Steamboat Springs A judge has given Kay Sieverding two months to trim her 106-page federal lawsuit against the Colorado Bar Association and several Steamboat Springs officials to 40 pages or less.
Magistrate Judge Edward Schlatter threw out Sieverding's lawsuit during a hearing Thursday in federal court in Denver, court documents show. He then told her she has until April 1 to file the suit again, but only if she can do so in no more than 40 pages.
Sieverding, who now lives in Verona, Wis., lived in Steamboat Springs from 1991 until July 2001. She filed her lawsuit in October, alleging she was the victim of fraud, malfeasance and defamation of character in a series of incidents that occurred while she lived in Steamboat. She also claims her civil rights were violated.
Sieverding named 28 defendants in her lawsuit, including several present and former Steamboat Springs City Council members, several local attorneys, current and former judges, the district attorney, the sheriff and the police chief. She is seeking more than $16 million, $10 million of which she wants used to establish a nonprofit organization to "regulate attorney ethics in Colorado."
Attorneys for the defendants, many of whom are also named as defendants, declined comment on the lawsuit.
Sieverding said Monday she would refile her suit. "There were many claims in my lawsuit and I think that when I first filed it, I did not emphasize the tort and fraud issues enough," she said. "I think I have really strong evidence."
Sieverding is representing herself and the other plaintiffs in the lawsuit, including her husband, David Sieverding, and their children, Ed and Tom Sieverding. She said she is seeking $825,000 for emotional damages caused when a restraining order was issued against her in September 2000. That restraining order prohibited her from coming within 10 yards of her neighbor, Jane Bennett.
Bennett is named in the lawsuit, as is her husband, former City Council President Kevin Bennett. Judge James Garrecht, who issued the restraining order, is also named as a defendant.
Sieverding and the Bennetts lived on Princeton Avenue in Old Town Steamboat Springs. In the summer of 2000, Sieverding alleged that a garage addition and remodeling of a small log cabin on the Bennetts' property violated city regulations. She insisted that nothing was done because of Kevin Bennett's status on the council.
City planning officials said the Bennetts' modifications met city code.
If Sieverding does refile her lawsuit, Schlatter has given the defendants until May 1 to respond.