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Abstract

This Article examines the laws and lawsuits which have affected the establishment of community residences for the mentally disabled in New York State. First, the Article traces the history of community residences prior to the enactment of the Padavan Law in 1978. Thereafter, this Article analyzes the statute to determine whether its procedures and interpretations by courts have been consistent with the drafters' stated intentions. In addition to examining the statutory procedures, this Article considers issues of zoning, the statute's constitutionality, the standing of neighbors and neighborhood groups to challenge community residence sites, and the effect of restrictive covenants on community residences. Finally, the Article looks at the attempted use of preliminary injunctions and temporary restraining orders to delay the establishment of residences. The Article recommends that the New York State Legislature amend the Padavan Law so that the statute will truly reflect the stated intentions of its drafters.

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