Moulton Bellingham Obtains Dismissal in One Week of Two Municipal Liability Cases

Moulton, through successful motions practice, obtained the dismissal of two separate cases alleging municipal liability in the same week. In the first case, decided on November 23, 2020, Shareholder Gerry Fagan successfully convinced a State District Court to dismiss claims for abuse of process and malicious prosecution against the City of Forsyth. A local resident had sued the City following litigation in Municipal Court over his maintenance of a junked vehicle in front of his home. The resident claimed the City had not cited other residents and only targeted him because of his political views. Plaintiff sought $1,500,000 in damages. The City established that most of plaintiff’s claims were precluded on immunity grounds and the remaining claims failed for a lack of actual evidence.

In the second case, Gerry Fagan and Jordan FitzGerald convinced a State District Court on November 27, 2020, to dismiss claims related to a land use planning decision by the City of Hardin. The plaintiff claimed he had been treated unequally in violation of the state and federal constitution when the City annexed his property along with other adjoining properties. The plaintiff claimed the other adjoining property owners received more favorable treatment because it cost less for them to connect their properties to City services. The City established plaintiff’s claims were precluded by the applicable statutes of limitation.

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