Presentation on theme: "Ryan Kellus Turner General Counsel and Director of Education Texas Municipal Courts Education Center Better Lights for Better Nights Conference August."— Presentation transcript:
Ryan Kellus Turner General Counsel and Director of Education Texas Municipal Courts Education Center Better Lights for Better Nights Conference August 15, 2014 Dripping Springs Ranch Park ENFORCEMENT: LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS
1. HOW CAN WE ENFORCE A LIGHTING ORDINANCE? Blinded by the light Revved up like a deuce Another runner in the night
Criminal Enforcement Civil Enforcement By Government By Private Citizen Alleging Private Nuisance Public Education & Information Community Based Industry Based Incentives Assistance “Carol Anne, listen to me. Do NOT go into the light. Stop where you are. Turn away from it. ENFORCEMENT AVENUES
Criminal Enforcement Municipalities (in Municipal Court) Ordinances per Local Govt. Code (General Law Cities) Ordinance per Charter (Home Rule Cities) Ordinances Required of Cities within 57 miles of the McDonald Observatory (Subchapter B, Ch. 229, LGC) Counties (in Justice Court) Observatories and Military Bases (Subchapter B, Ch. 240, LGC) Civil Enforcement Municipal Ordinances (in District or County Court at Law) Ch. 54, LGC via Civil Penalties (Note: Sec. 30.00005(d)(2), LGC = Municipal Court of Record) Municipal Ordinances, Ch. 54, LGC via Quasi-Judicial Enforcement of Health and Safety Ordinances Building and Standards Commission, or Civil Adjudication Process Cities and Counties Governed by Subchapters B, Ch. 229 and 240, LGC may seek Injunctions as Enforcement GOVERNMENT ENFORCEMENT “Marion, don't look at it. Shut your eyes, Marion. Don't look at it, no matter what happens!”
“ The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.”
2. WHERE CAN WE ENFORCE A LIGHTING ORDINANCE? I saw the light I saw the light No more darkness no more night Now I'm so happy no sorrow in sight Praise the Lord I saw the light
Territorial Limits of Municipality? Take Your Pick! Law Enforcement Extrajudicial Enforcement THE ANSWER: IT DEPENDS.
ETJ Extent: ½ Mile to 5 Miles of Municipal Boundaries, Depending on Population of City Criminal Enforcement in EJT Depends on: 1.Type of Municipality (General Law or Home Rule) 2.Subject Matter of Ordinance 3.Jurisdiction (i.e. Authority of a Court) - Express or Implied 4.Venue (i.e, Place of Trial) – Not an Element of Offense: Proof by Preponderance Unincorporated Parts (i.e., “The Sticks”) Extrajudicial Enforcement Keep Up the Dialog: IDA, IESA, LEED, Builders, Manufacturers Educate Rural Communities Educate County Commissioners and County Judges Legal Enforcement Private Nuisance Law Suits ETJ & UNINCORPORATED PARTS? There is a darkness on the edge of town
3. WHAT ARE THE EVIDENTIARY AND PROOF ISSUES? Turn on your heartlight In the middle of a young boy's dream Don't wake me up too soon Gonna take a ride across the moon You and me
What About Light Art? What About Light Art? What About the 1 st Amendment? What About the 1 st Amendment? THIS RAISES INTERESTING QUESTIONS
DOES IT MATTER WHO IS SHINING THE LIGHT?
DOES IT MATTER WHY THEY ARE SHINE THE LIGHT?
“PROVE IT!” Prove What? The Challenge of Writing an Enforceable Law Paper Work Violation? Performance Standard Violation? Witnesses Personal Knowledge of Light Trespass? Expert Witne$$es You can't start a fire, you can't start a fire without a spark This gun's for hire even if we're just dancing in the dark
“DID YOU FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS?” Admissibility Light Trespass versus Trespass: Fourth Amendment Issues for Governments - Camara Photometry Kyllo Daubert/Kelly
FOLLOW on: The stars at night are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas Follow TMCEC on: E—MAIL: RTURNER@TMCEC.COM TWITTER: @RKELLUSTURNER