Attorneys for Aquafortis Associates LLC have finally filed an amended petition in the Superior Court appeal of the Clary Lake Water Level Order. You may recall that back on January 25th the Court issued an Order granting the State’s Motion to Dismiss and gave Aquafortis Associates, LLC 21 days to file an amended petition. Rather than filing the amended petition, they instead appealed the Superior Court ruling to the Law Court on February 16th, followed not quite 2 weeks later by Requests for Stays of Proceedings of both the appeal and the underlying Superior Court action. The appeal was subsequently dismissed by the Law Court on March 1st, and the 30 day stay requested on February 16th ended last Saturday, March 26th. The amended petition was filed yesterday, March 28th. Yes, it has taken a lot longer than 21 days for the amended petition to be filed; the reason for this is explained quite well in the cover letter accompanying the amended petition. Here’s the amended petition; it’s 23 pages and a rather large file, but interesting reading:
The most significant thing about this amended petition for me is that Paul Kelley and his company Pleasant Pond Mill LLC are not parties to it. This is because the Court’s January 25th Order granting the State’s Motion to Dismiss resulted in Mr. Kelley being removed from the proceedings. With that exception, this amended petition is not a whole lot different from the proposed amended petition filed with the court last summer.
So what’s been going on?
Good question! The February 29th Request for Stay of Proceedings stated that “Counsel for AquaFortis and Pleasant Pond Mill LLC … and the DEP have been cooperatively working to resolve the issues that are the subject of the Petitioners’ appeal of the DEP’s Water Level Order for the Clary Lake Dam.” They said they were requesting the stay because “Additional time is needed for the parties to discuss and potentially establish a resolution to this dispute” adding that putting the litigation on hold would allow the parties to focus their efforts on a resolution.
Now that the 30 day reprieve from litigation has passed, we are all naturally curious as to what if anything has been accomplished. Unfortunately, I don’t have much to share at this time; representatives with the Attorney General’s Office have been understandably rather tight-lipped about what has been happening, but I gather that DEP Commissioner Paul Mercer is very interested in seeing the Clary Lake Water Level Order implemented and our water level crisis resolved sooner rather than later, and that to that end, Mr. Kelley has been making plans to repair the Clary Lake dam. I also understand that counsel for the Parties have requested an additional 2 weeks to try and finalize what they have been working on.
This is all very promising but I caution everyone against getting too excited until we know exactly what is planned. We should know a lot more in a couple of weeks, which isn’t too long to wait given what we’ve already been through.
We can also put another matter to rest: it appears now that the dust has settled that there was in fact no foreclosure sale last month, and that Mr. Kelley is still the record owner of the Clary Lake dam.