Seattle, WA commercial litigation attorney Anthony L. Rafel talks about a case where he prevailed against a city for refusing to process permit applications for his client’s real estate development.
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One of our most interesting real estate cases was a case against one of the largest municipalities, one of the largest cities in the state of Washington. We represented a commercial real estate developer that was trying to develop a shopping center that was anchored by a Wal Mart store. This was a controversial project because many people in the community did not like the idea of a Wal Mart coming in whereas others felt it would provide jobs both in the construction of the project and later in the service jobs that would exist at the shopping center. Certain members of the city council were strongly opposed to the project and unfortunately, they went too far in their opposition.
They exceeded their powers as a municipality to try to kill this project. And so, we brought suit on behalf of the developer against the city. And the basis of the claim was a civil right claim that it was a depravation of our clients’ due process rights, that is to fair process on the part of the city to process their permit applications and if the project met code requirements, to issue permits to construct this project. I tried this case to a federal district judge for 19 days and won a resounding victory against the city as well as an award of all of our attorney’s fees.