The Branford, Connecticut, Progress Report

Evidently, Californians in Half Moon Bay are not the only ones to engage in multi-million dollar deeds of litigational derring-do. On September 15th we posted a news item (Zap ’em, Danno) relating how a court in Branford, Connecticut found a condenmnation by the town seeking to take land on which a developer was just starting to develop several hundred homes, to be in bad faith. Nonetheless the trial court allowed the condemnation to proceed, and awarded $4.6 million as against the town’s proffered compensation of $1 million. On top of that, the court awarded $12.4 million for the developer’s lost profits and investment costs.

We now learn that the trial court heard the Town’s motion for new trial and denied it. The Town vows to appeal and has retained Wes Horton (the winner of Kelo) as its appellate counsel, but under Connecticut law it may have to post a substantial six-figure bond. In the meantime, the owners are seeking another $1.8 million in attorneys fees under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1988, and that request is yet to be passed on by the trial court. We plan to keep you up to date on the progress of this case, so once again, stay tuned. 

UPDATE: The status of this case is now available via a web page posted by the owners’ counsel. SEE