NJ Case Protects Land Use Applicants From Sham Litigation

By Christopher Stracco, Craig Gianetti and Katharine Coffey (August 7, 2017, 11:07 AM EDT) -- When individuals and corporations sue to challenge a proposed real estate development, are they exercising their right to petition the government for redress or engaging in sham litigation to prevent competition? It has been a frustration of commercial developers and retailers for some time — they get tied up in court defending land use approvals for years when the objector is really a commercial competitor seeking a competitive advantage. Sometimes success is not even the goal of the objector; delay in and of itself is a "victory." Historically, commercial developers and retailers chose not to return the favor and sue the objector for sham litigation due to the cost in bringing such a claim and the perceived unlikely success given New Jersey's historical treatment of such claims. However, recent decisions and proposed legislation in New Jersey are seeming to turn that tide and provide an avenue of redress for commercial developers and retailers....

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