Michelle Martinez Reyes, Chief Marketing Officer
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GREENSPOON MARDER SUCCESSFULLY REPRESENTS CITY OF PEMBROKE PINES
Orlando, FL – August 1, 2016 – Usher L. (Larry) Brown of Greenspoon Marder successfully represented the City of Pembroke Pines in its lawsuit against Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), a publicly traded operator of prison facilities for the federal government, state governments and foreign governments. On July 27, 2016, a unanimous panel of the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed a circuit judgment in favor of the City of Pembroke Pines.
The judgment affirmed that a city utility is not required to serve property outside the city limit. An exception was if the City had unequivocally expressed its intent to serve all property in a service area. The City had not passed an ordinance or formal resolution establishing a service area, nor had it created a service area outside its boundaries under the procedures in Chapter 180 of the Florida Statutes. Another exception was if the City had entered a contract with CCA, but the Court found it had not entered such a contract.
The opinion is of great importance for local governments that wish to preserve the maximum rights of sovereign immunity they may lawfully assert, and is also of great importance for developers who need to safely acquire the necessary vested rights to successfully develop.
The trial court decision becomes final 15 days after the initial decision, during which time CCA may move for rehearing.
This victory was spearheaded by Greenspoon Marder shareholder
Usher L. (Larry) Brown, with assistance from shareholder Victor S. Kline.
Editor’s Note – Case Background:
In 2005, CCA purchased an approximate 20-acre parcel of land located outside of the City, but adjacent to it. In 2011, CCA was selected by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to build and operate a large detention facility for illegal aliens arrested for crimes. Then the adjacent municipality of Southwest Ranches entered a contract with CCA to joint venture the detention facility project. Starting in 2011, CCA and the adjoining Town worked with staff at Pembroke Pines to secure a vested right to receive water and sewer utilities from the City of Pembroke Pines. Initially the City was moving to provide the utility service until citizens protested a large jail being operated in close proximity to thousands of residences, schools, and many libraries, parks, places of worship and YMCAs in Pembroke Pines.
The City Commission listened to its citizens, and authorized attorney Usher L. (Larry) Brown to research whether the City was required to provide water and sewer service to the CCA site outside the City limits. Ultimately, Brown successfully obtained a trial court judgment that was affirmed in this appellate court decision. Pembroke Pines could have served the site with utilities, but made a political decision not to provide the service, and instead directed attorney Brown to seek a declaratory judgment from the court if it had to provide the service.
Case Title: CCA v. City of Pembroke Pines
Case Number: 4D14-4815
About Greenspoon Marder
Greenspoon Marder is a national full-service business law firm with 240 attorneys and 26 locations across the United States. We are ranked amongst
American Lawyer’s Am Law 200, as one of the top law firms in the U.S. since 2015. Since our inception in 1981, our firm has been committed to providing excellent client service through our cross-disciplinary, client-team approach. Our mission is to understand the challenges that our clients face, build collaborative relationships, and craft creative solutions designed and executed with long-term strategic goals in mind. We serve Fortune 500, middle-market public and private companies, start-ups, emerging businesses, individuals and entrepreneurs nationwide.
Natalie Villanueva, Director of Marketing
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