Trailer trash trouble

This blog endeavors to be resolutely about coops and the law applicable to them.  But I am a lawyer who loves all aspect of the law.  I am a compulsive typist, always looking for excuses to write stuff.  And I used to clerk at the Vermont Supreme Court, which gives me an enduring affection for that institution.  Ergo, I write on occasion for the blog SCOV Law, which comments on the opinions of Vermont's highest court as they are issued.  ("SCOV" = "Supreme Court of Vermont," an abbreviation I have never seen the Court use itself.)

Here's a link to my latest contribution, just posted on the blog:

SCOV Law: The Principal Principle

The case I deconstructed was a post-conviction review proceeding, not even remotely related to cooperatives.  But here's a somewhat strained effort to connect the case to the world of co-ops nonetheless.  If you read my SCOV Law post, you will see that the case is about a very sad situation involving the sexual abuse of a child.  The Court, quite sensibly, provided as few details as possible, focusing on only those details that were necessary to the resolution of the case (which turned on issues like statutes of limitations, effective assistance of counsel, and the acceptance of guilty pleas).  There's only one gratuitous detail:  the fact that the defendant, mother of the abused child, lived in a mobile home.

Around New England, mobile homes parks are being converted to cooperative ownership.  This is a means of allowing this form of affordable housing to thrive and to give the people who live in mobile home parks a welcome measure of self-determination.  When I pass a mobile home park, see people striving for a good life.  And as far as sexual abuse is concerned, it is just as likely to occur -- perhaps even more likely to occur -- in a mansion as in a double-wide.  So I hope the Supreme Court of Vermont, and all of our state's judicial decisionmakers, will redouble efforts to avoid writing or saying things that perpetuate stereotypes of mobile home-dwellers as "trailer trash."