Public Entities

News & Analysis as of

Illinois AG Rules That Public Employees' Personal Emails Are Public Records - Messages Pertaining to Public Business in Personal...

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has issued a binding opinion under the state's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that email messages sent or received through public employees' personal email accounts may be public...more

New Jersey Court Holds Suits Constitute Interrelated Wrongful Acts

In its recent decision in Old Bridge Municipal Authority v. Westchester Fire Ins. Co., 2016 U.S. Dist., LEXIS 99327 (D. N.J. July 29, 2016), the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey had occasion to...more

Structuring Successful Broadband P3s

Public entities have recently been looking for new ways to harness right of way (ROW) for broadband public-private partnership (P3) projects. Last year, the city of Santa Cruz made history by entering into a roughly $50...more

Court Clarifies Public Bodies Requirement to Provide Documents Under FOIA

A public body must respond to a FOIA request within five days, but the Michigan Court of Appeals has opined that there is no obligation to produce the requested information within that timeframe. In a June 23, 2016,...more

The Supreme Court - June 2016 #8

The Supreme Court granted certiorari in eight cases last week: Bank of America Corp. v. Miami, No. 15-1111; Wells Fargo & Co. v. Miami, 15-1112: (1) Whether the term “aggrieved” in the Fair Housing Act imposes a...more

Public Records Overhaul Signed Into Law

After a year of intense debate, legislation overhauling the state’s public records law for the first time in over 40 years was signed by Gov. Charlie Baker on June 3rd (becoming Chapter 121 of the Acts of 2016, the “Act”)....more

Proposed Regulations Issued on Deferred Compensation Arrangements for Tax-Exempt Organizations

Today, Treasury and the IRS released proposed regulations under §457 of the Code, which governs the tax treatment of nonqualified deferred compensation paid to employees and independent contractors by tax-exempt organizations...more

SEC Brings First Action under Dodd-Frank Municipal Advisor Antifraud Rules

Two California-based municipal advisory firms and their executives have agreed to settle SEC charges that they used deceptive practices when soliciting the business of five California school districts....more

E-services by public bodies and the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act

The ability to electronically perform transactions between individuals, and individuals and public bodies, has transformed the way business is conducted and the manner in which services are rendered to members of the public....more

Police Immunity From Civil Liability Resulting From Vehicular Chases

Rosemary Morgan, et al. v. Beaumont Police Department, et al. - Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District (April 4, 2016) - Police Departments have historically enjoyed statutory immunity from any civil lawsuits...more

Illinois Appellate Court Upholds $2 Million Punitive Award Against Chicago State University

The due process review of a punitive damages award for excessiveness has a number of interconnected parts. A series of relatively small errors can quickly add up and dramatically skew the outcome of a review process that is...more

Two Florida P3 Bills Signed into Law

On Wednesday, March 30, 2016, Florida’s Governor Rick Scott signed two bills that further advance the state’s existing public-private partnership (P3) framework and provide additional guidance for implementing P3s. The two...more

Childhood Sexual Abuse – Delayed Accrual of Plaintiff’s Claims Against a Public Entity

Latrice Rubenstein v. Doe No. 1, et al. - Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District (March 22, 2016) - Generally, a civil cause of action for child molestation accrues at the time of the molestation, but delayed...more

Miami-Dade County Takes P3 Reform Further After Florida Passes New P3 Legislation

After months in several Florida House and Senate committees, the State Legislature finally passed two related bills that were both signed by the Governor at the end of April. Importantly, the first bill, SB 124, establishes...more

Bagley-Keene Act Roils State Bar Committees

Today, the California State Bar becomes subject to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Cal. Gov’t Gov’t Code § 11120 et seq. ). The Bagley-Keene Act generally requires multimember state bodies to provide public notice of...more

What the Internet of Things Means for Local Governments

Increasingly, computing power is everywhere. The personal computer that once resided on the desktop migrated to the hip pocket and the wrist watch, and now to eyewear and clothing. Welcome the “Internet of Things,” or...more

Robocall Roulette: Federal Court Hands Significant Victory to TCPA Defendants

Businesses and organizations staring down lawsuits brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) have received welcome news from the federal courts. In a decision with significant implications, a Florida district...more

Inadvertent Disclosure Does Not Waive Exemptions/Privileges Under the PRA

California Supreme Court Gives Public Agencies Safety Net - A public agency’s inadvertent disclosure of privileged documents under the Public Records Act does not waive the privilege, the California Supreme Court has...more

California Supreme Court Finds that a Public Agency Cannot Inadvertently Waive Attorney-Client and Work Product Privileges

Last year, I wrote about the Second Appellate District case of Ardon v. City of Los Angeles. In Ardon, the appellate court found that a public agency can waive statutory privileges that it otherwise would have if it produces...more

Public Policy Alert: Freedom of Information Act Ruling

A recent ruling regarding South Carolina’s Freedom of Information Act is one to note. It came on February 22 in DomainsNewMedia.com vs. Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce....more

Continuing Disclosure Information Reporting Deadline Draws Near

Municipalities, school districts, and other public entities that borrow money – whether through public offerings of bonds or private bank loans – generally are required to provide updated financial and operational information...more

The Wave of Website and Other ADA Accessibility Claims – What You Should Know

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), providing for equal access for persons with disabilities in places of public accommodation, has made the country far more accessible. Yet, given its highly technical...more

The Latest "Trojan Horse" in The Judicial War on The Deliberative Process Privilege

In a decision issued December 21, 2015 (Caldecott v. Superior Court of Orange County (Newport- Mesa Unified School District)), the California Court of Appeal ruled that a former school district employee is entitled to records...more

California Supreme Court Raises the Bar on Dangerous Conditions on Public Property Claims

Earlier we wrote about the affirmative defense of “design immunity” which can be used by public entities to shield themselves from personal injury claims dangerous conditions on public property. Under the design immunity...more

The Ins and Outs of Joint Powers Authorities in California

Joint Powers Authorities are legally created entities that allow two or more public agencies to jointly exercise common powers. Forming such entities may not only provide a creative approach to the provision of public...more

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