Articles Posted in Communications Law

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Maine Revenue Services (MRS) assessed MCI Communications Services, Inc. (MCI) $184,873.69 for two types of surcharges - property tax recovery charges (PTRCs) and carrier cost recovery charges (CCRCs) - that MCI imposed upon its Maine customers. The Maine Board of Tax Appeals vacated the imposition of the tax based on its determination that the PTRCs and CCRCs were excluded or exempt from taxation because they were part of the sale of interstate or international telecommunications services. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the PTRCs and CCRCs collected by MCI before July 18, 2008 were excluded from taxation and that those charges collected from MCI from July 18, 2008 forward were exempt from taxation. View "State Tax Assessor v. MCI Communications Services, Inc." on Justia Law

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Since 2001, Callaghan has worked part-time at the South Portland Library. Edwards works for the Parks and Recreation Department about four hours per week. Both are subject to a personnel policy, which, following 2010-2011 amendments, provides that city employees may not seek or accept nomination or election to any South Portland elective office; use the influence of their employment for or against any candidate for city elective office; circulate petitions or campaign literature for any city elective office; solicit or receive subscriptions, contributions or political service from any person for or against any candidate for any city elective office; or use city property to assist or advocate for or against any candidate. Callaghan has served on the School Board since 2007. When Callaghan sought reelection in 2011, the City Clerk stated that the personnel policy amendments prevented placement of her name on the ballot. Edwards had served on the Board for 18 years. In 2010, Edwards expressed interest in filling a vacancy on the Board. After the City Clerk questioned whether Edwards could be appointed given his city employment, Edwards did not pursue the appointment. Edwards and Callaghan filed a complaint, 42 U.S.C. 1983, asserting that the policy was an unconstitutional restraint on political speech. The trial court entered partial summary judgment for the employees and an injunction barring enforcement of a prohibition on any city employee seeking election to or serving on the School Board or, on their own time, from circulating petitions or campaign literature and soliciting or receiving contributions or political service for or against candidates in School Board elections. The Maine Supreme Court affirmed as to the employees, but vacated the judgment to the extent that it invalidates the policy as to employees who were not parties. View "Callaghan v. City of South Portland" on Justia Law