Government Operations and Community Development

Lack of Reimbursement of Municipal Legal Costs

The Mandate: A plaintiff can sue any municipality so long as the statutory notice requirements are complied with. Oftentimes plaintiffs rush to comply with the notice requirements and, in so doing, commence litigation against the wrong municipality. Despite this wrongful commencement, municipalities are still obligated to expend money and resources defending the lawsuit.

The Cost: In addition to municipalities expending significant time and money defending these wrongful lawsuits, these suits clog up the courts, increasing judicial delay and the overall costs of the legal system.

The Solution: Require individuals or businesses who sue the wrong municipality to reimburse the municipality for all legal costs incurred. This would encourage plaintiffs to thoroughly research the proper parties and may ultimately reduce the number of municipalities that are wrongfully sued.