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The Official/Legislative Privilege

by Terrence S. Welch & Robert F. Brown
A tactic of some landowner/developer attorneys whose clients failed to receive requested zoning/land use approvals is to sue not only the municipality but also the individual councilmembers who voted against their clients’ project or development. While this often is nothing more than an attempt to harass the individual councilmembers, the courts have looked favorably upon those same councilmembers when the plaintiff landowner/developer attempts to take their depositions to determine why they voted a certain way. Judicial scrutiny of this issue has resulted in the official/legislative privilege.

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