Dunbar Township couple appeal dismissal of retaliation suit
A Dunbar Township couple have appealed the dismissal of a federal lawsuit in which they claimed they were targets of political retaliation for repeatedly challenging zoning decisions involving a historic mansion.
Terry and Diane Kriss, owners of the Isaac Meason House, on Monday filed notice of their appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit.
The couple sued Fayette County commissioners Vincent Vicites and Vincent Zapotosky, zoning official Sara Rosiek, the county airport authority and authority chairman Terry Shallenberger in January 2011 over zoning rulings involving the 18th-century Dunbar Township landmark.
The Georgian-style mansion was built in 1802 by Meason, a Revolutionary War veteran, ironmaster and slaveholder. It is believed to be the first house west of the Allegheny Mountains to be designed by an architect and is registered as a national historic landmark.
The Krisses have been involved in a 15-year dispute with the Cellurale family, who operate several businesses surrounding the Meason House. The Cellurales were not named as defendants in the suit.
The Krisses claim the businesses have reduced the value of the home from $750,000 to $350,000. They also allege they have been subjected to political intrigue, illegal wiretaps, break-ins and errant gunshots because of their challenges.
In October, U.S. District Judge David Cercone dismissed the lawsuit, finding that each zoning ruling was separate and distinct from the others and could not be cobbled together to prove it was part of a continuing violation.
The Krisses had until Nov. 14 to file an amended complaint but failed to do so. Cercone dismissed the case in December.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Youthful West Mifflin girls face tall order
- Steelers stalled by Seahawks, on outside of AFC wild-card picture
- Tarentum Bridge falcon defends turf as eagles scout nesting locations
- Steelers’ Roethlisberger reported symptoms that led to his exit vs. Seahawks
- Former member takes reins of chorus
- Holiday spirit shines in Ford City
- Korean exhibit to go on display
- Rossi: It’s past time for NFL to protect players
- Deteriorating Monessen building under renewed scrutiny
- Local homes tour will benefit Belle Vernon Area’s anti-drug program
- Steelers players say they support Tomlin’s attempts at deception