Miscellaneous

League members may also request an opinion directly from the League via email. Please include the subject heading and number when making such a request.

1R1. Describes the services that the League's legal staff provides (e.g., responding to phone and written inquiries, writing amicus briefs, educating local officials, providing sample ordinances) and how municipal officials can obtain those services. Also explains what services the League's attorneys cannot perform. Summarizes League policy regarding responding to requests for formal advisory opinions. 4/29/05.

1R2. May We Help You? Understanding League Legal Services. Legal comment describes the services that the League’s legal staff provides (e.g., responding to phone and written inquiries, writing amicus briefs, educating local officials, providing sample ordinances) and how municipal officials can obtain those services. Also explains what services the League’s attorneys cannot perform. Summarizes League policy regarding responding to requests for formal advisory opinions. 5/31/14.

1R3.  May We Help You? Understanding League Legal Services. Legal comment describes the services that the League’s legal staff provides (e.g., responding to phone and written inquiries, writing amicus briefs, educating local officials, providing sample ordinances) and how municipal officials can obtain those services. Also explains what services the League’s attorneys cannot perform. Summarizes League policy regarding responding to requests for formal advisory opinions. 4/30/15.

2. Explains the functions and powers of drainage districts and county drainage boards, and the interaction between drainage boards and other local units of government. Drainage boards are authorized to levy cost assessments against lands in a drainage district that are owned by a county, town, village or city. Sec. 88.48, Stats. In addition,. Sec. 88.64, Stats., authorizes drainage boards to levy cost assessments against a municipality with territory upstream from any drain for the costs of enlarging or maintaining that drain that are attributable to increased waterflow from land within the municipality. 9/23/98.

3. Section 404(a) of the Clean Water Act, which authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to regulate the discharge of fill material into "navigable waters," does not give the Corps jurisdiction over nonnavigable, isolated, intrastate waters. Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. United States Army Corps of Engineers, 69 U.S.L.W. 4048 (2001). 1/31/01.

4. Summarizes municipal issues addressed in the 2001-2003 biennial state budget, 2001 Wisconsin Act 16. 8/31/01.

5. Discusses key concepts of the public trust doctrine including navigability, ordinary high-water mark, public rights in navigable waters, and preservation of those rights by the state, local government and the public. 6/28/02.

6. Dockominium scheme that seeks to convey condominium unit not intended for any independent use is not a valid condominium conveyance of real property under Wisconsin condominium law and transfer of appurtenant riparian rights by such method is contrary to Wis. Stat. sec. 30.133. ABKA Limited Partnership v. DNR, 2002 WI 106 (July 16, 2002). 7/31/02.

7. Summarizes new state laws affecting municipalities enacted during the 2003-2004 legislative session.

8. Examining regulation to determine whether it "substantially advances" government interests is not a valid means of identifying compensable regulatory takings under the Fifth Amendment because it prescribes an inquiry in the nature of a due process test which has no proper place in Takings jurisprudence. Such an inquiry is a means-end test. Because it provides no information about the magnitude or character of the burden a particular regulation imposes upon property rights, or about how any regulatory burden is distributed among property owners, it does not help identify those regulations whose effects are functionally comparable to government appropriation or invasion of private property. Moreover, its application as a test would pose serious practical difficulties because it would require courts to scrutinize the efficacy of regulations, a task for which courts are not well suited, and would empower courts to substitute their predictive judgments for those of elected legislatures and expert agencies. Lingle v. Chevron, U.S.A., Inc., 544 U.S. ___ , 2005 WL 1200710, (U.S. May 23, 2005 (No. 04-163). 5/31/05.

9. Summarizes new state laws affecting municipalities that were enacted during the 2007-2008 legislative session. 3/31/08.

10. Explores how local governments are using social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and others to communicate with the public and lists some factors to consider when deciding whether the use of social media will benefit the municipality and whether to use a centralized or decentralized approach. (Stephanie Weiss, League of Minnesota Cities) 1/1/10.

11. Summarizes new state laws affecting municipalities that were enacted during the 2009-2010 legislative session. 6/30/10.

12. Reviews most frequently asked questions concerning Wisconsin’s new Concealed Carry law, sec. 175.60. 10/31/11.

13. Summarizes new state laws affecting municipalities that were enacted during the 2011-2012 legislative session. 4/30/12.

14. Legal comment explains how to read legislation, focusing on the basic components, format and structure of legislation and where to find additional information regarding legislative proposals and activity. 2/1/13.

15. Reviews provisions in the 2013-2015 state budget, Act 20, affecting municipalities, including expansion of levy limits to include certain fee revenue; preemption of residency restrictions on municipal employees; and creation of a new process for challenging the reasonableness of municipal fees. 7/31/13.

16. Overview of 2015-17 state budget, 2015 Wis. Act 55, explains how budget affects municipalities with regard to shared revenue, levy limits, expenditure restraint, transportation aids, recycling grants, payments for municipal services program, state aid for tax-exempt computers and more. 7/31/15. 

17. Reviews the 2015-2016 legislative session and newly enacted laws affecting municipalities, including charge-back legislation, TIF law changes, stormwater law changes, and municipal ability to regulate landlords. 3/31/16.