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Edelhertz v. City of Middletown
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
943 F. Supp. 2d 388 (2012)
Melvyn and Helaine Edelhertz owned a multiple-dwelling building in the City of Middletown (defendant) and transferred title to the Melvyn Edelhertz and Helaine Edelhertz Revocable Living Trust (Edelhertz) (plaintiff) in 1995. The building was comprised of four units and was a nonowner-occupied nonconforming use in the city’s R-1 zoning district. In 2009, the city enacted an amendment, the Amortization Law, to the zoning code to eliminate nonowner-occupied multiple dwellings in the R-1 zoning district. The city determined that multiple-dwelling buildings were causing an increase in code violations and police calls for criminal activities and were undesirable, out of character, and an impediment to the orderly development and general welfare of the R-1 zoning district. Notice of the proposed enactment of the Amortization Law was posted as a public-hearing notice in the legal classified section of the Times Herald Record, the primary newspaper of Middletown County. The city did not provide any further notice to Edelhertz. In August 2010, Edelhertz attempted to sell the property, but the potential buyer ran a title report and became aware of the Amortization Law. Both Edelhertz and the potential buyer attempted to secure verification from the city that the property was a lawful nonconforming use and would be allowed to continue as such despite the Amortization Law. The city never responded. In October 2010, the city sent Edelhertz a letter notifying him of the enactment of the Amortization Law. The potential buyer withdrew its offer. Edelhertz brought suit in district court and argued that his procedural due-process rights were violated because the city was required to provide him with notice by mail. Edelhertz moved for partial summary judgment on the issue of liability, and the city cross-moved for summary judgment.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Ramos, J.)
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