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California Municipal Law Blog

Governor Signs Law to Require Agency Reports Before Approving Changes to Executive Compensation or Benefits

by on August 23, 2016

posted in Legislative Updates, Meetings, Uncategorised,

On August 23, 2016, Governor Brown signed SB 1436 (Bates), which mandates that local agencies report out certain information before changing the compensation or benefits of their “executives.”  Under this new law, legislative bodies (e.g., city councils, boards of supervisors, or boards of directors) for agencies must “orally report a summary of a recommendation” for changes in salaries or benefits before voting for the changes.  The votes must then take place in the open session portions of their meetings. SB 1436 is part of an evolving trend toward requiring greater transparency concerning ... Continue Reading

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tags: city of bell, closed session, executive compensation, open session, oral report, Public meetings, sb 1436,

Court Holds Six-Minute Discussion on Non-Agendized Matter Doesn’t Violate Brown Act

by on August 15, 2016

posted in Meetings, Recent Court Decisions,

When a person raises an issue not on a meeting agenda, how much can council or board members discuss the issue without running afoul of the Brown Act?  A recent court case provides some helpful guidance. In Cruz v. Culver City, a California appellate court held that a six-minute discussion about how to place an item on a future agenda did not violate the Brown Act.  Fortunately for local agencies, the court rejected a challenge to the discussion that had relied on a hyper-technical reading of the Act’s language.  ... Continue Reading

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tags: Agendas, Brown Act, Discussion on Unagendized Items,

Daily Journal Publishes Our Public Records Article

by on August 1, 2016

posted in Public Records Act,

In its July 25, 2016 edition, the Daily Journal published our article, Making Effective Public Records Requests.  The article discusses city attorney Derek Cole’s perspective on how to streamline the records-request process and obtain records more quickly.  A link to the article is here: Making Effective Records Requests Article  ... Continue Reading

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tags: California Public Records Act, Records Requests,

A Brief Detour Into Family Law – “Date Of Separation”

by on July 27, 2016

posted in Legislative Updates,

Governor Brown signed SB 1255 on July 25, 2016 which becomes effective on January 1, 2017. The law overturns a controversial decision by the California Supreme Court in 2015 which re-set the date of separation in family law. Traditionally, when a marriage dissolved, the parties moved out of the shared residence and into their own places. Over time, this began to change, particularly with the advent of the recession. People realized that if they could co-exist in the home, they could live more cheaply and more easily co-parent their children, even while considering the marriage to be dissolved. ... Continue Reading

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tags: California Supreme Court, Family Law, Governor Brown, Marriage of Davis, New Legislation, Separation,

Paying Medical Marijuana Dispensary Taxes Doesn’t Violate Constitutional Privilege Against Self-Incrimination

by on July 25, 2016

posted in Medical Marijuana, Proposition 215,

When cities tax medical marijuana dispensaries, does the requirement that dispensary operators pay the taxes violate the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination? No, says a California appellate court. In City of San Jose v. Medimarts, Inc., the Sixth District Court of Appeal held that a corporate entity and its president could not invoke the Fifth Amendment privilege on the ground that paying the tax may subject them to criminal liability under federal law, which—at least on the books—criminalizes all transactions involving marijuana, even for medical purposes. The court’s decision ... Continue Reading

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tags: Collective Entity Doctrine, Fifth Amendment, Local Taxes, Medical Marijuana, Right Against Self-Incrimination,

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