LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Summit Utilities class-action suit is now in federal court, putting a hold on a restraining order against the utility filed Monday.
The class-action lawsuit was filed on March 2 in Pulaski County Circuit Court, claiming the utility was price-gouging and was not providing service. Members of the class were Summit customers.
The next day, on March 3, an email undersigned by Summit CEO Kurt Adams said among its points that the company would not collect late fees or disconnect service through the winter, which ends on March 20.
On Monday, Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge LaTonya Honorable signed a restraining order that would have prevented Summit from disconnecting service and charging late or security fees. The restraining order also allowed Summit customers to refuse to make payments.
A hearing on the restraining order was scheduled for March 15 in Honorable’s court.
On the same day the restraining order was signed, attorneys for Summit filed motions for the class action suit to be moved to federal court in the Eastern District of Arkansas. The motion was filed minutes before Honorable had signed the restraining order, according to the filing by Summit attorneys.
On Tuesday, motions by Summit were filed in the Eastern District of Arkansas to dissolve the temporary restraining order. Attorneys maintained that the same laws which allowed the lawsuit against a public utility to be moved to federal court meant the restraining order was void until a hearing is held in the Eastern District court.
The actions put the restraining order on hold until a hearing is held in the Eastern District court.