From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
April 29, 1997
Contact: Rick Svataro, (512) 463-0113

Senate Approves Ellis Bill to Allow County Attorneys to Enforce Deed Restrictions

AUSTIN, Tx. -- State Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) today won unanimous Senate approval for legislation (Senate Bill 1696) that allows county attorneys to enforce restrictions contained in recorded land instruments.

The measure, which is strongly supported by Fort Bend County, changes current law to allow counties with a population of more than 200,000 to have the county attorney enforce the restrictions. Currently, only a county with a population of more than 2 million is afforded this privilege.

According to Ellis, the measure will provide help to neighborhood groups seeking to maintain land values.

"This bill means that a homeowner in Fort Bend County can get help from the county attorney to protect his or her property values. It will be a real benefit to many neighborhoods," said Ellis.

The bill is permissive, meaning that county attorneys are not required to enforce deed restrictions, merely allowed to do so. A deed restriction based on race, or other restriction that violates the State or Federal Constitution, may not be enforced.

The bill does not change the portion of current law that requires a fee be paid to the County Commissioners' Court for the enforcement of the deed restriction. The Court may waive the financial requirement in cases of financial hardship.