10 January 2020: Update on Aquafortis Associates Appeal

Superior_court-1-10-2020The first hearing on the AquaFortis Associates LLC appeal of the Maine DEP transfer of the Water Level Order to the Clary Lake Association took place today. It lasted about an hour and a half. The picture at left, taken before the start of the hearing shows CLA attorney Randy Creswell (left) and Assistant AG Scott Boak discussing strategy. Aquafortis Associates LLC (and Richard Smith) were represented by attorney L. Dennis Carrillo. The Judge handling the case is Justice William Stokes.

Twelve CLA members showed up for the hearing, but NOBODY showed up for the other side, not even Richard Smith. Nobody. I was surprised! While our side of the court room looked full, the other side looked very EMPTY in deed. After the hearing, our attorney told me that the interest and support shown by the members of the CLA simply by showing up was not lost on the judge.

There were two motions under consideration today. Aquafortis Associates filed a motion to “supplement the record” with information they felt DEP (and the BEP who heard the original appeal) should have considered but didn’t, and a motion filed by us to change the venue from Kennebec County to Lincoln County. We feel that Judge Billings who heard the WLO appeal (for 4 years) and also the Rubin v. Kelley/Smith lawsuit is intimately familiar with the situation and the parties (CLA, AQF, PPM, Paul Kelley, Richard Smith, etc) and would more quickly come up to speed than a new judge. Also working in our favor is the fact that the Kennebec County Superior Court is buried under cases, so the Judge might jump at the opportunity to send a complicated and convoluted case like this one to another jurisdiction. Based on what I heard today, I think the chances the Judge will grant the AQF motion to supplement the record are slim to none.

I’ve sent an email out with a full report on the hearing to all CLA members for whom we have an email address. If you’re a CLA member and we have your address but you haven’t received an email from the CLA today, please check your spam folder! If you find it in there, instruct your mail program that mail from the CLA is NOT spam! It’s also possible that your mail server rejected the mail outright and did not deliver it to you at all. That happens infrequently, but it does happen and there’s not much you can do about it. I can and do check for these types of delivery failures and when they occur, I’ll send the email to you directly rather than through our mailer service. Addresses that sometimes (but not always) have this sort of problem include Hotmail.com, Myfairpoint.net and Msn.com.

Finally, if you didn’t get the email it may be simply because we don’t have your email address! We have 154 members this year but we only have email addresses for about 86% of you. If you think this is the reason you’re not receiving CLA Member emails, that’s easy to fix: send me an email and I’ll add your address!


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