What is a municipal lawyer

Legal advice in local law - presentation of a field of law


1. What actually is local law?

"Local law" or "municipal law" means comprehensively all legal provisions that affect the legal status of local authorities (cities / municipalities, districts), their subdivisions (e.g. localities) and organs (mayors, district administrators, local councils, city councils, district assemblies) and their associations (Special purpose associations, administrative associations, administrative communities). Local law includes the external legal relationships between local authorities and the state and third parties (for example with regard to the assignment of tasks, with regard to local supervision), but also internal legal relationships within local authorities and, above all, the legal position between bodies (so-called local constitutional law).

Local law includes the legal provisions that regulate the formation of local representative bodies, i.e. local voting rights. Municipal law also includes all special provisions for the economic activity of municipalities (so-called municipal commercial law). The budget management of municipal corporations also represents a further sub-area (so-called municipal budget law). Not to be forgotten are special regulations for the collection of taxes (administration fees, user fees, contributions, expense reimbursements) for the use of municipal facilities, which is the subject of municipal tax law. Finally, local law also includes the entire area of ​​local cooperation law.

2. In which disputes is there a need for advice in local law?

There is a regular need for advice in municipal law

- in connection with the legally secure enactment of municipal statutes (main statutes, cost statutes, fee statutes, statutes on the use of public facilities, compensation statutes, etc.),
- when relocating public tasks from municipalities to rural districts or the state (high zoning),
- when municipalities are burdened by the legislature with new tasks, in particular with regard to insufficient funding of additional tasks,
- in connection with the delimitation of so-called self-administration tasks and tasks in the assigned sphere of activity (if communal tasks are not fully communalized),
- in disputes about access to public facilities,
- when using public facilities (especially town halls) by political parties and groups,
- when distinguishing between compulsory and voluntary tasks,
- if municipalities want to take on certain public tasks (within the framework of the so-called task determination law),
- when delimiting tasks within municipal bodies (i.e. between district administrator and district council or mayor and local council),
- when delimiting responsibilities for "day-to-day administration",
- in the event of disputes about the content and interpretation of certain assignments of tasks or reservations of approval by the district council or the municipal council in the main municipal statutes,
- when examining and approving petitions for citizens,
- in connection with the binding nature and implementation of referendums,
- in disputes about the agenda,
- to consider applications from parliamentary groups or individual members of the municipal council or district council (in particular with regard to the inclusion of certain items on the agenda),
- in the application and interpretation of the rules of procedure of municipal bodies,
- in connection with the effectiveness of resolutions,
- when clarifying whether certain items on the agenda may be discussed or prepared in public or non-public meetings,
- when interpreting decisions taken,
- in the event of disputes in connection with the effectiveness of resolutions (e.g. with regard to compliance with notice periods, sufficient publication of the agenda, compliance with the involvement of committees provided for in the main statutes or rules of procedure),
- in connection with healing regulations for municipal resolutions and municipal statutes,
- with regard to approval reservations in favor of the legal supervisory authority (e.g. in the case of municipal real estate transactions, the sale of assets, the establishment of municipal enterprises, the participation in commercial enterprises, the economic activity of municipalities),
- in connection with effective legal representation by mayors, deputy mayors, employees within the local government,
- contesting local election decisions,
- when examining or defending against municipal supervisory measures (e.g. complaints, instructions, first name, appointment of an administrative officer),
- Legal status of municipal parliamentary groups / formation of municipal parliamentary groups / financing of municipal parliamentary groups,
- Assumption of costs for local constitutional disputes within the municipality,
- in connection with the preparation and approval of municipal budgets,
- in the drafting of articles of association for municipal companies in private law,
- in the management of own businesses,
- in the negotiation and formulation of agreements on purpose and other public law contracts,
- when assigning tasks to special-purpose associations,
- in disputes about leaving special-purpose associations,
- in disputes about the levying of levies (district levies, association levies),
- in connection with the establishment of new security associations of ineffective special-purpose associations,
- when choosing the legal form for the structuring of communal usage relationships,
- when collecting local taxes,
- in connection with the contestation of communal notices or in the case of norm controls against communal statutes.

3. Who needs legal advice on local law?

Need advice on issues relating to municipal law

- Cities and communes,
- counties,
- Special purpose associations, administrative associations, administrative communities,
- individual city councils, individual municipal councils, individual district council members,
- municipal enterprises / municipal companies and their decision-makers,
- local parliamentary groups,
- Mayors and local councils,
- local supervisory authorities.

In addition, legal advice also needs actors who are either active in the communal sphere of activity, advise in the communal sphere of influence or provide services for communal bodies. These include, for example

- tax advisors and auditors,
- Planning and engineering offices (e.g. when drawing up development plans and zoning plans),
- Business enterprises that have entered into or intend to enter into public-private partnerships with municipal bodies,
- Companies in the real estate sector that deal with local authorities as property owners.

4. Who advises on local law?

There are specialized lawyers in local law. Most of these lawyers are "specialist lawyers for administrative law" because the area of ​​expertise of a specialist lawyer for administrative law also includes the sub-area of ​​local law.

Dr. Torsten Schmidt
Specialist lawyer for administrative law

Lawyers Dr. Schmidt & Günther,
Ringstrasse 18-20, 04703 Leisnig