Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Haines v. City of New York case brief

Haines v. City of New York case brief summary
364 N.E.2d 820 (1977)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Respondent city appealed from an order of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the Third Judicial Department (New York), which held in favor of plaintiff property owner in an action for declaratory and injunctive relief related to an agreement between the city and respondent towns for the construction of a sewage system.

CASE FACTS
The city and the towns entered into an agreement for the construction of a sewage system. The property owner brought an action against the city for declaratory and injunctive relief alleging that the agreement was perpetual in duration and obligated the city to expend additional capital funds to enlarge an existing plant or build a new one to accommodate the present and future needs of the towns. The trial court held in favor of the property owner, and the city appealed.

DISCUSSION

  • The court ruled that the city was obligated to maintain the existing plant but was not required to expand that plant or construct any new facilities to accommodate the property owner's substantial, or any other, increased demands on the sewage system. 
  • Further, the court held that the law did not imply that a contract calling for continuing performance was perpetual in duration. 
  • The court modified the order declaring the rights under the agreement, striking those paragraphs of the order which provided that the city was obligated to construct any additional facilities required to meet increased demand and that the property owner was entitled to full use of the sewer lines and, as so modified, the order was affirmed.

CONCLUSION
Order declaring the parties rights under the agreement for the construction of a sewage system was modified by striking certain paragraphs of the order and, as so modified, the order was affirmed.

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