News and Events

Legality of Front Foot Charges Affirmed

In a recent victory, Kramon & Graham litigation principal John Dougherty won an important defense judgment in an action brought by homeowners who were seeking to void their obligation to pay for utility infrastructure charges, often referred to as "front foot" charges. Following a bench trial in which John persuasively argued that the charges had been fully disclosed and were reasonably calculated and enforceable, the Circuit Court for Baltimore County entered judgment for the firm's developer client.

The decision reinforces results John achieved in 2014 and 2013, in cases in Montgomery County and Charles County involving similar issues. These cases have application beyond the immediate parties, because they affirm the legality and enforceability of deferred water and sewer charge declarations. Private water and sewer infrastructure charges are a common mechanism for financing infrastructure in real estate development throughout Maryland. State and county laws impose disclosure, notice, and other requirements related to such charges. Kramon & Graham’s Real Estate Practice Group is well-versed in structuring deferred utility charge declarations to reduce the risk of such lawsuits.

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