An indication of how much ground we’ve lost over the last 30 years…

Wednesday I filed to have Judge Heydinger disqualified:

Overland Affidavit and Exhibits

And today, summarily denied:

Order – not an April Fools joke!

Here are a few snippets, well, the meat of it:

With respect to the allegation that ALJ Heydinger has restricted public participation in this hearing, the Chief Administrative Law Judge finds that Ms. Overland has not demonstrated bias. Minn. R. 1405.1400 states that “the administrative law judge shall indicate the procedural rules for the hearing.” In her prehearing orders, ALJ Heydinger has indicated the procedural rules and has not restricted any member of the public from presenting evidence or argument, nor has she prevented any person from being represented by counsel. What she has done is provide for procedures that will allow a complex, multi-party hearing to be held in an orderly and timely manner.

Specifically, ALJ Heydinger has set rules for parties to this action with respect to cross-examination at the hearing. Minn. R. 1405.1400 allows the ALJ to determine the sequence of cross-examination. The ALJ has in no way limited the right of the public to appear or present testimony. In attempting to set orderly and timely procedural rules for testimony and cross-examination by parties, the ALJ is not “raising the bar” for the public.

All parties in every case are expected to be present during the entire hearing.  This is a reasonable and very standard requirement. This requirement is for the protection of the rights of the parties. In order for them to follow the proceeding and have the opportunity for cross-examination, they must be present. Nevertheless, ALJ Heydinger has recognized that since there are so many parties to this matter some may not be able to be present at all times. She has, therefore, allowed the parties to request a leave to be absent if necessary.

Ummmmmmm, aren’t parties members of the public with a specific interest in the proceeding?

And this regarding bias and prejudice regarding “need” for the transmission line:

The other claim of bias is based in the alleged “determination of need” for the transmission project by ALJ Heydinger. As pointed out in Ms. Overland’s affidavit, this is not a Certificate of Need Hearing. The Notice and Order for Hearing issued by the Public Utilities Commission on June 2, 2009, identified the issues in this matter as whether the proposed high voltage transmission line met the routing criteria set out in Minn. Stat. § 216E.03.  ALJ Heydinger has not made any determinations or recommendations with respect to any aspect of the substance of this case at this point. She has, as is proper in a route case, asked parties to indicate in their pre-filed testimony what their preferred route is.  Requesting this information does not constitute a determination of need by the ALJ.  Nothing in the pre-hearing orders prevents the public or the parties from expressing their views on the need for this transmission project.

One Response to “Hiawatha Project – oh well…”

  1. No CapX 2020 » Prehearing Conference - CapX Fargo-St. Cloud Route Says:

    […] In the Hiawatha Project she required that Intervenors submit testimony declaring their preferred route!  That PRESUMES need!!!  Not one of the many intervenors objected.  I filed a Motion to have her booted off the case (ANY person may file such a motion at least 5 days prior to the start of the hearing) for bias, the PRESUMPTION of need, which went over like a lead balloon, but hey, it’s in the record!  See:  Hiawatha Project – oh well… […]

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