July 8, 2021

Following a two-week federal jury trial, Partner Jack Shields successfully obtained a defendants’ verdict on all causes of action on behalf of an Eastern Suffolk County Town and multiple Officers and Officials.  The lawsuit arose out of the demolition of an oceanfront structure, located in a residential waterfront beach community, in a Town in the Hamptons.  By resolution, the Town Board had authorized the demolition, pursuant to the Town Code, which provides for the abatement of unsafe buildings by demolition.

Plaintiff alleged that he did not receive formal notice of the impending demolition of the house and was not provided an opportunity to be heard at a hearing, violating his right to due process.  Plaintiff claimed that the Town had his correct mailing address, but failed to use it.  Instead of mailing notice to his correct address, plaintiff alleges that the Town mailed notification to outdated addresses and an address where he never lived or owned.  He sought damages for the alleged wrongful demolition of the structure, as well as emotional trauma for the loss of the house.  After a two-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Town and all of the Officials, dismissing all of the causes of action.