When we started this blog on eminent domain, our first dispatch reported that the Connecticut Supreme Court had revived the litigation by New London environmentalists who challenged the Fort Trumbull redevelopment project on environmental law grounds – see Is the Kelo Litigation Over? July 8, 2007. It wasn’t then and it still isn’t. The Connecticut Supreme Court has just reversed the trial court’s dismissal of this action. Fort Trumbull Conservancy LLP v. Alves, Conn. Supr. Ct., Docket No. SC17826. April 1, 2008)
The opinion is procedural and deals with standing and sufficiency of pleadings. It does not tell us much about the substantive merits of the controversy. But the holding is clear: the trial court erred when it eliminated some of the plaintiff-environmentalists’ allegations from their complaint and dismissed their action. Said the court:
“In granting the development corporation’s requested deletions, the trial court effectively stripped the plaintiff’s complaint—which we previously had held to besufficient in Alves I—of the exact type of allegation that it then declared was fatally missing from the second amended complaint. This error was further compounded, not only by the trial court’s refusal to articulate its reasoning, but ultimately by its granting of the defendants’ renewed motions to dismiss for lack of standing.”
So it’s back to the drawing board. Stay tuned.
Oh yes, we almost forgot. The opinion was ordered released on April 1, 2008. State supreme courts are not renowned for their sense of humor, but we just can’t help wondering if this was the Connecticut Supreme Court’s way of saying “April fool!’ to the City of New London.