BB&K In the News Jan 15, 2015

Supreme Court Sides with T-Mobile in Tower Siting Case, Over Roberts Dissent

BB&K Partner Gerard Lederer Discusses High-Profile Cell Tower Regulation Case in Several Telecommunications Publications

In a closely-watched case, the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed that a local government need not state the reasons for its denial of a new cell-tower application in its written decision, so long as its reasons are also available in a written record released at roughly the same time.

Although the cell-tower industry may claim victory in T-Mobile South v. City of Roswell, Georgia because the Court imposed a new narrow requirement that the two documents be published roughly contemporaneously, the decision is likely to be viewed as a positive for local governments.

Best Best & Krieger LLP Partner Gerard Lederer told Communications Daily (subscription required) in an article published Thursday: “While local governments are disappointed that the majority in Roswell created a new obligation of roughly contemporaneous publication, we are pleased the all nine justices clarified that the documents may be separate….

“Moreover, the directive that courts should provide a great deal of deference to local governments’ decisions in these matters can be found in the majority opinion and is highlighted ” in the separate opinions, he added. “It is a Pyrrhic victory at best. I suspect elements of the Roswell decision will be cited more often by local government advocates than industry counsel for years to come.”

Gerry made similar comments in an article published Wednesday by Telecommunications Reports (subscription required). 

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