Executive Partner Robert Spolzino (White Plains) scored a major victory on Friday in the New York Court of Appeals – New York’s highest court – sustaining his prior win in the Appellate Division, Second Department, overturning the term limits law in the Town of Clarkstown, Rockland County.
Representing the Town’s Supervisor, George Hoehmann, Spolzino argued successfully that the term limits law, which had been adopted in 2014 and would have barred Hoehmann from seeking a fifth two-year term, had never been duly adopted because the Town had never held the required public referendum on the law.
Overcoming the assertion by two Town Council Members that it was too late to challenge the law in 2022, Spolzino convinced the Court of Appeals that the legal framework within which courts had previously analyzed statute of limitations issues with respect to local laws – that procedural failures must be raised within four months and substantive issues must be raised within six years – did not apply here because one of the two acts required to adopt the law, the approval of the town’s electors at a referendum, had never taken place and, as the Court of Appeals stated, “a law cannot become operative through the mere passage of time.”
The Decision from the Court of Appeals is memorialized here.
Additional coverage on the matter can be found at the links below.