Sunday, July 14, 2024

Bowman's trespass appeal granted

Staff Writer | June 15, 2024 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — After nearly five months of being trespassed from the Bonner County Administration Building and attending commissioners’ meetings in person, Dave Bowman’s trespass order has been reversed.

Bowman was originally trespassed from the building in late January after Commissioner Luke Omodt claimed he continuously disrupted the meetings and sent multiple emails to county officials that many took as threatening. Omodt announced during a special meeting that Bowman was being trespassed, but after he refused to leave, the local was eventually placed under citizen’s arrest and removed from the property by Sandpoint Police.

However, he was not booked into the Bonner County Jail for unclear reasons.

Bowman again showed up at a following meeting, and after repeatedly being asked to leave, he was again arrested and removed from the premises.

Bowman and his attorneys were quick to appeal the decision upon receiving the official trespass notice. However, through a misunderstanding in the county, the appeal was not properly addressed immediately, although a hearing was eventually scheduled.

After the hearing in district court Friday, June 7, Bowman announced during Tuesday’s commissioners’ meeting that his appeal of the trespass had been granted. With this decision, he is now allowed to attend the meetings in person and conduct other county business at the Administration Building.

Bowman told commissioners that denial of access to meetings or public comment for any amount of time constitutes “irreparable injury,” which is something he has suffered for the past five months.

“Bonner County is temporarily restrained and enjoined from enforcing any trespass order previously ordered, precluding petitioner David Bowman from in-person attendance at county board meetings and board of commissioner meetings,” he said.

As it stands, the restraint on the county is only temporary, and Bowman said it would be nice if the commissioners recognized the order should be extended more permanently.

“But we’re probably going to end up back in court again because they love to cost me money,” he said. “But that’s okay.”

Bowman told the commissioners that he is determined to be free and encouraged others to get up and give public comments if they feel like things are not being handled correctly by the commissioners.

Omodt declined to comment on the matter.