Posted in: Public Entities


That’s an Expensive Text! Cincinnati Settles Lawsuit Over Sunshine Law Violation

The Cincinnati Enquirer is reporting that the city of Cincinnati has agreed to settle a public records lawsuit arising out of a text chain. The text chain is among five Cincinnati City Council members where the public officials discussed public…

FCC Small Cell Rules: What Ohio Townships Need to Know Now

Walter | Haverfield’s Bill Hanna discussed new FCC small cell rules and their potential impact on Ohio townships in Ohio Township News.

Walter | Haverfield attorney in popular Serial podcast

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Sara Fagnilli, an attorney in the firm’s Public Law group, is in Serial, a podcast that shares stories from inside the Cuyahoga County courthouse during its third season. Fagnilli was the special prosecutor in the controversial case of Euclid…

Managing Vague and Overly Broad Public Records Requests

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In Ohio, public agencies are required to make many of their working documents available for public inspection or copying upon request. The Ohio Public Records Act makes it clear that, with few exceptions, the public records process must be both…

Ohio Political Subdivisions Must Adopt Credit Card Use Policies by February 2019

Many political subdivisions in Ohio have credit card use policies to ensure that credit card accounts are only used for authorized purchases and to establish procedures for the issuance, management, use, and cancellation of credit card accounts.…

Free Speech Rights & Public Meetings: How One Man’s Case Got the Attention of the U.S. Supreme Court

It’s a U.S. Supreme Court decision that city and county council members should know. Walter | Haverfield’s Sara Fagnilli explains how the case pitted First Amendment free speech rights against the right of a local legislative body to control…

Appeals Court Holds Private Property Owner Cannot Obtain Injunction to Stop Eminent Domain Lawsuit

Much of eminent domain litigation focuses on disputes over property valuation. Generally, these disputes are resolved by the parties submitting expert testimony regarding valuation, followed by a jury deciding what constitutes “just compensation”…

Appellate Court Hears Cities' Challenge to Central Tax Filing for Business Income

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Walter | Haverfield’s Darrell Clay described how Ohio municipalities have constitutional home rule authority to levy taxes, in an article published in The Hannah Report.

Scuffles emerge over water

Walter | Haverfield attorney Todd Hunt offers his perspective in Crain’s Cleveland Business about an Ohio bill aimed at curtailing what some cities consider price gouging over water and sewer service rates.

Cities, carriers strike compromise over 5G technology

Walter | Haverfield partner Bill Hanna applauded the recent passage of legislation in Ohio, which permits some municipal authority over small-cell telecommunications equipment installations along main streets and in residential neighborhoods,…

Planning Best Practices as a Catalyst for Economic Development

Economic development is often associated with TIFs, CRAs, JEDDs, and the alphabet soup of other acronyms used by local governments to convince developers to choose their community as the site for new development. But establishing intuitive,…

Governor Signs Ohio’s New Small Cell Facilities Law, Takes Effect July 31, 2018

On Tuesday, May 2, 2018, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed Substitute House Bill 478, amending Ohio’s right-of-way statute to pave the way for small cell installations associated with increased demand for high-speed, high-capacity wireless…

Design Guidelines: An Essential Tool to Address the Impact of Small Cells in the Right-of-Way

Walter | Haverfield attorney Bill Hanna and former Walter | Haverfield attorney Jessica Trivisonno address how Ohio’s municipalities can regulate the impact of small cell wireless facilities in an article which appears in Cities and Villages…

Ohio Legislature Passes Small Cell Amendments

Substitute House Bill 478 (“Sub. H.B. 478”), which was passed on April, 11, amends Ohio’s law regarding small cell facilities in the right-of-way. Such facilities will be used to support 5G cell phone technology.andnbsp; We have prepared…

FAA Launches Exploratory Drone Integration Pilot Program with State and Local Governments

  A new federal program that allows willing communities to serve as guinea pigs for futuristic drone operations is underway. Walter | Haverfield attorney Jessica Trivisonno explains “drone innovation zones” in the January/February…

Pass the Permit: How to circumvent liquor permit quotas

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Are you having difficulty finding a liquor permit to transfer in your city, village or township? It's a common problem. Oftentimes, all of the permits are taken because the liquor permit quota in a particular area is maxed out. However, there…

The Basics of Booze: Can a municipal corporation get rid of its local punch palace?

  Although liquor permits in Ohio are issued by the state, a municipality has the right to request a hearing on the renewal of any permit within its borders. It can do so by objecting to the permit's renewal as provided in Ohio…

New Change in Ohio Firefighter Cancer Claims

  It's a hot topic that is the focus of many attorney commercials and frequently makes news headlines across the state. They're called firefighter cancer claims, and they can have significant financial impact for victims, attorneys…

Reminder to Campaign Committees for Local Candidates: Post-Election Campaign Finance Reports Due on December 15, 2017

  With campaigning complete, ballots cast, and votes provisionally tabulated, it is time for campaign committees of local candidates to take down the yard signs and complete their post-election campaign finance reports. Generally,…

State and Local Governments May Become "Drone Innovation Zones" Under New Federal Program

  The Drone Integration Pilot Program will allow state and local governments to propose local rules permitting otherwise prohibited uses of unmanned aerial systems (UAS, more commonly known as "drones") in their jurisdictions. The…

Land Use Law Update

Aimee W. Lane will present a "Land Use Law Update" on October 27, 2017, at APA Cleveland's 29th Annual Planning and Zoning Workshop, in Mayfield Village, Ohio.

Local Government Law From Start to Finish

On September 13, 2017, Charles T. Riehl will be speaking on the topics, "Analyze the Land Subdivision Process" and "Navigating Zoning Issues Before Local Governments," at the NBI Seminar ("Local Government Law From Start to Finish"), in Toledo,…

U.S. Supreme Court Pronounces Factors to be Considered By Courts in Regulatory Taking Cases

On June 23, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in the eminent domain case of Murr, et al. v. Wisconsin, et al., 582 U.S. ____ (2017). In Murr, the Court addressed whether two legally-distinct, but contiguous, commonly owned parcels…

LeBron James Home Stadium Tax Lawsuit Nets New Parties

In an article written for Bloomberg BNA by reporter Alex Ebert, Todd Hunt commented on the dispute between the City of Cleveland and Cleveland City Council regarding Council's ordinance providing funding for the renovation of Quicken Loans …

Attorney reviewing Elyria's employee classifications

In an article published on March 29, 2017 in the Elyria newspaper, The Chronicle-Telegram, Susan Anderson was recognized for her work on behalf of the City of Elyria. In this article, reporter Lisa Roberson noted that Susan has been working…

FEDERAL COURT RULES LOCAL GOVERNMENTS CAN RESTRICT UNIONS FROM CHARGING FEES

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The Private Sector. Just before Thanksgiving, in a unanimous decision, the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that local governments can enact right-to-work laws that will apply to private sector businesses and organizations whose…

Coming Changes to ORC Will Significantly Undermine Municipal Authority Over Small Cell Wireless Facilities in the ROW

On December 7, 2016, the Ohio General Assembly passed Substitute Senate Bill 331 (SB 331), which significantly impacts a municipality's ability to regulate the placement, construction, modification, and maintenance of "small cell" wireless facilities…

Ohio Supreme Court Finds That Release of Police Body-Camera Video within Reasonable Period of Time not a Violation of Ohio Public Records Law

In State ex. rel. Cincinnati Enquirer, et al. v. Deters, Pros. Attorney, released on December 20, 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court was faced with several important issues raised by the use by police departments of body-camera video. The Court…

New Process to Pursue Public Records Disputes through the Court of Claims will be Available on September 28, 2016

By William R. Hanna, Aimee W. Lane, and Jessica TrivisonnoLegislation that will significantly expand the remedies available to requesters of public records will take effect on September 28, 2016. The effect on local governments responding to…

The State of Ohio Enacts House Bill 180 Which Prohibits Local Governments From Enacting Local Hiring Requirements.

By R. Todd Hunt and Susan M. Bungard. On May 31, 2016, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed House Bill 180. This bill prohibits a public authority/local government from requiring a contractor to employ a certain percentage of individuals from the…

Ohio Supreme Court Finds Open Meetings Act Prohibits Private Prearranged Discussion of Public Business by a Majority of Members of a Public Body via Email

On Tuesday, the Ohio Supreme Court held that an email exchange between a majority of school board members may qualify as a meeting under Ohio's Open Meetings Act. The plaintiff, a board member who conducted an independent investigation into…

4th, 5th, and 14th Amendment Issues Related to Code Enforcement

On February 25, 2016, Aimee W. Lane was a co-presenter at The CMBA's Government Attorneys Section and the Northeast Ohio Law Directors Association's "Annual President's Day Seminar and Municipal Law Update." At this program, held in Cleveland,…

Ohio Supreme Court Clarifies that Taxing Authorities Must Pass Two Pieces of Legislation in Order to Place a Statutory Levy on the Ballot

By Benjamin G. Chojnacki and Stephen L. Byron.andnbsp; On January 26, 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court decided State ex rel. Cornerstone Developers, Ltd. v. Greene Cty. Bd. of Elections, Slip Opinion No. 2016-Ohio-313. In the case, the Court ordered…

"Ban the Box" for Public Employers in Ohio

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In late December 2015, Governor John Kasich signed a law that prohibits public employers, including townships, villages, municipal corporations, and public school districts, from asking questions about an applicant's criminal background on their…

Minimizing the Impact of Excessive Force Claims

Across the nation and in Northeast Ohio, claims of unlawful shootings and excessive force are making headlines in alarmingly increasing numbers, resulting in heightened scrutiny of police policies and protocols related to the training of…

United States Supreme Court Announces Unanimous Decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert

Byandnbsp;Stephen L. Byron,andnbsp;Aimee W. Lane, andandnbsp;Ellen R. Kirtner, Law ClerkOn Thursday, June 18, 2015, the United States Supreme Court announced its decision inandnbsp;Reed v. Town of Gilbert. Inandnbsp;Reed, the court held that…

State of Ohio Reaches $11.5 million Settlement with Road Salt Providers Cargill and Morton to Resolve Price-Fixing Claims

Byandnbsp;Stephen L. Byron,andnbsp;Benjamin G. Chojnacki, andandnbsp;Ellen R. Kirtner, Lawandnbsp;Clerk. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced yesterday that the State of Ohio has reached a settlement in its price-fixing lawsuit against…

Ohio Attorney General Begins Claim Process for Road Salt Settlement

Byandnbsp;Stephen L. Byronandnbsp;andandnbsp;Aimee W. Lane.andnbsp;The State of Ohio reached an $11.5 million settlement in its price-fixing lawsuit against road salt providers Cargill, Inc. and Morton Salt, Inc.Under the terms of theandnbsp;settlement,…

What You Should Know About Ohio Firearms Law

Ohio firearms laws are complicated. A failure to know these laws can turn an encounter with a citizen, or a seemingly innocuous personnel policy, into a lawsuit with the municipality on the losing side. Yet, with general rules that have…

The Ohio Supreme Court Upholds Traffic Camera Citation Administrative Appeal Process

On December 18, 2014, the Ohio Supreme Court issued an opinion overturning the Sixth District Court of Appeals decision which held that the City of Toledo's administrative appeal process for traffic camera citations violated the exclusive jurisdiction…

Analyze the Land Subdivision Process and Understand the Development and Utilization of the Comprehensive Plan

On December 8, 2014,andnbsp;Charles T. Riehlandnbsp;spoke on the topics, "Analyze the Land Subdivision Process" and "Understand the Development and Utilization of the Comprehensive Plan," at the NBI Seminar ("Land Use Law: Current Issues in…

Request for Qualifications and Request for Proposals - Design Build

On October 10, 2014,andnbsp;Charles T. Riehlandnbsp;spoke on the topic, "Request for Qualifications and Request for Proposals - Design Build," at a Lorman Seminar ("Public Contracts and Procurement Regulations in Ohio"), in Toledo, Ohio.

Crain's Cleveland Business | Kevin Patrick Murphy

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In its October 6, 2014 issue, Crain's Cleveland Business named Kevin Patrick Murphy as a member of its 2014 "Forty Under 40" class. Along with the other young professionals in this class, Kevin was recognized for his achievements and leadership…

Noncommercial Sign Regulation Case Headed to the U.S. Supreme Court

Byandnbsp;Stephen L. Byron,andnbsp;Aimee W. Lane,andnbsp;and Kalynne Proctor, Law ClerkOn July 1, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review First Amendment challenges brought by Good News Community Church, alleging that a sign ordinance…

Enacted Sub. H.B. 289 Prohibits the Creation, Amendment, or Renewal of Alternative Joint Economic Development Zones (JEDZs) and Creates Municipal Utility Districts from Municipal-Only JEDZs

Sub. House Bill (H.B.) 289 was enacted into law on June 5, 2014, and became immediately effective. The new law, which had been amended several times in Bill form, prohibits the formation of new alternative Joint Economic Development Zones (JEDZs)…

U. S. Supreme Court Rules Cell Phone Searches Incident to Arrest Require Search Warrant

On June 25, 2014, the United States Supreme Court, inandnbsp;Riley v. California, issued a decision holding that, except under "exigent circumstances," law enforcement officers may not search digital information on cell phones seized incident…

Variances

Aimee W. Laneandnbsp;discussed the topic, "Variances" at the Ohio State Bar Association's "Land Use and Zoning" seminar on May 21, 2014, in Cleveland, Ohio.

H.B. 289 Seeks to Prohibit the Creation, Renewal, or Amendment of Joint Economic Development Zone Contracts

Sub. House Bill (H.B.) 289, passed by the Ohio House and now pending before the Senate, if enacted, will significantly change the statutory provisions for Joint Economic Development Zones (JEDZ or Zone) and would ultimately prohibit, as of January…

Home Rule and Local Control

At the Ohio Municipal League's "Seminar for Newly Elected Council Members," held on March 29, 2014 in Independence, Ohio,andnbsp;R. Todd Huntandnbsp;addressed the topic, "Home Rule and Local Control."

John Gibbon, longtime Cleveland Heights law director, retires

In an article published in the Heights Observer and titled, "John Gibbon, longtime CH law director, retires," author Deanna Bremer Fisher recognized John H. Gibbon for his long and distinguished service as law director for the City of Cleveland…

Cleveland's victory in Supreme Court reinforces home rule, but it's not a breakthrough for cities, expert says

In an article published on cleveland.com on February 4, 2014, titled "Cleveland's victory in Supreme Court reinforces home rule, but it's not a breakthrough for cities, expert says," R. Todd Hunt was quoted on the Ohio Legislature's efforts,…

Those Legal Cases That Affect the Way You Do the Public's Business

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On October 24, 2014,andnbsp;R. Todd Huntandnbsp;spoke on the topic, "Those Legal Cases That Affect the Way You do the Public's Business," at the 2014 Cleveland Planning and Zoning Workshop, sponsored by APA Cleveland, in Westlake, Ohio.