TML/TCAA Legal Defense Program: Amicus Briefs and Comments Filed

TCAA, in conjunction with the Texas Municipal League, files amicus briefs and comments in support of cities on many issues. To keep up to date on the status of these issues, go to

Regulatory Takings:  Harris County Flood Control District v. Kerr, No. 13-0303, in the Supreme Court of Texas In this case, the flood control district adopted flood control plans that downstream landowners claimed, coupled with upstream development, caused flooding on their property.  The appeals court concluded that the district intended to cause the flooding, which led to a successful takings claim by landowners.  At the Texas Supreme Court, the Conference of Urban Counties, the Texas Association of Counties, and the Texas Municipal League argued that the takings and nuisance claims should have been dismissed because there is no evidence of the intent element of a takings claim: at the time the flood-control measures at issue were implemented, the district did not know those measures were substantially certain to cause flood damage to landowners’ property.  The brief in support of the petition for review was filed on July 2, 2013.

 Civil Service: RQ-1130-GA;  May a municipality that has approved appointment of assistant chiefs, under Texas Local Gov’t Code 143.014, authorize appointment of more assistant chiefs than existed on January 1, 1983 plus one?  This request asks whether a civil service city that has approved appointment of individuals “to the classification immediately below that of department head” under Texas Local Government Code Section 143.014 can only appoint “assistant chiefs” or can appoint any individual who meets the “classification immediately below that of department head” requirement.  Texas Municipal League argued that the plain language of the statute should prevail.  The statute provides that any individual immediately below the classification of department head is counted for this statute, not just assistant chiefs.  Filed on June 25, 2013.