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Trial date set in Hare Krishna case • Tuesday January 14, 2003

The Times Herald, Jan. 10, 2003

A civil trial over whether a Hare Krishna family in Angelica can keep livestock on their property in the village has been slated for May 2 in Belmont.

The attorneys for both sides in the case dealing with the Voith family met in Olean Tuesday with State Supreme Court Judge Michael Nenno. The meeting was a pretrial conference to resolve most of the remaining issues between the two attorneys.

However, the only issue left to be determined is whether the trial will be before a jury. The Voiths attorney, Ross Scott of Andover, told The Times Herald that the family has asked for a jury trial.

After the conference, Judge Nenno called to Allegany County and had the Supreme Court clerk put the Voiths on the trial calendar. Judge Nenno will preside over the proceedings.

Stephen Voith, his wife, Linda, and their three children keep farm animals for religious purposes on their property in the village of Angelica, which brought the civil action against the family. The Voiths have been cited several times for violating a village ordinance which requires at least 10 acres of land to keep livestock.

The Voiths have 2.5 acres to keep their cows and they lease another several acres 600 feet from their lot. This fact, they believe, should put them in compliance with the village ordinance or at least a variance. They have claimed that they are being harassed by the village because of their religious beliefs, which includes the reverence of animals, particularly cows.

Neighbors have complained of the smell of the animals, the noise of their lowing and the nuisance caused when the Voiths walk the animals along public thoroughfares.

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