Montgomery County judge imposes daily fine against Yellow Finch tree sitters

New River Valley News

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — A Montgomery County judge found a group of protesters in contempt of court and issued a daily fine against them after they refused to climb down from the trees along Yellow Finch Lane.

The group, known as the Yellow Finch tree sitters, have been in the trees for more than 800 days out of protest against the expansion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

The Montgomery County Circuit Court recently issued a court order giving the protesters until Monday, Nov. 16, to vacate the trees along Yellow Finch Lane.

When those tree sitters refused to come down by the deadline, Mountain Valley Pipeline security personnel began removing the barricade blocking the Yellow Finch Lane pipeline expansion on Tuesday, Nov. 17.

However, according to a statement from Montgomery County Sheriff Hank Partin, Circuit Court Judge Turk found the tree-sitters in contempt of court on Thursday, Nov. 19.

In addition, these protesters are being fined $500 a day for each day they stay up in the trees, the sheriff’s office says.

You can read Partin’s full statement below:

“Last week the Montgomery County Circuit Court issued a temporary injunction ordering three persons to vacate trees located on Yellow Finch Lane, by Monday. Some of the individuals who were not in the trees chose to do the right thing and leave. Today, Circuit Court Judge Turk found the tree-sitters in contempt of court and are being fined $500 a day for each day they remain in the trees.

We have been and continue to plan and coordinate, to ensure we have all the necessary resources available, so the situation can be resolved quickly and in a safe manner for all parties involved. It was our hope the tree-sitters would choose to leave on their own to avoid unnecessary confrontations. However, we will ensure the court order is enforced in due time.”

Montgomery County Sheriff Hank Partin

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