AP NEWS

The Latest: Judge considers anew if he can hear utility case

April 2, 2019

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Latest on a lawsuit alleging a utility overcharged Mississippi customers (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

A federal judge is ordering fresh arguments on whether he has jurisdiction to hear a trial on whether a Mississippi utility overbilled its customers.

After repeatedly asking lawyers to talk about the issue during the first two days of trial, U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves late Tuesday ordered Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and Entergy Mississippi to submit fresh written briefs.

Hood, a Democrat running for governor, argues Entergy Mississippi has a duty to buy less expensive power from third-party generators for its 447,000 customers. He says Reeves should hear the case.

The unit of New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. says it acted in the best interest of maintaining reliable electricity supplies. The company says either the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or the Mississippi Public Service Commission should resolve the dispute.

Reeves canceled the trial for Wednesday and ordered oral arguments on the briefs Thursday morning.

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2:30 p.m.

Days after a judge decided to go forward with a trial over whether a Mississippi utility overbilled its customers, the judge shows signs of reversing himself and handing the dispute to state regulators.

U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves on Tuesday instructed lawyers for Attorney General Jim Hood to ask how long it would take the Mississippi Public Service Commission to hear the dispute involving Entergy Mississippi.

Hood, a Democrat, argues Entergy had a duty to buy less expensive power from other generators for its customers.

He says New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. owes up to $2 billion. He wants refunds to Entergy’s 447,000 western Mississippi customers.

Entergy says the dispute should be decided by a state or federal regulator. Reeves allowed the trial to start, but now is questioning that course.