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Maine Behavioral Health Care v. Dahl

Superior Court of Maine, Kennebec

November 29, 2016

MAINE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CARE, Petitioner
v.
EDWARD DAHL et. als., Respondents

          ORDER ON RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

          Robert E. Mullen, Deputy Chief Justice.

         I. Posture of the Case:

         This case is before this Court on Respondents' Motion to Dismiss Petitioner's 80C Petition For Review Of Final Agency Action.

         Oral argument on Respondents' Motion To Dismiss was conducted for October 5, 2016.

         II. Procedural Background:

         1. On April 28, 2016, Petitioner Maine Behavior Health filed a petition for review of final agency action pursuant to M.R. Civ. P. 80C against Respondents Edward Dahl, Director, State of Maine Bureau of General Services ("BGS"); Richard W. Rosen, Commissioner, Department of Administrative and Financial Services; and Appeal Panel, State of Maine, RFP #201506114, Crisis Mobil Resolution and Stabilization Unit Services (the "Panel").

         2. On May 18, 2016, Intervenors Sweetser and The Opportunity Alliance ("TOA") filed a joint entry of appearance and statement of position requesting that this Court deny the relief sought by Petitioner.

         3. On July 8, 2016, Respondents filed a Motion to Dismiss Petitioner's petition, claiming that Petitioner lacks standing.

         4. On July 20, 2016, Party-in-Interest State of Maine Department of Health and Human Services ("DHHS") filed a memorandum of interested party in support of Respondents' Motion to Dismiss.

         5. On July 22, 2016, this Court granted Petitioner's unopposed motion to extend the time for filing 80C briefs. Pursuant to this Court's Order, Petitioner's 80C brief shall be filed within 21 days after this Court issues its decision on Respondents' Motion to Dismiss.

         6. On August 1, 2016, Petitioner filed an opposition to Respondents' Motion to Dismiss.

         7. On August 9, 2016, Respondents filed a reply to Petitioner's opposition to Respondents' Motion to Dismiss.

         8. On August 10, 2016, Sweetser and TOA filed a memorandum in reply to Petitioner's opposition to Respondents' motion to dismiss. Sweetser and TOA support Respondents' Motion to Dismiss.

         III. Factual Background:

         9. In the summer of 2015, [1] DHHS issued an RFP seeking proposals to provide certain services as part of the State of Maine Crisis Intervention System. (R. Vol. 1: Tab 1.) "The RFP sought proposals for each of eight geographic districts within the state, referred to as Districts 1 through 8. Bidders were required to submit separate proposals for each district in which they sought to provide the relevant services." (Pet'r's Pet. ¶ 9.)

         10. Petitioner and Sweetser each submitted proposals for Districts 1, 2, and 4. (Pet'r's Pet. ¶ 13.) TOA submitted a proposal for District 2. (Pet'r's Pet. ¶ 13.) DHHS granted conditional awards for Districts 1 and 4 to Sweetser and for District 2 to TOA. (Pet'r's Pet. ¶ 15.)

         11. Pursuant to 5 M.R.S. § 1825-E(2), Petitioner requested an appeal hearing regarding the validity of the conditional awards for Districts 1, 2, and 4, and Respondent Dahl granted Petitioner's request. (Pet'r's Pet. ¶ 17.) Sweetser and TOA were granted intervenor status in the appeal proceedings. (Pet'r's Pet. ¶ 18.) Pursuant to 5 M.R.S. § 1825-E(3), BGS convened the three-member Committee and appointed a hearing officer. (Pet'r's Pet. ¶ 19.) Petitioner, DHHS, Sweetser and TOA all participated in the appeal hearing held on March 4 and 7, 2016. (Pet'r's Pet. ¶¶ 20- 21.) Petitioner argued before the Appeal Committee that multiple portions of the RFP were legally invalid and that the method of scoring the proposals was arbitrary and capricious. (Pet'r's Pet. ¶ 23.)

         12. The Appeal Committee issued its decision to BGS on March 29, 2016. The Appeal Committee found that one section of the RFP was "inconsistent" with RFP requirements, but that the RFP was still valid. However, the Committee also found that "[t]he proposals were scored in a manner that was arbitrary and capricious, " and it invalidated the awards on that basis.

         13. On April 15, 2016, DHHS "communicated to the bidders" that it would rescore the previously submitted proposals pursuant to the Appeal Committee's decision. (Pet'r's Pet. ¶ 26.) On April 20, 2016, Petitioner submitted a letter to BGS and DHHS requesting that DHHS reissue the RFP rather than simply rescore the previously submitted proposals. (Pet'r's Pet. ¶ 27.) On April 26, 2016, DHHS "advised the bidders" that it would continue with its plan ...


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