Efron v. Mora Dev. Corp., No. 11-1347 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff owned land near lots intended for development. The Puerto Rico Highway and Transportation Authority planned to condemn most of plaintiff's land, in aid of the development. Plaintiff's motion to dismiss the condemnation proceeding was rejected; he filed suit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 against the developer, PRHTA, and PRHTA employees, alleging conspiracy to deprive him of his property without just compensation or due process and torts claims under commonwealth law. The district court entered summary judgment for defendants and awarded $92,149 in attorney fees. The First Circuit vacated the fee award. Puerto Rican law provides process to get compensation for property takings by the government. Plaintiff did not take advantage of that process. Those were the only facts that needed to be shown for the dismissal, so the award was not justified.