City of Damascus v. Brown

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Municipal Law
  • Date Filed: 10-22-2014
  • Case #: A156920
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Armstrong, P.J. for the Court; Nakamoto, J.; & Egan, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

HB 4029 constitutes an unconstitutional delegation of power because it delegates the power to determine the city's boundary out of the hands of the legislature and city, and into the hands of “self-interested private landowners” without procedural safeguards.

House Bill 4029 (HB 4029) allowed land owners with property on the outside boundary of Damascus to apply to withdraw from the city. The city is was required to approve these applications. Damascus asserted that HB 4029 was an “unconstitutional delegation of governmental authority to private individuals and violates the city’s… constitutionally protected home-rule authority.” De Young, a resident of Damascus, filed petitions for review as well. The Court examined whether petitioners had standing to petition for judicial review, and, if they did, whether HB 4029 is unconstitutional. The Court held Damascus did not have standing as it is not part of “the public” that may present their case at a hearing on property withdrawals. However, the Court further held De Young did have standing. The Court concluded that HB 4029 was an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority because it delegates the authority to determine the city’s boundary away from legislators, and leaves the finding of facts necessary to make that determination to “self-interested private landowners” without procedural safeguards. Petitions dismissed save A156922 and A156923 which are reversed on cross petition.

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