The Massachusetts Appeals Court rejected a motion to intervene in the court order to shut down Falmouth’s two wind turbines as a nuisance, upholding Barnstable Superior Court Judge Cornelius J. Moriarty II’s decision.
“We see no reason to disturb the judge’s ruling,” Associate Justices Peter J. Rubin, Gabrielle R. Wolohojian, and Amy L. Blake wrote in their decision, noting the history of the litigation.
“Here, [Judge Moriarty] properly considered that intervention would delay and complicate the final resolution that was achieved between the original parties, and would therefore prejudice those parties,” the justices wrote. “Indeed, the original parties considered the matter to be concluded. Moreover, reopening the case would cause the original parties to incur additional legal expenses.”
Filed by The Green Center Inc. of Hatchville and 12 Falmouth residents, the motion requested Judge Moriarty to reconsider his 2017 decision that upheld a Falmouth Zoning Board of Appeals decision deeming the turbines a nuisance and ordered the turbines shut down. Through a motion to intervene, The Green Center sought to replace that order with a “more equitable remedy for all parties.”
Judge Moriarty denied the request.
“The judge denied the motion concluding that the interveners could not likely establish standing, and that the motion was untimely,” the appeals court judges wrote. “We affirm.”
The judges noted the interveners had 60 days after the judgment was entered on June 21, 2017, to appeal the decision. The motion to intervene was not filed until November 15, 2017. In addition, their decision notes The Green Center failed to establish a compelling interest in filing the motion to intervene.
“As an organization, The Green Center has not offered sufficient evidence to support the assertion that its interest in reducing environmental contamination will in fact be harmed by the judgment,” the judges wrote.
Falmouth residents listed on the motion to intervene are George M. Woodwell, Ronald D. Zweig, Christina C. Rawley, Earle A. Barnhart (the principal officer of The Green Center), John Carlton-Foss, Rhona N. Carlton, James Churchill, Hilde Maingay, Pamela D. Pelletreau, Robert H. Pelletreau Jr., Allison B. White and Katharine R. Woodwell.
Although the appeal was denied, The Green Center can petition the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court for further review.
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