Articles Posted in Government Law

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Criminal defendants Clement Poiroux, Lamar Osborne, Travis Blair, Christopher Raybon, Sara Hawkins, Brian Williams, Levorish Hudson, Joseph Johnson, Jr., Nicholas McNeil, and Willie Walker II, and McNeil & Stokley Enterprises, LLC, d/b/a Metro Bonding Co., Bay Area Bail Bonds, LLC, A-Plus Bonding, Inc., Alternative Justice Bail Bonding, Inc., A-Advantage Bonding, LLC, Affordable Bail Bond, Inc., and Allstar Bail Bonds, Inc. appealed the dismissal of their claims against various district attorneys, circuit court clerks, and other state officials. Several of the criminal defendants and of the bail-bond companies sued the defendants and fictitiously named parties alleging claims related to Act No. 2012-535, Ala. Acts 2012 (codified as 12-14-31 and 12-19-311, Ala. Code 1975). The criminal defendants and the bail-bond companies argued, among other things, that the fee assessed pursuant to 12-19-311(a)(1)a., Ala. Code 1975 ("the filing fee"), and the fee assessed pursuant to 12-19-311(a)(1)b., Ala. Code 1975 ("the back-end fee"), were unconstitutional. Upon review of the circuit court record, the Supreme Court affirmed the dismissal of all claims regarding the back-end fees, all claims seeking monetary relief, and all claims against the defendant sheriffs. The Court also affirmed the dismissal of the criminal defendants' claims for declaratory and injunctive relief. The Court reversed the circuit court's judgment insofar as it dismissed the bail-bond companies' claims for declaratory and injunctive relief against the defendants other than the defendant sheriffs. View "Poiroux v. Rich" on Justia Law

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Wayne Morrow filed a permissive appeal to the Circuit Court's order denying his request for a judgment declaring that the $100,000 cap on damages in section 11-47-190, Ala. Code 1975, applied to Morrow, a municipal employee who was sued in his individual capacity. In 2009, Alice Yu sought to have Alabama Power Company restore electrical service in her name at a commercial building she was leasing. The premises had been without power for approximately eight months. The City of Montgomery sent Morrow to perform an electrical inspection of the premises and clear the premises for service before electrical service was restored. Keandarick Russell, a minor, was staying with his great-grandmother, who lived next door to the premises. Russell was playing on the concrete pad on which the air-conditioning system was located and was electrocuted when he came in contact with a chain-link fence adjacent to the premises. When the incident occurred, wires from an uncovered junction box at the electrical source had come in contact with a portion of the fence, and, as a result, the fence had become electrified. Russell was electrocuted when he touched the fence. Shameka Caldwell, as Russell's mother and next friend, filed a wrongful-death action against multiple defendants, including Morrow and Yu for two fictitiously named defendants. In the amended complaint, Caldwell alleged that Morrow had negligently, recklessly, and/or wantonly inspected the premises and had negligently, recklessly, and/or wantonly allowed electrical service to be restored to the premises. In his answer, Morrow asserted that he was entitled to State immunity, to State-agent immunity, and to qualified immunity. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded the plain language of 11-47-190 did not limit the recovery on a claim against a municipal employee in his or her individual capacity, the $100,000 statutory cap on recovery would not apply to Caldwell's claims against Morrow. Therefore, the trial court properly denied Morrow's request for a judgment declaring that it would. View "Morrow v. Caldwell" on Justia Law

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Daniel Senior Living of Inverness I, LLC, d/b/a Danberry at Inverness successfully appealed to the Court of Civil Appeals a circuit court decision to affirm the issuance by the State Health Planning and Development Agency ("SHPDA") a certificate of need (CON) to STV One Nineteen Senior Living, LLC, d/b/a Somerby at St. Vincent's One Nineteen on an "emergency" basis. The Supreme Court granted Somerby's petition for review of the Court of Appeals, and finding no reversible error, affirmed that court's decision. View "Daniel Senior Living of Inverness I, LLC v. STV One Nineteen Senior Living, LLC" on Justia Law

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Calvin Kendrick and K & D Automotive, Inc. sued the City of Montgomery, the City's employees Eddie Hill, Jr., Nathaniel Bracy, and Scott Adams, Tony's Automotive, L.L.C. and Tony's Automotive's owner Tony D. Brooks and manager Ellen F. Brooks asserting various due-process claims after, on two occasions, the City declared vehicles parked at K&D Automotive to be public nuisances under the City nuisance ordinance and authorized Tony's Automotive to abate the nuisances by removing the vehicles from the premises. The trial court thereafter entered a summary judgment in favor of the City defendants and the Tony's Automotive defendants on those claims; however, Kendrick and K&D have established on appeal that a judgment as a matter of law was not warranted on counts 5, 7, 8, 9, and 11 of their amended complaint. The Supreme Court reversed the trial court's grant of summary judgment as to those counts. Kendrick and K&D did not establish, however, that the trial court erred by entering a summary judgment in favor of the defendants on count 10, and that judgment was accordingly affirmed. View "K & D Automotive, Inc. v. The City of Montgomery" on Justia Law

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Inmate Victor Russo appealed a circuit court's dismissal of his action against the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC). He challenged ADOC's implementation of a policy to charge a processing fee for money orders and cashier's checks deposited into an inmate's "prisoner money on deposit" account. The Supreme Court noted multiple fatal errors in Russo's pleadings, the sum of which was that Russo named ADOC as his sole adverse party, and that complaint "purported to effect an action against the State." As such, the trial court lacked jurisdiction to hear his case. The Supreme Court dismissed Russo's appeal.View "Russo v. Alabama Department of Corrections " on Justia Law

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Shelby Land Partners, LLC and Alabaster Land Company, LLC each own a 50% undivided interest in a parcel of undeveloped real property located within the municipal limits of the City of Alabaster. At the request of Shelby Land, the property was initially zoned as a "community business district," permitting only commercial uses. In 2009, Shelby Land petitioned the City to rezone the land to permit multifamily residential use in order to pursue the development of a low-income apartment complex for senior citizens on the property. The Alabaster City Council denied Shelby Land's rezoning application. Shelby Land and Alabaster Land then brought this action to appeal the denial of the rezoning request. The trial court entered a summary judgment in favor of Shelby Land and Alabaster Land and ordered the City and the City Council to rezone the land to permit multifamily residential development. The City and the members of the City Council, who were sued in their official capacities, appealed. Upon review of the trial court record, the Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case for further proceedings.View "The City of Alabaster v. Shelby Land Partners, LLC" on Justia Law