Friday, May 5, 2017

The doctrine of mootness applied to a construction project.

Practice point:  The doctrine is invoked where a change in circumstances prevents a court from rendering a decision that would effectively determine the actual controversy.  Where the change in circumstances involves a construction project, a court must consider how far the work has progressed towards completion.  However, the race to the project's completion is not determinative, and the court will consider other factors, especially a challenger's failure to seek preliminary injunctive relief or otherwise preserve the status quo to prevent construction during the pendency of the litigation.  Also significant are whether work was undertaken without authority or in bad faith, and whether substantially completed work can be undone without undue hardship. The court may retain jurisdiction despite mootness if there are novel or substantial issues that otherwise would evade judicial review.

Case:  Matter of Town of Mt. Pleasant v. Delaney, NY Slip Op 03185 (2d Dep't April 26, 2017)

Here is the decision.

Monday's issue:  A medical malpractice claim.