Recent Texas Attorney General Opinions of Interest to Cities

Note:  Included cases are from July 14, 2015 through August 14, 2015.

Opinion No. KP-0035 (City Abolition):  A court is unlikely to disturb the final disposition of the assets of an abolished city if former city officers, acting under Section 62.161 of the Local Government Code, transfer the remaining city assets to a local nonprofit corporation to serve a local public purpose that was within the city’s powers prior to its abolition.

Opinion No. KP-0034 (Vehicle Impoundment):  Under constitutionally reasonable circumstances, peace officers of the state, including those working for local law enforcement agencies and cities, may impound a vehicle to protect the public safety when the driver fails to provide evidence of financial responsibility. A home-rule city, and likely a general-law city, has authority to adopt an ordinance regarding the impoundment of vehicles for the offense of lack of financial responsibility provided that such an ordinance is not in conflict with any statute and also conforms to any constitutional constraints. A court would likely conclude that a city may not condition release of a vehicle impounded for lack of evidence of financial responsibility upon presentation of such evidence to a vehicle storage facility.

Opinion No. KP-0033 (Parking):  A court would likely conclude that Section 681.0101 of the Transportation Code does not authorize a political subdivision to appoint a private business to enforce the privileged parking provisions of Chapter 681 because a private business is not a “person” under Section 681.0101. A court would likely conclude that a political subdivision is not authorized to contract with a private business to enforce the privileged parking provisions of Chapter 681.