Legal Department

Sections of the Legal Department

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.

General Counsel (832.393.6491)
Drafts ordinances and opinions, advises City departments and elected officials on a wide variety of topics, including: elections, public information requests, the Texas open meetings act, ethics and conflicts of interest, redistricting, public finance, 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 and damage to City property.

Labor, Employment & Civil Service (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 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 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 American Disabilities Act 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 the 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, an Administrative Procedure, or a Mayor’s Policy. The Inspector General and members of that office are not employed by HPD and 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.

Torts and Civil Rights (832.393.6491)
Defends the City and its employees on a wide variety of lawsuits, including claims brought pursuant to Chapter 101 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code and civil rights claims, including 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, that are filed in state and federal courts.  Advises various City departments about legal issues.