Smart Meter Oral Arguments Heard (again) in Maine Supreme Judicial Court

On November 3, 2015 in Portland, attorneys on both sides of Maine’s ongoing smart meter case presented their oral arguments to Maine’s highest court. Each side had 15 minutes in which to make arguments supporting written briefs submitted in the first months of this year. Theoretically there is time to make the arguments but in reality attorneys are constantly interrupted with questions from the justices. While our attorney did very well, appealing any agency final decision is an uphill battle against reluctance on the part of courts to overturn or vacate decisions made by lower bodies. Approximately 20 supporters from as far as Camden, ME and Worcester, MA came to show support in the courtroom. Some rallied outside the court afterwards where they were photographed (see below). It will probably be several months before a decision is issued.

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Grounds for appeal can be an error of law, error of fact and or a decision that was arbitrary and capricious. Our arguments are laid out in our written briefs. http://www.mainecoalitiontostopsmartmeters.org/2015/07/remaining-legal-briefs-submitted-in-maine-smart-meter-appeal-to-state-supreme-court/

They are at minimum:

Error of law: CMP had the legal burden to show smart meters were safe, we maintain they did not meet their burden and the PUC basically said only “they are safe enough.” Commissioner Littell admitted they probably do cause problems to those with sensitivities.

Error of fact: Meter testing by CMP/PUC was unrepresentative of entire meter population, worst case meters and exclusive of other system components like collector meters.

Arbitrary & capricious: The report conclusion was contradicted by much of the discussion, at least by one commissioner. In other words, an irrational conclusion based on the evidence and opinion proffered by one of the commissioners.

The Oral Arguments were videotaped and the proceeding can be watched here:

Our first Oral Arguments in the initial appeal before the Court can be seen here:

and were excerpted as an opening sequence in the film “Take Back Your Power.”

We received quite a bit of press with our latest appearance in the high Court. Here are links to various articles in order of publication:

  1. Coalition Press Release 10/30/15
  2. Associated Press wire story 10/31/15
  3. Portland Press Herald 11/2/15
  4. Maine Public Broadcasting 11/3/15
  5. Bangor Daily News 11/4/15
  6. Maine ACLU 11/4/15
  7. The Forecaster 11/4/15