This one is going to go one for a while barring some common sense. If no documents ar produced that definitively show Brunswick owns the lines then this suit is moot…of course again that depends on common sense with all parties involved.
The Frederick News-Post Online – Frederick County Maryland Daily Newspaper.
Judge allows Rosemont to sue for water
Originally published September 29, 2009
Rosemont’s lawsuit to force the city of Brunswick to provide water to the community will go forward, plaintiff Tom Watson said.
Eight residents of Rosemont, led by Watson, have sued Brunswick to prevent the city from carrying out an adopted resolution to stop water service to the community.
In Frederick County Circuit Court Aug. 19, Judge Theresa M. Adams took under advisement two motions in the case: one from Brunswick to dismiss the case; and one from Rosemont plaintiffs for class certification.
Adams denied both motions last week.
“That’s really not a problem,” Watson said. “This just clears it up to proceed to court on the merits of our suit.”
Rosemont’s eight plaintiffs had wanted the case to become a class-action suit affecting all water customers in Rosemont, about 80 properties.
Because the interested parties are closely located and known to the court, Watson said the judge found the case did not qualify for class certification.
Following a practice of not commenting on ongoing litigation, Brunswick Mayor Carroll Jones expressed no reaction.
“I will not offer a comment,” he said.
Both Watson and Jones said they have not heard when the next court date will be.
Rosemont lies north of and outside the city limits. Ever since the Works Project Administration built the waterlines between Brunswick and Rosemont in the 1930s, Brunswick has supplied water to some Rosemont properties.
Documentation stating that Brunswick is always required to provide the service has not been supplied, said Danny B. O’Connor, Brunswick’s attorney.
The plaintiffs have cited precedents that a public utility that exclusively provides a service to an area must provide for the service to continue. Whether Brunswick has become a de facto public utility for Rosemont has yet to be determined.
“We do not believe it’s a public utility,” Jones said.
Brunswick’s position is that although it has provided water to Rosemont properties, it has no legal responsibility to do so.
The water lines serving Rosemont need about $3.3 million in upgrades.
An injunction has prevented the city from cutting off water service until the court case is settled.
Attorneys for both sides acknowledged the case could take a long time to settle.