Judge Dismisses Plaintiffs’ Bid To Stop Installation of Artificial Turf Fields

Aug 1, 2008

A Connecticut state court judge has dismissed a pair of lawsuits that were aimed at stopping the installation of four artificial turf playing fields in Stamford.
State Superior Court Judge Deborah Frankel found specifically that plaintiffs Karen Murphy and Maureen Boylan lacked standing to challenge the City’s approval process.
Murphy, a Shippan resident, filed suit last spring, making the argument that the practice of “bundling” capital projects together in the budget violated the city Charter. The $3 million allocation for the fields was lumped in the city’s 2008-09 capital budget with other park and field improvements. This, argued Murphy, made it impossible for legislators to make line-item cuts.
Boylan, meanwhile, argued that the city violated state law by failing to seek Planning Board approval for the fields. The projects were approved by the Board of Representatives and Board of Finance when they awarded a $5.7 million contract to DeRosa Tennis Contractors Inc., which was also named in the lawsuits.
The court held that Murphy and Boylan failed to demonstrate they would suffer monetary or other significant injury, despite their arguments that the projects would increase taxes.
Stamford Legal Affairs Director Thomas Cassone told the media that he was pleased with the decision.
“It doesn’t get to the issue of whether they have any merit – which, I repeat, they do not – but that they don’t even have the right to bring those claims,” Cassone told the Stamford Advocate.
Karen A. Murphy v. City of Stamford et al.; Super Ct.Conn.; Docket No. CV 08-4024500S; 6/6/08


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