On October 23, 2009, the Cheshire Superior Court ruled on 4 points in the lawsuits regarding the SBC expansion. These rulings constitute summary judgments on 3 cases: SBC appealing decision of the land use boards, SBC seeking liability for the 'Richmond 12', and John Boccalini/Kathleen Witham/et al. appealing ZBA's decision on the school operated at SBC.
1. Saint Benedict Center argued that the members of the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA) - collectively known as the 'Richmond 12' - had "exceeded the scope of their official authority." The Town argued that the members should be given immunity because they were acting in a quasi-judicial capacity. The Court ruled that the 'Richmond 12' indeed could not be personally held liable. As such, the full impact of damages will be borne by the Town of Richmond.
2. SBC and Town of Richmond both sought judgment regarding the claims of violation of constitutional rights and RLUIPA (Federal anti-discrimination law). The judge ruled that the Planning Board and ZBA violated the 1st Amendment Rights to Freedom of Religion because they required SBC to obtain a special exemption and violated the RLUIPA statutes by placing conditions which cannot be met.
3. SBC sought judgment in the Boccalini/Witham/et al. case against the ZBA regarding the school as an accessory use. The judge did not rule on this issue and it is still pending.
Further, the Town agreed to comply with requests to provide more material regarding the case.
For more information, please see the SBC V. Richmond page.