Municipalities

News & Analysis as of

Detroit Confirms Chapter 9 Plan of Adjustment

Approximately 16 months after filing the largest chapter 9 bankruptcy in history, Detroit received approval November 7 of its chapter 9 plan of adjustment. Bankruptcy Judge Stephen Rhodes of the Eastern District of Michigan...more

Legislation That Makes Minimum Manning for Firefighters a Mandatory Subject of Bargaining Awaits Governor’s Signature

Last week, the Illinois Senate passed House Bill 5485, and the bill now awaits action by Governor Quinn. If signed by Governor Quinn, the bill would immediately go into effect and amend the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act...more

Choosing the right municipal case for summary judgment

A motion for summary judgment can be a valuable tool for municipalities. In the right circumstances, it can lead to decreased costs and the early resolution of a lawsuit....more

Student Injury Case: Did the Governmental Immunity Defense Just Get Weaker?

Predictable horseplay and a metal locker with an exposed, jagged and rusty edge may be enough evidence for a jury to conclude that school officials had a “clear and unequivocal duty to act immediately to prevent harm” to...more

City of Oakland Joins Two Other California Cities in Mandating Paid Sick Leave

On November 4, 2014, voters in the City of Oakland passed a measure mandating paid sick leave for eligible employees. The city has become the third city in California (after San Francisco and San Diego) to require paid sick...more

Court Sets Aside SEC’s First Muni “Control-Person” Settlement

Earlier this month, the SEC used a “control-person” charge in a settled action against an elected municipal official in connection with municipal bond offering. Enforcement touted that “first” on the Monday after: “An...more

Ninth Circuit Dismisses Worker’s “‘Sweeping Conclusory Allegations’ of Unequal Treatment”

McClain v. County of Clark, No. 12-16888 (October 10, 2014): The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently sided with an employer in a case in which the former employee claimed that he was subjected to ageist remarks. According...more

Amendment to IPLRA Would Make Minimum Firefighter Staffing a Mandatory Subject of Bargaining Passes Senate, Awaits Governor...

Last week, the Illinois Senate passed House Bill 5485, and the bill now awaits action by Governor Quinn. If signed by Governor Quinn, the bill would immediately go into effect and amend the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Constitutional Challenge to Rental Housing Support Program

During its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Marks v. Vanderventer, a direct appeal from the Circuit Court after the court’s order finding the fee collection provisions of a “Rental Housing...more

Fee award against non-party attorney is thrown out by appellate court

In Suarez v. City of Corona, 2014 DJDAR 12101, the California Court of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District decided an interesting case concerning the interpretation of California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1038....more

Appellate Court Notes

SC19118 - E & M Custom Homes, LLC v. Negron - New home warranty claim was successfully asserted as a counterclaim to a mechanic lien foreclosure. You will have to read the Appellate Court decision to find out what...more

N.C. Appellate Court Speaks On Attorney Fee Recovery Law Applicable to Local Governments

In 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted the following statute allowing payment of attorney fees in the face of certain local government acts...more

Montclair and Trenton Join Ranks of New Jersey Cities with Paid Sick Leave Laws

Election Day 2014 saw the passage of two more paid sick leave municipal ordinances, bringing the New Jersey state total to eight as of this writing. Suburban Montclair and the capital city of Trenton have joined East Orange,...more

New Jersey Workplace Poster Requirements Continue to Grow

New Jersey employers may need to put “bigger bulletin board” on their holiday list this year as the number of required workplace posters continues to grow, especially with the proliferation of municipal paid sick leave laws....more

Denton Becomes First Texas City to Ban Hydraulic Fracturing

On Tuesday, November 4, 2014, 59 percent of voters elected to ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing (“fracing”) in the city of Denton, which sits on top of the hydrocarbon-rich Barnett Shale. Although the ban does not...more

New RLUIPA Suit: Mount Zion Church of God in Christ v. City of Garden City, Kansas

Garden City, Kansas is being sued under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), the U.S. Constitution, and state law over allegations that it has discriminated against a local church, Mount Zion...more

Community Redevelopment Law Conflict-of-Interest Rules Apply to Successor Agencies

California Attorney General Weighs In on Rule That Will Impact Members of Successor Agencies’ Governing Boards and Employees - The California Attorney General recently opined that the conflict-of-interest rules under...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Fire District Owed Tort Duty to 911 Caller

In the closing days of its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide a question of potentially great import for Illinois first responders: do public entities and their employees owe a tort duty of care to...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Remedy for Unserved Notices of Violation

What happens when the City doesn’t properly serve a notice of building code violations? In the closing days of its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide that issue in Stone Street Partners, LLC v. City...more

Ohio Elections Yield Mixed Results on Local Hydraulic Fracturing Bans

Last week’s Election Day in Ohio produced victories for fracing supporters and opponents alike. Proposed hydraulic fracturing bans were on the ballot in four different municipal contests. Voters in one city, Athens, approved...more

Two New Minimum Wage Increases Pass In Northern California

In the wake of a debate over increasing the federal minimum wage, two Northern California cities voted to increase their local minimum wage rates during the recent midterm elections. On Tuesday, November 4, 2014, San...more

Yours, Mine, and Ours

Locally levied sales and use taxes make up the second largest source of tax revenues for counties and municipalities in North Carolina. Therefore, how these taxes are distributed among local governments can be very important...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules that Failure to Include Section 1983 Claim in Complaint is Not Fatal to Suit Against State Actor

On November 10, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court entered a per curiam order in Johnson v. City of Shelby, Mississippi, reversing the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ opinion affirming the dismissal of a suit against a Mississippi...more

Insights from Ballard Spahr’s annual Housing Authority Summit

At yesterday’s Housing Authority Summit, representatives from housing authorities, HUD’s Office of Public Housing Investments and RAD teams, housing legislative advocates, key industry financial and advisory consultants and...more

DOJ Criminal Cartel Enforcement: Six-Month Summary

This is the first in what we expect to be a series of updates on DOJ criminal actions in the cartel area. Here, we look at highlights over the last six months in the DOJ’s investigations of the auto parts industry, LIBOR, and...more

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