ALLEN AND ZAMBITO PREVAIL IN THE NINTH CIRCUIT

In an unpublished decision dated July 24, 2018, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of Equal Protection and Due Process claims brought by various Plaintiffs under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the City of Santa Monica and various individual Santa Monica employees in Miller v. City of Santa Monica, et al. Plaintiffs asserted that they had the right to operate a parking garage in the City of Santa Monica, but that that the City arbitrarily deprived them of their right to a permit, as well as the right to appeal the denial of the permit without affording them due process. Plaintiffs further alleged that the City’s actions deprived them of their equal protection rights. Mike Allen and Rocco Zambito obtained a dismissal of each of Plaintiffs’ claims at the District Court level. In the July 24, 2018 decision, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s decision to dismiss all claims, finding that Plaintiffs failed to sufficiently allege a constitutionally protected Due Process claim because their purported “right” to operate the parking garage was based on a “contractual” right between them and a third party and, under the relevant City ordinances, the City had wide discretion whether to approve or deny permits to operate parking garages. The Ninth Circuit further held that the Equal Protection claims failed because Plaintiffs could not establish that they were intentionally treated differently from other “similarly situated” individuals. The ruling is a significant victory for the City of Santa Monica as Plaintiffs were asserting that they were damaged in excess of $10 million.

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