Municipal Law

Municipal law, The Munilaw Group's primary practice area, is a complex, diverse, and often convoluted area of practice. It is not a field of law to be dabbled in.

The Munilaw Group has represented litigants on both sides of the practice in this area since 1993. We also regularly advise local governments and individuals in many facets of this topic. We have handled matters involving land use, zoning and sub-divisions; taxation, employment, use of official powers and discretion, and local legislative actions. 

Attorney Soltani is the author of "Enforcement of Local Land-Use Ordinances in New Hampshire" and its update published in the New Hampshire Bar Journal. We concentrate in the area of police discipline, use of force and related issues. Our focus in this area remains the employer/employee relationship between the town and its emergency services personnel and police.

Municipal law is also referred to as local government law. A local government is a town, city, county, village district, water district, school district, sewer district, or other entity chartered by a state to act as a political subdivision of the state.

The size of a local government is of little or no relevance: duties, responsibilities, and functions remain the same -with perhaps a few minor alterations. Sometimes a local government's different duties and operations are inconsistent with one another. For example, a  town in New Hampshire is required by Supreme Court mandate to aid and assist taxpayers and property owners, even though a given taxpayer or property owner may be an adversary  of the town. Similarly, the governing body of a municipal entity is charged with assisting all those who qualify for public assistance;  yet, at the same time, the same governing body is required to carry out its fiduciary duty to the municipality by saving tax dollars and refusing to over-expend the budget.

A municipal government is an employment unit within the definition of New Hampshire law. A municipal government must, therefore, abide by all federal and state laws governing employee-employer relations and labor law mandates. Although the state of New Hampshire has appropriated sovereign immunity to itself on many issues, it has withheld much of the immunity from cities and towns, exposing them to greater liability. Additionally, town employees are public employees within the definition of Public Labor Relations Board and are subject to the protection offered by laws governing public employees and their ability to organize and unionize. 

Click on the Our Cases link for a brief description of some of our cases. Of course, no attorney or firm can guarantee a particular outcome in any case, and all disputes are dependent on the specific facts and circumstances of the specific case or dispute.

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