Michigan Township Law

Bauckham, Thall, Seeber, Kaufman & Koches P.C.

Municipal Attorneys

Legal Services

Planning and Zoning

Planning and zoning matters are perhaps the cornerstone of municipal law, and our attorneys can provide advice and guidance on all manner of planning and zoning issues.

We assist municipalities in reviewing and updating their master plans and zoning ordinances to keep up with changing trends. We also frequently attend meetings of Planning Commissions and Zoning Boards of Appeals regarding special land use applications and permits. Additionally, we have expertise in rural zoning, including the Right to Farm Act.

Ordinance Enforcement

There are a wide range of enforcement measures a municipality can undertake, and our firm has handled all manner of cases. We regularly prosecute zoning violations in District and Circuit Courts, including the proper use of land and structures within a given zoning district.

We also prosecute blight enforcement, condemnation, and dangerous building proceedings. Further, our attorneys regularly appear in criminal courts on traffic, misdemeanor, and civil infraction citations.

Municipal Taxation

There are many ways a municipality can obtain the revenue it needs to provide essential services to its residents, and we have handled just about all of them. Our attorneys are experts in tax assessments and appeals, and have appeared numerous times before the Michigan Tax Tribunal to protect your tax revenue.

We have also assisted in drafting, adopting, and carrying out Special Assessment Districts and bonds to help defray the significant costs associated with water and sewer services, garbage collection, road repair, and emergency services equipment.

Ordinance Drafting & Adoption

In addition to Ordinance Enforcement, our attorneys can assist in every stage of a municipal ordinance from drafting to adoption. We provide counseling to ensure your municipality is taking full advantage of its legal authority to adopt and enforce ordinances.

Ordinances can cover a wide range of subjects, including zoning, blight cleanup, cemetery management, parks and recreation, marijuana, and criminal violations.

Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) can be daunting, particularly to those unfamiliar with its many intricacies. Our firm can help curb that confusion, and provide advice on tackling everything from everyday requests to those that may require review and disclosure of thousands of documents.

We provide detailed review of redactions, cost recovery, and ways to avoid getting caught up in a time-consuming and expensive FOIA lawsuit.

Constitutional Law

Our attorneys are regularly called on by the Michigan Townships Association and others to assist in lawsuits of state- and nation-wide importance.

We frequently submit briefs to the Michigan Courts of Appeals and the Michigan Supreme Court in an effort to protect municipal authority in Michigan, and have also submitted briefs to the United States Supreme Court regarding municipal law.

OTher Municipal Services

In addition to all the services already mentioned, we also provide advice on almost all municipal issues, including:

  • Contract negotiation, including sewer and water agreements
  • Election law
  • Human resource matters, including police and fire personnel
  • Utility management
  • Municipal financing
  • Medical marijuana
  • Solar and other renewable energy
  • Annexation and detachment
  • Environmental regulation
  • First amendment and privacy

Michigan Townships Association

Our firm has a long and enduring history of support for Michigan townships and other municipalities, having proudly served as the Michigan Townships Associations’ general counsel since its incorporation in 1953. The Michigan Townships Association is the largest community of local government officials in the State of Michigan, with over 99% of Michigan Townships counting themselves as members. Our attorneys frequently speak at MTA events, assist MTA staff in reviewing and updating pending legislation, and advising the MTA’s Board of Directors and Legal Defense Fund on legal issues and activities of the Association.

You can learn more about the Michigan Townships Association at their website: www.michigantownships.org.