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Town of Southold v. Town of E. Hampton

United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

December 21, 2005, Decided

04-cv-3860 (SJF)(WDW)




I. Introduction

This action was commenced by the Towns of Southold and Shelter Island (collectively, the "Town Plaintiffs") and Cross Sound Ferry Services, Inc. ("CSF") against the Town of East Hampton ("East Hampton" or "Defendant") seeking a declaration that Local Law No. 40 of 1997 of the Town of East Hampton (the "Ferry Law") is invalid. According to Plaintiffs, the Ferry Law violates the Dormant Commerce Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution, and the Equal Protection Clause of the New York State [**2]  Constitution. Plaintiffs also claim that the Ferry Law constitutes an improper and abusive exercise of East Hampton's police power under the laws and Constitution of New York. Defendant has moved for summary judgment on all counts.  [*232]  Plaintiffs have cross-moved for summary judgment on Counts One, Two and Four. Plaintiffs have further moved to strike Defendant's Rule 56.1 Statement. For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted and Plaintiffs cross-motions for summary judgment and to strike Defendant's Rule 56.1 statement are denied.

II. Background

Suffolk County (the "County") is the easternmost county on Long Island, separated from Connecticut on the north by Long Island Sound and bordered on the west by Nassau County. 1 Suffolk County consists of 1,000 sq. miles. It is 86 miles long, east to west, and at its widest and most westerly point is 26 miles, north to south. The County divides into two "forks" in the Town of Riverhead. The northern fork, (the "North Fork"), contains, inter alia, the plaintiff Town of Southold. The Town of Southold contains, inter alia, the Villages of Greenport and Orient Point.

 [**3]  The southern fork, (the "South Fork"), contains, inter alia, the defendant Town of East Hampton. East Hampton is, in turn, comprised of the Village of East Hampton, a portion of the Village of Sag Harbor and a number of unincorporated hamlets, including Montauk. East Hampton is 22 miles long and its width, north to south, ranges from 3/4 of a mile to 6 miles. The main east to west artery, Montauk Highway, provides one traffic lane in each direction. Plaintiff Town of Shelter Island is an island located between the North and South Forks.

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406 F. Supp. 2d 227 *; 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41036 **


Subsequent History: Affirmed in part and vacated in part by, Remanded by Town of Southold v. Town of E. Hampton, 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 2789 (2d Cir., Feb. 8, 2007)


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Evidence, Judicial Notice, Scientific & Technical Facts, Adjudicative Facts, Facts Generally Known, Business & Corporate Compliance, Transportation Law, Water Transportation, State & Local Regulation, Civil Procedure, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, General Overview, Genuine Disputes, Materiality of Facts, Burdens of Proof, Movant Persuasion & Proof, Nonmovant Persuasion & Proof, Supporting Materials, Memoranda of Law, Constitutional Law, Case or Controversy, Standing, Elements, Justiciability, Burdens of Proof, Particular Parties, Third Party Standing, Governments, Legislation, Statute of Limitations, Extensions & Revivals, Congressional Duties & Powers, Commerce Clause, Dormant Commerce Clause, Equal Protection, Judicial Review, Standards of Review, Nature & Scope of Protection, Substantive Due Process, Privacy, Personal Decisions, Real Property Law, Zoning, Constitutional Limits, Poverty, Ordinances, Local Governments, Police Power