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Judge refuses to dismiss three complaints
Thursday, July 27, 2000
Former School Committee candidate will have a case against member:
A Middlesex Superior Court judge has refused to dismiss complaints that School
Committee member Susan Heyman and her husband took signs belonging to School
Committee candidate Brenda Loew last October.
The court did, however, dismiss all Loew's complaints against the city, and
three of the six complaints against the Heymans.
"What happened last week is pretty much what we expected to happen,"
said Susan Heyman, who was running against Loew for a School Committee seat when
the alleged incidents occurred.
Alan Posner, the Heymans' attorney, said the couple is pleased the court dropped
three of Loew's claims.
"We expect we will be successful on the remaining part of the case,' .said
The court failed to dismiss Loew's claims that the Heymans trespassed to take
personal property, conspired to take the signs and did not intend to retum them
to their owner, known in legal terms as conversion.
The court did dismissed the claim that Loew's First Amendment rights were
compromised, as well as claims of violation of the Massachusetts Civil Rights
Act and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Loew's partial victory comes after Newton District Court twice denied
"What happened last week is pretty much what we expected to happen."
her request to have complaints filed against the Heymans. The Chestnut Street
resident alleges the two removed her campaign signs from public property last
October without intending to return them to her.
"I thought a terrible precedent had been established," said Loew,
adding the court's recent decision is just the first step in long battle. She
has chosen to represent herself in the proceedings.
She claims the Heymans' actions hindered her chances at a fair election. The
incumbent Heyman eventually won the Ward 5 election for another temm on the
Newton Corner resident Lise Rubin testified in previous proceedings that she
witnessed Ken Heyman yank a sign belonging to Loew from in front of the Day
Middle School before driving off.
Susan Heyman was in the car and Rubin said she followed them to the Newton
police station, where an officer discovered 11 signs in their back seat, but did
not press larceny charges.
The Heymans contend they were merely following a Newton ordinance that disallows
the placement of campaign signs on public property. Posner said the Heymans
planned to give the signs to police, and a Newton judge agreed.
Loew contends it was not within the Heymans' rights to take the signs, even if
they were placed illegally. The Superior Court dismissed her claim against the
city that the sign ordinance is unconstitutional.
Loew said she wants the matter to go before a jury, but is uncertain what she
wants in restitution. Since she has chosen to represent herself in court, she
wants to restore the $5,000 in legal costs she expects to lose.
If the case proceeds, both sides will begin the process of presenting their
By Patrick Golden
CNC STAFF WRITER
1995-1999, Community Newspaper Company. All rights reserved.
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