AUBURN — A Greene man who sued the town for denying him a permit to operate a flea market is back in court.

George Stanley filed a two-page, handwritten complaint this week in Androscoggin County Superior Court against the town, roughly two months after the state’s highest court dismissed a similar suit by Stanley.

In his new complaint, Stanley wrote that the town’s flea market ordinance is illegal and unconstitutional.

The ordinance, enacted in 2011, was used “in conspiracy” to close his business, which he characterized as “store, flea auction, thrift, new and used antique, salvage and manufacturing,” he wrote.

His property lies in a zone that allows those uses, he wrote.

He began operating his business in 2008, he wrote. He had no conflict with the town “for years,” until the town “suddenly made moves against me to further prohibit me, contain me, squelch my efforts” and gave him “verbal orders to go out of business,” he wrote.


After the Office of the Maine State Fire Marshal closed his building to the public, Stanley would show prospective customers around his property, but not inside his building, he wrote.

The town later “came after me,” making verbal and written warnings and, at the same time, promising to allow him to operate a flea market, “if only I would just do so and so,” he wrote.

He spent two years applying for town permits only to have the town try to put him out of business, he wrote.

The town’s ordinance, he wrote, “was fomented and foisted as overkill, overreach, power over for wrong and contrived reasons and used as selective prosecution as tort impingements upon me as ‘sui generis’ citizen and its inherent prejudice apparent and uneven-handed enforcement that singles out me (and) not my neighbor.”

In May, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court dismissed Stanley’s complaint that the town had treated him unfairly in denying him a permit to operate a flea market on his Route 202 property.

The court wrote that Stanley had missed a scheduled hearing on the matter and otherwise failed to take steps to advance his case in court.

“Because we conclude that the court afforded Stanley every opportunity to protect his rights in proceedings that he initiated and that had been pending for nearly two years,” according to the court ruling, “we conclude that the court did not abuse its discretion in denying Stanley’s motions and affirm the judgment.”

In 2013, Stanley complained that he had twice applied for a license to operate a flea market and was twice denied. Town officials explained that their denials were based on the ordinance and pertained to the size of Stanley’s operation, as well as issues of signs, safe exits and parking.

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