OFFENSES & NUISANCES
SEC. 1: JUNKED AND ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLES
A. Definitions - In this section:
(1) Police Department - the Department of Public Safety, the police department of any city, town, or municipality, acting under the general police power authority as vested in such department by its respective governing body, the police department of any institution of higher education, or the sheriff or a constable of any county.
(2) Abandoned Motor Vehicle - a motor vehicle that is inoperable and more than eight (8) years old and left unattended on public property for more than forty-eight (48) hours, or a motor vehicle that has remained illegally on public property for a period of more than forty-eight (48) hours, or a motor vehicle that has remained on private property without the consent of the owner or person in control of the property for more than forty-eight (48) hours, or a motor vehicle left unattended on the right-of-way of a designated county, state, or federal highway within this state for more than forty-eight (48) hours or for more than twelve (12) hours on a turnpike project constructed and maintained by the Texas Turnpike Authority.
(3) Demolisher - a person whose business is to convert a motor vehicle into processed scrap or scrap metal or to otherwise wreck or dismantle a motor vehicle.
(4) Garage keeper - an owner or operator of a parking place or establishment, motor vehicle storage facility, or establishment for the servicing, repair, or maintenance of a motor vehicle.
(5) Junked Vehicle – a motor vehicle as prescribed in §683.071 of the Texas Transportation Code, currently in effect of as hereafter amended. “Junked Vehicle” does not include a vehicle or vehicle part described in §683.077 of the Texas Transportation Code, currently in effect or as hereafter amended.
(6) Storage Facility - a garage, parking lot, or any type of facility or establishment for the servicing, repairing, storing, or parking of motor vehicles.
(7) Motor Vehicle - a motor vehicle subject to registration under the Certificate of Title Act (Article 6687-1, Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes), except that for purposes of subsections B, C, and D of this section. Motor vehicle includes a motorboat, outboard motor, or vessel subject to registration under Chapter 31, Texas Parks and Wildlife Code.
(8) Antique Auto - a passenger car or truck that was manufactured in 1925 or before, or a passenger car or truck that is at least thirty-five (35) years old.
(9) Special Interest Vehicle - a motor vehicle of any age that has not been altered or modified from original manufacturer’s specifications and, because of its historic interest, is being preserved by hobbyists.
(10) Collector - the owner of one (1) or more antique or special interest vehicles who collects, purchases, acquires, trades, or disposes of special interest or antique vehicles or parts of them for personal use in order to restore, preserve, and maintain an antique or special interest vehicle for historic interest.
B. Authority to Take Possession of Abandoned Motor Vehicles
(1) A police department may take into custody an abandoned motor vehicle found on public or private property.
(2) A police department may employ its own personnel, equipment, and facilities or hire persons, equipment, and facilities to remove, preserve, and store an abandoned motor vehicle it takes into custody.
C. Notification of Owner and Lien Holders
(1) A police department that takes into custody an abandoned motor vehicle shall notify not later than the 10th day after taking the motor vehicle into custody, by certified mail, the last known registered owner of the motor vehicle and all lien holders of record pursuant to the Certificate of Title Act (Article 6687-1, Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes), or Chapter 31, Parks and Wildlife Code, that the vehicle has been taken into custody. The notice shall describe the year, make, model, and vehicle identification number of the abandoned motor vehicle, set forth the location of the facility where the motor vehicle is being held, inform the owner and any lien holders of their right to reclaim the motor vehicle not later than the 20th day after the date of the notice, on payment of all towing, preservation, and storage charges resulting from placing the vehicle in custody, or garage keeper’s charges if notice is under subsection E of this section. The notice shall also state that the failure of the owner or lien holders to exercise their right to reclaim the vehicle within the time provided constitutes a waiver by the owner and lien holders of all right, title, and interest in the vehicle and their consent to the sale of the abandoned motor vehicle at a public auction.
(2) If the identity of the last registered owner cannot be determined, if the registration contains no address for the owner, or if it is impossible to determine with reasonable certainty the identity and addresses of all lien holders, notice by one publication in one newspaper of general circulation in the area where the motor vehicle was abandoned is sufficient notice under this section. The notice by publication may contain multiple listings of abandoned vehicles, shall be published within the time requirements prescribed for notice by certified mail, and shall have the same contents required for a notice by certified mail.
(3) The consequences and effect of failure to reclaim an abandoned motor vehicle are as set forth in a valid notice given under this subsection.
(4) A police department or an agent of a police department that takes custody of an abandoned motor vehicle is entitled to reasonable storage fees for:
(a) a period of not more than 10 days beginning on the day the department takes custody and continuing through the day the department mails notice as provided by this subsection, and
(b) a period beginning on the day after the day the department mails notice and continuing through the day any accrued charges are paid and the vehicle is removed.
D. Auction of Abandoned Motor Vehicles
If an abandoned motor vehicle has not been reclaimed as provided by subsection C of this section, the police department shall sell the abandoned motor vehicle at a public auction. Proper notice of the public auction shall be given, and in the case of a garage keeper’s lien, the garage keeper shall be notified of the time and place of the auction. The purchaser of the motor vehicle takes title to the motor vehicle free and clear of all liens and claims of ownership, shall receive a sales receipt from the police department, and is entitled to register the purchased vehicle and receive a certificate of title. From the proceeds of the sale of an abandoned motor vehicle, the police department shall reimburse itself for the expenses of the auction, the costs of towing, preserving, and storing the vehicle that resulted from placing the abandoned motor vehicle in custody, and all notice and publication costs incurred under subsection C of this section. Any remainder from the proceeds of a sale shall be held for the owner of the vehicle or entitled lien holder for 90 days and then shall be deposited in a special fund that shall remain available for the payment of auction, towing, preserving, storage, and all notice and publication costs that result from placing another abandoned vehicle in custody, if the proceeds from a sale of another abandoned motor vehicle are insufficient to meet these expenses and costs.
E. Garage keepers and Abandoned Motor Vehicles
(1) A motor vehicle left for more than 10 days in a storage facility operated for commercial purposes after notice is given by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner and to any lien holder of record under the Certificate of Title Act (Article 6687-1, Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes) to pick up the vehicle, or for more than 10 days after a period when under a contract the vehicle was to remain on the premises of the storage facility, or a motor vehicle left for more than 10 days in a storage facility by someone other than the registered owner or by a person authorized to have possession of the motor vehicle under a contract of use, service, storage, or repair, is considered an abandoned vehicle, and shall be reported by the garage keeper to the police department. If the notice to the owner or a lien holder is returned by the post office unclaimed, notice by one publication in one newspaper of general circulation in the area in which the vehicle was left in storage is sufficient notice.
(2) If a garage keeper or storage facility acquires possession of a motor vehicle for a purpose other than repair, the garage keeper or storage facility is entitled to towing, preservation, and notification charges and to reasonable storage fees, in addition to storage fees earned pursuant to contract, for a maximum of 10 days only until notification is mailed to the last known registered owner and all lien holders of record as provided by paragraph (1) of this subsection.
After such notice is mailed, storage fees may continue until the vehicle is removed and all accrued charges are paid. A garage keeper who fails to report the possession of an abandoned vehicle to the police department within 10 days after it becomes abandoned may no longer claim reimbursement for storage of the vehicle.
(3) The police department, upon receipt of a report from a garage keeper of the possession of a vehicle considered abandoned under the provisions of this subsection, shall follow the notification procedures provided by subsection C of this section, except that custody of the vehicle shall remain with the garage keeper until after compliance with the notification requirements. A fee of $2.00 shall accompany the report of the garage keeper to the police department. The $2.00 fee shall be retained by the police department receiving the report and used to defray the cost of notification or other cost incurred in the disposition of an abandoned motor vehicle. If the Department of Public Safety is the police department involved, this fee shall be deposited in the state treasury and shall be used to defray the cost of administering this section.
(4) An abandoned vehicle left in a storage facility and not reclaimed after notice is sent in the manner provided by subsection C of this section shall be taken into custody by the police department and sold in the manner provided by subsection D of this section. The proceeds of a sale under this subsection shall first be applied to the garage keeper’s charges for servicing, storage, and repair, but as compensation for the expense incurred by the police department in placing the vehicle in custody and the expense of auction, the police department shall retain two percent (2%) of the gross proceeds of the sale of each vehicle auctioned, unless the gross proceeds are less than $10.00. If the gross proceeds are less than $10.00, the department shall retain the $10.00 to defray expenses of custody and auction. If the Department of Public Safety conducts the auction, the compensation shall be deposited in the state treasury and shall be used to defray the expense incurred. Surplus proceeds remaining from an auction shall be distributed in accordance with subsection D of this section.
(5) Except for the termination or limitation of claim for storage for failure to report an abandoned motor vehicle, nothing in this subsection may be construed to impair any lien of a garage keeper under the laws of this state.
(6) A person charging fees under paragraph (2) above commits an offense if the person charges a storage fee for a period of time not authorized by that paragraph. An offense under this paragraph is punishable by a fine of not less than $200.00 nor more than $1,000.00.
F. Disposal to Demolishers
(1) A person, firm, corporation, or unit of government on whose property or in whose possession is found any abandoned motor vehicle and a person who is the owner of a motor vehicle whose title certificate is faulty, lost, or destroyed, may apply to the State Department of Highways and Public Transportation for authority to sell, give away, or dispose of the vehicle to a demolisher. Nothing in this subsection may be construed as being in conflict with the provisions of subsections I and J of this section. The application, except one submitted by a unit of government, shall be accompanied by a fee of $2.00 that shall be deposited in the state highway fund.
(2) The application must set out the name and address of the applicant, the year, make, model, and vehicle identification number of the motor vehicle, if ascertainable, together with any other identifying features, and must contain a concise statement of the facts surrounding the abandonment, a statement that the title of the motor vehicle is lost or destroyed, or a statement of the reasons for the defect of title in the owner. The applicant shall execute an affidavit stating that the facts alleged in the application are true and that no material fact has been withheld.
(3) If the State Department of Highways and Public Transportation finds that the application is executed in proper form and shows that the motor vehicle has been abandoned on the property of the applicant or that the motor vehicle is not abandoned but that the applicant appears to be the rightful owner, the department shall follow the notification procedures as provided in subsection C of this section.
(4) If an abandoned motor vehicle is not reclaimed in accordance with subsection C of this section, the State Department of Highways and Public Transportation, on notification of that fact by the applicant, shall issue the applicant a certificate of authority to sell the motor vehicle to a demolisher for demolition, wrecking, or dismantling. A demolisher shall accept the certificate in lieu of the certificate of title to the motor vehicle.
(5) The State Department of Highways and Public Transportation may issue the applicant a certificate of authority to dispose of the motor vehicle to a demolisher without following the notification procedures of subsection C of this section if the motor vehicle is more than eight (8) years old and has no engine or is otherwise totally inoperable.
(6) A person in possession of an abandoned vehicle that was authorized to be towed in by a police department and that is more than eight (8) years old and has no engine or is otherwise totally inoperable may, on affidavit of that fact and approval of the police department, apply to the State Department of Highways and Public Transportation for a certificate of authority to dispose of the vehicle to a demolisher for demolition, wrecking, or dismantling only.
(7) The State Department of Highways and Public Transportation may adopt rules and prescribe forms that are necessary to carry out the provisions of this subsection.
G. Duties of Demolishers
(1) A demolisher who purchases or otherwise acquires a motor vehicle to wreck, dismantle, or demolish it shall obtain a valid certificate of title, sales receipt, or transfer document under subsections D and J of this section, respectively, or a certificate of authority from the person delivering the vehicle for demolition, but the demolisher is not required to obtain a certificate of title for the motor vehicle in the demolisher’s name. On demand of the State Department of Highways and Public Transportation, the demolisher shall surrender for cancellation the certificate of title or authority. The State Department of Highways and Public Transportation shall issue such forms and rules governing the surrender of auction sales receipts and certificates of title as are appropriate. The Certificate of Title Act (Article 6687-1, Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes) governs the cancellation of title of the motor vehicle.
(2) A demolisher commits an offense if the demolisher fails to keep an accurate and complete record of a motor vehicle purchased or received in the course of business in the manner provided in this paragraph. These records must contain the name and address of the person from whom each motor vehicle was purchased or received and the date of the purchase or receipt. The records shall be open for inspection by the State Department of Highways and Public Transportation or any police department at any time during normal business hours. A record required by this paragraph must be kept by the demolisher for at least one year after the transaction to which it applies. A demolisher who commits an offense under this paragraph is, on conviction, subject to a fine of not less than $100.00 nor more than $500.00, to confinement in the county jail for not less than 10 days nor more than six (6) months, or to both.
(Ordinance No. 2000-04 of May 23, 2000)
H. Junked Vehicles as Public Nuisance
(1) Junked vehicles, including a part of a junked vehicle, that is visible from a public place or public right-of-way is a public nuisance.
(2) A person commits an offense if that person maintains a public nuisance as determined under §683.072 of the Texas Transportation Code, currently in effect or as hereafter amended.
(3) A person who commits an offense under this subsection is, on conviction, subject to a fine not to exceed $500.00. On conviction, the court shall order removal and abatement of the nuisance.
(Ordinance No. 2000-04 of May 23, 2000; Ordinance 2011-06, April 12, 2011.)
(4) Procedures for Abating Nuisance
a. Notice requiring abatement and removal of a junked vehicle, or a part of a junked vehicle, shall be furnished by the City Administrator or his designee not less than 10 days before the date the junked vehicle, or part of a junked vehicle, must be abated and removed.
b. The notice must be sent by certified mail with a five-day return requested to:
i. The last known registered owner of the junked vehicle or motor vehicle part.
ii. Each lien holder of record of the junked vehicle or junked vehicle part; and
iii. The owner or occupant of the property on which the junked vehicle or junked vehicle part is located, or if a junked vehicle or junked vehicle part is located on a public right-of-way, the owner or occupant of the property adjacent to the right-of-way.
c. If the post office address of the last known registered owner of the junked vehicle or motor vehicle part is unknown, notice may be placed on the junked vehicle or junked vehicle part, or, if the owner is located, and delivered. If the notice is returned undelivered, action to abate the nuisance shall be continued to a date not earlier than the 11th day after the date of the return.
d. The notice shall include an admonition that any request for a public hearing regarding the abatement and removal must be made not later than the 10th day after the date on which the notice was mailed.
(5) Public Hearing: If a public hearing is requested in writing by a person for whom notice has been sent, the City of Electra Building and Standards Commission shall conduct the public hearing required in 4d. The public hearing shall be held not earlier than the 11th day after the date of the service of notice. At the public hearing, the junked vehicle or vehicle part is presumed, unless demonstrated otherwise by the owner, to be inoperable. If the information is available at the location of the junked vehicle, or junked vehicle part, an order by the City of Electra Building and Standards Commission requiring removal of the junked vehicle or junked vehicle part shall include the vehicle’s description, vehicle identification number, and license plate number.
(6) Disposal of Junked Vehicle or Junked Vehicle Part: A junked vehicle, including a part of a junked vehicle, may be removed to a scrap yard, a motor vehicle demolisher, or a suitable site operated by a municipality or county. The junked vehicle or junked vehicle part shall not be reconstructed or made operable after removal. The City Administrator or his designee shall furnish notice of the removal of a junked vehicle or junked vehicle part to the Texas Department of Transportation within 5 days after the date of removal. The relocation of a junked vehicle or junked vehicle part to another location in the City after a proceeding for the abatement and removal of the junked vehicle or junked vehicle part has commenced has no effect on the proceeding if the junked vehicle or junked vehicle part constitutes a public nuisance at the new location.
(7) Enforcement: Any person violating the provisions of the article shall be, upon conviction thereof, punished by a fine not to exceed $200.00. The City shall furthermore be entitled to injunctive relief against any violation of this article and for any damages that may result to the City of the general public by reason of such violations. The Electra Municipal Court may issue orders necessary to enforce the procedures in this article. The City Administrator or his designee may enter private property to examine a junked vehicle or junked vehicle part, and to remove or direct the removal of the junked vehicle or junked vehicle part.
(Ordinance No. 85-2 of February 26, 1985; Ordinance No. 2000-04 of May, 2000; Ordinance 2011-06, April 12, 2011.)
I. City or County Procedures for Abating Nuisance
(1) A city, town, or county within this state may adopt procedures for the abatement and removal of a junked vehicle or a part of a junked vehicle as a public nuisance from private property, public property, or public rights-of-way. The procedures must conform to the requirements of this subsection.
(2) For a nuisance on private property, the procedures must require not less than ten (10) days’ notice stating the nature of the public nuisance on private property, that it must be removed and abated within ten (10) days, and that a request for a hearing must be made before expiration of the ten (10) day period. The notice must be mailed, by certified mail with a 5-day return requested, to the last known registered owner of the junked motor vehicle, any lien holder of record, and the owner or occupant of the private premises on which the public nuisance exists. If any notice is returned undelivered by the United States Post Office, official action to abate the nuisance shall be continued to a date not less than ten (10) days after the date of the return.
(3) For a nuisance on public property, the procedures must require not less than ten (10) days’ notice, stating the nature of the public nuisance on public property or on a public right-of-way, that the nuisance must be removed and abated within ten (10) days, and that a request for a hearing must be made before expiration of the 10-day period. The notice must be mailed, by certified mail, with a 5-day return requested, to the last known registered owner of the junked motor vehicle, any lien holder of record, and the owner or occupant of the public premises or to the owner or occupant of the premises adjacent to the public right-of-way on which the public nuisance exists. If the notice is returned undelivered by the United States Post Office, official action to abate the nuisance shall be continued to a date not less than ten (10) days after the date of the return.
(4) In addition, the procedures must prohibit a vehicle from being reconstructed or made operable after it has been removed.
(5) The procedures must require a public hearing before the removal of the vehicle or vehicle part as a public nuisance. The hearing shall be held before the governing body of the city, town, or county or any board, commission, or official of the city, town, or county as designated by the governing body, if a hearing is requested by the owner or occupant of the public or private premises, or by the owner or occupant of the premises adjacent to the public right-of-way on which the vehicle is located, within ten (10) days after service of notice to abate the nuisance. A resolution or order requiring the removal of a vehicle or vehicle part must include a description of the vehicle and the correct identification number and license number of the vehicle if the information is available at the site.
(6) The procedures must require notice to be given to the State Department of Highways and Public Transportation not later than the fifth day after the date of removal. The notice must identify the vehicle or vehicle part. The department shall immediately cancel the certificate of title to the vehicle pursuant to the Certificate of Title Act (Article 6687-1, Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes).
(7) The procedures may not apply to a vehicle or vehicle part that is completely enclosed within a building in a lawful manner where it is not visible from the street or other public or private property, a vehicle or vehicle part that is stored or parked in a lawful manner on private property in connection with the business of a licensed vehicle dealer or junkyard, or an unlicensed, operable, or inoperable antique or special interest vehicle stored by a collector on the collector’s property, if the vehicle and the outdoor storage area are maintained in a manner so that they do not constitute a health hazard and are screened from ordinary public view by means of a fence, rapidly growing trees, shrubbery, or other appropriate means.
(8) The procedures must be administered by regularly salaried, full-time employees of the city, town, or county, except that the removal of a vehicle or vehicle part from property may be by any duly authorized person.
J. Disposal of Junked Vehicles
A junked vehicle or vehicle part may be disposed of by removal to a scrap yard, demolisher, or any suitable site operated by the city, town, or county for processing as scrap or salvage. The process of disposal must comply with the provisions of subsection I(4) of this section. A city, town, or county may operate a disposal site if its governing body determines that commercial channels of disposition are not available or are inadequate, and it may make final disposition of the vehicles or vehicle parts or the city, town, or county may transfer the vehicles or vehicle parts to another disposal site if the disposal is only as scrap or salvage.
K. Authority to Enforce
A person authorized by the city, town, or county to administer the procedures authorized by this section may enter private property for the purposes specified in the procedures to examine a vehicle or vehicle part, obtain information as to the identity of the vehicle, and remove or cause the removal of a vehicle or vehicle part that constitutes a nuisance. An appropriate court in a city, town, or county that enacts procedures under this section may issue orders necessary to enforce the procedures.
L. Effect of this Section on other Statutes
This section does not affect a law authorizing the immediate removal, as an obstruction to traffic, of a vehicle left on public property.
M. Penalty for Violations
Any person, firm, or corporation violating any of the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and each shall be deemed guilty of a separate offense for each day, or portion thereof, during which any violation hereof is committed, continued or permitted, and upon conviction, any such violation shall be punishable by a fine not less than $5.00 nor more than $500.00.
(Ordinance No. 85-2 of February 26, 1985; Ordinance No. 2000-04 of May 23, 2000)
SEC. 2: ABANDONED OR DISCARDED REFRIGERATORS
A. Unlawful to Abandon or Discard Refrigerator or Other Similar Container Without Removing Door or Lock
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to leave or to permit to remain outside of any dwelling, building or other structure, or within any unoccupied or abandoned building, dwelling, or other structure, in a place accessible to children, unattended or discarded ice boxes, refrigerators, or other containers which have air tight, or approximately air tight door or lid with a snap lock or locking device which may not be released from the inside, without first removing said door or lock, snap lock or other lock devise from said ice box, refrigerator, or container. If said ice box, refrigerator, or container is built in such a manner, or is stored in such a manner that the entire weight of the door must be lifted to open, then before storing said ice box, refrigerator, or container, the door must be removed.
B. Penalty for Violations
Any person violating any of the terms of this section shall be fined not less than $10.00, nor more than $2,000.00, and each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
(Ordinance of December 14, 1953; Ordinance No. 2000-04 of May 23, 2000)
SEC. 3: BEGGING OR SOLICITING ALMS
Repealed in its entirety by Ordinance No. 2002-07, August 13, 2002.
SEC. 4: DISTRIBUTING CIRCULARS OR HANDBILLS
A. Distributing Circulars or Advertisements Unlawful
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to distribute or cause to be distributed by giving to persons on the streets or alleys of the City of Electra, Texas, or by placing, throwing, or leaving in vehicles parked upon said streets or alleys, or by tacking or fastening to any billboard or other object within 10 feet of any street or alley, any printed circulars or advertisements of any character whatever.
B. Newspapers Exempted
That this section shall not be construed so as to prevent the sale and distribution of newspapers on the streets and alleys of the City of Electra, Texas.
(Ordinance of September 12, 1928)
SEC. 5: CLIMBING DERRICK/WATER TOWERS UNLAWFUL
A. Unlawful to Climb Derrick or Water Towers
That only authorized personnel, same being employees of the City of Electra, Texas, or agents of the City of Electra, Texas, authorized to do so shall be allowed to climb the derrick behind the City Police and Fire Station for any purpose, or to climb any water tower located in the City of Electra, Texas.
B. Penalty for Violations
(1) That any person climbing said derrick or water towers or attempting to climb same, not authorized to do so shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined a sum not less than $10.00, nor more than $2,000.00. Each separate act shall constitute a separate offense.
(Ordinance No. 2000-04 of May 23, 2000)
(2) If the misdemeanor set out above be committed by a minor, then the penalty herein set forth shall be assessed against the parent or parents of said minor.
(Ordinance of January 11, 1954; Ordinance No. 84-2 of January 10, 1984)
SEC. 6: TENTS
A. Tents Declared a Nuisance
That the erection and maintenance of any tent or wall of canvass or other cloth material within the limits of the City of Electra, Texas, is hereby declared a nuisance.
B. Written Consent of Nearby Property Owners to Erect Tents
That it shall be unlawful hereafter for any person or persons to erect or maintain any tent or wall made of canvass or other cloth material within the limits of the City of Electra, Texas, unless they shall first obtain written consent so to do from all property owners within a radius of 300 feet from the point where said tent is to be erected and maintained, including the owners of the space to be occupied by said tent.
C. Penalty for Violations
Any person or persons found guilty of violating this section shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined in any sum not exceeding $500.00 and each day or fraction thereof shall constitute a separate and independent offense.
(Ordinance No. 70 of April 25, 1918; Ordinance No. 2000-04 of May 23, 2000)
SEC. 7: THEFT OF PUBLIC UTILITIES SERVICES
A. Unlawful to Receive or Use Public Utility Services Without Paying
It shall be unlawful for any person to, with the intent to avoid payment for such services, receive or use the services of any public utility, including but not limited to electricity, water, sewer, and solid waste refuse.
B. Receiving or Using Public Utility Services Without Paying Considered Theft
A person commits theft of such service if, with the intent to avoid payment for services that he knows is provided only for compensation:
(1) He intentionally or knowingly secures performance of the service by deception, threat or false token; or
(2) Having control of the disposition of services of another, to which he is not entitled, he intentionally or knowingly diverts the other’s services to his own benefit or to the benefit of another not entitled to them.
C. Unauthorized Devises Prima Facie Evidence of Theft of Public Utility Services
If an unauthorized device designed to stop, curtail, or slow down any public utility meter is present on the premises or property occupied or used by a person, it is presumed that the person intentionally or knowingly used the device to commit a theft of services of public utilities. If such a device is present on the premises or property occupied and used by a person, or if the utilities at such property have been reconnected by other than a public utility company after being disconnected by a public utility company, it is presumed that the person intentionally or knowingly used such device or reconnected said utility service with intent to use such utility service with intent to avoid payment therefor.
D. Defense to Prosecution
The presumptions created by subsection C of this section do not apply if the person accused shows, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the presence of the unauthorized device or connection or reconnection may be attributed to the conduct of another.
E. Penalty for Violation
An offense under this section is punishable by a fine of not less than $100.00 nor more than $500.00. In addition, the court may order restitution of any damages caused to any meter equipment. (Ordinance No. 98-14; August 25, 1998; Ordinance No. 2000-04 of May 23, 2000); (Ordinance No. 86-4 of January 28, 1986)
SEC. 8: DISCHARGING FIREARMS UNLAWFUL
A. Discharging Firearms Prohibited
It shall be unlawful for any person to discharge or cause to be discharged or fired upon any street, alley, or other public way, or within any place of business, or other place where people are congregated for business or pleasure within the city limits of the City of Electra, Texas, as now fixed or as may be hereafter fixed, any gun, revolver, or firearm, or any kind of air-gun, rubber flipper, bow and arrow, or other weapon or instrument of similar nature designed to throw missiles.
“Firearm” means any device designed, made, or adapted to expel a projectile through a barrel using the energy generated by an explosion or burning substance or any device readily convertible to that use.
B. Penalty for Violations
Any person, firm, or corporation violating the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction, be fined any sum of not less than five dollars ($5.00) nor more than two thousand dollars ($2,000.00). Each and every discharge of any gun, revolver, or firearm, or any kind of air-gun, rubber flipper, bow and arrow, or other weapon or instrument of similar nature designed to throw missiles under this section shall constitute a separate offense.
(Ordinance No. 86-5 of April 22, 1986; Ordinance No. 2000-04 of May 23, 2000)
SEC. 9: FALSE ALARMS FROM BURGLAR ALARM SYSTEMS
At any time within a calendar year in which the Police Department of the City of Electra responds to a false alarm from a burglar alarm system after previously responding to two (2) false alarms from the same location within the calendar year, the person occupying the premises shall be charged a fee of twenty-five dollars ($25.00).
(Ordinance No. 94-6 of October 11, 1994)
SEC. 10: CURFEW HOURS FOR MINORS
In this section:
(1) Chief of Police means the Chief of Police of the City of Electra or a designated representative.
(2) Curfew Hours means:
(a) 11:00 p.m. on any Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday until 6:00 a.m. of the following day; and
(b) 12:30 a.m. until 6:00 a.m. on any Saturday or Sunday.
(3) Direct Route means the shortest path of travel through a public place to reach a final destination without any detour or stop along the way.
(4) Emergency means, but is not limited to, a fire, a natural disaster, an automobile accident, or any situation requiring immediate action to prevent serious bodily injury or loss of life.
(5) Establishment means any privately-owned place of business operated for a profit to which the public is invited, including but not limited to any place of amusement or entertainment.
(6) Holding Location means a place designated by the Chief of Police to which a minor taken into custody for a violation of this section will be delivered to await pick up by a parent or juvenile authorities.
(7) Minor means any person under seventeen (17) years of age.
(8) Operator means any individual, firm, association, partnership, or corporation operating, managing, or conducting any establishment. The term includes the members or partners of an association or partnership and the officers of a corporation.
(9) Parent means a person who is:
(a) A natural or adoptive parent of another person;
(b) A court appointed guardian of another person; or
(c) At least twenty-one (21) years of age and authorized by a parent or court-appointed guardian to have the care and custody of another person.
(10) Public Place means any street, alley, highway, sidewalk, playground, park, plaza, building, or other place used by or open to the public.
(11) Remain means to:
(a) Linger or stay unnecessarily; or
(b) Fail to leave premises when requested to do so by a police officer or the owner, operator, or other person in control of the premises.
(1) A minor commits an offense if he remains in any public place or on the premises of any establishment within the city during curfew hours.
(2) A parent of a minor commits an offense if he knowingly permits, or by insufficient control allows, the minor to remain in any public place or on the premises of any establishment within the city during curfew hours.
(3) The owner, operator, or any employee of an establishment commits an offense if he knowingly allows a minor to remain upon the premises of the establishment during curfew hours.
(1) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection B that the minor was:
(a) Accompanied by the minor’s parent;
(b) On an errand at the direction of the minor’s parents and using a direct route, if the minor has in his possession a written, signed consent from the parent dated the day of usage and stating the time of the consent.
(c) In a motor vehicle involved in interstate travel;
(d) Engaged in an employment activity, including but not limited to newspaper delivery, and was using a direct route;
(e) Involved in an emergency;
(f) On the sidewalk abutting the minor’s residence or abutting the residence of a next-door neighbor if the neighbor did not complain to the police officer about the minor’s presence;
(g) Attending an official school or religious activity or returning home by a direct route from an official school or religious activity.
(h) Exercising First Amendment rights protected by the United States Constitution, such as the free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, and the right of assembly; or
(i) Married or had been married or had disabilities of minority removed in accordance with Chapter 31 of the Texas Family Code.
(1) A police officer, upon finding a minor in violation of Subsection (B)(1), shall:
(a) Ascertain the name and address of the minor;
(b) Issue to the minor a written warning that the minor is in violation of Subsection (B)(1); and
(c) Take the minor into custody and deliver the minor to a holding location.
(2) When a minor is taken into custody under this subsection, the police department shall immediately notify a parent to pick up the minor at the holding location. After a parent arrives at a holding location and provides the information required by the Chief of Police to file an incident report, the minor shall be released into custody of the parent. If a parent cannot be located or fails to take charge of the minor, the minor may be released to any adult relative or responsible adult, or to the juvenile authorities.
(3) A police officer shall, within twenty-four (24) hours after finding a minor in violation of Subsection (B)(1), file a written report on the incident or assist to the extent possible in the preparation and filing of the report by a supervisor.
(1) A parent of a minor who violates Subsection (B)(2) in this section is, upon conviction, punishable by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00).
(2) Any minor who violates Subsection (B)(1) of this section three (3) or more times within a twenty-four (24) month period is subject to appropriate action by a juvenile court in accordance with Chapters 51 and 52 of the Texas Family Code.
(3) The owner, operator, or employee of an establishment who violates Subsection (B)(3) of this section is, upon conviction, punishable by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00).
(4) A minor may not be prosecuted in municipal court for a violation of Subsection (B)(1).
(Ordinance No. 94-4 of June 28, 1994; Ordinance No. 2001-11, November 13, 2001; Ordinance No. 2004-03, August 2004; Ordinance No. 2008-03, March 11, 2008)
SEC. 11: FISHING IN BLOCK 152, ORIGINAL TOWN,
PROHIBITED EXCEPT FOR PERSONS UNDER 17
A. That body of water located on Block 152 of the Original Town of Electra, Wichita County, Texas, being owned by the City of Electra, is hereby declared to be a private body of water and not a state body of water and subject to regulation by the City Commission of the City of Electra.
B. It shall be illegal for anyone above the age of 17 years to fish in said body of water, with the exception of those special events as approved by the City Commission of the City of Electra.
C. Violation of this ordinance shall be considered to be a Class C Parks and Wildlife misdemeanor, subject to a fine of not less than $5.00, nor more than $500.00.
(Ordinance No. 2002-05; May 2002)
SEC. 12: MUNICIPAL COURT FEES
A. Municipal Court Building Security Fund.
1. There is hereby created and established a Municipal Court Building Security Fund (the “Fund”) pursuant to Article 102.017 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
2. The Municipal Court of the City of Electra, Texas (the “Municipal Court”) is hereby authorized and required to assess a Municipal Court Building Security Fee (the “Fee”) in the amount of $3.00 against all Defendants convicted of a misdemeanor offense by the Municipal Court. Each misdemeanor conviction shall be subject to a separate assessment of the Fee.
3. A person is considered to have been convicted in a case if:
- Judgment, sentence, or both are imposed on the person;
- The person receives deferred disposition; or
- The court defers final disposition or imposition of the judgment and sentence.
4. The Municipal Court Clerk is hereby authorized and required to collect the Fee and to pay same to the treasury of the City of Electra, Texas. All fees so collected and paid over to the treasury of the City of Electra, Texas, shall be segregated in the Fund.
5. The Fund shall be used only for the purpose of financing the purchase of security devices and/or services for the building or buildings housing the Municipal Court of the City of Electra, Texas. “Security devices and/or services” shall include any and all items described in Article 102.017(d) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
6. The Fund shall be administered by or under the direction of the City Commission of the City of Electra, Texas.
(Ordinance No. 2005-03; March 8, 2005)
SEC. 13: RESIDENTIAL RESTRICTIONS CONCERNING REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS
PUBLIC SAFETY ZONE
Certain Persons Prohibited from Residing Near Schools and Other Locations.
(a) This section applies only to a person who is:
(1) required to register as a sex offender under Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure, because of a reportable conviction or adjudication involving a victim younger than 17 years of age; or
(2) civilly committed as a sexually violent predator under Chapter 841, Health and Safety Code, and subject to outpatient treatment and supervision under that Chapter.
(b) A person to whom this section applies may not reside within 1,000 feet of a school, childcare facility, public or private youth center, church, or park containing playground equipment, as measured in a straight line from the nearest property line of the residence to the nearest property line of the school, childcare facility, youth center, or park.
(c) A person residing within 1,000 feet of a school, childcare facility, youth center, church, or park, does not commit a violation of this section if any of the following apply:
(1) the person established the residence prior to March 27, 2007;
(2) the person is under the age of 18 years;
(3) the person is residing at the residence at the time the school, childcare facility, youth center, church, or park is established or extended to within 1,000 feet of the residence.
(d) A person to whom this section applies commits a Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $2,000.00, if a person violates this section. Each day a violation exists shall constitute a separate offense.
In this article,
1. “Childcare Facility” means a facility which is required to register as a child care facility with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (or its successor agency) and includes, without limitation, a licensed child care center, a licensed child care home, a registered child care home, and a listed family home.
2. “Park containing playground equipment” means any outdoor facility located on public property that is intended for recreation, is open to the public, and contains apparatus intended for the recreation of children, such as slides or swing sets.
3. “Public or Private Youth Center” means any recreational facility or gymnasium that:
(a) is intended primarily for use by persons who are 17 years of age or younger; and
(b) regularly provides athletic, civic, or cultural activities.
4. “Reside” means to live, dwell, abide, stay, or lodge for a period of more than one day.
5. “School” means a private, public, or charter elementary or secondary school.
6. “Church” means a place regularly used for worship which has been granted an exemption from ad valorem taxation by the Wichita Appraisal District.
LIST OF PARKS AND PUBLIC OR PRIVATE YOUTH CENTERS
1. The City Administrator shall compile and maintain a list of parks containing playground equipment and public or private youth centers. The location of these facilities, as well as schools and child care facilities, may be displayed on a map showing the perimeters of the safety zone established by this article.
2. If any person (a) believes that a park [which is not on the list described above] meets the criteria established by this ordinance; or (b) operates a public or private youth center [which is not on the list described above] which the person believes meets the criteria of this ordinance, then, in either case, such person may petition the City Administrator to have such park or public or private youth center included on the list referred to above. In the event the City Administrator denies such petition, such person may appeal said ruling to the City Commission. The action of the City Commission on such matter shall be final.
(Ordinance No. 2007-03; 3/27/07)
For the purposes of this ordinance; certain terms and words are hereby defined. Words used in the present tense include the future, the singular number includes the plural, and the plural the singular; reference to the male gender includes the female, and references to any person or animal without specifying gender include both male and female; the word “shall” is mandatory and directory wherever it is used in the Ordinance.
The following terms and words are defined:
RESTRICTED SMOKING MATERIAL shall mean any substance, however marketed, which can reasonably be converted for smoking purposes whether it is presented as incense, tobacco, herbs, spices or any blend thereof if it includes any of the following chemicals or comparable chemical:
- Salvia divinorum or salvinorin A; all parts of the plant presently classified botanically as salvia divinorum, whether growing or not, the seeds thereof, any extract from any of such plant, and every compound, manufacture, salts, derivative, mixture or preparation of such plant, its seeds or extracts;
- 2-[(1R,3S)-3-hydroxycyclohexyl]-5-(2-methyloctan-2-yl)phenol (also known as CP47,497) and homologues;
- (6aS,10aS)-9-(hydroxymethyl)-6-6-dimethyl-3-(2-methyloctan-2-yl)-6a,7,10,10a-tetrahydrobenzo[c]chromen-1-o1) (also known as HU-211 or Dexanabinol);
- 1-pentyl-3(1-naphtholyl)indole (also known as JWH-018);
- 1-butyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole (also known as JWH-073); or
- 1-pentyl-3-(4-methoxynaphthoyl)indole (also known as JWH-081).
Products containing some of the above substances are currently being marketed under the following commercial names:
K-2,” “K-2 SUMMIT,” “K-2 SEX,” “GENIE,” “DESCENTS,” “ZOHAI,” “SAGE,” “SPICE,” “KO KNOCK-OUT 2” “SPICE GOLD,” “SPICE DIAMOND,” “YUCATAN FIRE,” “SOLAR FLARE,” “PEP SPICE,” “FIRE N ICE,” AND “SALVIA DIVINORUM”
It is anticipated by the Commission that new products will be marketed under different names but will be subject to this definition if they contain any of the chemical components set forth above.
RESTRICTED SMOKING MATERIAL PARAPHERNALIA shall mean any paraphernalia, equipment, or utensil that is used or intended to be used in ingesting or inhaling any illegal smoking materials and may include:
- A metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipe with or without a screen, permanent screen, hashish head, or punctured metal bowl;
- A water pipe;
- A carburetion tube or device;
- A smoking or carburetion mask;
- A chamber pipe;
- A carburetor pipe;
- An electric pipe;
- An air-driven pipe;
- A chillum;
- A bong; or
- An ice pipe or chiller.
B. Restricted Smoking Materials: Purpose.
The purpose of this section is to prohibit the sale or delivery of restricted smoking materials as defined herein to any individual within the city limits and to prohibit the possession of restricted smoking materials by any individual within the city limits of the City of Electra. Any form of delivery to include a simple gift constitutes a violation of this ordinance.
C. Sale, Delivery, Offer, or Gift.
It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, offer to sell, deliver to, or to give any restricted smoking material to any person.
D. Use or Possession of Restricted Smoking Material.
It shall be unlawful for any person to have in their possession or to use restricted smoking materials within the corporate limits of the City of Electra.
E. Use or Possession of Restricted Smoking Paraphernalia.
It shall be unlawful for any person to have in their possession any restricted smoking paraphernalia with the intent to use it to ingest, inhale, or otherwise consume restricted smoking material. If an individual is found in possession of this type of paraphernalia, it will be a violation of this ordinance if appropriate forensic testing is done on the paraphernalia and traces of restricted smoking material are present on the device.
F. Defenses to Prosecution.
It shall be a defense to prosecution for a violation of this section if the use of the restricted smoking material is in the direction or under a prescription issued by a licensed physician or dentist authorized to prescribe controlled substances within the State of Texas.
It shall be a defense to prosecution under the terms of this section if an individual charged with a violation can provide proper and complete historic documentation that the use of such materials is a portion of a religious undertaking or activity of religious denomination in which they have long standing historic membership supported by documentation from clergy or spiritual leader recognized by the State of Texas.
Any person, entity, or firm violating any of the provisions of this Ordinance shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction in the Municipal Court of the City of Electra, Texas, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed the sum of two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) for each offense, and each and every day and such violation shall continue be deemed to constitute a separate offense.
H. SEVERABILITY CLAUSE.
If any section, sub-section, clause, phrase or portion of this ordinance shall be held unconstitutional or invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such section, sub-section, sentence, clause, phrase or portion shall be deemed to be a separate, distinct and independent provision and such invalidity shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith are hereby repealed to the extent of the conflict.
The City Secretary is authorized and direct to publish the caption and penalty prescribed by this ordinance in accordance with State Law.
K. EFFECTIVE DATE.
This ordinance shall be in force and effect from and after its publication.