• On April 19, 2011, the US District Court for the District of New Hampshire denied AT&T Mobility’s appeal from the Town of Candia’s denial of a for a variance to build a 120-foot or 150-foot monopole tower. The Town had granted AT&T permission to build a 100-foot tower, but AT&T found that insufficient. The court first had to resolve a burden-of-proof issue regarding wireless carriers’ challenges to denials of variance petitions: “to the extent AT&T argues that the Board bears the burden of demonstrating that its decision was supported by substantial evidence … it is quite mistaken. The law in this Circuit is clear: under the TCA, AT&T bears the burden of proving that the Board’s denials with respect to towers of 115 and 150 feet ‘lack adequate evidentiary support in the record.’” The court then concluded that AT&T failed to meet its burden: the “setback requirement of concern to the Board addresses safety issues, and the record does not suggest that those concerns must be compromised, and a variance allowed, to accommodate an otherwise unavoidable coverage gap.” New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC v. Town of Candia, 09-cv-387-SM (D.N.H.).
  • On April 18, 2011, the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri streamlined the nationwide class action against AT&T Missouri by dismissing two of that company’s affiliates: AT&T, Inc. and American Telephone & Telegraph Company. The suit seeks relief from allegedly unlawful and fraudulent third-party billing practices. In their motion to dismiss, those AT&T entities stated that they provide no services and have no employees or offices in Missouri. “There is nothing before the court which demonstrates that these defendants have transacted any business in the State of Missouri. Furthermore, there is nothing before the Court which demonstrates that these defendants committed a tort in Missouri,” the court concluded. The case will proceed against the remaining AT&T entities. Arnold v. AT&T, Inc., No. 4:10-cv-2429 (E.D. Mo.).