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Monday, June 22, 2015

Court Dismisses Due Process and Ethics Claims Involving Zoning Decision

From our friends at the Law of the Land blog:  7th Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Dismissal of Due Process and Ethics Claims Arising Over Approvals for Retail Center

After property across the street from a residential homeowner was granted a conditional use permit to build a retail center, the homeowner sued, alleging various due process, equal protection, and First Amendment claims against the Village. Specifically, the homeowner alleged that the Village ignored local procedures in conducting the public hearings on the developers' zoning application, and that Village officials and developers had engaged in insider dealings. The lawsuit also claimed that some of the Village officials were represented by the same law firm that employed the Village attorney, creating a conflict of interest. Finally, the complaint alleged that the zoning decision violated his equal protection rights by rezoning the property across the street from him out of spite. The Village sought to dismiss the due process and First Amendment claims. The district court dismissed his case, and he appealed to the Seventh Circuit.  

The Seventh Circuit upheld the dismissal of his case, finding that his due process claims were not ripe under the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Williamson County for failure to exhaust his administrative remedies (i.e., file an appeal with the zoning board of appeals, and then bring his case to the state courts rather than the federal courts). The Seventh Circuit also found a rational basis for the Village's zoning decisions. 

You can read more about the case on the Law of the Land blog.  The case can be found at Jackson v Village of Western Springs, 2015 WL 2262703 (7th Cir. 5/15/2015).

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


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