Judge denies motion to dismiss Hatton Meadows injunction

Solar Panels

By TAYLOR HARTZ
STAFF WRITER

The case set to determine the fate of a solar panel installation on Hatton Meadow will continue.

Judge Abrams of the New Britain Superior Court issued a decision on August 11, rejecting a motion to dismiss that was filed by Southington Town Attorney Mark Sciota and Diane Whitney of Pullman and Comley, representing Greenskies LLC of Middletown.

The attorneys filed the joint motion on July 31, with Abrams hearing dissent from attorney David Rosenberg on Aug. 10.

A temporary injunction was put into place on July 24, preventing the start of construction on the 2.1 acre array that was scheduled to begin three days later.

Rosenberg, representing plaintiff Richard Panek, cited several Connecticut cases in his dissent to the request that the injunctive relief be dismissed.

The town and Greenskies filed the motion claiming that the court didn’t have jurisdiction in this case.

Rosenberg argued that the project was not approved in a way that abided by Southington’s zoning regulations. Rosenberg said he referenced cases “that support the fact that there was a defect in the process used by the town.”

The judge referenced some of the same cases in his decision to reject the motion.

Attorney William Herchel, General Counsel of Greenskies Renewable Energy, LLC, issued an affidavit requesting a bond be paid to cover “liquidated damages” facing Greenskies.

Herchel’s affidavit stated that it will cost the company $1,672.47 in damages ach day if Greenskies is unable to complete the work by Nov. 6, 2015, the completion date listed in the contract with the town.

The delay, due to the injunction, has also caused a reimbursement demand from a subcontractor, Horton Electric, in the amount of $13, 222.

Judge Abrams heard the bond request in a hearing on Aug. 10 and issued his decision to reject the town’s motion to dismiss on Aug. 11.

Neither Sciota nor Whitney returned phone calls by press time.

The parties were scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 17, but the hearing was rescheduled for later this month.

Rosenberg said the plaintiffs will object to the bond request, but will “not let that be an impediment going forward,” if it is approved by the judge.

The next hearing will determine if a bond is appropriate, and if so, the amount of the bond – the financial responsibility will fall on Panek and members of the Save Hatton Meadow Coalition.

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