Supreme Court rules in town’s favor in Peloquin matter

By Curtis Riggs | December 17, 2008

Opts to not review Appeals Court decision
CAREFREE – The town won a significant victory in its long legal battle with developer Michael Peloquin last week when the Arizona Supreme Court decided not to review a lower court’s ruling concerning Peloquin’s attempt to build a resort at the northwest corner of Tom Darlington and Carefree Highway.

The Supreme Court’s denial of Peloquin’s G.P. Properties petition to review the case lets the Arizona Court of Appeals ruling stand, which concluded Carefree’s denial of G.P. Properties permit for the resort was a legislative action. The court pointed out the Carefree Town Council has the discretion to apply a “matter of grace” standard when considering applications for special-use permits.

Peloquin filed this lawsuit against Carefree in 2002.

Citing last week’s decision by the Supreme Court, Carefree Mayor Wayne Fulcher asked Carefree Town Attorney Tom Chenal to ask for a summary judgment, which would immediately dismiss the case in federal court. The decision also, in effect, eliminates the basis for a Peloquin lawsuit directed personally toward the members of the Carefree Town Council. This lawsuit claimed the council denied Peloquin his due process when it denied the resort permit.

Fulcher said the thousands Carefree spent defending itself against Peloquin is “justified” because of the Arizona Supreme Court victory. Peloquin’s only option in appealing the decision of the Arizona Supreme Court is to seek review by the U.S. Supreme Court.