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Office of the Harris County Attorney
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 The Harris County Attorney's Office represents the County, its departments, elected and appointed officials, and employees in all civil matters that involve county business. Our office also represents the Harris County Hospital District, the Harris County Flood Control District, the  Harris County Appraisal Review Board, and the Greater 911 Emergency Network, which are separate legal entities.

  Our office also represents the State of Texas in mental health commitments and children's protective services cases and assists Harris County in administration of the guardianship program, which cares for elderly and disabled individuals who are unable to care for themselves. 

  The office provides a full spectrum of legal services such as state and federal civil litigation, drafting and negotiating contracts, conducting condemnation proceedings, issuing County Attorney Opinions, collecting monies owed to Harris County, and preparing documents for bond issues. The office is organized into the following practice areas:

 

Compliance Group
Employment Group
Environmental Division
Public Law Group
Hospital District Group
Litigation Group
Protective Services Group
Initiatives and Special Projects
 
Compliance GroupTop

The Compliance Group’s principal function is to assist the various County Departments with collection of penalties, fines, taxes, judgments, liens and other monies owed to Harris County.  The Compliance Group also has an important role in advising and assisting with enforcement of specific civil laws promulgated to protect neighborhoods and communities such as statutorily authorized deed restriction violations and public nuisance violations. 

 

Employment GroupTop

The Employment Law Group represents Harris County, the Harris County Flood Control District, and elected and appointed County officials in all aspects of the employee-employer relationship.  In addition to state and federal litigation, these attorneys handle matters before administrative agencies, such as the Department of Labor, the Texas Workforce Commission, the EEOC, the Department of Justice, the State Office of Administrative Hearings, as well as the Harris County Grievance Committee and the Harris County Sheriff’s Civil Service Commission. 

The Employment Law Group also assists with county-wide and department-level policymaking to ensure compliance with state and federal law.  Attorneys advise management on day-to-day issues that arise with a workforce of roughly 18,000 employees. 

This Group also provides training upon request and, in conjunction with the Office of Human Resources & Risk Management, presents on-going training to help the departments understand their rights and responsibilities under the major employment law statutes, including the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family & Medical Leave Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

 

 

 

Environmental DivisionTop

 The Harris County Attorney's Environmental Division enforces laws regulating air pollution, water pollution, sewage disposal, hazardous and other solid waste disposal, drinking water contamination, flood plain management, and public health nuisances by working closely with investigators from the Harris County Public Health and Environment Services (HCPHES) and other enforcement agencies, including the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Coast Guard, and the City of Houston. The cases pursued by the Environmental Division are the direct result of cooperation with investigators and other enforcement personnel whose inspections are initiated by public complaints made to each enforcement agency. Through this complaint and response policy, the Division identifies and enforces against the most egregious violators of public nuisance and environmental laws.

The Division also consults air emission events data to determine where enforcement upon major unauthorized emitters of toxic pollutants might reduce environmental harm associated with carcinogens and materials known to cause birth defects and numerous other adverse health-based risks.


 

Public Law GroupTop

The Public Law Practice Group provides general legal services and advice covering a wide range of issues related to public works, issuance of bonds and other financing arrangements, community services, operational management including road and building construction, park-site planning and development, vendor selection and contract development, agreement preparation, including design and engineering services, neighborhood contract deputies, and interlocal agreements with other governmental jurisdictions, abandonments, and open meetings requirements and the application of state and federal laws and regulations, HIV/AIDS programs, the medical examiner, parks and library operations, disaster planning, and emergency management services.

Environmental Regulatory Section:

Environmental Regulatory Section counsels county clients on compliance with environmental laws and regulations; represents the county in complex state administrative hearings to oppose environmental permit applications; and works with with federal, state, and local stakeholders on environmental legislation, rules, and policies affecting  the county and its citizens.

 

Hospital District GroupTop

The Hospital District Practice Group provides general civil legal representation for the Harris County Hospital District, its Board of Managers, Ben Taub, Lyndon B. Johnson and Quentin Mease Hospitals, and thirteen community health centers operated by the District.

 

Litigation GroupTop

This group has a State Trial, a Federal Trial and an Appellate Section. These lawyers represent Harris County and other county entities, as well as county officials and employees, in general civil litigation.  Trial Division attorneys handle a wide variety of cases filed in state court, including, for example, cases arising from automobile collisions, injuries suffered in parks, buildings and flood control ditches, contract disputes and the denial of bail bond licenses.  Trial Division attorneys also represent Harris County and its officials and employees in civil rights lawsuits filed in state and federal courts.  The Trial Division attorneys also represent Harris County and other county entities in federal and state lawsuits and in civil service commissions and labor arbitrations and other administrative proceedings involving employment claims.

Attorneys in this group advise clients concerning Public Information Act requests.

 

Protective Services GroupTop

This division contains the Children’s Protective Section which represents the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services in actions under the Texas Family Code protecting abused and neglected children in Harris County; the Children’s Assessment Center, which has attorneys who represent the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and Harris County Protective Services for Children and Adults in actions under the Texas Family Code protecting sexually abused children in Harris County; and the Disability and Elder Law Section; which has attorneys who represent the Harris County Guardianship Program and the State of Texas in mental health commitment proceedings.

 

Initiatives and Special ProjectsTop

 Harris County Response to DOJ Findings

 

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