Article 78 Proceedings
Article 78 proceedings are the primary mechanism under New York law for challenging a governmental decision in court. I represent property owners who are unfairly denied regulatory approvals by local planning boards, zoning boards, building departments and other governmental agencies, as well as parties who wish to challenge an approval improperly granted for a neighboring or nearby property. Article 78 proceedings are a highly technical area of the law, frequently involving questions such as ripeness (i.e., whether all administrative remedies have been fully exhausted) and standing (i.e., whether the plaintiff lives close enough to the subject site to be allowed to make a legal challenge).
If you are involved in a matter before a regulatory board where a judicial challenge may be necessary, it is critical to get an experienced litigator involved early in the process, for several reasons. First, making a complete record before the regulatory board is imperative, because any judicial challenge will be limited to that record. Second, statutes of limitations for bringing Article 78 proceedings can be as short as 30 days. Finally, the mere involvement of litigation counsel in proceedings before the regulatory board may cause the board to consider the matter more carefully and, in and of itself, can sometimes generate the desired outcome.