Virginia environmentalists and big landowners have made a concerted effort to interfere with the business activities of an organic farmer, claims a new lawsuit describing harassment that comes close to stalking.
Martha Boneta, who owns and operates the 64-acre Liberty Farm at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Paris, Va., seeks damages in Fauquier County Circuit Court from Piedmont Environmental Council, a nonprofit land trust headquartered in Warrenton, Va.
Boneta also seeks damages from the husband-wife real estate team of Phillip and Patricia Thomas, who are members of Piedmont Environmental Council. Phillip Thomas owns Thomas & Talbot Real Estate, based in Middleburg, Va. Patricia Thomas is a lawyer admitted to the bar in Virginia.
“We are in shock at the magnitude of terrorizing harassment,” Boneta told The Daily Signal, adding:
The investigation uncovered volumes of letters, emails, meetings, and phone calls from realtors Patricia and Phillip Thomas making false allegations to government agencies and meddling in our private lives to damage and force us off our farm. No American should ever suffer years of being terrorized. The stress and hardship have been unbearable.
The real estate firm’s website identifies at least four other Thomas & Talbot realtors associated with the environmental council. Phillip and Patricia Thomas entered into a joint agreement with the land trust related to litigation involving Boneta’s Liberty Farm.
On Thursday at 5 p.m., The Heritage Foundation will host a screening of the documentary “Farming in Fear,” which provides an overview of the Boneta case, followed by a panel discussion on the latest developments.
Article written by: Tom White