FREEPORT — The Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled in favor of the town of Freeport after an appeal that challenged the town’s ability to enter a contract with Brunswick for police dispatch services.

The court issued its ruling Thursday, finding that town officials did not violate Freeport’s charter by entering that six-year contract ending in 2016.

According to court documents, Freeport residents Marianne McGettigan and Donald Rice filed a complaint on Oct. 1, 2010, in Superior Court challenging an April vote of the Freeport Town Council to enter the contract totaling around $ 120,000 annually with Brunswick.

That complaint argued that the Town Council violated a requirement in section 6.10 of the town charter that multiyear contracts be “made or approved by ordinance.”

On Oct. 20, 2010, the town filed a motion with the court to dismiss McGettigan and Rice’s complaint, “arguing that the case was moot and McGettigan and Rice did not have standing to bring their cause of action against the town,” according to Thursday’s judgment.

The Superior Court decision found in favor of the town, declaring the residents’ case to be moot.

While ultimately ruling in favor of the town, Thursday’s Supreme Court decision rejected the Superior Court’s finding that the residents’ complaint was moot.

The Supreme Court judgment indicates that both residents have medical problems and had used the town’s morning call service called the “Reassurance Program,” in which residents would call to check in with dispatchers every morning. Dispatchers would maintain a list of residents using the service and check on anyone who did not contact the program on a given morning.

According to court documents, that program was integrated with Brunswick dispatch’s “Good Morning Program,” which McGettigan and Rice argued is not operated as well as the “Reassurance Program.”

McGettigan and Rice appealed the Superior Court decision, prompting review of the case facts in January of this year.

In the decision released Thursday, the high court found that the town’s action did satisfy the “ made or approved by ordinance” requirement of section 6.10 of the town charter.

The court’s official decision was to vacate the Superior Court judgment that McGettigan and Rice’s complaint was moot and remanded the case to Superior Court “ for the entry of a judgment in favor of the town on the merits of the amended complaint and denying the request for an injunction.”

Read the full decision at

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