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Two Women Arrested for Protesting Naperville’s Smart Meter Installation

 Posted on March 12, 2013 in Criminal Defense

KerryTwo members of a group opposing the installation of wireless electric ‘smart meters’ in Naperville, IL have been arrested for refusing to allow utility workers on their property to install the meters. Malia “Kim” Bendis and Jennifer Stahl are members of Naperville Smart Meter Awareness (NMSA), a group formed to protest the City of Naperville’s decision to make everyone who lives within the Naperville city limits and is a customer of the city-owned electric utility — have the new wireless meters installed in their homes and businesses. If a customer doesn’t want the smart meter, they can pay $68 to have a non-wireless meter installed and a monthly service fee of $25 to cover the cost of having a meter reader come to the property to obtain the read. The city has already installed 57,000 smart meters and is about 99 percent finished with the process according to an article in theChicago Tribune.

NMSA objects to the forced installations, citing concerns of over whether the wireless meters will affect health, security and privacy and have filed a federal lawsuit against the city.

The city has been sending police escorts along with utility workers to the remaining locations that still require meter installations. These locations had previously sent away installers. When they showed up at Stahl’s home and she refused them entrance onto her property, installers cut the lock she had he had placed on her fence came onto her property. When she stood in front of her electric meter and refused to move, she was arrested.

She has received two ordinance violation citations — interfering with a police officer and preventing access to customer premises. Bendis, who was the president of NMSA, was also at the home and was charged with attempted eavesdropping and resisting a peace officer.

If you’ve been charged with a crime related to any type of civil disobedience or protest, you should contact an experienced Illinois criminal defense attorney to make sure you receive the best defense possible.

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