Municipalities

News & Analysis as of

Stemming the Blight: New Jersey Supreme Court Affirms Eminent Domain Powers

The New Jersey Constitution provides for taking of blighted property for the purposes of development, redevelopment or to clear such property of blight. ...more

Attorney General Madigan Finds “Right to Work Zones” Preempted by Federal Law

Last Friday, Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued an opinion finding that Illinois counties, municipalities, and other local governments cannot pass local “right to work” ordinances because they are preempted by the National...more

Litigating Injury in a 75-1.1 Case: The 12(b)(1) vs. 12(b)(6) Distinction

In cases under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75-1.1, it’s important to distinguish arguments under Rule 12(b)(1) from arguments under Rule 12(b)(6). On a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, a court generally...more

Pacific Northwest Water Wars

It may come as a surprise that people fight over water in soggy Oregon and Washington. To be sure, we have not experienced the same level of conflict over competing water needs as our neighbors in the southwest, but in fact...more

Court Decisions Halt Momentum on Local Oil and Gas Regulations

Action Item: Oil and gas operators should be aware that courts recently have been paring back on the power of local municipalities to regulate their operations. ...more

FCC Releases Full Text of Order Preempting State Laws Limiting Municipal Broadband

On March 12, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission released the text of its order preempting provisions of North Carolina and Tennessee law that allow municipalities to provide broadband service but otherwise limit the...more

Franczek Radelet Files Amicus Brief in “Bleacher Case”

The Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB), the Illinois Association of School Business Officials (IASBO), and the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA) recently retained Franczek Radelet to prepare an...more

Texas Legislature Takes Further Aim at Local/Municipal Fracking Bans

On Tuesday, March 11, 2015, the Texas Legislature’s 84th Session gained another bill directed at combating future local and municipal fracking bans. State Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo), Chairman of the Texas House Energy...more

The New Jersey Supreme Court has reopened the doors to Affordable Housing Litigation

The New Jersey Supreme Court has unanimously held that the administrative process run by COAH in which municipalities show compliance with affordable housing obligations is no longer working and municipalities are no longer...more

Lake Elsinore to use Eminent Domain to Expand Serenity Park

On Tuesday, the Lake Elsinore City Council adopted a Resolution of Necessity to acquire a 2+ acre property in order to expand Serenity Park. As Michael Williams describes in his article “City hopes to take over boat launch,”...more

Distressed Download - March 2015

What Happens in Delaware Does Not Always Stay in Delaware: Caesars Victorious in Venue Battle - On Wednesday, January 28, the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware transferred venue for the involuntary bankruptcy...more

SEC Turns Up the Heat on Issuer Officials

Two recent SEC enforcement actions demonstrate that the Securities and Exchange Commission remains intently focused on the municipal market and, in particular, on officials participating in financings that fail to accurately...more

Another NY Appellate Division Holds that Appraisers have “No Right” to Inspect a Private Residence under the Fourth Amendment

We previously reported on a Second Department case that held a municipal agent (including a private appraiser hired by a municipality) is not automatically entitled to an inspection of a private residence to prepare an...more

Illinois Appellate Court Interprets Equal Terms “Comparator” Favorably for Local Government

In an important decision for local governments, the Illinois Appellate Court on March 6, 2015 issued its decision in Joan Dachs Bais Yaakov Elementary School (“JDBY”) v. City of Evanston. The decision, particularly the...more

Council Member Barred From Considering Own Appeal

In Woody’s Group, Inc. v. City of Newport Beach, the Fourth District Court of Appeal held that the City Council of Newport Beach “violated two basic principles of fairness: you can’t be a judge in your own case, and you can’t...more

Borough of Litchfield, CT Petition for Cert. from Second Circuit Decision; Asks SCOTUS to Clarify Whether a Law of Neutral and...

Last fall, the Second Circuit decided Chabad Lubavitch of Litchfield County, Inc. v. Borough of Litchfield, 786 F.3d 183 (2d Cir. 2014), reversing the lower court’s order of summary judgment in favor of the Borough of...more

FCC Preempts Two State Laws That Limit the Geographic Reach of Municipal Broadband Systems

On February 26, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission voted to strike down provisions of North Carolina and Tennessee laws that restrict the area in which municipally-owned broadband systems in those states are allowed...more

Construction Case Law Update - March 2015

Racial discrimination; City Contracting Ordinances; Federal Affirmative Action Compliance in Contracting – Plaintiff-contractor sued the City of Jacksonville, alleging racial discrimination against him and other...more

Drone on Drones: Berkeley Issues Moratorium on Law Enforcement Use of Drones

The Berkeley City Council approved a proposal by the City’s Peace and Justice Commission this week to impose a moratorium on drones within city limits. The one-year moratorium, which applies only to the Berkeley Police...more

New York Appellate Division Permits Worker to Establish Membership in Protected Class Based on Association with Another

Chiara v. Town of New Castle, (N.Y. App. Div., 2d Dep’t Jan. 14, 2015): A recent decision by the New York Appellate Division, Second Department, held that a plaintiff claiming religious discrimination under the New York State...more

Pennsylvania and Ohio High Courts Issue Decisions Impacting Oil and Gas Operators

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Declines to Extend Primary Term of Oil and Gas Lease - In Wayne Harrison, et al. v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., Case No. 75 MAP 2014 (Pa. Feb. 17, 2015), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania...more

Tampa Council Says No to “Ban the Box” Law for City Contractors, Seeks Alternative Legislation

Last Thursday, Tampa’s City Council declined to pass a law that would have “banned the box” for city contractors. “Ban the box” refers to a movement at the state and local levels of government to remove the check box from job...more

Municipal Utility’s Recurring Budget Transfer to General Fund Requires Voter Approval

On February 19, the Third District Court of Appeal issued an order denying requests by both parties for a rehearing of its recent decision, Citizens for Fair REU Rates v. City of Redding. This decision held that a municipal...more

Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: February 24 and 26 Public Hearings

As we promised previously, we will be keeping you up to date with developments in the General Assembly. A. On Tuesday, February 24, 2015, the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee will conduct an “off...more

Supreme Court of Ohio Rejects Local Governments’ Attempts to Regulate Oil and Gas Activities

In the Appalachian basin, several states have recently faced the issue of whether local governments have the ability to regulate oil and gas operations, potentially causing a maze of varying rules and requirements from one...more

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