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Municipal Law

Corbett & Corbett LLP > Municipal Law

You Can Fight City Hall

The common misconception amongst many citizens is that municipal courts only prosecute traffic tickets. Many citizens are unaware of the many ways they can violate city codes and the heavy fines these violations can carry. Some fines can be up to $2,000 per day.

Our full-service law firm offers superior representation in all manners related to municipal (city) law.  As a former city prosecutor and assistant city attorney, Chloe Corbett has valuable insight about municipal law and she’s uniquely qualified to represent persons charged with violating city ordinances.  She has tried many municipal cases before judges and juries.  You want an experienced former Dallas municipal attorney, like Ms. Corbett, who knows how municipal governments operate representing you.

What is an Ordinance?

Municipal ordinances are the rules and regulations city councils write for city governments. For example, Dallas City Council has written many regulations and codes for the City of Dallas. When a branch of Dallas law enforcement cites persons for municipal ordinance violations, they’re alleging such persons violated one of the rules, regulations, or codes the city of Dallas enforces.

Because each city has its own set of ordinances, the different violations can be very broad. Ordinances can range from possessing unleashed dogs to leaving bulky trash on one’s property.

Types of Cases We Represent in Municipal Law

We represent persons including private citizens, businesses, developers, builders, and all types of property owners involved who have legal disputes with municipal (city) governments or agencies.  We defend these persons who are often cited for all types of city code violations.  Here are a few common examples:

  • Health and Safety Violations
  • Fire Code Violations
  • Property Code Violations
  • Animal Cruelty Violations
  • Substandard Structures
  • Illegal Dumping
  • Environmental Violations
  • Housing Court Violations
  • Many more

It’s important to note that in most cities, a business or corporation cannot represent itself, the assistant city attorney and judge will not allow such entities to be heard.  A corporation, including LLC’s, LLP’s, LP, PC’s and others, must hire attorneys to represent them.

Penalties for Municipal (City) Violations

The typical consequence for a municipal violation is a judge or jury finding a person liable for the offense and ordering her to pay a civil penalty or a fine.  A municipal ordinance violation rarely is considered a criminal case.  However, some municipal violations are criminal, and law enforcement can charge the person with a misdemeanor.  It’s essential to have an experienced Dallas municipal lawyer analyze your legal matter to determine whether it’s civil or criminal.

Even though a city ordinance violation rarely is considered a criminal case, everything that happens in a municipal courtroom is public information, and the case can stay on a person’s public record. Hence, if a future employer does a background search, the case will likely pop up in the search. This is one of many potential lateral consequences for municipal code violations.

Contact Us

Let Corbett & Corbett LLP look into your code violation and fight hard to persuade the city to reduce or potentially dismiss your code violation. Otherwise, our firm stands ready to take your case to trial. To set up an appointment with an experienced Dallas municipal lawyer, contact us at (214) 956-4418 to schedule an initial case review with an attorney knowledgeable in Dallas municipal law.