Court Finds Fourth Amendment and Procedural Due Process Claims in Town’s Removal of “Litter” From Plaintiff’s Property, Part 3

This is the third and final part of this series of posts. We’ve already looked at the claims regarding bill of attainder, due process, and the Fourth Amendment as it relates to the Town’s removal of what it deemed “litter” and a public nuisance from plaintiff’s land. Today we will look at the final claim and the Town’s affirmative defenses.

The final claim the court considered was an equal protection claim, alleging that the plaintiff’s land was singled out for disparate treatment relatively to comparable properties. We won’t delve much into this beyond saying that the plaintiff failed to show that the properties were sufficiently, but if you want to read more on a class of one / disparate enforcement claim, there was a blog post devoted entirely to the topic earlier last week (on a related note, the case regarding concert promoters at Woodstock, NY discussed therein was upheld by the Second Circuit last week).

Finally the Court considered whether the Town, Town Board, and Town agent defendants  were entitled to any immunities from suit. Of these defendants, only the claims against the Town survived, as the court ruled that the Town Board defendants were entitled to absolute legislative immunity from liability on these claims, while the employees who were acting pursuant to a valid resolution of the Town Board were entitled to qualified immunity, insofar as they were acting in an official capacity. The Court then issued an order to proceed based on the findings discussed in these three posts.

Once again, the case is Ferreira v Town of East Hampton, 2014 WL 5637882 (E.D.N.Y.).

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