Land Use and Local Government Law and Litigation

The Law Office of Robert K. Lincoln, P.A.  provides legal services to private and public entities involved in complex land use disputes.  Hiring an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements.  Before you decide, ask and I will provide free information about my experience and qualifications. 

Class Action Status Available to Address Systemic Sunshine Law Violation

In Deininger v. Palm Beach County, here's the link, the 4th DCA overtuned a trial court denial of class action status for Palm Beach County employees whose disciplinary hearings violated the Sunshine Law.

The District Court had previously determined that the process used by the County violated the Sunshine Law (posted awhile back). Apparently, the County in its (not surprising) arrogance has continued to use the same illegal procedures. Two disciplined employees sued to determine that their employment actions violated the Sunshine Law and asked for class status on behalf of all similarly situated employees. The trial court dismissed, looking at the merits of the dismissals and holding that each employee would have its own facts.

The 4th recognized that where the claim is that the process violates the Sunshine Law, and that the actions would be void ab initio without respect to the merits, the plaintiffs stated a valid class action claim.

For practitioners - compare this with the 5th's treatment of the buildingfee case a few weeks ago - they claimed that the County's entire process for assessing building fees was invalid as applied to everyone (if not facially) because of decisions made in how the rules were implemented. The court found that the as applied claims couldn't state a class action because the individual merits/calculations were the critical issue to validity. One wonders if this is a pleading problem with that case, or a conflict between the courts.

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Hiring an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask and I will send you free written information about my qualifications and experience. Additionally, the comments, statements and articles contained herein are general in nature and should not be relied upon as a basis for any legal opinion, action or conclusion on the part of the reader with respect to any particular set of facts or circumstances, or to establish an attorney-client relationship between us.