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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Appellate Court Upholds Dismissal of Negligence Claims Against County

An Appellate Court upheld the dismissal of negligence claims against a county related to the issuance and operation of a special use permit for a commercial use adjacent to the plaintiffs property. Sutton v. Next Level Strategies.

In 2020, the Suttons (residential property owners) filed suit against the county and Next Level (a commercial business) adjacent to their property. The complaint consisted of 26 counts, two of which were directed at the county. Count 25 claimed that the county negligently granted a special use permit to Next Level and Count 26 alleged that the county negligently failed to enforce its ordinances against Next Level. The other counts were directed at Next Level.

The county filed a motion to dismiss Counts 25 and 26, arguing that Count 25 was barred by the 90 day zoning statute of limitation and that the Tort Immunity Act provided immunity to the County for both Counts 25 and 26. The court ruled in favor of the County and dismissed both of the counts filed against the County. The Suttons appealed.

The Appellate Court upheld the dismissal, finding that both Counts were properly dismissed under the Tort Immunity Act, which expressly provides the County with immunity from claims relating to the issuance of a permit and from claims that the County failed to enforce any law. 


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