December 2016 Update
In the smart meter-related case of Naperville Smart Meter Awareness (NSMA) v. City of Naperville, the Federal district court entered a final judgment against NSMA and in favor of the City on September 26, 2016. (Case 1:11-cv-09299)
For a complete article describing an appeal, please refer to https://smartgridawareness.org/2016/12/24/naperville-group-appeals-smart-meter-ruling-to-higher-court/; and
Some of the key documents for the closed case of 1:11-cv-09299 may be found at the following link: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCOURTS-ilnd-1_11-cv-09299/content-detail.html
Federal Lawsuit Updates: City of Naperville v. NSMA
Since 2011, the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness (NSMA) group has been attempting to get injunctive relief from the mandatory installation of digital electric smart meters that collect granular energy usage data in excess of that required for customer billing purposes. This web page primarily compiles some of the more recent documents filed as a part of that Federal lawsuit. As of July 2015, the Federal smart meter lawsuit is still active and primarily focuses at this point on an equal protection claim where it is alleged that NSMA members were denied the ability to keep analog meters while some non-NSMA members were able to keep their analog meters.
[Update added July 8, 2015: For an article providing perspective on Judge Lee’s July 7th decision on the invasion of privacy aspects of mandatory smart meter installations, please refer to: ‘Smart meters are capable of capturing discrete details of behavior’ says Federal Judge; however…]
On Friday, March 22, 2013, Judge John Z. Lee dismissed the federal lawsuit filed against the City of Naperville in December 2011, by the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness (NSMA) group. In his 24-page ruling, the Judge stated that the group failed to adequately state its claims that the City was violating their constitutional rights through implementation of the Naperville Smart Grid Initiative (NSGI). However, the Court did grant the “Plaintiffs leave to file a Second Amended Complaint within fourteen days … to cure the deficiencies outlined herein…”
The Ruling can be found at the following link:
On April 5, 2013, the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness (NSMA) group filed an Amended Complaint with the US District Court for the Northern Division, Case Number 11-CV-09299. The moderator for this website downloaded the most recent Amended Complaint document from the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER), which is an electronic public access service. A link is provided below for the Amended Complaint. This link will not display several exhibits that were also submitted as part of the Amended Complaint:
On April 19, 2013, the City of Naperville filed a “Motion to Dismiss” for the NSMA Amended Complaint. See link below for a summary:
The NSMA group has until May 17, 2013, to file a Reply to the City of Naperville’s motion.
Update: The NSMA Reply was filed on May 17, 2013, requesting the Court to deny the City’s Motion to Dismiss:
Update: The City filed a response to the NSMA Reply on May 31, 2013. The document is attached. At this point, both parties must await a Court ruling on what will happen next:
Update: On June 14, 2013, the City of Naperville, in an attempt to derail the continued litigation, filed for sanctions against the NSMA organization and its attorney, citing that the “Plaintiffs have filed this case improperly seeking judicial interference to order the City Council to reverse its decision … and harass the City into reversing a legislative decision.”
On July 22, 2013, the NSMA group filed its response to the City’s request for sanctions. Plaintiff requested that the Court deny the City’s Motion in its entirety and further order the award of attorney’s fees and costs reasonably incurred by Plaintiff and its counsel for the Motion. The NSMA response can be viewed through the link provided below:
Updated Entry, August 24, 2014: At this juncture, both the City of Naperville and the NSMA group are awaiting the Judge’s response on this Case, whether it be for the City’s motion for sanctions or a ruling related to the City’s motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint. As of this date, there are no new Court documents that would reveal the Judge’s opinion on the active Court filings before him.
Updated Entry, October 22, 2014:
Somewhat belatedly, SkyVision Solutions learned today that a ruling was made a few weeks ago (9/25/14) regarding the Naperville Federal smart meter lawsuit.
Judge Lee did not generally rule favorably in the Naperville smart meter lawsuit.
- The only claim that officially survives deals with an “equal protection” allegation that “NSMA has sufficiently stated an equal protection claim based on the City’s disparate treatment of members and non-members requesting to retain analog meters for medical reasons.”
- However, the Judge on October 22 agreed to consider a motion for a new Amended Complaint on the 4th Amendment allegation that smart meters unreasonably invade privacy. Such a complaint would need to effectively convince the Judge that his ruling may be in error for whatever reason where he stated: “Data from the City’s smart meters shows only total usage and no further details than that.” The proposed Amended Complaint needs to be filed by 11/19/14.
Updated Entry, December 11, 2014:
After receiving an extension to the original filing date of 11/19/14, the NSMA group filed a 3rd Amended Complaint on December 10, 2014. A link to the main body of this Complaint is provided below. The content of this Complaint has been significantly enhanced regarding the Fourth Amendment and invasion of privacy invasion allegations.
Naperville Smart Meter Opponent Files Federal Lawsuit
On January 23, 2013, Kim Bendis, at that time President of the NSMA, was arrested by Naperville police officers for both resisting an arrest dealing with the video and audio recording a police officer in the course of his duties (enforcing smart meter installations) and on a charge of “eavesdropping.” The statute for which the police based this arrest had already been declared unconstitutional by state courts at the time of the arrest. On October 1, 2014, Kim Bendis was acquitted of the charge of resisting arrest by a jury trial.
Kim Bendis is now seeking damages from the City of Naperville and penalties for the officers involved in her 2013 arrest. A Federal lawsuit was filed on Friday, January 23, 2015. Here is a link to this new Federal lawsuit: Bendis Federal Lawsuit.
For additional information on this recent story regarding the lawsuit filed by Kim Bendis, refer to: https://smartgridawareness.org/2015/01/29/naperville-smart-meter-opponent-files-federal-lawsuit/
Update added September 16, 2015:
Naperville City Council members this week settled a federal lawsuit filed last winter by a staunch opponent of the city’s smart meter installation program.
The settlement agreement calls for paying $117,500 to Naperville resident Malia “Kim” Bendis, whose Jan. 23 lawsuit accused the city and four of its police officers of violating her constitutional rights.
“She was basically arrested for exactly what I think all of us would believe to be our constitutional right: to protest something she was an active protester about — the smart meters — and then to oversee our government,” Bendis’ lawyer, civil rights attorney Torri Hamilton of Hamilton Law Office in Chicago, said. “What happened to her was completely uncalled for.”
The settlement says it is not to be construed as an admission that the police personnel named in the suit “acted wrongfully” toward Bendis.