HOWD & LUDORF, LLC WINS REVERSAL FROM 2D CIRCUIT IN DUE PROCESS CASE
Howd & Ludorf, LLC partners Thomas R. Gerarde and Katherine Rule have won a reversal of a trial court finding that the Town of East Hartford violated the due process rights of a precious metals dealer when it declined to renew the business’ license. In ACE Partners v. Town of East Hartford, the East Hartford Chief of Police declined to renew the precious metals license of ACE, after learning ACE was the subject of a State Police sting operation, resulting in arrests for dealing in stolen merchandise. ACE brought suit, claiming that Connecticut’s precious metals statute provided ACE with an entitlement to a license. The District Court agreed, holding that the Town could only refuse a license to a convicted felon and entered judgment in favor of ACE. The 2d Circuit Court of Appeals has now reversed, holding that the District court misinterpreted the provision regarding felony convictions. The Court of Appeals explained that the statute provided a chief of police with discretion to grant or deny a precious metals permit — except that in no circumstance can the Chief of Police exercise that discretion to give a license to a convicted felon. The Court of Appeals reversed the judgment in favor of ACE, and entered judgment for the Town, and further ordered that the case be dismissed.