Municipal and Special Districts

Income Approach Requires Assessors To Identify And Deduct Specific Intangible Assets

July 16, 2014 | Bulletin No. 1119289.1

When the “fair market value” of real property is assessed in California, intangible assets and rights must be deducted in determining taxable value. In SHC Half Moon Bay v. County of San Mateo (2014) 226 Cal.App.4th 471, the Court of Appeal concluded that the approach used to assess the value of the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay Hotel violated state law because it failed to remove certain intangible assets prior to assessment.

DIR Launches New Mandatory Registration Program for Public Works Projects

July 11, 2014 | Bulletin No. 1127493.1

The California Department of Industrial Relations (“DIR”) has announced the launch of a new registration program for public works projects authorized by Senate Bill 854, which was signed into law on June 20, 2014, and became effective immediately.

Cities, Districts, Others To Restrict Lawn Watering, Car Washing, Pavement Washdowns And Fountains Under Proposed Statewide Emergency Regulation

July 10, 2014 | Bulletin No. 1127151.1

Cities, districts, public utilities and other urban water suppliers would have to limit landscape irrigation by customers and enforce other water use restrictions under emergency regulations proposed by the State Water Resources Control Board (“State Water Board”) on July 8, 2014.

City Cannot Prohibit 'Living' in Vehicles

June 30, 2014 | Bulletin No. 1124439.1

In Desertrain v. City of Los Angeles (2014)  ___ F.3d ___ (2014 WL 2766541), a City of Los Angeles ("City") ordinance prohibiting the use of vehicles for habitation was held to violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Constructive Notice of Sidewalk Defects

June 30, 2014 | Bulletin No. 1124440.1

The Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed summary judgment in Heskel v. City of San Diego (2014) ___ Cal.Rptr.3d ___ (2014 WL 2811185).  The Court found that a hollow sign pole base, protruding approximately two inches above ground level was not obvious enough to provide the City with constructive notice.

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Sworn Testimony Relating to Public Employee’s Employment Protected by First Amendment Where Speech is Outside Scope of Employee’s Ordinary Job Duties

June 23, 2014 | Bulletin No. 1122750.1

Recently, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari to resolve whether a public employee’s testimony in response to a subpoena is entitled to First Amendment protection where providing such testimony is outside the scope of the employee’s ordinary job duties.  Applying its earlier precedents set forth in Pickering v. Board of Ed. of Township High School Dist. 205, Will Cty. (1968) 391 U.S. 563, 568 (“Pickering”) and Garcetti v. Ceballos (2006) 547 U.S. 410 (“Garcetti”), the high Court concluded that public employee testimony is entitled to First Amendment protection where the employee’s regular job duties do not include testifying under oath and the employee’s speech relates to a matter of public concern.  Nonetheless, the Court concluded the employee’s supervisor was entitled to qualified immunity in his individual capacity.  (Lane v. Franks, --- S.Ct. ----, U.S., June 19, 2014).

NOTE

The Court specifically noted that it was not addressing whether truthful sworn testimony would constitute citizen speech where giving such testimony was part of a public employee’s ordinary job duties.

Public Construction: Don't Forget to Update Your "List of Subcontractors" Forms Before July 1, 2014

June 19, 2014 | Bulletin No. 1122153.1

Don't get caught off-guard. Beginning July 1, 2014, amendments to the California Subletting and Subcontracting Fair Practices Act go into effect. Last September, the California State Legislature passed AB 44, which amends Public Contract Code section 4104, and requires that prime contractors bidding on public works or improvement set forth in their bid the California Contractors State License Board number of all subcontractors listed in their bid.  The license number must be included for all subcontractors who will be performing work in excess of 0.5% of the prime contractor’s total bid or, in the case of bids for the construction of streets, highways, or bridges, in excess of 0.5% of the prime contractor’s total bid or $10,000, whichever is greater.

Prop. 42 Passes: State Not Required To Pay Local Agencies For Brown Act And Public Records Act Compliance

June 4, 2014 | Bulletin No. 1116372.1

The California Constitution provides that whenever the State mandates a new program on local governments, the State must reimburse local governments for their increased costs. On June 3, 2014, voters approved Proposition 42, amending the California Constitution to eliminate the obligations of the State to reimburse local governments for costs incurred as a result of the mandates imposed by the Brown Act and Public Records Act.

The Names Of Officers Involved In An On-Duty Shooting Must Be Disclosed Under The Public Records Act, Unless The Party Resisting Disclosure Can Show A Specific Risk To The Officers

May 31, 2014 | Bulletin No. 1110090.1

The California Public Records Act ("Act") requires the disclosure of public records, unless such records are exempt from disclosure.  In Long Beach Police Officers Association v. City of Long Beach, --- P.3d ----, 2014 WL 2219041, Cal., May 29, 2014 (NO. S200872), the California Supreme Court held that the Act requires the disclosure of the names of officers involved in the fatal shooting of an unarmed individual.

City Not Liable For Mayor's Alleged Improper Conduct

May 28, 2014 | Bulletin No. 1108426.1

Gong v. City of Rosemead (May 20, 2014, B247601) -- Cal.App.4th --, a Court of Appeal declined to hold the City of Rosemead ("City") liable for the alleged tortious conduct of former mayor and City Council member John Tran ("Tran").  Tammy Gong ("Gong") sued the City alleging that Tran blocked her development project after she refused to lend him additional funds and rejected his sexual advances.  The Court held that Government Code section 815.3 does not create an independent cause of action, and Gong failed to follow the claims requirements of the Government Tort Claims Act.  The City's immunity also barred Gong's promissory estoppel claim.  Consequently, the Court affirmed the dismissal of all causes of action against the City.

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