Municipalities

News & Analysis as of

Suit by “Interested,” Neighboring Municipalities to Enforce SEQRA Requirements Does Not “Impose or Implement” a Land Use...

On March 27, 2015, the Southern District of New York granted summary judgment in favor of all defendants in the consolidated action Bernstein v. Wesley Hills, 08-CV-156; 12-CV-8856 (KMK), (the “Wesley Hills” Action). The...more

Enhanced Infrastructure Districts: A Flexible New Tool for Local Governments

After the dissolution of California redevelopment agencies (RDAs) in 2011, many local governments desired a tool to raise capital to invest in infrastructure and community revitalization. On September 29, 2014 SB 628 was...more

Philadelphia Eliminates Tax-Exempt Recertification Requirement

Owners of tax-exempt property in the City of Philadelphia no longer need to worry about submitting recertification forms regarding the continued use of their property. On April 7, 2015, Mayor Michael Nutter signed Bill...more

Court Finds Muslim Group Lacks Property Interest and Tosses RLUIPA Suit; Pittsfield Charter Township Wins

A federal court in Michigan has ruled against a Muslim group in its RLUIPA suit against Pittsfield Charter Township after finding that the group lacked a legally cognizable property interest to sustain its claims. To...more

PLRB Issues Controversial Ruling on Volunteer Fire Companies

Recently, the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) issued a Final Order indicating that members of a volunteer fire company which provided coverage to a local borough were actually Borough employees.   In doing so...more

Pro Bono Q&A: How One Law Firm Is Helping a California City Curb Gun Violence

A JD Supra Pro Bono Profile: Q&A with Farella Braun + Martel partner Tony Schoenberg about his work related to a Sunnyvale, Calif., ordinance that bans the possession of large-capacity gun magazines. ...more

A Single "Hitler" Comment Is Insufficient for a Title VII Retaliation Claim in the Fifth Circuit

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed a judgment against a City of Houston employee who claimed that he was demoted for reporting another employee’s racially offensive comment made during a workplace meeting....more

General Assembly Considers Municipal/Local Government Bankruptcy Legislation

Illinois legislators are considering a bill that would amend the Illinois Municipal Code to allow municipalities and other local government entities to file for bankruptcy. Representative Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) has...more

Rulings Prompt California Sex Offender Residency Regulations Change

Local Municipalities’ Practices Likely to be Impacted - California prison officials have announced that they are loosening some restrictions on where sex offenders may live in response to In re Taylor, a California...more

John Young, Jr. and Neal Griffin Help Desloge, Missouri, Win Court of Appeals Case Against KKK

Stinson Leonard Street LLP attorneys John Young, Jr. and Neal Griffin recently scored a win for a Missouri city in a high-profile case at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Young and Griffin represented...more

Court Shoots Down ADA Discrimination Claim Premised on Employer's Alleged Embarrassment

It would never occur to most employers that "embarrassment" could serve as the grounds for a disability discrimination claim, but that's exactly what an employee attempted to argue in Lester v. City of Lafayette. In this...more

New Article Explores RLUIPA’s “Safe Harbor” Provision

Evan recently wrote the article “Finding Salvation in Religious Law’s Safe Harbor; Municipal Governments Can Take Steps to Mitigate RLUIPA Claims,” published in the March 23, 2015 edition of the Connecticut Law Tribune. ...more

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

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