‘D Day’ for Michigan Utility v. Addison Twp Couple on Smart Meters

November 7th, 2012 Update – At the hearing today the judge came very close to dismissing the entire case Detroit Edison had brought against the Addison Township couple for changing their own meter.  She suggested the possibility of a dismissal of the DTE case “without prejudice” that would leave the door open for Detroit Edison to refile its complaint in 6 months if they still felt that other developments (in the MPSC opt-out case) had not resolved the issue.  The DTE attorney would not agree to this plan and the couple did not want a 6 month stay because they have no expectation that the MPSC case is going to resolve this dispute.  In the end the judge decided to give Detroit Edison another month, until December 5th, to come up with a meter that would be acceptable to the couple and to resume normal meter reading practices.  We now think there is a fair chance Detroit Edison will offer to put an analog meter back on the house as an interim solution, in order to avoid the jury trial the couple asked for, until the MPSC completes its opt-out case and enacts an opt-out plan.  The earliest that could happen would be next May, though it could be much later if there is an appeal of the MPSC decision.  If Detroit Edison shows no inclination to compromise then the Court, on December 5th, will likely order the case to proceed to trial.

November 7th, 2012, 10 am – Detroit Edison Smart Meter Case Coming to a Head – On this day there will be what is called a “Motion Hearing” in the case of Detroit Edison versus the couple from Addison Township, in the courtroom of Oakland Circuit Judge Shalina Kumar.   

This hearing will likely determine whether or not the case will proceed to trial next March.   The case was brought by the utility because the couple replaced what DTE is pleased to call a ‘smart meter’  with an analog meter.  This they did because, they maintain, the device was both harmful and illegal, and they had exhausted all other remedies.  At this hearing there will be four motions, three brought by the couple against Detroit Edison, and one by Detroit Edison seeking what amounts to a ‘time-out’ of the entire case.  Here are the motions the judge is expected to hear and rule on:

(1)  Motion for Summary Dismissal – In this one the couple are seeking to have Detroit Edison’s entire case thrown out because, they say, the utility never had any legal authority to install ‘smart meters’ on non consenting customers in the first place.  There was, apparently, nothing in the MPSC approved tariff that ever authorized smart meter installation, nor was there any rule lawfully issued under the Commission’s rule-making authority.

(2) Motion to Allow Counter-Claim – In this one the couple is seeking an injunction against the utility to prevent the latter from terminating electrical service to the home for refusal to accept a ‘smart meter’.  An earlier attempt to bring the counter-claim had been denied for highly technical reasons.  The couple is hopeful that this second attempt will prevail.  So far the utility has refrained from carrying out an earlier threat to disconnect power.

(3) Motion for Protective Order on Discovery – In this one the couple has asked the judge to limit the scope of a deposition to proper subject matter and to impose some conditions on the manner in which the deposition can be taken.

(4) Detroit Edison’s Motion for Stay of Proceedings – In this one the utility is asking the court for a time-out until next May in order that any decision made by the MPSC in the opt-out fee case can be considered, at least in part, as a basis for deciding this case.  The couple will be opposing this stay in the belief that, whatever the outcome in the MPSC case, this case should be decided on its own merits and sooner rather than later.

Persons who would like to follow this case are encouraged to attend the hearing.  We would also welcome comments from our readers in the “Comments” window below.

11 thoughts on “‘D Day’ for Michigan Utility v. Addison Twp Couple on Smart Meters

  1. At my husband instruction, I requested DTE come out with oscillioscope or EMF with RF frequency detector. This was because he has been experiencing major symptoms, and we finally figured out it might be the smart meters. Of which , in this apartment building, there are 8 installed just a few feet below his bedroom wall (we are 2nd floor). We can both hear a ringing in ears when no electronic device is on. This started recently, and we think we traced the timeline to when the meters were installed ( looked back over my bills and saw when the meter id changed. DTE assured me they were sending out someone with TV Radio interference training. Instead I got a man who had empty hands, and told me even if he probed the meter, all it would tell him is if it worked. He wanted to stand there and see if he heard the noise. He didn’t. It was that simple to him. I said, where are your sensing devices that I requested the tech have? He said he hadn’t been told anything like that, and he wasn’t trained in TV Radio intereference, but there were a couple on his team that were. I don’t know why he came. If I wanted to have a conversation and be treated almost humourously like I was crazy…. Well, you get the point. He left saying that he would schedule a visit from one of the TV Radio interference people, but that it wouldn’t be soon. He also assured me the meter itself only transmits once or twice per day. I told him I don’t trust what representatives of companies tell me , especially since I had read information online that disputed that.

    My primary problem is, let’s say that they send out a radio TV interference person who says, No Problems. Then my next step will be to request removal of the smart meter, just based on my own instincts ( I have lived here over 6 years, and the problem only started about 9 months ago, same time as meters installed. We didn’t figure it out until July/August. And now that no one else – with their ears can hear the same noise, we are left waiting). . Also, even if we get our own smart meter removed, we have 7 more attached to this apartment building. What I wish for is:

    1) That the MPSC would investigate health effects of these meters using accepted devices that are readily available to measure radiation from X feet away, and that sensing device should also be able to tell if the smart meter actually does only transmit once or twice per day. I really could care less about privacy. I believe the health risk is more important.

    2) I wish the mainstream local news were covering this story/saga/fight. This is serious. The fact that most people do not know that this has even occurred is almost a right-to-know violation all on its own. I am sure a stupid local news outfit would gladly front the money to test these at multiple homes, and then go and put a microphone in front of DTE peoples. Great for ratings to fight with corporations who are obviously trying to pull a fast one, and unfortunately, getting away with it. There would be more public outcry if people knew things. And there needs to be a current , referenceable study on the transmission frequency, as well as the radiation #’s. Those two figures could dispute all of the state-funded so-called research that was done prior to okay’ing this deployment. ( Because the publicly available state reports I have found online are almost identical to each other, saying frequency is only once or twice per day, therefore cell phone and other wireless devices currently in use in households are more radioactive than smart meters. I just do not believe this. Someone needs to prove the transmission rate, and it needs to be a trusted source, because it is true that if internet research is the only tool, then some of these websites look a little out there, and lend towards hard to take seriously.

    3) I wish the legislation that is taking place would include some sort of opt-out in cases where there are greater than one meter installed to a building like an apartment. The result of an individual getting the meter removed would have little to no reduction in health consequences if the remaining meters stay put. And it would be very difficult to get 7 of your neighbors to pay $87 + 15/mo fee for something that due to their own lack of knowledge, and lack of same-kind-of-sensitivity seemingly has no effect on them.

    4) In Canada, there appears to be a type of smart meter that allows it to be transmitting data through a wired phone line, instead of wirelessly. I wish that the MPSC would consider this option as a non-chargeable opt-out solution because that utilitiy company could still get their benefit, whatever that is, while the person in the apartment or house can become free from the effects of radiation due to data transmitting through the wired telephone lines.

    5) One final question. What is the point of the casing that goes over most electrical “wired” lines and cables. Does this casing shielding only protect from the elements, or does it also serve the purpose of enclosing the emf field produced. I really would like to know this from someone who knows. The reason I ask is, if shielded wires already exist, and they have this casing for more than one reason, including limiting effects on human exposure, then why would it seem strange to question wireless? If wired shields, wireless doesn’t. And until someone with knowledge produces data that the state(s) believe, we are all unshielded guinea pig bags on bones.

    • Catherine – An oscilloscope is probably best way to get an accurate picture of what is going on. The other way would be to use a very advanced type of RF meter that has ability to record and store peak readings, as opposed to just measuring average RF levels. What we have learned is that the the radiation from a smart meter consists of high energy pulses, each only milliseconds in duration, but pulses happening at least 9700 times/day, or about every 7 to 8 seconds 24/7. We know this because Detroit Edison is using a “mesh network” and the basic parameters of such a network were disclosed in great detail by Pacific Gas & Electric to the California Public Utility Commission.

      Last March Detroit Edison made a submission of technical information on the Itron smart meter which included an Appendix No. 2 by Itron. Here is the link: “http://efile.mpsc.state.mi.us/efile/docs/17000/0146.pdf”. If you go to Appendix No.2 called “Itron White PaPER” you will see, on pages 3-5 much technical data about the “duty cycle’ of the Itron meter. What they show there is the meter only transmits a total of 50-100 seconds per day. What they are careful NOT to tell you there is that the 50 seconds/day equates to 9700 high energy pulses happening every 7-8 seconds. This can be extremely disruptive to the human nervous system as many have testified, and has been corroborated by medical experts all over the world.

      You are correct in your speculation that the “casing” of wires used in the electronics industry is not only to protect from the weather. Shielded cables that have an electrically conductive mesh surrounding the inner conductor(s) are in widespread use. One of the most common types is called “coax” cable, and if you have cable TV service or cable internet service, it is almost certainly hooked up with coax cable. If you pull the cable connector out of the back of your TV you will see that there is a central pin conductor concentrically surrounded by a metal shell conductor. These connect, respectively, to a central conductor in the cable and a braided shield of conductive material surrounding that central conductor. The purpose is to protect the central conductor from receiving unwanted signals, or from causing unwanted signals to be imposed on other nearby wiring or equipment.

      Your situation is particularly difficult since there are 8 meters right below your bedroom window. Switching one out of 8 back to an analog meter won’t do much to alleviate the situation. Your best option would probably be to sue Detroit Edison seeking an injunction to force removal of the meters. We have every reason to believe such a lawsuit would be successful. Others have gone against Detroit Edison and the courts have so far not sided with Edison. The other option would be to move into a situation where there is only going to be ONE meter and make sure that one is an analog meter.

  2. This study may help your case. This is in regards to a hacking smart meter study done at Univ. of South Carolina. Engineering and utility students (not advanced hackers) were able to tap into the Advanced Meter System (AMR downloads info from smart meters via wireless to the nearby utility trucks) by mimicking themselves as those utility trucks. Besides fires, health concerns, and costs, these utility companies continue not to use adequate security to protect our personal smart meter data. Good luck fighting the good fight. I took mine to the 6 o’clock news and the paper! http://www.greenrightnow.com/weareaustin/2012/10/31/smart-meters-may-need-to-be-a-little-smarter-and-safer/

  3. If the motion for summary dismissal is granted, I will be uninstalling the smart meter from my home and installing an analog meter. I have sent various letters and the last gave them 30 days to come out and remove it. They have called and asked me not to do it but refuse to do it for me.

    I agree with another comment, why are they so intent on installing these meters?

    • They want information that can be sold to different companies .They now will be able to tell when your use is during Peak consumption and charge a higher rate for any use during what THEY consider peak times.You do not want this trust me

  4. Dear Readers,
    Fight the good fight with all thy might etc., as it says in the Hymns of my Church of England. Yes folks you must keep on fighting for your health and peace of mind against these truly corrupt Electric Utility Powers and any other powers working hand in glove with these truly CORRUPT Corporations. We here in Victoria Australia are having a measure of small success by firstly padlocking our Electric Meter Boxes against these now proving to be Damnedly Deadly Microwave Smart Meters. A few people have had their Smart Meters changed over to the Safe and Passive Analogue Electric Meters stolen from them when they kick up enough fuss and threaten these Corrupt and Wicked Electric Power Companies here in Victoria and in New South Wales in Australia.

    In both Holland and the United Kingdom or England……my old home as well as in Scotland, Wales and Ireland the Parliaments have now listened very attentively to the people. Right now each Parliament in Holland and the United Kingdom has successfully passed new rules which stop the Microwave Smart Meters from being forced on their subjects. The new Parliamentary Rules now allow anyone in Holland and the United Kingdom to demand of these Electric Power Companies that any customer now has the Right In Law, to demand that any person with a Smart Meter on their property who feels that the Smart Meter is making them sick, or could make them sick in the future, can demand that the Electric Power Company/s must now remove said Smart Meter/s and replace it or them with an an Analogue Safe and Passive Electric Meter/s immediately that customer or customers make such a demand in writing.

    There is no exception to these New Rules or Statutes of the Dutch and United Kingdom Parliaments and the Monetary cost of the change-over to the Analogue Meters must be fully borne by the Electric Power Company/s concerned. This is the Rule of Law which you in both countries……America and Canada and any other countries need to get enforced in your Parliaments, or your equivalent of the British or United Kingdom and Dutch Government have already made some months ago with Holland taking the Lead some three weeks ahead of Britain.

    It is the height of Wickedness and downright Corruption that these ongoing Crimes are still being perpetrated against a supposedly Free and Supposedly Democratic People in mainly so many Supposedly Free Countries. It all goes to show that the Rule of Law by the people of the People and for the People is being wickedly overruled by Truly Wicked Electrical Power Corporations and similar Money Hungry and truly Wicked Corporations seemingly World-Wide.

    What has happened to so many of this World’s Courts one may ask ? Are they now purely representatives of Corporate Greed. or are they still there to serve the Common People ? It makes me wonder. Seems to me that this Planet Earth’s powers to protect the people is fast going down the SEWER ! Must we have to have a Civil War to bring back Power To The People in both America, Canada and Australia this time ?
    Seems to me, that Holland and the United Kingdom are finally getting it right ! so why can’t America and Canada and Victoria and the rest of Australia and other countries as well ?

    • Thank you very much for this information. I will disseminate on various FB pages. Everyone in the fight to have safe technology needs to be aware how America remains in the “dark ages” regarding the harm of EMF/RF.

  5. The reason they are pushing and installing the smart meters is it will jack your payment to them about 40-50%. It is criminal what they are doing, but the state of Michigan and the courts agree with the utilities companies… Rape the public blind. It is a matter of money and our government body is allowing this to happen to us. Wait till they put smart meters on our water and gas, and watch the price shoot up. That’s why the courts have thrown out cases similar to this one in other states. That’s why the Michigan utilities commission does nothing but support . It is just to take your money.

    • sasha,
      It’s always about greed, isn’t it? I am in the process of making arrangements to get the heck off the grid. Most likely this means that I will have to move to another, much more remote area. I am one of the Electromagnetically sensitive persons and my health depends upon me getting the heck out of this hole (a suburb–not my choice–I’m a country girl) I currently live in.
      I wonder how many more people are going to hasten getting off the grid because they are being forced to tolerate conditions that will make them sick sooner or later?

      quote: “In both Holland and the United Kingdom or England……my old home as well as in Scotland, Wales and Ireland the Parliaments have now listened very attentively to the people.” That is wonderful news.

  6. Why are these electric (utility) companies so adamant about installing these Smart meters? I’m really puzzled about this. These companies seem to have the attitude that they can force us to do anything they demand. Personally, I’d like to just get off the grid altogether. I am working on that right now. The only hold-up is that my mother is 95 years old and is not able to handle a rough lifestyle that living off the grid requires, so I have to wait.

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