Superior Communications, et al. v. City of Riverview
881 F3d 432 (6th Cir 2018) (briefed and argued on appeal). When the City of Riverview denied a radio broadcaster’s request to modify its equipment on a city-owned telecommunications tower, the broadcaster filed suit. The broadcaster’s proposed equipment modifications would have increased the number of antenna on the tower and occupied ten times more tower space in order to increase the broadcast power from 700 watts to 50,000 watts. The complaint alleged due process and equal protection violations, breach of a license agreement, and violation of the Telecommunications Act. RSJA attorneys obtained an order from the federal district court granting summary judgment and dismissal of all claims. In a published opinion on a matter of first impression, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of summary judgment for the City, finding that no private cause of action was available under §253(a) of the Telecommunications Act and holding that the City's denial of the equipment modification under the License Agreement was not a regulatory action that had the effect of prohibiting telecommunications services within the meaning of the Telecommunications Act.