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Buckler v. Rader

United States District Court, N.D. Georgia, Atlanta Division

October 28, 2014

ROBERT H. BUCKLER, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
JEFF RADER, et al., Defendants

For Robert H. Buckler, H. Anthony McCullar, Plaintiffs: James L. Ford, Sr., LEAD ATTORNEY, James Lee Ford, a Professional Corporation, Atlanta, GA.

For Jeff Rader, individually; and in his official capacity as a Commissioner for Dekalb County, Georgia, Kathie Gannon, individually; and in her official capacity as a Commissioner for Dekalb County, Georgia, Defendants: Sun S. Choy, Freeman Mathis & Gary, Atlanta, GA.

For Gary Cornell, individually; and in his official capacity as an employee of Dekalb County, David Cullison, individually; and in his official capacity as an employee of Dekalb County, Hari Karikaran, individually; and in his official capacity as an employee of Dekalb County, Lee Azimi-Zonooz, individually; and in his official capacity as an employee of Dekalb County, Defendants: Brenda Ann Raspberry, John E. Jones, Jr., Dekalb County Law Department, Decatur, GA.

For Robert B. MacGregor, III, Defendant: Rachel Erin Hudgins, Robert A. Luskin, Goodman McGuffey Lindsey & Johnson, Atlanta, GA; Russell Brevard Davis, Downey & Cleveland, Marietta, GA.

For Druid Hills Civic Association, Inc., Defendant: Rachel Erin Hudgins, Robert A. Luskin, Goodman McGuffey Lindsey & Johnson, Atlanta, GA; Robert Haney Benfield, Jr., Law Offices of Robert H. Benfield, Jr., Atlanta, GA; Robert A. Luskin, Goodman McGuffey Lindsey & Johnson, Atlanta, GA.

For Justin Critz, Elise Riley, Cathy Vandenburg, Cynthia Waterbury, Becky Evans, Phil Brane, Perry Mitchell, Mark Goldman, Movants: Elizabeth G. Howard, William Bruce Barrickman, Barrickman Allred & Young, LLC, Atlanta, GA.

For John W. Matthews, David Horslev, Todd Hill, Sally Sears, Bob Kerr, Dr. Joseph Webb, Chris Wagner, Chris Mitchell, John Robitscher, Linda Robitscher, Marlene Goldman, Movants: Robin Frazer Clark, Robin Frazer Clark, PC, Atlanta, GA.

Page 1372

ORDER

WILLIS B. HUNT, JR., UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Background

This matter is before the Court for consideration of the Defendants' various motions to dismiss the amended complaint. [Docs. 24, 26, 40]. Plaintiffs' factual allegations in the amended complaint are extensive. Unfortunately, many of Plaintiffs' asserted facts are not at all relevant to Plaintiffs' claims, either because they occurred more than two years before the complaint was filed and are thus barred by the applicable statute of limitations or because they relate to matters that could not

Page 1373

possibly relate to Plaintiffs' claims.[1] Indeed, if it were not so obvious that the complaint should be dismissed, this Court would require Plaintiffs to replead with a more definite statement.

Briefly summarizing, Plaintiffs own a parcel of land in the Druid Hills neighborhood of DeKalb County. Druid Hills has been designated an historic district. Under that designation, property owners are required to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) under certain circumstances if they want to make changes to their home that would change the exterior appearance of existing buildings. Druid Hills also has an active civic association, the members of which support the aggressive enforcement of the requirements of the historic district.

The parcel that Plaintiffs own is approximately four acres. Plaintiffs sought to subdivide the property and are under the firm belief that they do not need a COA to do so. Plaintiffs claim that Defendant Rader, then president of the Druid Hills Civic Association initiated a campaign to oppose Plaintiffs' development of the property. Defendant Rader later became a member of the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners, and in that capacity he and another board member, Defendant Gannon, intensified their efforts to stop Plaintiff's development. The other Defendants, some of whom are (or were) DeKalb County officials and others who are not government actors but are members of the Druid Hills Civic Association, all purportedly played a role in thwarting Plaintiffs' efforts to subdivide their property.

As noted above, Plaintiffs' factual allegations go on and on -- so much so that Plaintiffs have not even made an effort to summarize their own facts in their response to Defendants' motions to dismiss. Instead, they have set forth the following allegations in bullet-point format, presumably pointing out what they consider to be Defendants' most egregious actions:

o The Commissioners conspired to use their positions as Commissioners in an effort to improperly influence the decision of the DeKalb County Planning Commission when determining the rights and obligations of ...

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