Criminal Law Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Untamed Skies: Domestic Drones Remain Unregulated

What once was a technology confined almost exclusively to military use has now made its way into the hands of businesses, domestic agencies and private hobbyists. Small, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (or UAVs), more commonly known...more

Ninth Circuit: Ordinance Criminalizing Living in Car Is Unconstitutionally Vague

If you eat, talk on the phone, and escape the rain in your car, are you using the car “as living quarters either overnight, day-by-day, or otherwise?” What if you load up the car with personal belongings for a camping...more

The Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zone Law

A local government can create a 35-foot buffer zone to restrict speech on a public street only if it has first made a serious effort to address the issue in other ways. Originally published on the IMLA Appellate...more

California Supreme Court Declines Review of Cases Invalidating Local Bans on Sex Offenders

Supreme Court Leaves Intact Court of Appeal Cases Holding That State Law Preempts Some Local Sex Offender Ordinances - Local laws regulating where sex offenders may go are likely now invalid following the California...more

What Is A Bird Worth To A Regulator?

What is a wild bird worth? Does it matter whether it is a Bald or Golden Eagle, of which here are few, or ducks and pelicans, of which there are enough (as least the ducks) so that hunters may shoot them for dinner. Does it...more

Ordinance Authorizing Warrantless Inspections of Hotel Records is Unconstitutional

Motel owners challenged a Los Angeles Municipal Code provision requiring hotel guest records to be made available to any Los Angeles Police Department officer for inspection. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth...more

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Issues Rule Extending Terms of Permits for Incidental Eagle Take to Thirty-Years

Timing of Rule’s Publication is Another Indication of Renewed Focus on Avian Compliance Risk at Wind Farms - Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“USFWS”) published a final rule extending the maximum term for...more

For the First Time, U.S. Extends MBTA Enforcement to Renewables

On November 22, 2013, the Department of Justice announced its first prosecution of a wind farm operation for violations of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), a criminal statute governing take of over 1000 species of birds....more

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law October 31, 2013

The Virginia Supreme Court issued new opinions this morning, some of which affect local government law. Here they are (summaries taken from the Virginia Supreme Court website, click on the Record Number to read opinion)...more

Migratory Bird Treaty Act Concerns Extend to Solar Plants

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) has a famously broad scope, outlawing the taking of over 1000 species of birds, ranging from hummingbirds to robins and crows. It is also a criminal statute, although most violations are...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

Update: Court Again Rules That Ordinance Prohibiting Insolent Behavior At City Council Meeting Is Unconstitutional

On December 6, 2005, Benito Acosta (“Acosta”) spoke during a public comment period at a Costa Mesa City Council (“City”) meeting. Because of his behavior, he was asked to step down from the podium and leave the chambers. ...more

Notice of Adoption of Local Law 2 of 2013, Town of Ovid, Seneca County, N. Y.

Notice of Adoption of Local Law 2 of 2013 Town of Ovid Seneca County, N. Y. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that after a public hearing duly held in the Town of Ovid, New York (the "Town") in accordance with law, the Town Board...more

The New 2013 Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance: Certainty for the Industry or Dust in the Wind?

The new Eagle Conservation Plan Guidance issued by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (“FWS”) presents an interesting question for wind project developers and operators – does it really provide greater certainty and reduce...more

The California Supreme Court Confirms The Power Of Local Governments To Regulate Medical Marijuana.

Few issues have sparked so much debate in so many local governments then how to regulate the medical marijuana industry. Proponents have filed numerous challenges to various attempts by cities and counties, but now the legal,...more

India: The Quixotic Balancing Of Benefits And Risks

I used to say – if your business operates in China, you are likely violating the FCPA in one way or another. Permit me to revise my admonition: if your business operates in India, you are likely violating the FCPA in one...more

Weekly Law Resume - March 21, 2013: Ninth Circuit Holds that Jurisdiction Exists as to Homeless Individuals’ Eighth Amendment...

Bell, et al. v. City of Boise, et al. United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit March 7, 2013 Plaintiffs in this case are seven individuals who either are or have been homeless in Boise. They have all...more

Youngstown City Hydraulic Fracturing Ban Approved for May Ballot

In late February, we covered the state and federal legislative and enforcement responses to the release of hydraulic fracturing waste into a Youngstown, Ohio area tributary by a local oil and gas drilling operator. Shortly...more

Could Innocent Employers Go to Jail? Sex, Gender Identity and Phoenix’s New Criminal Ordinance

Opponents of newly approved amendments to the city of Phoenix’s Human Relations Ordinance (the Ordinance) had worried that the amendments could result in criminal penalties for employers and others who might bar transgender...more

Proposed Update To Arlington County’s Noise Control Ordinance

The Arlington County Board is planning to hold a public hearing to discuss the proposed changes to the Noise Control Ordinance. According to the Arlington County website, the meeting is expected to take place sometime in the...more

County May Regulate Cultivation of Medical Marijuana

A rural county passed an ordinance to regulate the cultivation of medical marijuana. A group of individuals who are “qualified patients” challenged the constitutionality of the ordinance. The court of appeal held that the...more

Discharge of Drilling Waste in Ohio Triggers Civil and Criminal Enforcement Actions; Heightens Scrutiny of State Regulatory...

A release of approximately 40,000 gallons of oil and gas operations waste into a Youngstown, Ohio area storm drain flowing into the Mahoning River is igniting a call for tighter regulatory oversight and more transparent...more

EPA Releases 2012 Enforcement Results

Under the headline “EPA Enforcement in 2012 Protects Communities from Harmful Pollution,” the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on December 17, 2012, released its annual report of enforcement activities for the 2012...more

Two Federal Decisions Signal Further Expansion of Criminal Liability for Environmental Crimes

Recently, two federal courts, including the influential U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, issued opinions in criminal environmental cases involving violations of recordkeeping requirements. Like most...more

Supreme Court Extends Jury Trial Rights to Facts Necessary for Calculation of Criminal Fines

In a decision that will impact white collar criminal trials — and potentially civil enforcement trials in which the government agency seeks substantial civil monetary penalties — the U.S. Supreme Court recently held in...more

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