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MUNICIPAL LAW: Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirms summary judgment obtained for Planning Commission on equal protection claim arising out of subdivision denial

The Supreme Court recognized the “class of one” equal protection claim in Vill. of Willowbrook v. Olech, 528 U.S. 562, 564 (2000).  Olech held that “where the plaintiff did not allege membership in a class or group,” he may nonetheless seek equal protection if he has been “intentionally treated differently from others similarly situated and that there is no rational basis for the difference in treatment.” 528 U.S. at 564.

In this case arising out of the denial of a 15-unit subdivision application which denial was later reversed by the Superior Court, the plaintiff asserted, inter alia, a claim for alleged violations of her substantive due process rights and an Olech class-of-one denial of equal protection claim.

Jackson O’Keefe obtained dismissal of the substantive due process claim and later obtained summary judgment for the defendants on the Olech claim.  The federal Appeals Court now affirms, holding that there was no genuine issue of material fact, where the evidence presented by the defense showed that the defendants acted for proper purposes, including the avoidance of a flooding hazard and traffic safety issues.

Pappas v . Town of Enfield, (May 8, 2015)