This week, Dennis Hass and Walloon Lake Water System, Inc. paid $30,000 in fines to resolve the lawsuit brought on behalf of the State of Michigan by Charlevoix County Prosecuting Attorney Allen Telgenhof last October.
“I am glad we finally have payment from Mr. Hass and WLWS. They paid an amount larger than that we originally sought, without the risk of appeal or collection,” Telgenhof said.
“I am confident we would have prevailed on appeal but this gives us certainty which is worth a good deal of money. More importantly, I hope that a $30,000 penalty is enough to convince the defendants not to violate our agreement in the future.”
The suit initially asked the Circuit Court to order Hass and WLWS to pay a total of $25,000 in penalties for their actions in filing a federal lawsuit against five of their customers in violation of an agreement they had signed with me on Sept. 10, 2013.
On December 29, 2015, Judge Roy C. Hayes III granted Telgenhof’s motion for summary disposition and his motion to amend the complaint, increasing the amount requested.
The judge ordered Hass and WLWS to each pay $25,000 for a total of $50,000. The defendants filed post-judgment motions in Circuit Court, the last of which was denied on June 29, 2016.
The defendants filed a claim of appeal in the Michigan Court of Appeals, however, the agreement will result in the dismissal of their appeal in exchange for the reduced payment amount.