Municipal Law – “Article 78s” and Other Governmental Litigation and Representation

On eastern Long Island in particular, the land use development processes often lead to a type of litigation known as the “Article 78,” which is brought in the State Supreme Court by either neighbors who are contesting approvals or by applicants who are challenging denials of their permits.  Our lawyers have decades of experience working with landowners, other lawyers, municipalities, and neighbors bringing and defending against Article 78s, which involve special procedures, rules and standards of review.  Our experience, which includes successfully overturning and defending scores of decisions, helps us advise clients as to when it may be worth challenging some decisions and when challenges to others would likely be futile.

In addition to Article 78s, some types of governmental decisions, such as direct challenges to laws and zoning codes, require different legal proceedings in State or Federal Court, such as “declaratory judgment” actions or claims for damages.  Our lawyers, familiar with all of the options, assists clients in assessing their remedies and bringing the appropriate claims. We also defend landowners in governmental “enforcement proceedings,” which can include administrative hearings, criminal prosecutions, injunction actions, and even cost recovery proceedings.

As appointed, or special counsel, Our firm also represents municipalities and agencies directly.  We have served as special counsel to the Town of Shelter Island Planning Board since the 1970s and as Village Attorneys for the Incorporated Village of Westhampton Beach since 2014.