Sears Island Lawsuits, 1985-2010
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Sears Island in Federal courts 1985-1992

Sears Island Containerport Bond Bill LD 420 gets a skeptical reception. 2/124/12

Sears Island in the Maine Courts 2009-2010.
Media Coverage Here

February 2009 to March 2011

MARCH, 2011
3/25/11 Maine Supreme Judicial Court clerk notifies Huber that the case will be reviewed "on the briefs"; i.e. wthout oral argument.


NEW: 12/17/10 Ron Huber files Appellate Brief with Maine Supreme Judicial Court. (pdf)
Tells Court: controversy over 23 MRSA 4206(O) is a "Solemn Occasion" that only they can resolve.
10/22/10 Maine Supreme Court sets Briefing Schedule
9/29/10 Ron Huber files appeal to Maine Supreme Court (pdf)
9/8/2010 Judge Hjelm rules: Case not ripe yet. Dismissed! BDN Media coverage
5/15/09. Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Hjelm consolidates all three cases (below) to Waldo County Court 4/13/09 Huber reply to MDOT Motion to Dismiss
4/13/09 McLaughlin reply to MDOT Motion to Dismiss
4/24/09 MDOT reply to Huber reply of 4/12/09
3/31/09 Huber Motion to Exclude Untimely Responses
3/24/09 MDOT motion to dismiss Huber's case
3/24/09 MDOT motion to consolidate the three lawsuits
3/24/09 MDOT motion to stay production of record.
2/20/09 Watts files petition to review agency action
2/25/09 McLaughlin files petition to review agency action
2/19/09 Huber files petition to review agency action.

12/17/10 Appellate Brief: "While neither Legislature nor Governor has petitioned the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court to give their opinion upon the important questions of law bound up in 23 MRSA 4206(O), nor declared the discord and controversy between the branches of government engendered by in 23 MRSA 4206(O)to be a Solemn Occasion , citizens may in specific circumstances take up legislative functions identical to those of state legislators, pursuant to Article IV Part Third (1) Legislative Power. Direct Initiative of Legislation."

"Appellant holds that, per Article IV Part 3, he and all electors possess an authority identical to the Legislature's to declare a solemn occasion and the existence of important questions of law, and request the Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court to give opinion "...upon important questions of law, and upon solemn occasions," identical to that authority when invoked by "the Governor, Senate or House of Representatives."

02/19/09 Petition for review of Final Agency Action "Mr. Huber asks this Court to find Public Law Chapter 277 An Act Regarding the Management and Use of Sears Island to be an unconstitutional delegation of Executive Branch land use decision-making power to the Maine Legislature's Joint Committee on Transportation, in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Maine Constitution's Article III Distribution of Powers, and of MRSA 3 165 Joint Committees, Authority, and declare all decisions made pursuant to its exercise by the Joint Committee on Transportation and Maine DOT invalid."
.....Mr. Huber asks this Court to rescind the Jan. 22, 2009 conservation easement until the MDOT has fully complied with the requirements of the Maine Sensible Transportation Policy Act and the Maine Site Location of Development Law."

DOUGLAS WATTS EXCERPTS: "Mr. Watts has been an avid user of the Penobscot River and its tributaries near Sears Island since 1982. The final agency action he seeks to be reviewed will irrevocably harm his ability to continue using and enjoying the Penobscot River and these tributaries as he has done since 1982."
....Mr. Watts seeks relief for the failure of the Maine DOT to "evaluate the full range of reasonable transportation strategies to address the transportation need"; to "identify and develop strategies that are context sensitive and minimize adverse effects to environmental quality"; to conduct a "strategy evaluation process" and to fulfill other requirements of the Sensible Transportation Policy Act and its rules prior to executing the conservation easement on Jan. 22. 2009."

HARLAN MCLAUGHLIN excerpts: "Mr McLaughlin hiked the island and swam in the island's shallows with his grandparents and now enjoys those same activities with his own grandchildren....Mr McLaughlin feels a strong responsibility to ensure our generation passes on the treasure that is Sears Island as a gift to future generations. The final agency action he seeks to be reviewed will irrevocably harm his ability to enjoy, use, steward and restore this area."