Can state law be superseded by a municipal government?

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Can state law be superseded by a municipal government?

If state law allows secret recording of a conversation with the consent of one party, can a municipal government supersede such a law and prohibit municipal employees from secretly recording a conversation?

Asked on September 8, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Municipalities often modify state law in the interest of say, allocating loss for a situation.  For example, there are certain states which have a law that say that the shoveling of the public sidewalk is the responsibility of the city during snow storms.  However, the city may pass an ordinance that allows the sanitation department to pass on the responsibility and fine the homeowner for failure to remove the snow. The laws may come in to conflict, say, if a person slips and falls on the sidewalk.  Then who is responsible?  The person who is injured will sue both parties to make sure that they are covered legally.  Both laws are valid.  Here a class of people are singled out and restricted from asserting their rights under the law as well.  Whether or not that they can be singled out depends on the interpretation of the municipal law by the courts and that can only happen if the law is challenged in court.  Seek legal help in your area.   


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