What can I do to get a city ordinance enforced?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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What can I do to get a city ordinance enforced?

I live in an upper middle class neighborhood that borders two major intersections.At any given time of day, numerous panhandlers beg for money, creating a nuisance. Recently, I spoke with a realtor concerning the sell ability of my home. I was told due to the unsavory sight of the continual panhandling, the value of my home would sell for less than if I were located in another neighborhood. I have spoken with the Chief of Police, the City Manager, the Mayor and the City Council. All parties I spoke with said there was nothing they could do, even though an ordinance to curb panhandling was enacted 2 years ago..

My question is

Do I have a civil case against the city for failing to enforce the ordinance, hence, causing depreciation on my p

Asked on August 24, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Texas


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You have a couple of difffent options. 
The first is to try to sue the city for failure to enforce.  To most people, this seems like a logical option... however, suits against any governmental entities are extremely difficult because cities and police departments have what is called "governmental immunity."  This means that you can sue cities for certain things--- and this situation may or may not fall in that category.  To find out, unfortunately, requires an expensive lawsuit.
Your second option is to continue nagging the chief of police.  To drive your point home, you may want to ask others to join in your request for enforcement.  Often, they will blow off one citizen, but will be more responsive to a group of citizens.  This is not necessarily a legal option... but still an option.
Your third option is to contact the chief of police and request their assistance to set up a neighborhood watch group.  Again, this option focuses on increasing community involvment to combat the problem.
A final option is to run for city mayor or council.  The council has the authority to recommend termination of any police chief that refuses to enforce the laws of their town.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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