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Palazzolo v. Rhode Island

Rhode Island Superior Court
C.A. No. WM 88-0297 (2005)


Facts

Palazzolo (plaintiff) owned 68 lots adjoining a tidal saltwater pond. The subject property was at pond elevations and much of it experienced frequent tidal flooding. In order for any development to take place on these lands, the soil needed to be removed and replaced with at least six feet of fill. The pond and the surround swamp was part of a saltwater marsh that provided a natural water filtration system. Palazzolo attempted to acquire a permit to fill and develop this land, but the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council denied the application because the proposed development would have added significant pollution to the pond and saltwater marsh, damaging the filtration system and destroying wildlife habitat. Palazzolo filed an inverse condemnation action. The case was appealed all the way to the United States Supreme Court, which reversed. The case was ultimately remanded for reconsideration following the Supreme Court ruling.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Gale, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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