Snyder v. Collura, No. 12-1422 (1st Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Robert Snyder operated a business in a building that he owned in the city of Waltham, Massachusetts. After Snyder fired an employee who served as a member of the Waltham city council, the former employee complained to the city building department that Snyder’s use of his building violated a local land use ordinance. Code enforcement officers investigated Snyder’s use of his property and fined him under the ordinance. Snyder contested the fines in the district court, alleging that the city and five individuals violated his rights to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment by singling him out for differential treatment for reasons unique to him. The defendants moved for summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity. The district court denied the motion. The First Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s denial of the two defendants’ motion for summary judgment, holding that the local government officials did not violate any clearly established federal law, and therefore, the defendants were entitled to qualified immunity.