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Scott E. Mollen Scott E. Mollen

Land Use—Solar Farm Developer Not Protected by New York’s Anti-“SLAPP” Suit Statute—Developers’ Lawsuits Against Protesters

 The plaintiff, a developer of solar energy projects, had signed an exclusive option agreement to lease a 15-acre parcel of land that is part of a 157-acre property (whole property) owned by the defendant owner (owner). The owner subsequently leased the whole property to a competitor (“A”) of plaintiff. The owner also issued an “estoppel” document, which stated that “A’s” lease had priority over the plaintiff’s option (estoppel document).

The plaintiff had requested that a town take no action with respect to “A’s” zoning and license applications. “A” thereafter sued the plaintiff in the New York State Supreme Court for, inter alia, tortious interference with contract. That claim was subsequently withdrawn.

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