Legal Department

Sections of the Legal Dept.

Claims and Subrogation (832.393.6491)
Liability claims (832.393.6393 or 832.393.6392)
Handles liability tort claims; property and workers’ compensation subrogation claims; workers' compensation litigation; and general affirmative collection claims (alarm fees, hazardous material discharge claims, and paving and special assessment claims). Please visit our section on Filing a Claim (Notice of Claim for Damages).

Contracts (832.393.6491)
Prepares, reviews and negotiates City contracts; provides opinions related to contract and competitive bidding matters. Advises City Departments on insurance requirements for contractors.

Disaster Recovery (832.393.6491)
Provides legal services to the City’s Housing and Community Development Department (“HCDD”) related to its administration of Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (“CDBG-DR”) funds. Prepares grant and loan agreements, contract documents, and solicitations for the CDBG-DR program. Advises HCDD on compliance with federal and state laws, regulations, and rules related to the CDBG-DR program.

General Counsel (832.393.6491)
Drafts ordinances and opinions, interfaces with City Council Committees, handles Sign Code issues and MWBE matters and advises the Ethics Committee. Also handles traditional governmental matters such as elections, public information requests, including drafting letters of exception to the Texas Attorney General, open meetings, ethics and conflicts of interest, redistricting, public finance, annexations, ad valorem taxation and utility regulation and franchising.

General Litigation (832.393.6491)
Defends the City and its officers and employees in litigation involving claims against the City for breach of contract, various torts, copyright infringement, inverse condemnation, and construction law cases. This Section is also responsible for initiating litigation to recover money owed to the City in actions involving breach of contract, damage to City property, and hotel occupancy tax matters.

Labor, Employment & Civil Rights (832.393.6491)
Represents the City at Civil Service Commission hearings, pretermination proceedings and arbitrations; works with all City departments on any issues related to discipline, and employee related policies; responds to E.E.O.C. matters; provides advice and prepares ordinances related to personnel matters; represents the City in litigation arising from federal and state employment related claims such as Chapter 143, Title VII, the A.D.A., and defense of Section 1983 claims; reviews and/or recommends policies and procedures for implementing new employment related legislation.

Municipal Prosecution (713.247.5474)
Represents the State and City in most cases filed in the Houston Municipal Courts including traffic, non-traffic, all ordinance violations, property disposition hearings, and scire facias matters. Conducts citizen intake regarding direct filing of non-traffic misdemeanors. Advises, assists, and educates police and City inspectors regarding statutory and code enforcement. Drafts search and arrest warrants. Works directly with Chief Clerk and Presiding Judge to solve problems and establish policy for the Municipal Courts. Responds to questions and problems from citizens. Performs numerous special assignments including drafting appellate briefs, complaint preparation, legislative analysis, bond forfeitures, and legal research.

Neighborhood Services (832.393.6491)
(Deed Restriction Hotline: 832.393.6333)
Interfaces directly with neighborhood associations and citizens in order to prosecute nuisances and violations that negatively affect the preservation and protection of neighborhoods and the general quality of life in the community. Responsible for Crime-based nuisance abatement, deed restriction enforcement, dangerous buildings abatement, T.A.B.C. protests, and the title work to support these activities.

Office of the Inspector General (832.393.6491)
(OIG Hotline: 832.394.5100)
Mayor’s Executive Order 1-39, revised 3/1/2011, authorizes the Office of the Inspector General, a section of the Office of the City Attorney, to investigate allegations of employee misconduct. Employee misconduct, within the scope of the order is an act, intentionally committed by a City employee, relating directly or indirectly to the employee’s employment with the City, and violating a state or federal law, a City Ordinance, an Executive Order, and Administrative Procedure, or a Mayor’s Policy. The Inspector General and members of that office, all of whom are not employed by HPD, will serve as confidential ombudsmen to assist citizens in filing of complaints of misconduct against police officers.

Real Estate (832.393.6491)
Provides services related to land sales and acquisitions, eminent domain proceedings, leases, abandonments, encroachments, rights of entry, abstract/title research and related matters; prepares grant and loan agreements for state and federal housing and community development programs and  advises the Housing and Community Development Department on compliance with federal and state regulations related to the programs. Handles legal matters related to planning and development issues, including land development regulations, historic preservation, tax increment reinvestment zones created by the City, and economic development agreements negotiated by the City. Represents the City in a variety of matters involving enforcement of and compliance with local, state and federal environmental laws.

Staff Administration (832.393.6491)
Responsible for records management, accounts payable, personnel functions, facility maintenance, law library, budget, financial and management analysis, and maintenance of the Legal Department’s fixed asset management system. Maintain the department’s local area network (LAN). Utilize the department’s enhanced file management database system to generate automated workflow reports (Client Profiles).