NORFOLK, Va (WVEC) – A judge has made a ruling in the case of love locks on Ghent’s Hague Bridge, but the decision is not as clear cut as expected.
In a recently filed court order, Judge Everett Martin said a special grand jury has full right to investigate and that might happen, but it has yet to be determined.
"To many this case is silly,” Martin said in the order. “The court understands, but does not entirely share that sentiment."
The about 100 symbols of love, which people attach to the bridge rails and throw away the key, have been the center of controversy for years.
The City of Norfolk has maintained that the locks are not a nuisance and officials won’t take them down.
Five Ghent residents filed the petition for a special grand jury. The judge made this most recent ruling after a January court hearing.
According to the order, the judge said “The Court had hoped the city would remove the locks if given the opportunity to do so before the court begins the search for counsel." Citing a “far less expense”.
13News Now did a quick online search which revealed a city maintenance worker makes, at most, $20 an hour.
Clerk of the Circuit Court, George Schaefer, said jurors make $30 a day. Seven jurors make up a special grand jury, which calculates to $210.
Compare that to if seven city workers cut locks for an hour, that comes out to $140.
The City of Norfolk had no comment until a review of the order.
Schaefer said it’s unclear if the judge will call a special grand jury or wait to see if the city responds.
“We are not at that point yet, so we’re not preparing anything,” he said.