HB 2359

85(R) - 2017
House County Affairs
Senate Criminal Justice
House County Affairs
Senate Criminal Justice
Civil Remedies
Local Government

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Positive
  • Neutral


Evelina Ortega


Victoria Neave
Kevin Roberts
Tomas Uresti


José Rodríguez

Bill Caption

Relating to common nuisances.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the state is anticipated.

Bill Analysis

The bill attempts to address a problem involving vacant lots and abandoned buildings that attract certain criminal behavior or pose as fire hazards. Local governments sometimes do not have the ability to deal appropriately with these issues.

HB 2359 would include possession of an item in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, trespassing, arson, and graffiti, criminal mischief that causes a loss of $500 or more, and disorderly conduct into the definition of a common nuisance. This would give a pretext to use common nuisance statutes to sue a landowner in civil court for abatement of the nuisance.

This bill would also authorize a court that determines that a person maintaining a vacant lot or vacant or abandoned building that is a common nuisance to appoint a receiver to manage the property to abate the nuisance.

Vote Recommendation Notes

Vacant lots and abandoned buildings often attract crime, leading to legitimate public safety concerns. If a property owner is not acting responsibly to prevent his or her property from being used in this way this bill would provide a civil remedy to hold the property owner accountable. We support this legislation which upholds personal responsibility on the part of property owners as well as limited government by creating a legal tool that does not tend toward overcriminalization. For these reasons we support HB 2359.

Organizations Supporting

City of El Paso
County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas
League of Women Voters of Texas
Texas Association of Counties
Texas Conference of Urban Counties
Travis County Commissioners Court