This blog features case law related to real estate, land use, zoning, and municipal law in Pennsylvania

Tag: Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Township Official Entitled to Qualified Immunity for “No Contact” Email to Residents, Despite Violation of First Amendment Rights

This decision from the Third Circuit deals with a civil rights claim filed by Township residents asserting violations of their First Amendment right to petition their government.  At issue was a Township official’s statement to the residents not to communicate with Township officials or employees after the residents’ were perceived to have threatened suit against the Township for its inaction in a dispute with the residents’ neighbors. In reversing the District Court decision, the Third Circuit found that qualified immunity applied to the Township official, because “every reasonable official” in that position would not have known that such a “no contact” email was a violation of the residents’ First Amendment rights.

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FHA Accessibility Requirements Do Not Apply to Buildings Constructed Prior to March 1991

In this case, the Third Circuit was asked to determine whether the design and accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act (FHA) apply to commercial buildings constructed prior to March 1991—the effective date of the requirements—but converted to residential use after that date. In affirming the lower court’s dismissal, the Third Circuit found that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) interpretation that the FHA requirements only apply to buildings constructed after March 1991 was reasonable.

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