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ARGUED MAY 13, 2011

Before CUDAHY, KANNE, and TINDER, Circuit Judges.

Henry David Thoreau found solace when he lived near Walden Pond. Homeowners perhaps seeking the same from a small pond in the Innsbrook subdivision in Merrillville, Indiana, claim to have found anything but. They allege that the retention pond their lots abut is a haven not for tranquility but for algae and mosquitoes, a source of flooding and frustra- tion rather than inspiration and insight. They feared that a proposed expansion of the subdivision would only exacerbate their problems with the pond, and they at-tempted to voice their concerns with Merrillville town officials during and after the subdivision approval process. The disgruntled homeowners, most of whom are African American, claim that Merrillville refused to listen to them, with a town council member (also African American) allegedly turning his back to them on one occasion and slinging a racial epithet at them on another. They also contend that Merrillville violated their Fourteenth Amendment equal protection rights by being more responsive to similar complaints lodged by white residents of another subdivision years later.

 
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