Court Finds Substantial Compliance Sufficient to Uphold Petition to Establish Water District


A petition to establish a water district may be approved even when it contains technical defects if the petition substantially complies with applicable requirements.

In Angelis v. Town of New Baltimore, the validity of a petition to establish a new water district was challenged. Opponents based the challenge on technical defects such as missing or incomplete information, failure to initial handwritten changes, and questionable handwriting/signature relationships. The Appellate Division Third Department held that none of the alleged defects were fatal to the petition, and that the petition could stand because requirements were substantially complied with.

The court reasoned that Town Law requirements were satisfied, and looked to the Election Law for authority stating that substantial compliance with requirements as to form is deemed acceptable.