Disputes with Local GovernmentsDisputes with local government can arise in several contexts. Environmental problems and controversial land uses often create public and legal disputes with local governments.  Other disputes with local governments originate in building codes, development regulations, permits, variances, historic preservation, easements, annexations, condemnations, property-tax appeals, and rezonings.

Unfortunately, just about every municipality now has thousands of pages of codes that can complicate, delay, or prevent the renovation or development of your property. Most delays appear to occur at the worst of times. Though it may be tempting to argue and sue, not all disputes need the intervention of courts for a resolution. Most disputes with municipalities can be resolved without litigation but through intelligent and patient negotiation. There is a need to carefully evaluate the codes and the situation first, as well as the goals of the public policy and regulators. After making a realistic evaluation and a flexible plan for going forward, then you can negotiate, oftentimes for a “win-win.”

After persistent good-faith negotiation, you still need to file an administrative appeal or a lawsuit, you can do so. An argumentative attitude from the beginning, however, will likely cause government agencies to stiffen from the start. Keep in mind that it is the party with government immunities that usually wins in court, so a thoughtful negotiation through the regulations is generally prerequisite to a successful appeal.

Consult with an Attorney

You have the right to protect yourself from government mistreatment, violations, and intrusions. Asserting your legal rights against the government, nonetheless, can be a difficult undertaking. Even the smallest of towns often has the legal resources to oppose your claims (often through insurer-provided counsel).  Moreover, state legislatures design statutes and regulations to protect counties, towns, and cities against litigation.

If you have reason to believe that a local government has infringed upon your rights, it would be in your best interests to seek help from a competent attorney who can resolve disputes with the local government before the need for litigation and arbitration arises.

A skilled attorney can provide practical and effective advice and the best possible options for your situation. James B. Griffin, LLC is willing to assert your legal rights against the local government, and has the experience and know-how to handle disputes with them a timely, cost-effective and solution-based manner. If you have concerns about your local government or have a dispute against a city or county, schedule a consultation with him by calling (205) 502-2199 today.