Cal Supreme Court Rules for San Francisco against T-Mobile in PROW Case

Today the California Supreme Court ruled in favor of the City and County of San Francisco, and against T-Mobile and its wireless industry co-parties in a case regarding how a local government can manage the public right of ways in this state.

The decision has, as of this writing, been out for only 15 minutes, so instead of trying to summarize 24 pages, I’ll let you simply start by reading the decision, which is here: S238001.

Our deep-dive analysis will be posted here shortly.   For now, however, Lory Kendirjian (our senior paralegal) reminds me that this decision also settles the question about whether a local government can consider aesthetics when evaluating a permit request subject to PUC Section 7901 (see: Sprint PCS Assets v. City of Palos Verdes Estates (9th Cir. 2009) 583 F.3d 716.  In that case, the Ninth Circuit ruling on California state law found no conflict between section 7901 and PVE’s local ordinance that conditioned permit approval on aesthetic considerations. (I served as the technology expert in that case, which was argued by Javan Rad, now Senior Deputy Attorney in the City of Pasadena.)

Congratulations to William Sanders and Erin Bernstein of the CCSF’s City Attorney’s Office, who tried the case on behalf of San Francisco (with yours truly as the City’s wireless expert witness), and to Jeff Melching of Rutan and Tucker.



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