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Recent Decisions

New Mexico Supreme Court Affirms Trial Court in $8.3 million in due process challenge to rezoning

Firm’s multi-million dollar verdict in land use civil rights case against City of Albuquerque ACP reinstated. Mr. Flynn-O’Brien represented Albuquerque Commons Partnership (ACP) in a civil rights case against the City of Albuquerque challenging rezoning.

ACP had a leasehold in Albuquerque. After they proposed a development the City imposed a moratorium and then revised a sector plan and adopted new rules that would not permit the project. The City claimed it could change the zoning rules as a “text amendment” and thereby avoid the requirements for a zone change. The new zoning imposed minimum density (floor area ratios) that were so restrictive ACP claimed that no development was possible.

ACP, represented by Flynn-O’Brien, challenged the sector plan zoning and sought damages under §1983 for procedural due process violations and challenged the new zoning as a 4th Amendment Takings claim. The trial court reversed the sector plan rezoning and the damage claims were tried to a jury which returned verdicts of $8.3 million on due process and $6 million on Takings.

The City appealed and the New Mexico Court of Appeals reversed. On February 18, 2008 the New Mexico Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals affirming the trial courts rulings of a illegal rezoning and violation of due process. Slip opinion available at http://www.supremecourt.nm.org./cgi-bin/dnloadit.cgi/slipopinions/SC29,791.html