Municipalities

News & Analysis as of

City of Waterbury v. Connecticut Alliance of City Police — A New Standard of Impartiality for Arbitrators in Interest...

The Superior Court’s decision in City of Waterbury v. Connecticut Alliance of City Police, could mark the emergence of a new standard of impartiality for party-selected arbitrators in Municipal Employee Relations Act [“MERA”]...more

New Legislation Promises More Investigations by the New York City Commission on Human Rights

On April 20, 2015, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed two new bills into law that authorize the New York City Commission on Human Rights to increase the number of employment discrimination investigations. ...more

Anti-Urban Renewal Bill Progresses; Pro-Urban Renewal Bill Amended

The General Assembly will adjourn in roughly two weeks. The fate of two important urban renewal bills—one with a positive impact on urban renewal and one with a negative impact—will be decided during this time. If urban...more

New York City Council Passes Bill Amending Human Rights Law

Employers are prohibited from using credit history in employment decisions, with some exceptions. Last week, the New York City Council passed Proposed Introductory Bill Number 261-A, which amends the New York City...more

N.C. Court of Appeals Dismisses Municipal Takings Claim For Failing "Public Benefit" Standard

Today, the N.C. Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a takings case filed by a local government. The case is Town of Matthews v. Wright, No. COA14-943 (April 21, 2015)....more

Update on Two Recent California Eminent Domain Cases

I wanted to provide a quick update on two recent cases from the California Court of Appeal. The first, Golden State Water Company v. Casitas Municipal Water District (April 14, 2015), involves what appears to be an...more

Opportunities and Risks in Municipal Underwritings and Derivatives

In the current economic climate, opportunities are expanding significantly for municipal underwriters and derivatives specialists as states and municipalities across the country clamor to pay for infrastructure and services,...more

North Carolina General Assembly Week in Review

Members of the North Carolina General Assembly had a full schedule this week, considering bills on everything from repealing the state’s cumbersome Map Act to voiding a law which required teachers to write Personal Education...more

New York City Council Passes Ground-Breaking Legislation Limiting the Use of Credit Checks in Employment

On April 16, 2015, the New York City Council, by a vote of 47-3, approved legislation that would prohibit the use of credit checks in employment decisions except in limited circumstances. The bill, which is expected to be...more

Municipalities Lose First Round in Bid to Hold PCB Manufacturers Liable For Environmental Impacts

Two Massachusetts municipalities are down but not out in their attempts to hold manufacturers of PCBs responsible for the environmental effects of PCB-containing products decades later. ...more

Troubles for Town’s Wind Turbine

In the long-running dispute between the Town of Falmouth and the neighbors to the Town’s wind turbine that powers the municipal wastewater treatment facility (WWTF), score one for the neighbors. ...more

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

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