Justia Government Contracts Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Minnesota Supreme Court
Jennissen v. City of Bloomington
The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the decision of the court of appeals holding that a proposed charter amendment was not manifestly unconstitutional but was an improper referendum, holding that the proposed amendment was not an improper exercise of the charter amendment power and was not manifestly unconstitutional.After the City of Bloomington changed from a system of open trash collection to a system of organized collection a group of residents attempted, through an amendment to the City Charter, to require that voters pre-approve a change in the method of trash collection. The City refused to put the proposed charter amendment on the ballot. In the original appeal, the Supreme Court remanded the case to the court of appeals for decision on whether the proposed amendment would violate the Contract Clauses of the United States and Minnesota Constitutions and whether it was an attempt to exercise the voter referendum power through an improper means. On remand, the court of appeals concluded that the proposed amendment was an improper referendum but was not unconstitutional. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding that the proposed charter amendment was not an improper referendum and did not violate the Contract Clauses. View "Jennissen v. City of Bloomington" on Justia Law
Clark v. City of Saint Paul
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court directing the City of Saint Paul to put a referendum question regarding the City's ordinance that established organized waste collection in the City on the ballot for the next municipal election, concluding that holding a referendum on the issue will not unconstitutionally impair the City's contract with haulers that provide organized waste collection.The City refused to put the referendum question on the ballot, concluding that the referendum was preempted by state statutes that govern solid waste collection, conflicts with state policy, and would by an unconstitutional interference with the City's contract with the haulers. Respondents with filed a petition challenging the City's refusal. The district court granted the petition. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the City has not demonstrated that a substantial impairment of its contractual obligation will occur with the referendum vote, and therefore, the Court need not address the other two factors. View "Clark v. City of Saint Paul" on Justia Law
Rochester City Lines Co. v. First Transit, Inc.
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals declaring the City of Rochester’s competitive bidding process and the resulting contract awarded to First Transit invalid.The City owned a fleet of buses operated by First Transit, Inc. since 2012. Until 2012, those buses were operated by Rochester City Lines Company (RCL). In the instant case, RCL challenged the City’s competitive bidding process, which resulted in the bus operation contract being awarded to First Transit. The City’s appointed moderator rejected RCL’s protest. The court of appeals, however, ruled that the City’s request for proposals (RFP) appeared impermissibly biased against RCL. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case, holding that RCL forfeited any appearance-of-bias argument. View "Rochester City Lines Co. v. First Transit, Inc." on Justia Law