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Category Archives: Local Governmental Entities

Freedom of Speech and City Regulation: Signs of the Times

By Byron L. Brown |

With all the discussion surrounding the “take a knee” protests at the NFL recently, there have been a lot of references to the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. However, the First Amendment is not implicated by these protests; and, in my experience, people are quick to proclaim First Amendment protection in many… Read More »

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Trail of Tiers: the New Texas Annexation Rules

By J. Grady Randle |

From 1836 to 1850, the U. S. Government’s policy was to force the various American Indian Civilized Tribes to relocate, on foot, to lands west of the Mississippi River. Most ended up in Indian Territory now known as Oklahoma. The journey was so arduous that over 10,000 Indians died on the way. The trek… Read More »

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Hurricane Harvey: Unprecedented in Scope, Overcome by Enduring Human Spirit

By Randlelaw |

Randle Law Office is proud to serve multiple cities in southeast Texas within a region loosely referred to as “Houston,” and these communities are rising to an occasion of enormous scope. Despite this staggering strain, local officials and residents are finding new strength. In this week’s blog, we depart from our typical legal discussions… Read More »

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Incentives for Real Estate Development: 3 Key Steps for Texas Tax Abatement

By Drew Shirley |

Tax abatement agreements are popular with cities and developers in Texas, and with good reason. Utilizing Chapter 312 of the Texas Tax Code, which allows taxing entities (other than school districts) to limit the property taxes they collect, tax abatements are an excellent way for cities to attract real estate developments that will improve… Read More »

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So You Want To Help The Old Lady?

By J. Grady Randle |

Issues in municipal government seem to come in waves. Recently the wave issues have been, at the crest, wanting to help citizens using public tax dollars and, in the trough, accepting gifts on the city’s behalf from grateful citizens. What is a public official to do to not violate the law or ethics? The… Read More »

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No Solicitors? How Texas Allows Cities to Regulate Door-to-Door Visitors

By Drew Shirley |

When it comes to doorbell ringers, a parade of possibilities emerges: fundraisers, salesmen and religious organizations. Businesses seeking to sell home services, such as security or repairs, are typically among the peddlers. Can a city in Texas outright ban door-to-door solicitors? The Texas Local Government Code generally gives municipalities the power to act in a way that… Read More »

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Property Tax Payer Empowerment Act of 2017: The World is Watching Austin

By Judith El Masri |

If you own real property (real estate) in Texas, you pay taxes to the tax assessor known here as “ad valorem taxes.” Property taxes are always a hot topic and source of complaint or debate, depending on how you interpret the shouting that surrounds the issue. The Texas House recently passed legislation in an… Read More »

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City of Meadows Place Wins Lawsuit over Sexual Offender Residency Restriction Ordinance

By J. Grady Randle |

General Law City Prevails to Maintain Criminal Ordinance HOUSTON, May 19, 2017 – The City of Meadows Place, Texas, the first city in Fort Bend County to enact a Sexual Offender Residency Restriction Ordinance (SORRO), recently prevailed in a lawsuit brought on behalf of a homeowner illegally maintaining a residence within a restricted area… Read More »

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Gated Communities, Private Roads and Public Services: a Practical Guide

By Drew Shirley |

A general law city has exclusive control over its city streets, and private citizens cannot restrict access to public roads; therefore, all roads in a gated community must be private roads. The city can sell public streets to private interests by following certain procedures. Once the roads are private, however, the city cannot enforce… Read More »

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City Real Estate Sales 101

By J. Grady Randle |

How do you sell city-owned real estate? Is it hard? Can it take a long time? The answer to all these questions is yes, as I told the Mayor. The first question you have to ask is: what type of property is it? The second question is: what type of city is selling its… Read More »

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