blog, articles & publications

Sign Regulation/U.S. Supreme Court Decision

Recently, in Reed v. Gilbert, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a sign ordinance under the First Amendment in a case that may have broad implications for local sign regulations.  Although the case arose in the context of temporary sign regulations, the case may affect any local sign ordinance that distinguishes between signs based on the content of signs.  In light of Reed v. Gilbert, it is important for municipalities to review their sign ordinances to determine if the regulations differentiate between signs based upon the message conveyed by signs.  If so, those ordinance provisions should be reviewed for possible amendment to minimize the risk of legal challenges under the First Amendment.  Please let us know if we can assist you.  Read More

Freedom of Information Act Deadline - July 1, 2015

PA 563 of 2014 ("PA 563") amended the Michigan Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") effective July 1, 2015.  PA 563 amends FOIA in several major respects including the manner in which fees and costs may be charged for responding to FOIA requests.  Pursuant to PA 563, all municipalities in Michigan must have in effect by July 1, 2015 new written procedures and guidelines to implement the amended FOIA.  If a municipality does not comply with these new requirements by July 1, 2015, that municipality will still be required to process and respond to FOIA requests but will not be permitted to charge fees and costs for those responses unless and until the municipality comes into compliance.  If your municipality needs assistance with establishing and implementing the new procedures and guidelines required by PA 563, please contact Bloom Sluggett Morgan, PC.  Read More

Jeff Sluggett appointed to Advisory Council by the Stauffer-Kentwood Foundation

Jeff Sluggett was recently appointed to an Advisory Council established by the Stauffer-Kentwood Foundation.  The Advisory Council has been tasked with investigating the viability of establishing a community foundation that would serve the greater Kentwood area.

The Michigan Lake & Stream Associations, Inc Annual Convention - 2015

Cliff Bloom will be teaching seminars on May 1 and 2, 2015 at the annual MLSA Convention at Boyne Mountain in Northern Michigan.  The topics will include water/riparian law, buying and selling waterfront property, local government regulation of the waterfront, easements and similar issues.

Crystal Morgan and Jeff Sluggett to Make Presentation at the 2015 Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks Master Academy

Crystal Morgan and Jeff Sluggett will make a presentation at the 2015 Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks Master Academy on March 25, 2015 in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan titled Legal Updates.  The presentation will cover legal developments including new Freedom of Information Act amendments, Open Meetings Act issues, election law changes, and other matters.  Read More

Crystal Morgan appointed to Spring Lake Township Recreation Committee

In February 2015, BSM attorney Crystal Morgan was appointed to a 3-year term on the Spring Lake Township Recreation Committee.  Crystal is originally from Grand Rapids where BSM’s offices are located, but she and her husband currently reside in Spring Lake Township (Ottawa County) and enjoy the water, trails and other recreational activities offered there.  She looks forward to serving her community in this capacity, and brings years of municipal law experience and a love of outdoor activities with her.  Read More

Bloom Sluggett Morgan Recognized as 2015 Best Law Firm

Bloom Sluggett Morgan, PC (BSM) has been recognized among the nation’s preeminent law firms in U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 “Best Law Firms” for its work in tax litigation and tax law.  Read More

Bloom Sluggett Morgan Partners Recognized as Super Lawyers for 2014

The peer review group Super Lawyers, published by Thomson Reuters, has again named Cliff Bloom and Jeff Sluggett as Super Lawyers and Crystal Morgan as a Rising Star (the designation for attorneys under 40 years of age or who have practiced law for fewer than 10 years), all in the practice area of Government/Municipal Law.  We thank our clients and staff for making this recognition possible.  Read More

Public Meeting Invocation Decision:

Recently, in Town of Greece, New York v Galloway, the United States Supreme Court considered whether a prayer given before monthly town board meetings violated the Establishment Clause.  Since 1999 the town of Greece began inviting local clergy to deliver an invocation before the town board meeting.  The local clergy, all of who were unpaid volunteers, were selected from a local directory of congregations and were free to determine the content of their invocations.  While the town maintained that any minster or layperson was welcome to give the invocation; from 1999-2007, all the participating minsters were Christian.  Read More

Urban Farming: Better Direction

The degree to which a local government can regulate or restrict urban farming has, until recently, been unclear. However, in April the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development approved the 2014 Site Selection Generally Accepted Agriculture Management Practices (“GAAMPs”) under the Michigan Right to Farm Act, which provide better direction for local units of government.  Read More