As of 5pm last night (Feb 18), all documents have been submitted to the Southern District Court of Appeals regarding Poplar Bluff Internet (who used to own SEMO.net*) and the City of Poplar Bluff.
On January 3, Poplar Bluff Internet filed their Appellant Brief; on February 3, the City filed their Respondent Brief; and on February 18, PBII filed the final submission: Reply Brief. Unless they call for oral argument, it is now in the hands of a three judge panel. We are hoping that the court will take the issue up during their October session in Poplar Bluff. To my knowledge the judges have not been named.
Our appeal appears to contain a “case of first impression” on two different issues. First, regarding Missouri statute 392.410.7 which is specifically directed at cities who own municipalities and sell telecommunications; and second, is a procedural anomaly pitting a legal rule (55.33c) against a Missouri Statute (536.090).
One of the problems that we’ve had in this case over the last three years is trying to help people understand that Missouri has a definition for “telecommunications service” and it is nothing like the federal definition of the same phrase. The biggest break came in August 2013 when the Missouri Public Service Commission filed a joint stipulation order. In that public record the PSC clearly stated there was a difference between the federal and state definitions, and, there exist services which do not qualify as telecommunications service by the federal definition but do qualify as a telecommunications service under Missouri’s definitions.
THIS IS WHAT WE’VE BEEN SAYING SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THIS CASE!!!!!! What an amazing blessing to finally have a state agency on the record.
This difference in definitions has been handcuffing us because the City’s lawyers continue to argue a state statute using federal definitions. All of the Supreme Court cases (like NTCA v Brand X Internet, Verizon v FCC, etc) and FCC Rulings (like the 2005 Wireline Order) involving cable and DSL modems and Internet and telecommunications service, are using the federal definition of the term “telecommunications service” and do not apply to Missouri statutes using their own definition. I hope that it aids the Appellate judges in reversing Judge Ligons’ Summary Judgment against us back in 2011.
As for the second issue, the City was allowed to sue Poplar Bluff Internet before they had completed their administrative dispute hearing (ie, before they exhausted their administrative remedies). Rather than telling the City their lawsuit was not ripe, the judge allowed them to have the dispute hearing…two years later. Sadly, though, the City didn’t follow the Missouri Administrative Procedures Act (MAPA); but the judge allowed the City to use a MAPA statute of limitations to say their dispute hearing outcome was accepted because no judicial review was filed.
The problem the City has in their assertion is that they broke at least five MAPA requirements including not having a court reporter to record the hearing. With no transcript of the proceedings, the City had no record of my objections at the hearing. Our appeal tries to establish that you cannot use MAPA rules without proving that it was a MAPA hearing, and since there is no record of the hearing that is not possible. Therefore the trial judge should not have awarded Summary Judgment.
Additionally, since the City sued PBII before they exhausted their remedies, we argue that MAPA statute of limitations does not trump the court. My understanding of Rule 55.33c is that once a case has been filed with the courts, everything else related to that same case can be seen as occurring on the original filing date. An example of this would be that the City’s dispute policy requires the dispute hearing to be at the City Council meeting following the appeal, but it was actually held two years later. We couldn’t claim that it wasn’t a real dispute hearing because it wasn’t held “at the next meeting following the appeal” because the court’s rules trump that statute of limitations.
It has been exciting being involved in the preparation of the appeals documents. I cannot give enough credit to the amazing legal team at Kirby Law Offices in Doniphan. Derrick Kirby has done a superb job for Poplar Bluff Internet and if you are ever in need of legal help, please consider calling the Kirby Law Firm (573.996.4747).
*Because Poplar Bluff Internet owned SEMO.net when this case began, Bluff Technologies has given permission for the SEMO.net logo to remain on this graphic created in 2012.
After graduating from Mizzou with Computer and Electrical Engineering degrees in 1985, Brian Becker spent a decade singing Christian Rock and being a labeled artist with Benson Music Group of Nashville. In 1995, he and several investors started the area's first Internet Service called PBMO.net and by 2000 the company was serviing Internet access in over 50 communities throughout Southeast Missouri as SEMO.net. In July 2014, Becker again made a major pivot and became Publisher of the SEMO TIMES: a weekly print and daily online news and entertainment source for the region.
In its 87th year, the Stoddard County Fair will officially begin with a parade through downtown Dexter at 5:30pm on Tuesday, Sept. 16. (Exhibit entries will be accepted on the [...]
In its 87th year, the Stoddard County Fair will officially begin with a parade through downtown Dexter at 5:30pm on Tuesday, Sept. 16. (Exhibit entries will be accepted on the 14th and 15th) The winner of 2013′s Band Competition, The Puxico Rhythm Steppers, will be the lead band for this year’s parade.
Immediately after the parade in Arena A there will be youth games and chicken catching; while Arena B will host the Queen’s Contest.
Bill Hulvey and the Side Street Band will entertain on the Midway at 7pm and Prof. Farquar and Polecat Annie will perform nightly.
At 6pm Wednesday, Tyler Feller and Kryst Lyke will offer a youth ministry on the Midway.
Thursday will be armband night; the brave may ride all the Midway’s mechanical attractions as often as they like from 5:30 to 10pm for $25. At 6pm in Arena A cattle, hogs and equine judging will take place, followed at 7pm by a Future Farmers of America (FFA) Tractor Rodeo in Arena A and karaoke in Arena B.
New this year at the Stoddard County Fair on the Midway is a state-of-the-art mechanical ride dubbed “The Cliff Hanger.” Daredevils who enjoy this attraction range in ages from nine to ninety. The Cliff Hanger was built by Dartron Industries of Salem, Oregon and is brought to the fair by Tinsley Amusements. Tinsley provides all the carnival features on the Midway.
Friday’s featured Midway entertainer at 7pm will be Rickie Lee Tanner. Simultaneously in Arena A, the Bootheel Tractor Pulls will be followed by karaoke at 8pm in Arena B.
Saturday from 1to 5pm will be armband afternoon; armbands for all rides are $20.
Saturday’s list of events includes at 8am a Buyers Breakfast; at 9am at the Livestock Barns a 4H and FFA Livestock Auction; at 10am on the Midway the Stoddard County Youth Pageant; at 2pm on the Midway the 4-H/FFA Public Speaking Contest; and at 3pm in Arena B will be Youth Games.
At 7pm on Saturday in Arena A will be the Demolition Derby.
Midway entertainers for Saturday 4pm will be Anna Catherine DeHart; at 6pm Maggie Thorn; and at 8pm Neil E. Boyd. Karaoke will be at 8pm in Arena B.
The parade is free. However there is a $2 charge to enter the Stoddard County Fair. For more details see StoddardCountyFair.com.
14 (Sunday) - 21 (Sunday)
Written by F. Andrew Leslie (based on the novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) Directed by Amy Pfeffer View info on The Stage Company's Website. September 12, 13, 19, 20, 2014 [...]
Written by F. Andrew Leslie (based on the novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
Directed by Amy Pfeffer
View info on The Stage Company’s Website.
September 12, 13, 19, 20, 2014 @ 7:30 PM
September 21, 2014 @ 3:00 PM
Perhaps the most famous and popular of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, this gripping tale deals with the curse of the Baskerville family – and the fiendish killer-hound which stalks its members. As the action begins Sir Charles Baskerville has died under mysterious circumstances, and his nephew and heir, the young Sir Henry, has been threatened even before his arrival at Baskerville Hall. He enlists the aid of Sherlock Holmes and his trusted colleague Dr. Watson to trap the diabolical killer who stalks Sir Henry and to unravel the fascinating mystery which accounts for his evil actions.
Tickets: $8/adults, $5/children 12 and under
Buy tickets online.
(Sunday) 3:00 pm
The Rodgers Theatre
204 North Broadway St, Poplar Bluff, Mo
The Stage Company