Civil Rights Cases

Civil Rights and Defamation Case Resolved:
Two days after a judge invited the parties to discuss the settlement if they could “do business around $1.2 million,” a confidential settlement agreement was reached in a court in Massachusetts. We cannot disclose the terms of the settlement but our clients feel quite pleased with the outcome. (Names of parties withheld).

Settlement Reached With Town of Johnston Ending Civil Rights Violation and Mandamus Claims:
We are pleased to report that Charda Properties and the Town of Johnston have reached a detailed agreement, settling and bringing to a conclusion state mandamus and federal civil rights litigation that we commenced against the Town and several of its former officials. A complete PDF copy of the actual Agreement for Judgment as entered by the United States District Court appears on our Blog.

John Reilly (rear, center), with William Kunstler (foreground, left) and John A. O'Neill, Jr (foreground, right).

John Reilly (rear, center), with William Kunstler (foreground, left) and John A. O’Neill, Jr (foreground, right).

This concludes litigation in which the state Superior Court ruled in our client’s favor and directed that a writ of mandamus issue, compelling the Town to issue permits for a 144 unit condominium deveopment with affordable housing components. The Town appealed to the State Supreme Court and our client filed a civil rights violation action against the Town and several of its official in the United States District Court. After numerous depositions were taken, the parties began serious, lengthy and ultimately successful settlement negotiations. Shortly before the negotiations were finalized, the state Supreme Court dismissed the Town’s appeal. But with cooperation by the parties and their lawyers the Agreement for Judgment was finalized.

The material points of the settlement will allow our client to change its proposal from a project that included affordable units to one that will be a more upscale, gated community without affordable components. All other waiver and zoning issues are addressed and in the event of inspection disputes an independent engineer will resolve any such issues. The Town will reimburse our client its legal fees and expenses ($150,000) over a 10 year period and the increased property taxes and fact that the gated community will provide many of its own services (such as snow plowing) should make this a “win-win” situation for both our client and the Town’s taxpayers. (Posting revised, 2/23/09).