Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Elizondo v. Royalty Metal Furnishing, Inc.

ELR Citation: 43 ELR 20252
Nos. 13-1631, (S.D. Tex., 10/29/2013) (Stacy, J.)

A district court dismissed residents' lawsuit against a city for allowing a metals finishing plant to use and store acids and other dangerous chemicals. The residents' only factual allegation against the city is that it zoned the property at issue as a commercial or industrial use area and allowed the plant to operate its industrial business there. The residents allege that this municipal action constitutes an intentional or reckless violation of their civil rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. But the residents have not alleged that any agent of the city engaged in a search or seizure of their persons or property in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Nor does the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment require the government to affirmatively protect citizens from harm caused by private parties. And nothing in the resident's petition suggests that the city, through its zoning decision or otherwise, has "taken" the residents' property within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. In addition, the court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the residents' remaining state law claims against the finishing plant, as they involved municipal zoning laws and state law tort claims.