Civil Rights Action Against Planning Board Engineer Dismissed.
The plaintiff, a sophisticated commercial real estate developer, brought constitutional claims against a New Jersey borough and its planning board’s engineer, alleging inverse condemnation and violations of due process relating to a 14-acre property. The plaintiff intended to develop the property into residential units, retail and commercial structures, and a large parking deck. The plaintiff alleged that the engineer violated its constitutional rights by refusing to accept its site plan application for the development project and by preventing the plaintiff’s application from going before the planning board for approval. The plaintiff alleged the engineer’s actions constituted an unconstitutional taking of its property and were entitled to just compensation. Dismissal was granted on the grounds that the engineer, as a consultant for the planning board, did not have the authority or power to determine what applications go before the planning board, and the plaintiff did not exhaust all of its administrative remedies prior to instituting the civil rights action.