Fourth Circuit Tag

Here are last week's published decisions involving local governments. They include two unsuccessful due-process challenges -- one to speed-camera programs, the other to booking fees:Gavel Second Circuit Fourth Circuit Seventh Circuit

Here are published decisions involving local governments from the federal appellate courts from November 25, 2013 through December 6, 2013: Second Circuit American Petroleum and Transport v. City of New York, No. 12-4505 (Dec. 6, 2013) (finding that vessel owner may not be awarded damages for economic loss due to negligence in the absence of physical damage to property). Fourth Circuit Sandslands C&D LLC v. County of Horry, No. 13-1134 (Dec. 3, 2013) (affirming that County waste-disposal ordinance does not violate Dormant Commerce or...

A County ordinance provides that waste generated in the County can be disposed at only a single location -- a publicly owned landfill:Landfill
The dumping or depositing by any person at any place other than at the designated facilities of any acceptable waste generated within the County is prohibited.
The County crafted the ordinance to further many public benefits: to conserve resources, to prevent pollution, and to protect the public health, safety, and well-being. For the public landfill, the ordinance also ensured a revenue stream. But for a private landfill operator located just two miles from the County line, the ordinance was a real problem. The ordinance led to a significant decrease in its business. The operator sued the County. It argued that the County ordinance violates the dormant-commerce clause and the equal-protection clause of the federal constitution. Is the operator correct? In Sandlands C&D LLC v. County of Horry, No. 13-1134 (Dec. 3, 2013), the Fourth Circuit ruled against the operator. It upheld the district court's grant of summary judgment for the County. Applying the Supreme Court's decision in United Haulers Ass'n v. Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority, 550 U.S. 330, 346 (2007), the court ruled that

[caption id="attachment_26" align="alignright" width="224"]Fourth Circuit: a local government can “close” a public forum with a neutral policy, regardless of its intent. Fourth Circuit: a local government can “close” a public forum with a neutral policy, regardless of its intent.[/caption] Your City has flag standards on light poles. They line the City streets. For over 15 years, you have allowed private parties to use this property to place their own flags. Now you have a problem. A group wants to use this City property to fly the Confederate flag during a City parade. The public is fiercely opposed. After your City council first approved the request, it changed course. Its new policy restricts flag-standard use to three flags: the American, State, and City flags. The group sued. It claimed that the City’s change violates its First Amendment rights. Can you successfully defend the City’s policy? In a similar case, the Fourth Circuit recently said yes.