Document Type

Notes & Comments


Municipal Code Enforcement exists to abate nuisances and resolve conflicts between neighbors. Code enforcement often discovers nuisances through citizen complaints. Cities and code enforcement departments have taken great lengths to protect complainants from retaliation, but these protections have extended too far and created a problem in reverse. Code harassment occurs when people make excessive or false reports to code enforcement departments to harass neighbors. Code enforcement officers do their jobs and investigate the complaints leading to visits and fines. Many people are shocked to find they can do nothing to stop the harassment save leaving their residence because the law offers no protection against such behavior. With a focus on Texas, this Comment looks at the three causes that enable code harassment, places them within the larger framework of code compliance reform that has occurred in the past twenty years, and offers a framework for creating solutions, including reforming the Texas Citizens Participation Act, establishing confidential code enforcement reporting, and creating a vexatious reporter law.



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