Neighbors, Farmer Settle Pitched Lawsuit Over Green Groups and Her Property Rights


A husband-and-wife real estate team accused of teaming up with environmental activists and government officials to interfere with a Virginia farmer’s business have reached a legal settlement with the farmer, according to court records.

Martha Boneta, who owns and operates the 64-acre Liberty Farm at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Paris, Virginia, sought damages from the real estate agents, her neighbors, in a lawsuit filed in Fauquier County Circuit Court.

Under the terms of the legal agreement, Boneta is not permitted to disclose the amount of money attached to the settlement. She sued the neighbors, Phillip and Patricia Thomas, for $2 million, court papers show.

Phillip Thomas owns Thomas & Talbot Real Estate, based in Middleburg, Virginia, and used to own Boneta’s Liberty Farm. His wife, Patricia, also is a lawyer admitted to the bar in Virginia. Their farm, Liberty Hall, is across the road from Liberty Farm.

The Thomases are members of Piedmont Environmental Council, a nonprofit land trust headquartered in Warrenton, Virginia, that also was named in Boneta’s litigation. Their real estate company’s website identifies at least four other Thomas & Talbot agents associated with the land trust.

Council Said to Overstep Authority

Phillip Thomas did not …read more