Posted by: Patricia Salkin | December 1, 2016

Second Circuit Court of Appeals Dismisses Equal Protection and Retaliation Claims Brought by Recreational Club

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that the District Court properly dismissed plaintiff Hampshire’s selective enforcement claim because Hampshire is not similarly situated to its alleged comparators. Specifically the Court noted that unlike the three other recreational clubs referenced, “Hampshire is   subject to different zoning regulations and initially did not have a Special Permit—facts that explain why it is not entitled to equal treatment with respect to its property use.”  The Court commented that the three other clubs were located in the MR zoning district, and that Hampshire’s property was split between the MR and R-20 zoning districts. Further, in dismissing the Equal Protection claim the Court said that, “Even if Hampshire were able to establish a class of similarly situated comparators, the District Court offers numerous reasons why the Village’s decision to award a probationary permit was not discriminatory under both “selection enforcement” and “class-of-one” theories.”

With respect to the retaliation claim, the Court of Appeals agreed that the 18 months between the  issuance of the violation notice and the pursuit of enforcement actions by the Village—the only plausible retaliatory conduct—were too remote in time from the plaintiffs’ protected speech to sustain its retaliation claim under the First Amendment.

Hampshire Recreation, LLC  v Village of Mamaroneck , 2016 WL 6820717 (2nd Cir. CA 11/18/2016)


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