Hill, John L.P. Breguet, speculated to the Valley Breeze that it may be a delaying move on the part of the town. Ironically, cases usually move forward faster in Federal Court than in state court.

Definitely getting interesting!

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About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.