Updated: Sidman Files Motion to Dismiss Cruise Ship Cap Lawsuit

Judge sets deadlines and trial date.

Carrie Jones

BAR HARBOR—Parties in the lawsuit Association to Preserve and Protect Local Livelihoods (APPLL) et al. vs the Town of Bar Harbor have until March 24 to file motions about having the preliminary injunction to be part of the actual trial. The injunction is meant to keep the town from instituting the changes from a November cap creating daily cruise ship limits of 1,000 and the subsequent mechanisms to enforce those caps.

The timeline has multiple steps included in the first document below.

The trial will likely occur in July if this timeline is maintained.


BAR HARBOR—The amount of filings and briefs in Association to Preserve and Protect Local Livelihoods (APPLL) et al. vs the Town of Bar Harbor has increased this week as Charles Sidman, the lead petitioner for daily cruise ship limits in Bar Harbor, filed a 20-page motion to dismiss the case, March 14.

Sidman was granted defendant intervenor status earlier this month. The brief writes,

“Plaintiffs cannot point to any federal or state law that preempts the ordinance by proscribing the ability of a town to limit disembarking individuals from entering town lands. Nor can plaintiffs raise any colorable claim that the ordinance discriminates against out-of-state commerce or violates Due Process. Boiled down, their complaints allege that the ordinance jeopardizes the recent increase of business they once enjoyed from the cruise ship industry. Such worries are not actionable and should be dismissed.”

It also states that “home rule” is allowed in this case.

The plaintiffs had said that the citizens’ initiative to cap daily cruise ships visitation (which was passed by town voters in November) violated the Supremacy Clause, the Commerce Clause, Due Process, and state law.

The new plan limits the amount of passengers disembarking cruise ships each day to 1,000, inserts the changes into the town’s Land Use Ordinance, and calls for mechanisms to count those disembarkations as well as fines if more people leave the ships and step onto Bar Harbor land. Because of the lawsuit, the town has to defend those changes.

The case is currently “in the briefing cycle of a motion for preliminary injunction,” according to a statement by Justice Walker.

Sidman also made a motion on March 16 to expand the amount of time to file a response in opposition to the motion for a preliminary injunction to the suit against the town.

The original deadline to rule about the injunction (which would halt all changes being enacted until the case was settled) was January 20. That deadline was extended to February 7 at the request of Bar Harbor. The deadline was extended again to March 20. Sidman is asking it to be extended to March 27.

The Town of Bar Harbor, Sidman, APPLL, and the Pilots Association all proposed different schedules, captured below.

Town of Bar Harbor’s proposal

The Town of Bar Harbor wrote in its March 15 filing,

“The Town favors an expedited resolution of this action because it would most effectively permit the Town to devote available resources to the pending litigation, limit potential exposure and resulting damages, and provide the Town’s residents with some certainty as to the enforceability of the ordinance limiting cruise ship disembarkations during the 2023 season and beyond. For these reasons, the Town would be supportive of: (a) advancing the trial on the merits and consolidating it with the hearing on plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(a)(2); (b) postponing the disposition of Defendant-Intervenor’s Motion to Dismiss until trial pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(a)(4)(A); (c) limiting the ability of any party to amend its pleadings to add additional claims; and (d) giving the parties the opportunity to submit post-trial briefs in lieu of accepting pre-trial motions for summary judgment. In accordance with the foregoing, the Town is proposing an aggressive schedule that would likely only be feasible in the event that this Honorable Court is inclined to accept the approach outlined above. Certain deadlines are shaded in gray – they are included here for discussion purposes, but they would be inapplicable if the Court elects to proceed directly to a trial on the merits, without amendments to the pleadings or further briefing of, or hearings on, plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction or any dispositive motions.”



Charles Sidman Supports His Desire To Be Part of Cruise Ship Law 





Town Attorney Expects APPLL Lawsuit Will Be Settled By August


Charles Sidman Supports His Desire To Be Part of Cruise Ship Law Suit’s Defense

I’ve enclosed screen caps for Charles Sidman’s motion to dismiss here.

Highlight and emphasis is not mine.

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