Appellate Court Affirms Summary Judgment Obtained by RRD

March 24, 2011

The Connecticut Appellate Court recently affirmed a partial summary judgment obtained by RRD partner Michael T. Ryan and associate Clarisse N. Thomas in a civil rights action brought under 42 U.S.C. section 1983. The lawsuit arises out of plaintiffs’ attempts to use their private property as a public parking lot so they could charge members of the general public a fee to park there.

Plaintiffs filed several applications for a zoning compliance permit, all of which were denied because the requested use was not permitted by the town’s zoning regulations. After the plaintiffs’ third application was denied, they filed an application for a variance with the zoning board of appeals. The zoning board of appeals denied the application and the plaintiffs subsequently commenced suit in New London Superior Court by filing a nine count complaint alleging violations of the plaintiffs’ substantive and procedural due process rights under the Connecticut and United States Constitutions, their right to equal protection under the Connecticut and United States Constitutions, and violations of the takings clause of the Connecticut and United States Constitutions. The plaintiffs also sought a writ of mandamus requiring the defendants to issue the requested permits and declaratory relief stating that the plaintiffs have the right to use their property as a public parking lot.

RRD filed a motion on behalf of the defendants seeking summary judgment on all nine counts of the complaint. Following oral argument, the trial court (Cosgrove, J.) issued a 33 page Memorandum of Decision, granting summary judgment on all counts against the individual defendant and granting summary judgment on all but one count against the municipal defendant. Boulanger v.Town of Old Lyme, 51 Conn. Sup. 636 (2010). Plaintiffs then appealed the trial court’s decision to the Connecticut Appellate Court. In a decision to be officially released on March 29, 2011, the Appellate Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court, adopting the trial court’s decision. Boulanger v. Town of Old Lyme, __ Conn. App. __ (2011).