Municipalities

News & Analysis as of

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

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

Notice of Availability of Draft NPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges From Small Municipal Separate Storm EPA is reopening the public comment period for its Notice of Availability of the draft small municipal...more

Municipal Legal News - Volume 1 Number 1

Major Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") Amendments - Public Act 563 of 2014 ("Act 563") amends the FOIA to impose a number of new regulations on public bodies. All municipalities will need to review their FOIA...more

Distressed Municipal Debt-Considerations for Local Governments

A confluence of factors, including high debt, spiraling pension obligations, and lower sales and property tax revenues, has forced more municipalities to face insolvency than any time since the 1930s. The two largest...more

Primary Steps New Jersey Municipalities Must Take to Sell or Lease Public Water or Wastewater Systems to Regulated Utilities Under...

On February 5, 2015, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed into law the Water Infrastructure Protection Act to authorize municipalities to transfer water and wastewater assets to regulated utilities by sale or long-term...more

Eight things we learned from the Detroit bankruptcy

Detroit’s historic trip through Bankruptcy Court ended in December 2014 with the confirmation of the City’s Plan of Adjustment, which trimmed $7 billion in debt from the city’s balance sheet and promised improved resident...more

Property Valuation Topics: Winter 2015

Thorny Exemption Issue Discussed - Limited Liability Company X owns property in the Town of Windham which it leases to Corporation Y. Both entities are tax exempt under the Internal Revenue Code. Both entities...more

Bankruptcy Court Decides That The Bankruptcy Code Preempts California State Pension Laws

In a February 4, 2015 opinion, the bankruptcy judge presiding over Stockton, California's Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy case approved Stockton's bankruptcy plan of adjustment. In re City of Stockton, 2015 Bankr....more

Florida Appellate Court: Open Meetings Law Applies to Collective Bargaining

In a crucial victory for transparency, a Florida state appeals court ruled that the state's open meetings law will not "condone hiding behind federal mediation" when municipal governments try "to thwart the requirements of...more

Federal Mortgage Programs are Exempt from County Transfer Tax

In City of Spokane v. Fed. Nat. Mortgage Ass'n (December 30, 2014, No. 13–35655) ____ F.3d.___, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal recently affirmed that federal mortgage programs and administering entities, such as Fannie Mae...more

SEC Secures Federal Judge Order Against Mayor Based on Control Person Liability

On January 28, 2015, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan entered a final judgment against Gary Burtka, the former mayor of Allen Park, Michigan, upholding the Security and Exchange Commission...more

Vape and Mirrors: The Legal Issues Concerning e-Cigarettes for Municipalities

In this Presentation: - Introduction - Overview - What are e-cigarettes? - Emerging Market - Food and Drug Administration - California Law - Other State Laws - Potential...more

Municipalities Playing A Leading Role In U.S. Renewable Energy Development

In an ever-changing, evolving global economy, renewable energy developers and investors are looking for the panacea that encourages continued economic growth and revitalizes new project development in the United States’...more

A Closer Look At T-Mobile V. Roswell

On Jan. 14, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in T-Mobile South LLC v. City of Roswell, holding that the city violated the "in writing" requirement of the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47...more

Illinois Supreme Court Will Review “Bleacher” Case

Last September in this Alert, we discussed an opinion in which the Second District Appellate Court ruled that Community High School District 155 was subject to the zoning regulations of the City of Crystal Lake, a home rule...more

Victory in Clean Water Act Case Saves Community’s Water Supply

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck secured a decision in the federal court for the District of Colorado precluding third parties from closing a Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) well that supplies water for Brownstein’s client,...more

Speakers Only: Governmental Entities Must be Engaged in “Communicative Activity” to Qualify for Anti-SLAPP Protection

On January 22, the Washington Supreme Court decided Henne v. City of Yakima, its first decision interpreting Washington’s anti-SLAPP statute (SLAPP is short for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation). This case has...more

City of Fishers Appoints New Members to Advisory Plan Commission

The City of Fishers recently appointed the following members to the Advisory Plan Commission...more

A Municipal Ordinance Requiring Registration and Maintenance of Vacant or Foreclosed Properties Preempted under Chapter 21E

A municipal ordinance imposing registration and maintenance obligations upon owners and secured lenders of buildings that are vacant or undergoing foreclosure was preempted by the Massachusetts remediation and clean-up...more

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