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Jan 28, 2019

Defense Dep’t prevails in gun database suit

In rejecting an attempt by New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco to compel the Department of Defense to provide information to a national database regarding current and former service members who are disqualified from owning a gun, the court found the plaintiffs failed to establish subject matter jurisdiction under the Administrative Procedure Act. Background Appellants […]

Jan 19, 2019

SC lacks standing to sue U.S. over nuclear facility

The State of South Carolina obtained an injunction against the Department of Energy’s plan to terminate the construction of a nuclear facility in the state. On appeal, the court vacated the injunction, concluding the state lacked standing as its claims of harm caused by exposure to radiation and terrorism are too speculative, and not ripe […]

Nov 18, 2018

Taxpayer failed to show assessments were erroneous

Where a taxpayer fails to show that county assessments were not arrived at in accordance with generally accepted appraisal practices, the county’s assessments stand and the taxpayer’s request for relief is denied. Background Petitioner alleged Fairfax County erroneously assessed land in Kingstowne Town Center for tax years 2012-15. The property in question is the last […]

Aug 24, 2018

CAV: City’s challenge to oyster-farming lease fails

The City of Virginia Beach, which intended to perform dredging in the Lynnhaven River as a matter of public interest, could not do so in an area where a citizen had obtained a riparian lease for oysters. The City claimed the lease was an effort to frustrate its dredging project. Background The City of Virginia […]

Aug 17, 2018

SCV: Auto graveyard affirmed as lawful non-conforming use

The petitioner was entitled to “verification” of lawful non-conforming use status for a parcel of property housing junk cars. Although the parcel had at one point been owned by a corporation that attempted to clear the property, evidence showed that vehicles stored there for decades never had in fact been removed. Because the non-conforming use […]

Aug 8, 2018

CAV: Self-help moots remedies sought for deficient roof work

No remedy existed for condo owners who, unhappy with a roof renovation, wanted the city to inspect the work and cite the roofer.  After a second contractor made fixes, there was nothing for the city to inspect and no opportunity for the first roofer to cure. Background In December 2015, Appellants Cynthia and Richard Owens […]

Aug 3, 2018

EDVA: Prosecutor, officer face malicious-prosecution claims

An unsuccessful candidate for county sheriff sufficiently stated claims for malicious prosecution by a commonwealth’s attorney and a state police officer. The plaintiff said they conspired to prosecute him for election fraud with no evidence to support the charge. Background In 2014, Plaintiff Stephen King was charged with trespassing. He sought testimony on his behalf […]

Jul 29, 2018

4th Cir.: Slurs read aloud didn’t create hostile environment

A prosecutor who read racial slurs aloud from potential evidence, which he was evaluating at a pre-trial meeting, did not create a hostile work environment for the black police officers in the room. Even if such conduct could give rise to liability for race discrimination, the prosecutor’s conduct would be entitled to absolute immunity. Background […]

Jul 13, 2018

4th Cir.: City had no duty to protect public from unruly kids

Despite not providing school transportation to students with known disciplinary problems, municipal entities had no duty to stop the students from harming residents of the neighborhoods the students traversed to reach school. Background Richard Fletcher and his wife lived just down the street from an alternative school in Baltimore, where some students have criminal records […]

Jul 12, 2018

Va. Cir.: City’s red-light cameras constitutional

A vehicle owner served with a notice of violation, which cited a no-stop right turn on red with photo and video evidence, did not show that her constitutional rights were violated either by the city red-light-camera ordinance or its authorizing state statute. Background Defendant Tawana Cooper received a Notice of Violation from the City of […]

Jul 9, 2018

4th Cir.: City worker’s Title VII retaliation claim revived

Fired the day after asking for grievance paperwork, a black employee reasonably believed she was subject to a hostile work environment that was attributable to her employer. The district court erred in granting summary judgment against her. Background In August 2013, the City of Laurel hired Plaintiff Felicia Strothers, a black woman, as an administrative […]

Jun 29, 2018

WDVA: Fired county employee’s First Amendment claim is triable

A county’s former Director of Tourism presented genuine factual disputes as to whether he was fired in retaliation for his past vote to censure members of the county board of supervisors who voted to raise taxes. Background At a Bedford County Republican Party meeting in October 2014, Plaintiff Gerald Craig voted to censure three of […]

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