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Black v. New Castle Cnty. Bd. of License

Supreme Court of Delaware

June 29, 2015

HENRY BLACK, MARY LOU BLACK, BLACKBALL PROPERTIES, LLC, Petitioners Below/Appellants,
v.
NEW CASTLE COUNTY BOARD OF LICENSE, INSPECTION AND REVIEW, NEW CASTLE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF LAND USE, and GARY STAFFIERI and ADRIA CHARLES-STAFFIERI, Respondents Below/Appellees

Submitted May 20, 2015

Case Closed July 15, 2015.

Court Below: Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for New Castle County. C.A. No. N13A-08-012 FWW.

AFFIRMED.

Richard L. Abbott, Esquire, Abbott Law Firm, LLC, Hockessin, Delaware, for Appellants.

Marlaine A. White, Assistant County Attorney, New Castle County Office of Law, New Castle, Delaware, for Appellee Department of Land Use.

Gary Staffieri and Adria Charles Staffieri, Appellees, Pro se.

Before STRINE, Chief Justice; HOLLAND, VAUGHN, and SEITZ, Justices; and BOUCHARD,[*] Chancellor, constituting the Court en banc.

OPINION

Page 1028

STRINE, Chief Justice:

I. INTRODUCTION

This case arose when Henry and Mary Lou Black and Blackball Properties, LLC (collectively, the " Blacks" ), challenged the Department of Land Use's decision to grant a change of use certificate to neighboring property owners, Gary Staffieri and Adria Charles-Staffieri (the " Staffieris" ), to the New Castle County Board of License, Inspection and Review (the " Board" ). The Staffieris had rented out the property for use as office space for approximately ten years before deciding to open an automobile detailing shop on the premises, which required them to obtain a change of use certificate from the Department.[1] When the Staffieris first received their certificate from the Department, the Blacks successfully appealed and the Board reversed the Department's decision. But the Staffieris reapplied, the Department once again issued their certificate,

Page 1029

and this time, the Board affirmed the Department's decision. The Blacks were unable to appeal the Board's decision to a reviewing court because the General Assembly has chosen not to provide that right to parties aggrieved by a Board decision. The Blacks therefore sought review through a petition for a writ of certiorari filed in the Superior ...


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