All -- I realize it's been a while since we've given an in-depth update, and part of the reason why is because it's actually been very busy in Legal Land lately. While we are still in the thick of things, here is a Cliff Notes version of what's been going on and what it means for us. It's been fast and furious over the past 2 weeks.

SUMMARY: Kin gave a good overview in his NJT update post last week. As you know, the Summary Briefs from each party were originally due to the judge on 9/1. A few days before that date, the judge issued a ruling re: all the evidence we and other parties had tried to get admitted to the record of the case. She ruled to exclude big chunks of that big JCP&L "Rejoinder Report" that they had submitted in June. (That was the report that JCPL dropped on us all right before we were supposed to have Round 2 of the hearings. At the time, our attorney as well as Rate Counsel and the Joint Municipal Group attorneys all voiced to the judge that this report should NOT be included in the record -- essentially saying thy were trying to throw in the kitchen sink at the last minute, and introduced new info and arguments that they had never brought up before.)

In Judge Cookson's order she ruled that several things, including many portions of JCP&L's report, would be stricken from the record and were not to be considered. (GOOD!) (Note: a few of our things were ruled out too, but we can still support our arguments with what was admitted to the record.) Because of this ruling of hers, 2 big things happened:

1. it meant that the briefs everybody had been working on would need to be edited, to take out any references to evidence that was now no longer allowed. (So this introduced a new delay -- she asked the parties to discuss and agree on a new due date for the briefs.)

2. JCP&L is mad. Really mad. They threw a lot of stuff in that report that they really were banking on being in the case.

SO THEN WHAT HAPPENED? -- late last week, as the kiddos were heading back to school, JCPL filed a 220+ page long appeal to the BPU, basically asking them to overturn Judge Cookson's order on the evidence ruling. We are filing a response to that appeal request, that Peter and the Legal Team worked on all weekend and yesterday.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR US? Good and bad. Good -- delay. The more off-timeline we get this project the better. Delays are our friend. But the Bad -- delays mean more work to be done, and more work means more legal bills. We now have some more legal expenses we have to cover, that weren't in our forecasts. For reading and digesting the order, for editing our brief, for reading JCP&L's lengthy appeal, discussing it, responding to it, etc. etc. The volunteer Legal Team has been spending hours and hours on this since this new development happened, as has our attorney Peter. Which means.... more money is going to be billed.

They are on pause until the BPU decides what to do with JCP&L's appeal about the evidence. Once the BPU decides what to do with JCP&L's request, the clock starts ticking again and we have 3 weeks to get the briefs in to the judge. The BPU will rule on the appeal at one of their monthly board meetings -- next one is Sept 22. Could happen then or could happen in October or even November... we have to wait and see. We are in a holding pattern.

1. Keep reminding people that THIS IS NOT OVER. We are still fighting and fighting hard and we haven't won yet.

2. Now more than ever, we HAVE to be able to see this thing through to the end. And for that to happen, we need to be able to pay the bills. PLEASE MAKE A SEPTEMBER DONATION TO RAGE if you have not already! $25, $50, whatever you can spare. Remember our attorney costs $400 an hour. He is great, but great costs money.


Donate online at: StopJCPL.org/donate

or donate by check -- mail to:

Residents Against Giant Electric
1385 Route 35
Suite 128
Middletown, NJ 07748

THANK YOU ALL. We need to stick with this and deal with the twists and turns as they come. Nobody said this was going to be easy. :)