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Judge rules Pretty Prairie Wind suit will go forward

The lawsuit against Reno County by Pretty Prairie Wind will continue in the local district court after Judge Tim Chambers on Wednesday issued an order denying a motion by the developer for an immediate appeal on an earlier ruling in the case.

The lawsuit against Reno County by Pretty Prairie Wind will continue in the local district court after Judge Tim Chambers on Wednesday issued an order denying a motion by the developer for an immediate appeal on an earlier ruling in the case.

In the two-page ruling, Chambers stated he found no “substantial ground for difference of opinion on the law” that he used in making an earlier ruling that would allow for an interlocutory appeal.

He also stated hat there was “no need for months of discovery and a multi-day trial,” as attorneys for Pretty Prairie Wind argued allowing the appeal would cut short.

“The court does not find additional discovery or a trial for the matter is required,” the judge said. “Reno County has done an exemplary job of preparing a thorough and comprehensive record of the actions taken by the Commission and Planning Board. The record is clearly sufficient to allow the court to make its necessary findings.”

Chambers then set out a calendar for proceeding, giving Pretty Prairie Wind 90 days to file briefs “on the issue of whether actions of the Commission were unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious.”

The defendants, including Reno County and... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

The lawsuit against Reno County by Pretty Prairie Wind will continue in the local district court after Judge Tim Chambers on Wednesday issued an order denying a motion by the developer for an immediate appeal on an earlier ruling in the case.

In the two-page ruling, Chambers stated he found no “substantial ground for difference of opinion on the law” that he used in making an earlier ruling that would allow for an interlocutory appeal.

He also stated hat there was “no need for months of discovery and a multi-day trial,” as attorneys for Pretty Prairie Wind argued allowing the appeal would cut short.

“The court does not find additional discovery or a trial for the matter is required,” the judge said. “Reno County has done an exemplary job of preparing a thorough and comprehensive record of the actions taken by the Commission and Planning Board. The record is clearly sufficient to allow the court to make its necessary findings.”

Chambers then set out a calendar for proceeding, giving Pretty Prairie Wind 90 days to file briefs “on the issue of whether actions of the Commission were unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious.”

The defendants, including Reno County and landowners who filed petitions in opposition to the wind farm will then have up to 90 days to respond, followed by another 45 days for the developer to offer a rebuttal to that response.

Then the case will be set for oral argument.

“With this schedule, the matter will come to a final resolution well before an interlocutory appeal would be finalized,” Chambers said.

Attorneys previously said such an appeal generally takes a year.

Chambers, however, will leave the bench in December, so the case will likely go to another judge for resolution.

In its suit, Pretty Prairie Wind, which is a Kansas subsidiary formed by NextEra Energy to develop an 80-plus turbine wind farm in southeast Reno County, challenges petitions filed by landowners that forced a unanimous vote the by Reno County Commission to grant a conditional use permit for the development, as well as the commission’s acceptance of the petitions.

The request for an interlocutory appeal was related to a ruling Chambers previously made denying a motion by NextEra for partial summary judgment

The corporation argued petitions filed by landowners required a notary’s signature, but Chambers found an oath at the bottom of each page warning against perjury by the petition collector was legally sufficient.


Source: https://www.hutchnews.com/n...

AUG 6 2020
http://www.windaction.org/posts/51690-judge-rules-pretty-prairie-wind-suit-will-go-forward
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