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The New York State Department of Health (DOH) complied with its responsibilities under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) in assessing Jewish Home Lifecare’s (JHL) application to construct a new residential facility in New York City. Petitioners, parents of students attending a public elementary school next door to the proposed construction site and tenants living in apartment buildings surrounding the site, brought these two article 78 proceedings seeking to annul, vacate and set aside DOH’s determination, arguing that DOH relied on flawed assessment methodologies and failed adequately to mitigate the environmental dangers associated with the construction. Supreme Court vacated and annulled DOH’s approval of JHL’s application, concluding that DOH followed proper SEQRA procedures but failed adequately to consider all relevant mitigation measures. The appellate division reversed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that DOH complied with its SEQRA responsibilities by identifying and assessing relevant environmental hazards and imposed mitigation measures to protect public health and safety. View "Friends of P.S. 163, Inc. v. Jewish Home Lifecare, Manhattan" on Justia Law

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Petitioner Marin Metropolitan District (the “District”) was a special district created as a vehicle to finance the infrastructure of a proposed residential community. In late 2007, the organizers of the District held an election and approved the creation of the District. At the same time, pursuant to Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (“TABOR”), the organizers voted to approve the issuance of bonds and to impose property taxes to pay the bonds on landowners within the District. A group of condominium owners subsequently learned that their properties had been included in the District under what they believed to be suspicious circumstances and that they had been assessed property taxes to pay the bonds. Acting through their homeowners’ association, respondent Landmark Towers Association, Inc., (“Landmark”) the owners brought two lawsuits: one to invalidate the creation of the District and the other (this case) to invalidate the approval of the bonds and taxes and to recover taxes that they had paid to the District, among other things. The district court ultimately ordered a partial refund of the taxes paid by the condominium owners and enjoined the District from assessing future taxes on the owners in order to pay its obligations under the bonds. Both sides appealed, and the court of appeals concluded, in pertinent part, that Landmark’s challenge to the bond and tax election was timely and that the election violated TABOR and applicable statutes. At issue before the Colorado Supreme Court was whether Landmark’s challenge to the bond and tax election was timely and the election was validly conducted. The Supreme Court reversed, finding Section 1-11-213(4), C.R.S. (2017), required a party seeking to contest an election like that present here to file a written statement of intent to contest the election within ten days after the official survey of returns has been filed with the designated election official. Without that statement, no could had jurisdiction over the contest. Landmark’s challenge to the bond and tax election at issue was time barred, and thus, the Court reversed the judgment below and remanded for further proceedings. View "UMB Bank, N.A. v. Landmark Towers Association, Inc." on Justia Law

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Joseph and Monique Howeth’s home shared a driveway with their neighbor Tina Coffelt’s. After the parties were unable to amicably share the driveway in accordance with an easement governing its use, the Howeths sued Coffelt, seeking injunctive relief. The parties ultimately reached a settlement agreement, which included a stipulation to the entry of judgment to resolve the lawsuit. The agreement also purported to allow the parties to seek a $1,000 fine in court if the other neighbor refused to comply with the agreement. When Coffelt allegedly began to ignore the agreement's restrictions on the use of the driveway, the Howeths filed a postjudgment motion seeking an "interim judgment" awarding them $12,000 in fines, plus attorney fees. The trial court denied the motion, finding that it did not have continuing jurisdiction to consider the motion and directed the Howeths to file a new lawsuit for breach of contract. The Howeths appealed, arguing the trial court had continuing jurisdiction to enforce the stipulated judgment and erred in denying the motion. The Court of Appeal concluded the judgment at issue here was a consent judgment, entered pursuant to a settlement agreement and a stipulation for judgment based on that agreement. Consent judgments are not appealable. The Court of Appeal determined that the Howeths did not attempt to enforce the judgment that resulted from the agreement between the parties, instead seeking to determine whether Coffelt had breached the agreement. Thus, the Court surmised, the order denying the Howeths’ motion was not appealable after judgment, and the appeal had to be dismissed. View "Howeth v. Coffelt" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the trial court’s judgment awarding a constructive trust to Longview Energy Company on certain mineral leases and related property and requiring the disgorgement of money derived from past lease production revenues. Longview sued two of its directors and entities associated with them after discovering that one of the entities had purchased mineral leases in an area where Longview had been investigating the possibility of buying leases. The jury found (1) the directors breached their fiduciary duties to Longview by usurping a corporate opportunity and by competing with the corporation without disclosing the competition, and (2) the entity as issue acquired leases as a result of the breaches. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) there was no evidence tracing the entity’s acquisition of any specific leases to any assumed breaches, and therefore, the trial court erred by imposing the constructive trust on and requiring the transfer of leases and properties to Longview; and (2) there was no evidence to support the trial court’s damages award. View "Longview Energy Co. v. Huff Energy Fund LP" on Justia Law

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Robert and Teryl Gannaway filed a complaint in 2015 against Nadir Torres, Terra Nova Developments, LLC ("Terra Nova"), William and Karen Schneider, and any other encumbrancers of their property. The Gannaways sought to quiet title to the property after it was fraudulently conveyed, and the Schneiders secured a mortgage on the property. The North Dakota Supreme Court affirmed the district court's judgment quieting title in the Gannaways and determining the Schneiders were not good-faith purchasers for value without notice. View "Gannaway v. Torres" on Justia Law

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David and Virginia Ceynar appealed summary judgment that dismissed their breach of contract/covenant and nuisance action against Lonnie Barth and The Ridge at Hawktree Homeowners' Association. The Ceynars and Barth were neighbors at The Ridge at Hawktree, a Bismarck subdivision near a golf course, and were members of the Association. Before the Ceynars purchased their home, Barth approached the Association with plans to build what the parties referred to as a "pool house" on his property. Based on the Association's restrictive covenants, the Association's Architectural Committee informed Barth that detached buildings were not permitted. Barth then proposed construction of a breezeway connecting the pool house to Barth's home. The Committee approved the final plans in January 2014. The plans for the addition were then submitted to the City of Bismarck, which approved the plans and issued a building permit. The Ceynars bought the house next door to Barth's property from their daughter in June 2014. Actual construction of the pool house began in February 2015, and the Ceynars complained to the Association. They claimed the pool house would block their view to the north and west toward the Hawktree Golf Club. Members of the Association came to the Ceynars' home to observe how the pool house affected their property, but the Association took no action to stop construction. In July 2015, the Ceynars brought this action against Barth and the Association alleging breach of contract/covenant and nuisance, claiming the pool house violated restrictive covenants and unreasonably interfered with the enjoyment of their property and diminished its value. After Barth remedied a setback violation, he and the Association moved for summary judgment dismissing the action. In October 2016, the district court denied the motion, concluding there were "a number of genuine issues of material fact" precluding summary judgment. Because the district court did not err in ruling that the Association's restrictive covenants were not violated, and because Barth's actions as a matter of law did not unreasonably interfere with the Ceynars' use and enjoyment of their property, the North Dakota Supreme Court affirmed. View "Ceynar v. Barth" on Justia Law

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In this appeal from the denial of Petitioner’s motion for return of her personal possessions allegedly taken during the execution of a writ of ejectment after the foreclosure sale of a house in which she resided, the Supreme Court held (1) although the federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009 (PTFA) does not require a residential lease to be in writing, Petitioner was not entitled to PTFA protections because she did not qualify as a bona fide tenant under the PTFA; (2) generally, the landlord-tenant code applies to residential leases entered into before a lis pendens, but Petitioner was not a residential tenant; (3) Petitioner was afforded her due process rights to notice and an opportunity to be heard at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner; but (4) the circuit court erred in failing to grant Petitioner’s motion for return of possessions where the possessions included items of no financial value to the purchase of the property at foreclosure but with great sentimental value to Petitioner. View "Peak Capital Group, LLC v. Perez" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the circuit court denying Lawrence County’s motion to join the United States as an indispensable party to this action filed by various Landowners requesting that the County maintain a road providing access to their homes. The County denied the Landowners’ request. Petitioner appealed the County’s action, and the County moved to join the United States as an indispensable party. The circuit court denied the motion, concluding that the United States Forest Service was not an indispensable party to the action because the County failed to follow the proper procedure to grant an easement in the road to the Forest Service. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the circuit court committed clear error in ruling on the easement without first determining whether the United States was a party that should have been joined if feasible. View "Oyen v. Lawrence County Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) dismissing the appeal of a group of Landowners challenging the tax commissioner’s journal entries that set forth current agricultural-use values (CAUVs) that county auditors use to value farmland for tax purposes. In this, the Landowners’ second appeal, the Landowners argued that the CAUV journal entries are rules subject to the rulemaking requirements of Ohio Rev. Code 119. The BTA dismissed the appeal, determining that it did not have jurisdiction over the appeal. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the BTA incorrectly stated that it did not have jurisdiction over the Landowners’ rule-review appeal because Ohio Rev. Code 5703.14 plainly authorizes an injured party to challenge a rule issued by the tax commissioner on the basis that it is unreasonable; but (2) because the Landowners did not make any showing that the rules were unreasonable, it was proper for the BTA to dismiss their appeal. View "Adams v. Testa" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reinstated the appeal of a group of landowners challenging the tax commissioner’s journal entry that set forth a table assigning per-acre values to different types of agricultural land, holding that the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) had jurisdiction to review the journal entry and therefore erred in dismissing the appeal. In dismissing the appeal, the BTA concluded that it id not have jurisdiction under Ohio Rev. Code 5717.02 to consider an appeal of the journal entry because the journal entry was not a “final determination.” The BTA also concluded that the journal entry was not a “rule.” The Supreme Court reversed the BTA’s dismissal of the appeal and remanded the cause for further proceedings, holding (1) the journal entry is not a rule and thus is not subject to challenge under statutory provisions dealing with rulemaking; but (2) the journal entry is a “final determination,” which the BTA has jurisdiction to review. View "Adams v. Testa" on Justia Law