Jul 022015
 

The City of Naperville’s legal department enjoys dragging residents into court. Can you blame them. It’s job security. The City will be back in court on July 8, but this time not as a plaintiff; the City will be a defendant. You won’t find it on the City’s website or in Naperville’s “Connected” newsletter. City officials don’t like broadcasting court situations, though they are the ones creating most of those situations. Win or lose, it’s not the city official’s money they are wasting, it’s tax dollars from residents and businesses that city officials are squandering. If city official’s were held financially responsible and accountable for their actions, chances are very few situations would result in court action.

This lawsuit was filed by a group of Naperville residents (Naperville Smart Meter Awareness Group) over the forced installation of about 57,000 not-so Smart meters on homes and businesses throughout the city. City officials bullied residents when police escorts accompanied installers with the threat of arrest. Some residents were arrested, handcuffed, and tossed into squad cars, and booked. In some cases charges were wisely dropped by the City, however in another case (Kim Bendis), the City used every possible tactic to destroy the Naperville resident in court action. The City lost the case in court when the good guys won and Kim Bendis was acquitted last October.

Now the City of Naperville takes a turn as the defendant. On July 8th, the court will rule on whether or not to accept a third amended complaint. Either way, the court did not dismiss an equal protection claim regarding Smart Meter Awareness group members being dealt with differently than non-members of the group in terms of keeping an analog meter. That claim will go forward.

The group’s attorney, Doug Ibendahl, said members simply wanted the opportunity to keep their original analog meter without additional fees being levied on the request. Naperville city officials had the opportunity to do the right thing, allowing residents a choice, and thereby keeping it out of court, and they didn’t have the wisdom to do it. Hence court action against the City.

Why must Naperville city officials make things more difficult than they need to be. The three current city council members who were influential in letting things get out of control were then sitting council members Judy Brodhead and Paul Hinterlong, along with then Smart Meter ambassador (city council mouthpiece) John Krummen who now sits on the council.

It’s always nice when the good guys win in court. It happens on Judge Judy. It happened with Kim Bendis. When the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group wins, that qualifies for the Triple Crown of winners.

  9 Responses to “City Of Naperville In Court As A Defendant”

  1. Is this the same Brodhead who coined the idiotic phase, “Chickens don’t bark”? We get what we don’t vote for folks. As to the law suit the city because of its Dept. Heads and elected city representatives deserves everything it gets for its gestapo, anti-American and despicable behavior over this absolute waste of money, time and effort which has done nothing but raised our electric rates. Ditto the waste management facility, electric car charging stations which are rusting out and lets not forget the grass to oil conversion system which blew up and if it worked would have produced a gallon of fuel at 80 bucks a gallon. Dumb is as dumb does but criminal is as cronies and crooks do. As Brodhead would say the chickens have come home to roost.

  2. Hi. Which court is going to rule on this? Please attach a copy of the third amended complaint to help readers of your blog understand the argument. Please also explain the equal protection claim.

  3. The July 8 court meeting is ostensibly labeled as a status hearing, but since the Judge for the case has delayed this hearing on several occasions, it is speculated that the Judge may be preparing to rule on the proposed 3rd Amended Complaint which enhances the prior complaints on the issue of invasion of privacy by smart meters. A summary of some of the key information for this complaint (without all the legal jargon) is contained at the blog article at http://smartgridawareness.org/2015/06/25/naperville-smart-meter-lawsuit-due-back-in-federal-court/. As stated by SkyVision Solutions, it is expected that a reasonable person in objectively reviewing the information contained within the Complaint would agree that the City of Naperville smart meters constitute an unreasonable invasion of privacy for electric utility customers, or at least to the extent that the allegations deserve a full trial with arguments.

    The equal protection claim primarily alleges that NSMA members were denied the ability to keep analog meters while some non-NSMA members were able to keep their analog meters.

  4. Thank you to Jennifer and SkyVision Solutions for provide the documents. I was not aware that some individuals who were not NSMA members were able to keep their analog meters. Please let all of the readers of these postings know what happens in court today.

  5. The Judge did rule on the City v NSMA case on July 7. He allows the equal protection claim to move forward but has denied further activity for this case 11-CV-09299 regarding the invasion of privacy claim. I have written about the decision at http://smartgridawareness.org/2015/07/08/smart-meters-capable-of-capturing-discrete-details-of-behavior/. I am quite blunt in my assessment of the decision and can offer some analysis as to why the Judge ruled as he did. Although my analysis might be considered one-sided, I strive to remain completely objective in how I present information at my website. Someone needs to balance out the spin and propaganda which surrounds the industry narrative that smart meters offer benefits to consumers, and I portray myself not as an activist but as a consumer protection advocate.

    The Judge in this case failed to realize or accept that a loss in privacy and associated harm occurs at the time that the granular smart meter data is unnecessarily collected. The injury increases if the City, utility, or other party later misuses the data once collected but that does not negate the initial injury that occurs at the time of collection.

    In addition, and at a more basic level, the Judge in this case remained constrained by his original case law references leading him to illogically conclude that:

    “NSMA members have no reasonable expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment in the aggregate measurements of their electrical usage — regardless of whether that aggregate usage is measured monthly, weekly, daily, hourly, or in fifteen-minute increments.”

    Upon inspection, the above logic is compelling when “[t]he power records, unlike telephone or bank records, do not reveal discrete information…” as outlined in State v. Kluss, 867 P.2d at 252-54 (Idaho Ct. App. 1993). Such is the case for traditional analog meter technology which by definition only displays aggregate or cumulative data and where such meter values are typically recorded by the utility on a once per month basis; it is not the case for City of Naperville smart meters which collect Interval Data quite frequently and therefore as stated by Judge Lee himself “that smart meters are capable of capturing discrete details of behavior.”

    I hope you recognize and appreciate the difference (and irony) on how the word “discrete” is used in the two different legal cases, i.e., do NOT reveal discrete information vs. capturing discrete details.

    The Judge’s own realization that smart meters can capture “discrete details of behavior” invalidates the applicability of his original case law references and, to me, rendered his final opinion and order as nonsensical.

    • I do recognize and appreciate the difference regarding the usage of the word “discrete” and agree with you Thank you for this information and for including a copy of the Order on your website.

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