A legal battle over chickens has taken a new course of action in Springville.
A Springville judge has ruled the case against Seth Wochensky is a misdemeanor criminal action that must be handled by the District Attorney, rather than a village prosecutor. In a letter, the Judge indicated the D.A. will determine the course of action in the case.
Wochensky is accused of violating village of Springville zoning codes by keeping three chickens in his backyard. Wochensky plans to represent himself in the matter. He says he plans to ask the Assistant District Attorney to dismiss the case.
"I received a letter from the judge indicating it would be prosecuted as a criminal misdemeanor charge which incidentally does clarify a few things," notes Wochensky. "It does mean that I am facing penalties that are greater than for example prostitution or even some classes of dealing drugs."
"I think we have a situation here where the prosecution and the law are really out of sync with the times," says Wochensky. "There's a better way to balance the rights of my neighbors with the rights of an individual property owner. As a community, we can have this discussion and hopefully change the law to make it a little clearer."
Wochensky's pretrial conference with an A.D.A. is scheduled for November 20th. Meanwhile, he says there's a survey circulating in Springville asking for residents' opinions on reviewing village laws that govern many animals ranging from chickens to pigs, goats and horses.