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Sung-Hee Chung (neighbor) appealed the Environmental Division’s grant of summary judgment to Lori and Richard Mathez (applicants). The appeal concerned whether the District Commission exceeded its authority by issuing a second notice for a final Act 250 permit when, due to applicants’ failure, neighbor did not receive notice of the permit before it became final, and neighbor failed to timely appeal. Applicants sought an Act 250 permit to build a 75’ by 100’ steel building for a commercial vehicle repair and body shop, a “minor application” under the Act. Finding that the Environmental Division had jurisdiction over the appeal, and that the District Commission had no authority to issue a second notice of a final permit, the Vermont Supreme Court concluded the court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of applicants. View "In re Mathez Act 250 LU Permit (Sung-Hee Chung, Appellant)" on Justia Law

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Geraci owns and lives in a unit at Union Square. After an incident in a Union Square’s elevator, involving another individual and several dogs, Geraci sought psychological treatment and was diagnosed with post‐traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Geraci’s accommodation request was denied by Union Square. Geraci sued, alleging failure to accommodate her handicap and retaliation by the association, citing the Fair Housing Act (FHA, 42 U.S.C. 3617), because Union Square’s Board published litigation updates and held an open forum to update owners about the status of the lawsuit. Over Geraci’s objection, Union Square presented testimony of the psychiatrist who had previously conducted a court-ordered FRCP 35 examination; the testimony contradicted the diagnosis of Geraci’s treating psychologist, diagnosing her with three separate mental conditions, none of which were PTSD. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Union Square. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. Geraci fails to point to any conduct that a person of normal fortitude would view as coercive, intimidating, threatening, or interfering with the exercise of her protected right under the FHA and the court did not abuse its discretion in allowing testimony by the psychiatrist. View "Geraci v. Union Square Condominium Association" on Justia Law

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Santa Rosa decided to turn a 69-bed defunct hospital into the "Dream Center" to house 63 people, ages 18-24, and provide individual and family counseling, education and job training, a health and wellness center serving the community for ages five through 24, and activities for residents, including a pottery throwing area, a half-court basketball area, and a garden. Neighbors challenged the project under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (Pub. Resources Code 21000), arguing that noise impacts required preparation of an environmental impact report (EIR). The city issued a negative declaration, indication that the project would not have a significant environmental effect and an EIR would not be required. On appeal, the neighbors focused on traffic noise from the south parking lot adjacent to the Dream Center, and noise from the residents’ outdoor recreational activities. The court of appeal affirmed, finding no substantial evidence that there would be a significant noise impact from those sources. The predicted parking lot noise impacts are largely hypothetical, given the city’s parking restrictions in that lot; neighbors' impact calculations were based on data from a different project that cannot reasonably be applied to the Dream Center. An argument that the noise from residents’ outdoor activities would constitute a significant environmental impact was also based on a flawed analysis. View "Jensen v. City of Santa Rosa" on Justia Law

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Ark. Code Ann. 14-56-202 confers upon cities of the first class the exclusive power to issue or refuse to issue buildings permits and to regulate the building of houses, thereby denying such power to the cities of the second class, despite the general powers listed in Ark. Code Ann. 14-56-201. Petitioners (“the Bank”) filed a complaint against the City of Elkins, Arkansas (“the City”) challenging the City’s moratorium on the issuance of building permits for lots within a partially developed residential subdivision. Petitioners sought a declaratory judgment that the City lacked statutory authority to regulate the building of houses or to issue building permits for houses. The case was removed to the federal district court, which certified the question answered above to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court answered the certified question in the affirmative. View "First State Bank v. City of Elkins" on Justia Law

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When a foreclosure action brought on a borrower’s default on a note has been dismissed with prejudice, and the lender has not validly accelerated payment of the amount due under the note, claim preclusion does not bar the lender from bringing a subsequent foreclosure action based upon the borrower’s continuing default on the same note. After Borrower defaulted on a note, Lender filed suit seeking to foreclose on the property securing the note. The circuit court determined that Lender failed to present sufficient evidence to prevail in its foreclosure action and dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice. Later, Bank, the entity servicing Borrower's loan, sent Borrower a notice of intent to accelerate payment of the note. Borrower did not cure his default, and Bank filed a complaint initiating the instant lawsuit. Borrower moved to dismiss, arguing that the lawsuit was barred by the doctrine of claim preclusion. The circuit court did not apply claim preclusion to any default alleged to have occurred after judgment was entered in the earlier lawsuit. The Supreme Court affirmed this conclusion, holding that claim preclusion did not bar the second lawsuit because the lawsuit alleged new facts giving rise to a new and subsequent default and a different transaction than that presented in the first foreclosure action. View "Federal National Mortgage Ass’n v. Thompson" on Justia Law

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In this condemnation proceeding, the district court did not err in concluding that Mountain Water Company was not entitled to statutory interest pursuant to Mont. Code Ann. 70-30-302(2), when read in conjunction with Mont. Code Ann. 70-30-311. Mountain Water and the City of Missoula entered into a settlement agreement providing that the City would take possession of Mountain Water’s condemned property upon the City paying Mountain Water for all assets and claims asserted in the previous condemnation action. The district court entered a final judgment in condemnation that included the agreed payment method and transfer of possession as set forth in the settlement agreement. After the district court signed the final order of condemnation, Mountain Water sought post-summons interest. The district court denied Mountain Water’s motion for statutory interest pursuant to Mont. Code Ann. 70-30-302(2) and refused to grant discretionary interest. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Mountain Water was not entitled to statutory interest where the City did not take interlocutory possession of the condemned property prior to final conclusion of the condemnation proceedings; and (2) Mountain Water was not entitled to discretionary interest. View "Missoula v. Mountain Water Co." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court quieting surface title and a one-half interest in a mineral estate to Mark and Jo Marie Nelson, with the remaining half interest in Anthony Palese and Mary Jo Davis. The Nelsons purchased property from Davis and Palese. The deed purported to sell the Nelsons the property in its entirety, with the exception of a portion of the mineral estate reserved in Davis and Palese. The Nelsons and Davis and Palese later leased the property for oil and gas development. In the title search, the Nelsons’ counsel uncovered possible remote heirs with an interest in the property, George and Rose Salituro. The Nelsons brought this quiet title action, and the district court ruled in their favor. The Salituros appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that when Davis and Palese conveyed the property to the Nelsons, the Salituros’ interests in the property had already been extinguished. View "Nelson v. Salituro" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the order of the district court dismissing Plaintiff’s amended complaint against several lenders, holding that the district court did not err in dismissing some of Plaintiff’s claims but erred in dismissing the remaining claims. After Plaintiff defaulted on her loan on real property, she received at least nine notices of sale. Plaintiff filed an amended complaint against Lenders, alleging six causes of action. The district court granted Lenders’ motion to dismiss the amended complaint pursuant to Mont. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). The Supreme Court held that the district court (1) did not err in dismissing Plaintiff’s declaratory judgment claim as a matter of law or in dismissing Plaintiff’s negligent and/or intentional infliction of emotional distress claim fore failure to state sufficient facts to entitle her to relief; and (2) incorrectly determined that Plaintiff’s amended complaint failed to state a claim on her asserted breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), and Montana Consumer Protection Act (MCPA) claims. View "Puryer v. HSBC Bank" on Justia Law

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Landlord sued in 2005, contending that Joliet had interfered with the way in which it set rents apartments under the mark-to-market program for rates at subsidized apartments and violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA), 42 U.S.C. 3601–31. While an appeal was pending, Joliet filed an eminent-domain suit, proposing to add the land to a public park. The Seventh Circuit held that a recipient of federal financing is not immune from the power of eminent domain. The condemnation trial ran for 18 calendar months; compensation was set at $15 million. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, rejecting the FHA claim. The district judge dismissed Landlord's original suit. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, rejecting Landlord’s argument that the judge should have put the condemnation action on hold, reserving its FHA suit for a jury trial. The Seventh Circuit had directed it to resolve the condemnation suit first because Joliet professed concern about crime and deterioration at the property. Landlord was free to reserve the FHA claim for this suit, where it would have been entitled to a jury trial. Its FHA claim was resolved in a bench trial only because Landlord insisted on presenting it earlier. Landlord wanted the FHA to be treated as a defense to condemnation, and the district court acquiesced. That choice is responsible for the fact that a judge rather than a jury resolved the FHA claim. View "New West, L.P. v. City of Joliet" on Justia Law

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Landlord sued in 2005, contending that Joliet had interfered with the way in which it set rents apartments under the mark-to-market program for rates at subsidized apartments and violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA), 42 U.S.C. 3601–31. While an appeal was pending, Joliet filed an eminent-domain suit, proposing to add the land to a public park. The Seventh Circuit held that a recipient of federal financing is not immune from the power of eminent domain. The condemnation trial ran for 18 calendar months; compensation was set at $15 million. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, rejecting the FHA claim. The district judge dismissed Landlord's original suit. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, rejecting Landlord’s argument that the judge should have put the condemnation action on hold, reserving its FHA suit for a jury trial. The Seventh Circuit had directed it to resolve the condemnation suit first because Joliet professed concern about crime and deterioration at the property. Landlord was free to reserve the FHA claim for this suit, where it would have been entitled to a jury trial. Its FHA claim was resolved in a bench trial only because Landlord insisted on presenting it earlier. Landlord wanted the FHA to be treated as a defense to condemnation, and the district court acquiesced. That choice is responsible for the fact that a judge rather than a jury resolved the FHA claim. View "New West, L.P. v. City of Joliet" on Justia Law