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Judge Whittenburg dismisses lawsuit in wind energy case

An order to dismiss was filed on Monday, Feb. 19 by Judge Nancy Whittenburg in the first Mathis, Egland, Stillman, Reding (Plaintiffs) lawsuit against Mid American and Palo Alto Wind Energy, LLC (Defendants).

In the original filing on Oct. 13, 2017, the Plaintiffs asked for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief stating that the Defendants must obtain a certificate from the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) pursuant to Chapter 476A of the Iowa Code before beginning to construct this wind energy project.

In their Pre-Answer Motion to Dismiss on three grounds: (1) Plaintiffs have failed to exhaust their administrative remedies and this Court (District Court) lacks original jurisdiction to decide Plaintiff claims; (2) Plaintiffs seek to overturn an un-appealed agency determination in this action, which constitutes an improper collateral attack and (3) Plaintiffs failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted because the Plaintiffs’ petition merely presents a legal argument that is contrary to well-settled law.

In the Order to Dismiss, Judge Whittenburg ruled that the Plaintiffs should have exhausted their other non-judicial remedies in the Iowa Board of Utility Board Declaratory Ruling in case DRU-2017-003 before filing this suit and wasting judicial resources in Palo Alto County District Court.