Constitutional Law Administrative Agency Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Environmental Case Law Update

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” Many important environmental and administrative law decisions were reported by the federal and state courts over the past six months. The courts are dealing with very...more

Nashville Islamic Center Claims Tax Rules Impose Unfair Burden

The Islamic Center of Nashville (ICN) recently filed a federal complaint and request for declaratory judgment against the State of Tennessee, the Metropolitan Trustee of Nashville, and the Tennessee State Board of...more

The Arbitrary and Capricious Standard Remains Deferential: The Corps’ Nationwide Permit 21 Survives Review

Late last week, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected challenges to the Army Corps’ Nationwide Permit 21, which allows small surface mining projects to proceed without individual permits under § 404. ...more

Controversy Over Interior’s Trust Authority in Alaska Remains Unresolved

A majority panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently dismissed the State of Alaska’s challenge to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s authority to acquire land in trust for Alaska...more

The Supreme Court - May 2016 #4

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in three cases on May 31, 2016: Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes, No. 15-290: Three mining companies sought a permit under the Clean Water Act seeking to...more

Be Safe, Get Your Standing Evidence in Early

A Land Use Practitioner representing opposition intervenors in a quasi-judicial land use matter is best served to present any evidence of special damages during the quasi-judicial hearing in order to preserve standing for...more

Supreme Court to Decide if Army Corps Initial Jurisdictional Determination to Regulate Wetlands Under CWA is Ripe for Judicial...

By Andrew H. Perellis, Patrick D. Joyce, and Craig B. Simonsen The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) agreed on Friday to review an important Clean Water Act (CWA) decision issued by the Eighth Circuit in Hawkes Co.,...more

A Brief Legal Guide for Local Public Officials in Responding to Terrorist Attacks

There are just some legal matters that should not be put off — and sorting out the legal authority local public officials have in responding to a terrorist attack is one such matter. Once the attack is already underway, it’s...more

Three-Judge Panel Invalidates State's Efforts to Spay/Neuter Town's Planning and Development Regulation Powers

Today, a three judge panel of the North Carolina state court declared unconstitutional a State law that blocks a municipality -- one municipality -- from exercising its power to create an extraterritorial planning...more

What’s a Significant Nexus? The Answer, My Friend, Is Flowin’ Through the Ditch.

Even assuming that the “significant nexus” test from Justice Kennedy’s concurring opinion in Rapanos defines waters of the United States subject to Clean Water Act jurisdiction, the question remains what establishes a...more

2014 Eminent Domain Year in Review & 2015 Forecast

At first it seemed 2014 had been a relatively slow year for eminent domain cases. But looking back, there was more activity than we initially recalled. There were few decisions that provided any dramatic shift in the...more

State Oil and Gas Laws v. Local Control: The Struggle Continues in Ohio

On February 17, 2015, the Ohio Supreme Court announced its ruling in The State Ex Rel. Morrison v. Beck Energy Corporation et al. That closely-watched case addressed whether local ordinances that impact drilling operations...more

2015 Texas Legislative Session Includes Twin Bills Concerning Municipal Fracking Bans

With the opening of the 84th Session of the Texas Legislature on January 13, 2015, two of the more closely watched bills in the energy arena will be House Bill 539 (HB539) and House Bill 540 (HB540). HB539, filed on December...more

Real Estate and Land Use - November 2014

Change of Heart – Court of Appeal Reverses Opinion in Bowman v. California Coastal Commission - Why it matters: The court in Bowman originally held that a permit condition could not be modified or deleted by a second...more

District Court Rules that Claims Challenging Forest Management Are Ripe and Final

Last week, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida determined that a group of plaintiffs could bring a claim against the U.S. National Park Service challenging actions that were characterized by...more

Court Reluctantly Upholds Designation of Critial Habitat for Frog

Last week, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana upheld the designation of approximately 1,544 acres of privately-owned timber land located in Louisiana as critical habitat for the dusky...more

Court of Appeal Clarifies Requirements for Public Input on Development Agreements

Due process rights to notice and a public hearing for those who may be affected do not apply to a public agency’s consideration of approval of a development agreement, an appellate court has ruled. In addition, the First...more

Where Subdivision Access Is Uncertain, Approval of the Subdivision Must Be Contingent Upon Judicial Resolution

In the case of Shinn v. Bd. of Comm’rs of Clearwater Cnty., released June 17, 2014, the Idaho Supreme Court covered some new ground and revisited some old ground....more

Supreme Court Upholds EPA's Power to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Large Stationary Sources – But Scolds EPA For...

On Monday, June 23, in a long-awaited decision, the U.S. Supreme Court in Utility Air Regulatory Group v. Environmental Protection Agency partially invalidated and partially upheld U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA")...more

Belgian Constitutional Court decides to annul provisions on administrative loop

Article 4.8.4 of the Flemish Urban Planning Code allowed the Council for Permit Disputes (Raad voor Vergunningsbetwistingen) (ie the Flemish administrative court competent to rule on appeals against urban planning permits) to...more

Pa. Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Provisions of Act 13

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court held unconstitutional several key provisions of Act 13 — the legislature’s broad amendment to the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Act. The Supreme Court invalidated Section 3304 of Act 13, which placed...more

CEQA Standing and Exhaustion Rules Applied In Action Challenging City of San Jose’s General Plan Update

The Sixth District Court of Appeal, in a published decision filed September 30, 2013, reversed a grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant City of San Jose in an action challenging its “Envision San Jose” comprehensive...more

Local Ohio Communities Allied in Defense of Ohio’s Home-Rule, Oil and Gas Showdown To Be Held in Ohio Supreme Court

The litigation over the constitutionality of Ohio’s law R.C.1509.02 granting sole authority to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to regulate activities associated with oil and gas exploration and production has reached...more

U.S. Supreme Court Roundup - National Conference of State Legislatures Legislative Summit – August 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent term included decisions in several cases with implications on states and states' rights. This presentation included the court's review and opinions handed down for the following cases. -...more

City of Tombstone v. United States


This brief addresses whether the City of Tombstone is likely to succeed on its claim that its ability to access and repair the sources of its municipal water located on federal land is not trumped by the federal government’s...more

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