NEW LONDON–The Groton Open Space Association has filed a motion to join F.L. Merritt Inc. as a defendant in a suit filed against Merritt by Ravenswood Construction LLC, a developer based in Cheshire, CT. The motion by GOSA Atty. Paulann Sheets was granted in New London Superior Court Monday morning, Sept. 29, 2003, after Paul Geraghty, an attorney representing Ravenswood, said he wouldn’t oppose it.
As previously reported, Ravenswood has sued seeking to compel Merritt to sell to Ravenswood a 75-acre tract of land on Fort Hill in the Town of Groton. Last April 14, GOSA and Merritt signed a contract for Merritt to sell the tract to GOSA for $1 million.
Ravenswood doesn’t claim to have a signed contract but has put forward an argument that it in effect has a contract. In June, the Cheshire-based developer filed a “SLAPP” suit against GOSA and nine individuals who had appealed the Groton Planning Commission’s approval of a 48-house subdivision on the Merritt Property. Ravenswood withdrew the action after being threatened with a countersuit by GOSA Attorney Paulann Sheets. SLAPP is a derogatory term for such suits, aimed at citizens who oppose developers.
SLAPP stands for Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation.