March 12, 2019

The firm won a summary judgment motion for a Town on the east end of Long Island in the Supreme Court, Suffolk County, which dismissed the demands of commercial baymen for fishing licenses from the Town. The Court upheld the town’s ability to limit licenses to inhabitants of the town based on the continuing validity of an underwater land grant given to the trustees of the town in 1686 by King James II. Judge Leis held that the trustees’ rights continue to this day, allowing the Town to regulate fishing that disturbs the trustees’ lands. The Court summarily dismissed the fishermen’s claims that the Town’s licensure restriction was preempted by the State Environmental Conservation Law. The Court also held that restrictions in General Municipal Law § 80 which apply to municipal corporations did not apply the trustees, and that the town and trustees were not engaged in a conspiracy to restrain trade in violation of the Donnelly Act.

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