Atkinson v. Anne Arundel County

In 2002, county voters adopted an amendment to the county charter relating to the resolution by binding arbitration of collective bargaining impasses with the county's law enforcement employees and uniformed firefighters. In 2003, the county council adopted an ordinance implementing that charter provision. In 2011, the county council amended the 2003 ordinance to provide that binding arbitration did not require the council to appropriate funds or enact legislation necessary to implement a final written award in arbitration. An uncodified section of the 2011 council bill also provided that, if any part of the 2011 ordinance were held invalid, the entire county code section enacted by the 2003 ordinance, as amended through the 2011 ordinance, would be deemed repealed by operation of law, with the result that impasses would be addressed by a code section that did not authorize binding arbitration. Petitioners sought a declaratory judgment that the 2011 ordinance violated the 2002 charter amendment. The circuit court held the 2002 charter amendment violated the Maryland Constitution. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the 2002 charter amendment bound the county council; and (2) portions of the 2011 ordinance, as well as its uncodified section 3, violated the charter and were invalid. Remanded. View "Atkinson v. Anne Arundel County" on Justia Law