Justia U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Utilities Law
Davis Construction filed suit against the Authority seeking a refund of the impact fees it had paid to the Water and Sewer District. At issue was whether the County acted ultra vires in collecting fees on behalf of the District from Davis Construction for water and sewer services that the District did not provide and had no concrete plans or immediate ability to provide. The court affirmed the district court's ruling that the County acted ultra vires in collecting the fees on behalf of the District and ordered both the County and the successor to the District, the Authority, to refund the fees in the amount of $34,268.96, together with prejudgment interest. The court also affirmed the district court's award of attorneys fees and costs to Davis Construction. View "Tommy Davis Construction, Inc. v. Cape Fear Public Utility" on Justia Law

Posted in: Utilities Law
Plaintiff, operator of an electricity plant, sued defendant ("the county"), seeking to enjoin Expedited Bill 29-10, which imposed a levy on large stationary emitters of carbon dioxide within the county, on the ground that it violated the United States and Maryland Constitutions. At issue was whether a Montgomery County exaction on carbon dioxide emissions, levied only upon plaintiff's electricity-generating facility, was a tax or a fee. The court held that the carbon charge, which targeted a single emitter and was located squarely within the county's own "programmatic efforts to reduce" greenhouse gas emissions, was a punitive and regulatory fee over which the federal courts retained jurisdiction. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded for further proceedings.