• Last modified 1131 days ago (Nov. 5, 2020)


Judge watches
for four horsemen

Staff writer

District judge Steven Hornbaker intends to resolve a long-running lawsuit between wind farm opponents and defendants Marion County and Expedition Wind on Friday — unless the four horsemen of the apocalypse show up first.

Hornbaker last week brought the filing of legal briefs in the case to a screeching halt with an order saying he will hear arguments on a summary judgment at 10 a.m. Friday.

“This date shall not be altered absent very good cause,” Hornbaker wrote. “For instance, one of the seven apocalyptic events occur or ‘end of days’ as prophesied in Revelations actually happens.”

When the case was filed Aug. 14, 2019, 74 plaintiffs sued the county in an effort to block development of Expedition Wind farm in the southern half of the county. Expedition Wind was given permission to intervene in the case.

In the months since, a copious number of court documents have been filed and all but one of the plaintiffs — Florence resident Tom Britain, a write-in candidate for county commission — has dropped out of the suit.

One of the filed documents is an April request for the judge to make a summary judgment in the case.

The Overland Park law firm that at first represented the plaintiffs was granted permission Oct. 8 to dump Britain as a client. Britain has not retained new legal counsel.

Hornbaker wrote that he has read every brief filed in the case and doesn’t believe any more filings will be helpful.

“Further litigation or discovery is not going to aid the court in its decision on summary judgment, and since this case has been very litigious and costly for all parties, the motion to stay summary judgment is denied,” he wrote.

Last modified Nov. 5, 2020