Municipalities

News & Analysis as of

RLUIPA Case of the Year? Minnesota Municipality Uses RLUIPA’s Safe Harbor Provision to Avoid Liability

In an important decision for municipalities across the country, a federal court in Minnesota has recently ruled that actions taken under RLUIPA’s “safe harbor” provision absolved a local government of possible RLUIPA...more

Jury Finds Miami and Former Budget Director Guilty of Securities Fraud

In the first federal jury trial by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against a municipality or its officers, jurors found that the City of Miami, Florida (Miami or the City) and its former budget director...more

Financial Services Report, Fall 2016

Editor’s Note - So much for summer! The weather is cooling, the kids are back to school, and we better not see you wearing white so long after Labor Day! For those of you having a little trouble getting back in the...more

Texas Supreme Court Affirms Property Owners' Rights Within the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction

On May 27, 2016, in Town of Lakewood Village v. Bizios, the Texas Supreme Court held that general law municipalities do not have the authority to enforce building codes within their extraterritorial jurisdictions (ETJs). This...more

The SEC Wins First Jury Trial in a Muni Case: SEC v. City of Miami and Michael Boudreaux

In what the SEC called “the first federal jury trial by the SEC against a municipality or one of its officers for violations of the federal securities laws,” a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of...more

Contemplating Cross-Appeals – When “Winners” Need to Appeal

One preservation issue that seems to receive less attention than it should is the potential need for a cross-appeal. An appellee/respondent who is not entirely successful in the trial court may challenge an unfavorable...more

SEC Prevails in Securities Law Action Against City of Miami

In the first federal jury trial against a municipality for securities law violations, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on September 14, 2016 successfully obtained a verdict against the City of Miami and a...more

SEC Settles Fraud Cases Against Municipal Issuers Under MCDC Initiative

On August 24, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") announced settlements with 71 state and local government issuers of municipal bonds and private sector borrowers of bond proceeds (collectively, "issuers")...more

I Hate Home Rule

Massachusetts is a Home Rule state (Commonwealth, actually, but that’s a separate issue). Our 351 cities and towns can pretty much legislate as they please, so long as the local action is not preempted. Our state Wetlands...more

SEC Announces Enforcement Actions Against 71 Municipal Issuers

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently announced enforcement actions against 71 municipal issuers of bonds in connection with the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative. The...more

SEC Announces 71 Issuer MCDC Settlements

On August 24, 2016, the SEC announced that it had entered into settlement orders with 71 municipal issuers and other obligated persons for violations of federal securities laws in municipal bond offerings. The issuers and...more

Zoning Law Applicable to School Districts Signed into Law

On August 25, 2016, Governor Rauner signed into law Public Act 99-890, which is the result of an effort by the education community to temper the effect of the recent Supreme Court decision in Gurba v. Community High School...more

SEC Charges 71 Issuers under its Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative

On August 24, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced enforcement actions against 71 municipal issuers and other obligated persons (collectively, the municipal issuers) under the SEC’s Municipalities...more

Municipal Condemnation of Privately Held Utilities Continues to be a Hot Issue, but at what Cost?

In January, I spoke at a conference in Austin about efforts by municipalities to condemn privately-held utility companies. At the time, I figured it would be a one-off presentation on a pretty niche issue, even for eminent...more

Real Estate and Land Use - August 2016 #2

Proactive Predevelopment for Successful P3s - A new report was recently published by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) called Successful Public/Private Partnerships: From Principles to Practice. The report provides valuable...more

A Distinction without a Difference

On April 8, 2016, we posted a blog regarding the case of Quality Built Homes, Inc. v. Town of Carthage, ___N.C. App. ___, 766 S.E. 2d 897 (2015)(unpublished). In this case, the Court of Appeals had held that the Town of...more

SEC Settles With 71 Municipal Issuers

The Commission’s Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation Initiative has been a significant success. Under the Initiative the agency has filed settled enforcement actions against firm’s representing 96% of the market...more

Management Contracts & Private Business Use–IRS Releases Favorable Guidance

Coming as welcome news to those involved in the municipal bond market, Revenue Procedure 2016-44 provides helpful guidance for governmental issuers and 501(c)(3) borrowers entering into long-term contracts with private...more

Loophole Allowing Adverse Possession Claims Against Municiplalities Closed

New legislation has been enacted overruling the Waisanen v. Superior Township case that allowed adverse possession claims against municipal property owners. In this blog post, I described the decision in Waisanen v....more

Rhode Island Implements Statewide Standards for Wetlands

Recently, Governor Gina Raimondo signed into law legislation to establish statewide standards to bolster protections for wetlands while streamlining the permitting process during development. Before the new legislation, each...more

Sixth Circuit Says FCC Can't Preempt State Limits on Muncipal Broadband

In an August 10, 2016 ruling, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the FCC’s preemption of state laws in Tennessee and North Carolina which prevented municipal broadband providers from expanding their networks beyond...more

Can “Big Brother” Bring Big Improvements to Provision of Local Government Services?

Public agencies can enhance municipal services and promote innovation through the transparent collection and analysis of “Big Data.” The data compiled from data collection technologies currently deployed in cities, such as...more

FCC Thwarted in Efforts to Preempt State Broadband Laws

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has struck a major blow to the FCC’s efforts to remove barriers to broadband service and promote competition in broadband markets. In State of Tennessee v. FCC, the court...more

2015-2016 Massachusetts Legislative Session Ends

After a mad scramble to take action before their midnight deadline, Massachusetts lawmakers closed the 20152016 legislative session by passing five of the “Big Six” bills on their agenda. Beacon Hill saw a flurry of activity...more

Banks Appeal Fair Housing Act Case to Supreme Court

In September 2015, the Eleventh Circuit ruled that the City of Miami had sufficient standing to sue Bank of America and Wells Fargo over lending practices that were alleged to be racially discriminatory. On June 28, 2016,...more

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