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Autumn Acres Senior Village, Inc. v. Village of Mayville

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Northern Division

December 20, 2019

AUTUMN ACRES SENIOR VILLAGE, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
VILLAGE OF MAYVILLE, BARBARA VALENTINE, Defendants.

          ORDER DIRECTING PLAINTIFF TO SUPPLEMENT ITS COMPLAINT AND AMENDING THE SCHEDULING ORDER

          THOMAS L. LUDINGTON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On October 4, 2018, Plaintiff Autumn Acres Senior Village, Inc. (“Autumn Acres”) filed a Complaint against Defendants Village of Mayville (the “Village”) and Barbara Valentine. ECF No. 1 at PageID.1. On December 20, 2018, Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint, identifying four causes of action against Mayville. ECF No. 9 at PageID.52. Count I alleges that Mayville engaged in an illegal taking when it refused to provide Plaintiff with a municipal water connection. Count II contends that the Village's refusal to provide a water connection deprived Autumn Acres of its constitutionally protected rights of due process. Id. at PageID.71. Count III asserts that Mayville violated Autumn Acres' federal and state equal protection rights by treating Autumn Acres differently than other developers. Id. at PageID.73. Count IV claims that Mayville made false and defamatory statements regarding Autumn Acres' illicit extension of the water main. Id. at PageID.74-75.

         I.

         Two prior state court proceedings occurred relating to the allegations made in Plaintiff's complaint. The first was filed on May 12, 2014 and heard in 71-B District Court in Tuscola County.

         The second was filed on November 16, 2015 in the 54th Circuit Court for Tuscola County. The parties appealed the 54th Circuit Court decision.

         While the appeal of the state court proceeding was pending, Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss this case on June 5, 2019. ECF No. 17 at PageID.129. Plaintiff filed its response to the Motion to Dismiss on June 24, 2019. ECF No. 19 at PageID.225. Though permitted to file a reply pursuant to Local Rule 7.1(e)(C), Defendants did not do so.

         On October 30, 2019, the parties were directed to file supplemental briefing to provide additional factual information. ECF No. 21. On November 19, 2019, the Michigan Court of Appeals entered its order, affirming the decision of the 54th Circuit Court. The next day, the parties submitted their supplemental briefing to this Court.

         II.

         The property at issue (the “Property”) consists of approximately 12 acres. ECF No. 23-2 at PageID.498. Plaintiff purchased the Property in 2000 for approximately $54, 000 with the intent to develop the Property into a senior village for individuals 55 years of age and older. Id. The Property did not have municipal water service at the time of purchase. Id.

         On the Property is a drive formerly owned by Plaintiff called “Roller Way.” It runs north-south and is perpendicular to “Main Street.” In 2003, Plaintiff dedicated it as a right of way to the Village the first 140 feet of Roller Way running from Main Street, making those 140 feet a public road. Id. at PageID.503.

         Five structures exist on the Property that are relevant to this case. The attached diagram demonstrates the approximate location of the structures and their relation to each other. See Exhibit A. In 2003, Plaintiff constructed a duplex near the southern border of the Property (“320 and 325 Roller Way”). ECF No. 23-2 at PageID.500. In 2006 and 2007, Plaintiff constructed another duplex north of 320 and 325 Roller Way (“324A and 324B Roller Way”). Id. at PageID.501. The home of Plaintiff's principal, Clare Roller, is located Northwest of 324A and 324B Roller Way (“330 Roller Way”). In 2013, Plaintiff installed two mobile homes east of 324A and 324B (“325 and 327 Roller Way”).

         A.

         In 2006, Roger Sweet was employed with the Village's Department of Public Works (“DPW”) as the DPW Supervisor. According to Roller, Sweet told him that the Village would provide the Property with municipal water via a water main. The water main would run north from the Main Street water main along Roller Way.

         According to Roller, he and Sweet measured the entirety of the proposed water main and determined that it would need to be approximately 360 feet in length. Id. at PageID.503. Sweet told Roller that the Village would pay for the first 140 feet of the water line (“First Extension”) because the Village owned the first 140 feet of Roller Way. Plaintiff would be responsible for paying for the remaining 220 feet in length (“Second Extension). Id. at PageID.504. In 2007, a contractor, Henry Bollon, installed the 360-foot water main. The village later billed Plaintiff for 200 feet of water main materials. See ECF No. 24-11.

         In 2011, Bollon extended the water main to 330 Roller Way (“Third Extension”). Roller claims that Sweet approved the Third Extension. ECF No. 23-2 at PageID.506.

         In 2013, Roller installed his two mobile homes, 325 and 327 Roller Way. ECF No. 23-2 at PageID.507. He claims that earlier that year, the Village had agreed to provide 325 and 327 Roller Way access to municipal water for $1, 800. See ECF No. 19-2 at PageID.257; ECF No. 23-8 at PageID.553. To accomplish this, the Village constructed a water meter pit south of 325 Roller Way. ECF No. 19-2 at PageID.264. The pit soon flooded with groundwater. Id. Regardless, the Village sent Roller an invoice totaling more than $3, 000 for the construction of the pit, notwithstanding the estimate for $1, 800. ECF No. 23-4 at PageID.523.

         Roller then installed a water line from 330 Roller Way to the meter pit (“Fourth Extension”). ECF No. 23-2 at PageID.508. He later ran a water line from the meter pit to 325 and 327 Roller Way (“Fifth Extension”). Roller claims that he received approval to construct the ...


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