NEW LONDON–Judge Seymour Hendel of the New London Superior Court heard arguments May 12, 2005, on a motion by developer Ravenswood Construction LLC of Cheshire to bar from a forthcoming trial evidence on a rider to a proposed contract between Ravenswood and F.L. Merritt Inc., owner of a 75-acre property on Fort Hill in Groton.

The rider required delivery of a fully executed contract to the buyer in order for a sale to become final. No such delivery took place, and that is one reason Merritt contends that it did not sell the property to Ravenswood prior to signing a contract April 14, 2003, to sell the land to the Groton Open Space Association for $1 million.

Judge Hendel will announce his decision formally early next week. Jurors have been selected, and trial of the case is set to begin May 17, 2005.