Supreme Court Sides With Company in Cell-Tower Dispute

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    Supreme Court Sides With Company in Cell-Tower Dispute

    Supreme Court sides with company in cell tower dispute

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court sided with cellphone providers over municipal governments Wednesday in a dispute over the siting of cell towers.

    In an unusual 6-3 split, the court's majority said that under the Telecommunications Act, local governments must provide reasons for denying a cell tower application around the time of the denial. In this case, the city of Roswell, Ga., notified T-Mobile South 26 days later, leaving only four days to challenge the denial in court.

    The opinion was written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the dissent, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Clarence Thomas.

    "A locality cannot stymie or burden the judicial review contemplated by the statute by delaying the release of its reasons for a substantial time after it conveys its written denial," Sotomayor said.

    Supreme Court Sides with T-Mobile in Cell Tower Siting Dispute

    The United States Supreme Court today sided with T-Mobile and said that a town in Georgia did not provide a timely explanation of why it denied a request to put up a cell tower.

    According to Reuters, the case dealt with a 2010 T-Mobile South tower construction request that was denied by Roswell, Georgia. In the initial letter, the city did not disclose the reason for the denial. That information was made available 26 days later when the meeting minutes were made public.

    Dave Miller, T-Mobile Executive Vice President and General Counsel, applauded the Court’s decision requiring local governments to “contemporaneously” provide reasons for a denial.

    “This is a great victory for consumers who demand reliable wireless coverage in their homes, where they work and while mobile. Transparent and fair decision-making by local governments will allow wireless service providers to improve the nation's wireless networks to meet consumers demand," Miller said in a statement.​

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