Hobart officials to file court injunction to force farmer to fence in cattle

2013-01-18T21:00:00Z 2013-04-12T16:32:04Z Hobart officials to file court injunction to force farmer to fence in cattleDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | The Hobart Board of Public Works is taking legal action to force farmer Robert Berndt to fence in his wandering cattle.

The board agreed Wednesday to seek a court injunction against Berndt over the containment of cattle on his farm off Grand Avenue.

Mayor Brian Snedecor said the city has been trying for months to get Berndt to take action. Nothing has been done, he said.

"We've tried and we've not gotten anywhere," Snedecor said.

The board directed City Attorney Anthony DeBonis to seek the court injunction.

DeBonis told Berndt that the injunction will force him to either fence in his livestock or remove the livestock.

"You'll also pay for any related court costs," DeBonis said.

Berndt told the board he has grazing rights permission from one adjacent farm owner but has nothing in writing.

Another adjacent property owner to Berndt has told city officials he doesn't want the cattle wandering on his land, Code Enforcement Officer Kenneth Gagliardi said.

"The responsibility falls on you to retain the cattle," Snedecor told Berndt.

Berndt said he has made substantial progress on cleanup of his house since last month.

All items have been removed from his home and a sump pump was placed in the basement, Berndt said. 

The board in September ordered cleanup of Berndt's debris-littered, unsafe house and farm in the 6800 block of Grand Boulevard.

Berndt, 80, who was placed in a handicap-accessible trailer by his family, has continued to provide monthly updates to the board.

Family members have been at his side during most of the meetings or spoken on his behalf.

At the most recent meeting, family members provided an update through a letter that was read by Snedecor.

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