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Municipal

Municipal – Zoning – Special Exception Application – Fireworks Store (access required)

Wyndham Enterprises, LLC v. City of North Augusta Residents’ unsubstantiated concerns about increased traffic and decreased property values wasn’t enough to support the defendant-city’s denial of appellants’ request for a special exception to open a fireworks store in a commercial district. We reverse the circuit court’s order upholding the denial of appellants’ request.

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Municipal – Zoning – Auto Salvage Business – Alleged Oral Contracts – Due Process – County Code Violations – Environmental – Adjacent Superfund Site (access required)

Huggins, t/a SADISCO of Md. v. Prince George’s County, Md. A property owner who operated a salvage automobile wholesaling business on a parcel adjacent to Andrews Air Force Base’s CERCLA Superfund site, and whose business was cited for numerous county code violations, loses an appeal of the dismissal of its due process and state law claims against Prince George’s County, Md., for shutting down the salvage business pursuant to a consent order; the 4th Circuit says the owner failed to prove oral contracts under Maryland law.

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Municipal – County Budget Cuts – Legislative Immunity – Constitutional – First Amendment – Opposition to Ambulance Fees (access required)

Kensington Volunteer Fire Dep’t Inc. v. Kurtz A group of local volunteer fire and rescue departments cannot sue county officials on a claim the county reduced funding in retaliation for plaintiffs’ opposition to local legislation; the 4th Circuit affirms dismissal of the suit by the district court, who declined to inquire into defendants’ alleged illicit motive behind an otherwise facially valid budgetary enactment.

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Municipal – Labor & Employment – Workers’ Compensation – Public Employees – Mail Carrier (access required)

Hutchins v. U.S. Dep’t of Labor A U.S. Postal Service letter carrier who won a personal-injury lawsuit against a South Carolina town after she fell into a manhole must reimburse the Department of Labor for benefits she received under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act; the 4th Circuit affirms a decision that the town qualifies as a “person other than the U.S.” under 5 U.S.C. § 8132.

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Municipal – Civil Practice – Standing – FOIA — Labor & Employment – Public Employees – Severance Contract (access required)

Freemantle v. Preston Although the common law does not give a taxpayer standing to seek damages arising from a county council’s agreement to a $1,000,000 severance package for a county employee, the Freedom of Information Act gives the taxpayer standing to seek declaratory and injunctive relief.

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Municipal – Business License – Public Nuisance – Hotel – 911 Calls – Delegation of Authority (access required)

Singh v. City of Greenville Between April 1, 2004 and June 16, 2006, Greenville police responded to 901 calls to Travel Inn. The second highest number of calls made to a Greenville hotel during the same period was 581, the third highest was 407, and police responded to fewer than 300 calls at each of the other hotels in the city.

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Municipal – Public Utilities – Cell Tower – Discrimination Claim (access required)

T-Mobile Northeast LLC v. Fairfax County Board of Supervisors In this appeal, we consider certain “prohibition” and “discrimination” challenges brought by a wireless telecommunications provider against a local governing body under a provision of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 U.S.C. § 332(c)(7)(B)(i), and conclude the Fairfax County, Va., board of supervisors did not violate the Act in denying a request filed by T-Mobile Northeast LLC to construct a wireless service facility on an existing transmission pole.

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Municipal – Zoning – Special Use Permit – Convenience Center – Additional Construction (access required)

Newton v. Zoning Board of Appeals Beaufort County Code of Ordinances § 106-552 permitted the respondent-board to use information already in its possession to decide whether a community impact statement was necessary when the county sought a special use permit to perform additional construction at an existing convenience center (a collection point for residential solid waste). We modify and affirm the master-in-equity’s ruling in favor of the board.

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Municipal – Zoning – Outdoor Advertising – Sign Amortization – Statute’s Effective Date (access required)

Morris Communications Co. v. City of Greenville On May 9, 2005, the defendant-city purported to repeal its 1996 repeal of a 1993 sign amortization ordinance; nevertheless, the city is not able to get around a 2006 statute outlawing any ordinance which would allow a city to remove an outdoor sign without paying its owner just compensation. We affirm partial summary judgment for the plaintiff-billboard company.

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