Congratulations to associate Justin L. Amos who recently prevailed in the Appeals Court of Massachusetts on behalf of the Building Commissioner for the Town of Dennis, who was sued in his individual capacity. The appeal arose from a dispute about the buildability of a plot of land. Following the denial of the plaintiff’s building permit application and the issuance of a notice of violation and an order to cease and desist, the plaintiff filed an action alleging violations of the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act (MCRA).
Appeals Court Ruling
In affirming the Superior Court’s dismissal for failure to state a claim, the Appeals Court held that a plaintiff alleging a violation of the MCRA stemming from adverse administrative action must demonstrate that the action was a “part of a scheme of harassment,” which requires evidence of “animus” against the plaintiff or his building project. Here, the Court agreed with Attorney Amos’ argument that the complaint failed to allege that the Building Commissioner’s conduct was “motivated [by anything] other than . . . a desire to enforce [his] interpretation of the town’s zoning by-law and G. L. c. 40A, § 6.”
About Pierce Davis & Perritano
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Pierce Davis & Perritano also has offices in Providence, Rhode Island, Bridgeport, Connecticut, and California. PDP’s wealth of experience in a wide range of practice areas makes our firm well-suited to guide clients through all phases of litigation.