A volunteer fire company in Maryland lost its lawsuit to overturn a county’s decision to withdraw recognition and funding.
The Fairplay Volunteer Fire Co., now known as the Community Volunteer Fire Co. Inc. of District No. 12, filed suit last August seeking to challenge a January, 2013 decision by the Washington County Board of Commissioners to, in essence, cease its operations.
The suit alleged that the Board of Commissioners exceed its authority, violated the fire company’s due process rights, and was “arbitrary, capricious or illegal.” The board’s decision was based in part on Fairplay’s failure to respond to 24-26 percent on calls in the first five months of 2012.
Earlier this week Washington County Circuit Court Judge Donald E. Beachley ruled against the fire company, noting that “no volunteer fire company may provide formally organized fire fighting services … unless it has been recognized and approved by the Washington County Board of County Commissioners and the Washington County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association.”
Judge Beachley also ruled that the fire company failed to file the suit within 30 days of the board’s decision, as required by state law. Fairplay is currently contemplating an appeal. Here is some prior coverage of the dispute.