Zoning, Planning & Land Use Civil Procedure Constitutional Law

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Irrigation District Sues, Says State Board Lacks Jurisdiction to Curtail Senior Water Rights

On June 26, the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) filed a petition for writ of mandate in Contra Costa County Superior Court requesting that the Court set aside the State Water Resources Control Board’s June 12, 2015...more

Government & Regulatory Law Update June 2015: United States Supreme Court Strikes Down Local Sign Ordinance: Content-Based...

Decades of case law demonstrates that differentiating based on content when regulating speech is an almost certain death knell. The line between content-based and content-neutral regulations, however, has often been hazy,...more

Signs Signs, Everywhere a Sign: U.S. Supreme Court Decides Reed v. Town of Gilbert

The Supreme Court of the United States handed down today an important First Amendment case concerning governments’ ability to regulate commonly displayed informational signs.  In Reed v. Town of Gilbert,...more

California Supreme Court Paves the Way for Ownership Inclusionary Housing - Many Developers Maintain That the Costs Associated...

In a highly anticipated case affecting residential development throughout California, the California Supreme Court unanimously rejected the California Building Industry Association’s (CBIA) challenge to the City of San Jose’s...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Validity of Inclusionary Housing Ordinances

On June 15, 2015, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose, No. S212072, unanimously upholding the validity of inclusionary housing programs in...more

Supreme Court Decides Reed v. Town of Gilbert

On June 18, 2015, the United States Supreme Court decided Reed v. Town of Gilbert, No. 13-502, holding that a municipal code subjecting signs to different regulations depending on whether the sign displayed an ideological...more

Court Order Cuts Attorneys’ Fees in Jacksonville Beach Case

Earlier this year, we reported that the dispute between Jacksonville Beach, Florida and the Church of Our Savior continued to boil in mediation, with attorneys’ fees nearing $700K. After finding that Jacksonville violated...more

Real Property – Court’s Power to Issue Equitable Easements

Lilli Shoen v. Juliet Zacarias - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (May 22, 2015) - A trial court has the power to issue an equitable easement authorizing a trespasser to continue her trespass in...more

Religious Institutions: June 2015

Religious institutions commonly make payments to or receive payments directly or indirectly from governmental agencies for services rendered; e.g., day cares that benefit from public scholarships, hospitals that participate...more

California Supreme Court Holds Inclusionary Zoning Subject to Rational Basis Review

2013 was a banner year for developers under the takings clause, as both the U.S. Supreme Court and California Supreme Court issued decisions expanding the developers’ ability to challenge exactions as unconstitutional. In...more

California Supreme Court Holds Facial Challenge to Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance Subject to Deferential Standard of Review

In a decision with major repercussions for the building industry in California, the California Supreme Court unanimously rejected a constitutional challenge to San Jose's affordable housing ordinance. California Building...more

How One Misstep Resulted in a $2.5 Million Lesson

Every so often, a decision comes out that makes you stop for a second and take a breath. Generally, these decisions have two essential components: (1) they deal with a statute of limitations; and (2) they involve millions of...more

Seventh Circuit Remands (Again) World Outreach Conference Center v. City of Chicago

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, religious land use disputes often take a long time to resolve. World Outreach Conference Center v. City of Chicago, Nos. 13-3669, 13-3728 (7th Cir. 2015) is no exception to the...more

Agencies Cannot Make Conditional Final Offers of Just Compensation in Condemnation Actions

In California eminent domain cases, a property or business owner is entitled to recover litigation expenses (attorneys' fees and expert costs) when the public agency's final offer of compensation is unreasonable and the...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds Santa Monica Ordinance Banning Unattended Displays; Baby, Fanged Jesus Display Would Require a Sitter

While the holiday season is still several months away, nativity scenes are back in the news. What nativity scene discussion would be complete without adorable baby, fanged Jesus? On New Year’s Eve 2014, we reported about...more

A Public Agency’s Contingent Final Offer Of Compensation Is Not Reasonable

In California eminent domain cases, a property or business owner is entitled to recover litigation expenses (attorneys’ fees and expert costs) when the public agency’s final offer of compensation is unreasonable and the...more

Easy Cases Make Better Law — Standing Edition

In an interesting, but not really difficult, decision on Tuesday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the National Association of Home Builders did not have standing to challenge a consent decree pursuant to which...more

Kosher Meals for Prisoners: U.S. Department of Justice Wins Claim of Religious Discrimination against the Florida Department of...

A federal court has ruled that the Florida Department of Corrections’ (Department) refusal to provide kosher meals to inmates violates the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The court’s decision in...more

Ruling Guides Cities on How to Regulate Holiday Displays

A high-profile case that provides guidance on how local governments might approach holiday display regulations without violating constitutional rights was decided last week by a federal appellate court. The City of Santa...more

Eleventh Circuit Dismisses RLUIPA Complaint of “Indigenous/Aboriginal Free Moorish National”

In Bey v. City of Tampa Code Enforcement (11th Cir. 2015), the plaintiff Nura Washington Bey (“Washington”) sued the City of Tampa and its Code Enforcement Officer, Steven Mateyka, after Mateyka cited Washington in connection...more

Looming Right of Way Certification Deadline Threatens Butte County Project

Right of Way Certification is a key project milestone; not only does it mean a project is ready for advertising but obtaining certification by a certain date is often a prerequisite for funding. Tying certification to...more

Real Estate and Land Use: Party On...

Woody’s Group, Inc. v. City of Newport Beach (2015) 233 Cal.App.4th 1012 - Why It Matters: Woody’s Group establishes a very low threshold to prove a decision maker’s unacceptable probability of actual bias, thereby...more

D.C. Court Upholds Forest Service’s 2012 Planning Rule

In a decision issued April 28, 2015, a U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed an action challenging the U.S. Forest Service’s (Service) 2012 National Forest Planning Rule (Planning Rule). The Service is...more

What is Done is Done – and Cannot be Undone

Lady Macbeth tells her troubled husband, “What is done is done” and later says to herself “and cannot be undone.” This is the outcome in Hillcrest Property, LLP v. Pasco County, 754 F. 3d 1279 (11th Cir 2014) and apparently...more

N.C. Court of Appeals Dismisses Municipal Takings Claim For Failing "Public Benefit" Standard

Today, the N.C. Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a takings case filed by a local government. The case is Town of Matthews v. Wright, No. COA14-943 (April 21, 2015)....more

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