Yonkers Wins Below: Appeal Pending

by Robinson+Cole RLUIPA Defense
Contact

The Islamic Community Center for Mid Westchester (“ICCMW”) has appealed the decision of the Southern District of New York that held ICCMW’s claims were not yet ripe for review and ICCMW did not have the right to supplement its complaint to add an additional cause of action. ICCMW’s pre-argument statement to the Second Circuit, including the District Court decision, is available here.

Case Background: ICCMW sued the City of Yonkers, New York (“Yonkers”) in September, 2016 after the Yonkers Landmark Preservation Board (“Preservation Board”) and the Yonkers City Council designated a property owned by ICCMW (the “Property”) as a landmark pursuant to the City’s Historic and Landmark Preservation Law.  ICCMW had purchased the Property, which contains a large, 100+ year home, in order to establish a mosque and Islamic community center in the region. We previously posted about the cases here.

According to ICCMW, the landmark designation was motivated solely by community members’ prejudice against the Islamic faith. It specifically alleged that the Colonial Heights Association of Tax Payers (“CHAT”) submitted three applications to the Preservation Board regarding the Property to thwart ICCMW’s plans, without regard to the Property’s purported historic value.

Motion to Supplement: ICCMW sought to file a supplemental complaint with one additional cause of action—a First Amendment retaliation claim under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 based on the alleged actions of the Yonker’s Board of Assessment Review (“BAR”). According to ICCMW, although BAR ultimately sustained the Property’s tax exempt status, BAR requested supplemental application material from ICCMW and delayed ICCMW’s tax appeal to BAR in a retaliatory manner. The Court did not reach the merits of the allegation, finding that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to consider alleged violations of ICCMW’s rights through the implementation of state taxes. The federal Tax Injunction Act bars federal district courts from enjoining, suspending or restraining the assessment of tax under state law.

Ripeness: Next, the Court considered Yonker’s motion to dismiss on ripeness grounds. As an initial matter, it rejected ICCMW’s assertion that it raised both facial and as applied challenges. “Even a cursory review of the complaint,” the Court reasoned, “reveals that the plaintiffs are challenging the application of the Landmark Law to them.”  Concluding that ICCMW only raised as applied challenges, it determined that the claims must satisfy the final decision requirement of Williamson County to ensure the case is ripe for adjudication.

Since ICCMW did not even apply to receive a “certificate of appropriateness” or a certificate of economic hardship to alter its property, the Court concluded that the claims were not ripe for review. Additionally, the Court rejected that argument that a futility exception should apply to the ripeness analysis because the exception requires at least one meaningful application.

ICCMW’s appeal is currently pending before the Second Circuit, and ICCMW is due to file a brief in support of its arguments on November 6, 2017.

Original photo by kool_skatkat, some rights reserved.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Robinson+Cole RLUIPA Defense | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Robinson+Cole RLUIPA Defense
Contact
more
less

Robinson+Cole RLUIPA Defense on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.