Court's Application of Civil Rights Law Opens Local Liability in Telecom

By Otero, Juan | Nation's Cities Weekly, May 8, 2000 | Go to article overview

Court's Application of Civil Rights Law Opens Local Liability in Telecom


Otero, Juan, Nation's Cities Weekly


In a ruling that could have serious implications for cities, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, has ruled that state and local governments may be held liable for attorneys' fees for violations of the 1996 Telecommunications Act (the Act) and sections 1983 and 1988 of the 1871 Civil Rights Act.

The ruling may well prompt major civil rights claims against cities given the vast sums at stake and the trend to undermine local zoning authority. Moreover, cities and towns could be subjected to millions in litigation costs due to the inherently ambiguous Telecommunications Act of 1996.

The case, AT&T Wireless PCS, Inc., v. City of Atlanta, was initiated after Atlanta's Bureau of Planning invalidated, for procedural reasons, AT&T Wireless' special-use permit to provide personal communications services. The Bureau of Planning said the application should have been filed with the City Council. AT&T Wireless then submitted an application for the special permit to the City Council which was denied without any explanation.

AT&T Wireless then filed suit in district court pursuant to violations of the Act and the 1871 Civil Rights Act, specifically sections 1983 and 1988. Sections 1988 of the Civil Rights Act allows plaintiffs whom prevail in establishing a violation under Section 1983 to recover their attorneys' fees.

AT&T Wireless suit sought a court order compelling the City Council to grant AT&T Wireless's application, as well as seeking compensatory damages and attorney's fees. The district court found that Atlanta violated a provision of the Act that required the city to render its decision in writing supported by "substantial evidence" contained in a written record. The substantial evidence standard requires that local zoning authorities' decisions denying permits for construction of wireless antenna towers be "in writing and supported by substantial evidence contained in the written record. The district court issued a writ of mandamus ordering the Atlanta City Council to grant AT&T Wireless's application.

The district court rejected AT&T Wireless's motion for summary judgment on its civil rights claims holding that sections 1983 and 1988 may not be used to enforce the Act. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Court's Application of Civil Rights Law Opens Local Liability in Telecom
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.