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John F. Dougherty Wins Defense Judgments; Court Affirms Legality of Deferred Water and Sewer Utility Charges

On April 3, 2014, John F. Dougherty won a defense judgment in an action brought by condominium unit owners seeking refunds and to avoid future payments of deferred water and sewer utility charges they owed to the defendant. The total amount of the payments at stake exceeded $500,000. Three of the plaintiffs’ six counts were dismissed with prejudice in pretrial motions, and after a bench trial in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, the Court entered judgment for the defendant on the remaining counts. The decision follows a similar result Mr. Dougherty achieved in 2013 in a case involving different parties in the Circuit Court for Charles County, in which the Court entered summary judgment for the defense on all issues. Both cases have application beyond the immediate parties, because they affirm the legality and enforceability of deferred water and sewer charge declarations, which are a common mechanism for financing infrastructure in real estate development throughout Maryland. Kramon & Graham’s Real Estate Practice Group is well-versed in structuring deferred utility charge declarations to reduce the risk of such lawsuits.