Posted by: Patricia Salkin | March 12, 2010

Class Action Lawsuit Alleging Excessive Building Permit Fees Allowed to Proceed

In a lawsuit arising from the town’s ‘‘unlawful practices related to the collection, use, and allocation of [money]collected from the [p]laintiffs and others similarly situated, under the mechanism of building permit fees, ’’ the Connecticut Supreme Court held that the certified class as consisting of ‘‘entities that directly paid to the [town] the allegedly excessive building permit fees during the period of April 1, 2003, to the present’’ was sufficient and that individualized proof is not necessary to identify class members and the fees they paid because the relevant information may be discovered by examining the public records. Further, the Court held that whether the building fees are excessive also may be demonstrated by generalized rather than individualized evidence. The plaintiffs specifically allege that revenues derived by the town from the payment of building permit fees are significantly in excess of the cost to the town of regulating building activity, and that the town unlawfully uses the fees to fund social programs and other initiatives that bear no relationship to the regulation of building activity.

Neighborhood Builders, Inc. v. Town of Madison, 986 A.2d 278 (CT. 2/2/10)

The opinion may be accessed at: http://www.jud.ct.gov/external/supapp/Cases/AROcr/CR294/294CR20.pdf


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