What is the extraterritorial jurisdiction and why was it created?
The Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) is an “unincorporated area that is contiguous to the corporate boundaries” of a city. TEX. LOC. GOV’T CODE § 42.021. The ETJ, a concept created by the Texas Legislature in 1963, is said to be established in order “to promote and protect the general health, safety, and welfare of persons residing in and adjacent to” cities, a sort of buffer zone outside of a city’s corporate limits. Id. § 42.001. Despite this, cities have been granted relatively little authority to address health and safety issues in the ETJ. Thus, some argue that the real purpose of the ETJ is to limit the geographic area in which a city may annex.
How much territory is encompassed in a city’s ETJ?
The extent of ETJ is generally dependent on the number of city inhabitants. With some exceptions, state law provides that:
- in a city with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants, the ETJ is within one-half mile of the corporate boundaries;
- in a city with 5,000 to 24,999 inhabitants, the ETJ is within one mile of the corporate boundaries;
- in a city with 25,000 to 49,999 inhabitants, the ETJ is within two miles of the corporate boundaries;
- in a city with 50,000 to 99,999 inhabitants, the ETJ is within 3-1/2 miles of the corporate boundaries; and
- in a city with 100,000 or more inhabitants, the ETJ is within 5 miles of the corporate boundaries.
Id. § 42.021(a).
Absent evidence of fraud, a court is required to accept a city’s determination of the number of inhabitants, rather than consider census figures, in determining the extent of the ETJ. See City of Burleson v. Bartula, 110 S.W.3d 561, 565 (Tex. App.—Waco 2003, no pet.). When asked about the exact method of measurement a city must use to determine its ETJ, the attorney general concluded that a city may choose the method by which it will ascertain the boundaries of its ETJ. See Tex. Att’y Gen. LO-94-033.
Why does my city’s ETJ encompass a different amount of territory than provided in state law?
The extent of a city’s ETJ could be different than what state law provides as the result of local factors and circumstances. For instance, a city that incorporates immediately adjacent to another city may have no ETJ at all. A more common reason for a city’s ETJ to be different than the distance limits in Section 42.021 is that the city used its authority to adopt an ordinance to bring land contiguous to its ETJ into its ETJ at the request of the landowners. TEX. LOC. GOV’T CODE § 42.022(b).
What happens to the ETJ when a city annexes property?
Generally, when a city annexes an area, the ETJ “expands with the annexation to comprise, consistent with Section 42.021, the area around the new municipal boundaries.” Id. § 42.022(a); but see, e.g., id. § 42.0225. For example, when a city of 100,000 or more inhabitants annexes an area, its new ETJ would generally comprise the unincorporated area contiguous to the new city boundaries within five miles of the new boundaries. See id. § 42.021(5).
It should be noted that the ETJ of a city may not expand — whether it be by an increase in the number of inhabitants, on request of a landowner, or through annexation — into another city’s ETJ without that city’s consent. Id. §§ 42.022(c), 42.023. And the ETJ of a city generally may not be reduced, unless the city council of the city gives its written consent. Id. §§ 42.022(d), 42.023.
Should a city have a map showing the boundaries of its ETJ?
Yes, a city should have an official map showing both its corporate boundaries and its ETJ. The map should be updated every time the city’s ETJ expands or shrinks, along with a note indicating the date of the change, any related ordinance or resolution number, and a reference to the minutes, ordinance, or resolution records in which the action is recorded. Id. § 41.001. Depending on how the map was created, the map may also need to include a disclaimer that reads something like the following: “This map is for informational purposes and may not have been prepared for or be suitable for legal, engineering, or surveying purposes. It does not represent an on-the-ground survey, but only the approximate relative location of property boundaries.” TEX. GOV’T CODE § 2051.102.
Every city must maintain a copy of the map in a location that is easily accessible to the public, including the city secretary’s office, the city engineer’s office (if the city has an engineer), and the city’s website (if the city maintains a website). TEX. LOC. GOV’T CODE § 41.001. Every city must also make a copy of its map publicly available without charge.
A home rule city is required to create, or must contract for the creation of, a digital map that must be made publicly available without charge and in a format widely used by common geographic information system (GIS) software. Id. If a home rule city does not have common GIS software, the city must make the digital map available in any other widely used electronic format. Id. Presumably, this provision authorizes a city without GIS technology to make its map available in a PDF format.
May cities swap ETJ?
Certain cities have express authority to swap or apportion their ETJs. TEX. LOC. GOV’T CODE § 42.024. It is not clear whether general law cities have authority to contractually agree to swap ETJ. This issue was discussed in a recent case styled City of Justin v. Town of Northlake, No. 06-17-00054-CV, 2018 WL 4259853 (Tex. App.—Texarkana June 15, 2018, pet. denied) (mem. op.). In that case, the City of Fort Worth exchanged ETJ with a general law city (Town of Northlake) pursuant to Texas Local Government Code Section 43.021 (re-codified in 2017 as Texas Local Government Code Section 43.003), which provides as follows:
A home-rule municipality may take the following actions according to rules as may be provided by the charter of the municipality and not inconsistent with the requirements prescribed by this chapter:
- fix the boundaries of the municipality;
- extend the boundaries of the municipality and annex area adjacent to the municipality; and
- exchange area with other municipalities.
The City of Justin argued, among other things, that the agreement between the two cities was void and invalid because it violated the Local Government Code. Although the court refused to make any finding as to that argument, it did conclude that Section 43.021 (now Section 43.003) specifically addresses the “authority given to a home-rule municipality, i.e., a home-rule municipality may exchange area (to include its ETJ) with other municipalities” but does not “address the authority given to the receiving city” so it has “little, if any, relevance regarding [a general law city’s] authority to . . . accept or exchange ETJ.” Id. at n.22-23.
May a city apply its ordinances in the ETJ?
A 1997 attorney general opinion concludes that:
- [a]s a general rule, a city can exercise its powers only within the city’s corporate limits unless power is expressly or impliedly extended by the Texas Constitution or by statute to apply to areas outside the limits. Extraterritorial power will be implied only when such power is reasonably incident to those powers expressly granted or is essential to the object and purposes of the city. ‘[A]ny fair, reasonable, or substantial doubt as to the existence of a power will be resolved against the municipality.’
Tex. Att’y Gen. Op. LO-97-055 (1997) (citations omitted); cf. also, Town of Lakewood Vill. v. Bizios, 493 S.W.3d 527, 531 (Tex. 2016); FM Props. Operating Co. v. City of Austin, 22 S.W.3d 868, 902 (Tex. 2000).
The following are examples of state laws that authorize cities to regulate in the ETJ:
- Health & Safety Code § 713.009 – Cemeteries
- Local Government Code Chapter 43 – Annexation
- Local Government Code § 212.003(a) – Subdivision and Platting Regulations
- Local Government Code §§ 216.003, 216.902 – Signs
- Local Government Code § 217.042 – Nuisances within 5,000 feet (home rule city only)
- Local Government Code § 341.903 – Policing City-Owned Property (home rule city only)
- Local Government Code § 552.001 – Utility System
- Water Code § 26.177 – Pollution Control and Abatement
State law prohibits a city from regulating the following in the ETJ: (1) the use of a building or property for business, industrial, residential, or other purposes; (2) the bulk, height, or number of buildings constructed on a tract of land; (3) the size of a building that can be constructed on a tract of land; (4) the number of residential units that can be built per acre of land; and (5) the size, type, or method of construction of a water or wastewater facility that can be constructed to served a developed tract in certain circumstances. TEX. LOC. GOV’T CODE § 212.003(a).
The Texas Supreme Court held that general law cities may not extend their building codes into the ETJ. See Town of Lakewood Vill. v. Bizios, 493 S.W.3d 527 (Tex. 2016). And the Dallas Court of Appeals held that a home rule city “lacks authority to require a landowner developing property in its [extraterritorial jurisdiction] to obtain City building permits, inspections and approvals, and pay related fees.” Collin Cty. v. City of McKinney, 553 S.W.3d 79 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2018).
Do city taxes apply in the ETJ?
The inclusion of an area in the ETJ of a city does not itself authorize a city to impose a tax in the area. TEX. LOC. GOV’T CODE § 42.902. Just as with the application of a city’s ordinance, a city must identify express or implied authority to impose a tax in an area in the ETJ. For instance, state law allows a city with a population of less than 35,000 to impose its hotel occupancy tax in the ETJ so long as the combined rate of state, county, and city hotel occupancy taxes in the extraterritorial jurisdiction does not exceed 15 percent of the price paid for a room in a hotel. TEX. TAX CODE § 351.0025. State law also authorizes a municipal development district (a district created by a city) to impose its sales tax in a city’s ETJ if the voters of the entire district approve the tax, and the combined tax rate of all local sales and use taxes are not more than two percent in any location in the district. TEX. LOC. GOV’T CODE §§ 377.002, 377.021, 377.101. This is the only city sales tax that may be levied in the ETJ of a city.
May qualified voters residing in the ETJ ever vote in a city election?
Generally, to be eligible to vote in a city election a person must, among other things, reside in the city on the day of the election. TEX. ELEC. CODE § 11.001. (As used in the Election Code, the term “residence” means domicile or “legal residence” and not necessarily the actual place where a person is living for the time being. Id. § 1.015.) There are some exceptions to this general rule. For instance, a city that seeks to annex an area with a population of 200 or more must get, at an election, the approval of a majority of the qualified voters in the area. TEX. LOC. GOV’T CODE § 43.0691; see also, e.g., id. §§ 42.904, 43.130.
Do city police officers have any authority to make arrests in the ETJ?
A permanently licensed city police officer is a peace officer. TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. art. 2.12(3). Various categories of peace officers, a licensed city police officer among them, may make an arrest without warrant for an offense committed in their presence or view. Id. art. 14.03(g)(2). However, if the police officer is outside of the city, the officer “may arrest a person for a violation of Subtitle C, Title 7, Transportation Code only if the offense is committed in the county or counties in which the municipality employing the peace officer is located.” Id. Subtitle C, Title 7, Transportation Code, contains the “Rules of the Road,” which are the state traffic laws that a city police officer enforces. A police officer who makes an arrest under the article 14.03(g)(2) authority “shall as soon as practicable after making the arrest notify a law enforcement agency having jurisdiction where the arrest was made. The law enforcement agency shall then take custody of: (A) the person committing the offense and take the person before a magistrate in compliance with Article 14.06; and (B) any property seized during or after the arrest as if the property had been seized by a peace officer of that law enforcement agency” Id. 14.3(g)(3). Thus, while a city police officer may make an arrest in the ETJ, it is oftentimes county law enforcement and county courts that handle the case.
Another instance in which a police officer has the authority to arrest a person outside of the city occurs when the officer is acting as part of a regional task force. When counties and cities form mutual aid law enforcement task forces pursuant to Local Government Chapter 362, a law enforcement officer for one entity is authorized to make arrests within the area covered by the agreement, even when the area exceeds what would be the officer’s normal geographic or territorial jurisdiction. TEX. LOC. GOV’T CODE § 362.003.
Do municipal courts have jurisdiction over cases that arise in the ETJ?
While a detailed discussion of the jurisdiction of a municipal court is beyond the scope and purpose of this publication, suffice it to say that a municipal court may sometimes hear and decide cases involving territory and persons located or residing in the ETJ. For instance, Government Code Chapter 29 provides municipal courts with jurisdiction over certain criminal cases that occur on property owned by the city but located in the ETJ. TEX. GOV’T CODE § 29.003. And Government Code Chapter 30 provides that a municipal court of record has jurisdiction over criminal cases arising under ordinances authorized by Local Government Code Sections 215.072, 217.042, 341.903, and 551.002. Id. § 30.00005. Those ordinances may be applied outside of a city’s boundaries and, thus, municipal courts of record have jurisdiction over certain criminal cases arising from ordinance violations outside city limits. See Tex. Att’y Gen. Op. JC-0025 (1999); cf. also PPC Enters., Inc. v. Texas City, 76 F.Supp.2d 750, 760, n.8 (S.D. Tex. 1999).
What are ETJ zones in Texas? ›
The ETJ is a designated buffer area located just outside of the city limits. Each municipality is afforded an ETJ by the Texas Local Government Code as a method of defining potential growth and future service boundaries.Do city ordinances apply in ETJ Texas? ›
May a city apply its ordinances in the ETJ? [a]s a general rule, a city can exercise its powers only within the city's corporate limits unless power is expressly or impliedly extended by the Texas Constitution or by statute to apply to areas outside the limits.What is the Texas City Limit Coalition? ›
The Texas City Limits Coalition was formed because we believe that every Texan should have a voice. There is strength in numbers and together our message will be spread to more Texans. Your organization's name and goal will be pushed out to our members and heard in the halls of the government.What may a person living in the extra territorial jurisdiction ETJ of a Texas city get the opportunity to do? ›
In an ETJ, cities commonly impose certain regulations, like signage and fireworks restrictions, and derive revenue, as with impact fees. By state law, a city's ETJ can only expand through annexation, landowner request, or an increase in the city's number of inhabitants.Can a city annex my property in Texas? ›
The State of Texas grants authority to cities to annex territory in two different manners: Annexation can be requested by a property owner (voluntary exempted process) or the city can annex a property without the consent of the owner (non-voluntary process).What is extraterritorial jurisdiction and annexation in Texas? ›
What is “extraterritorial jurisdiction”? All Texas cities, by statute, have an extraterritorial jurisdiction. ETJ is “the unincorporated area that is contiguous to the corporate boundaries of the municipality” and is located within a specified distance of those boundaries depending upon the municipality's population.Can a city ordinance supercede a state law in Texas? ›
Under the home-rule amendment of the Texas Constitution, however, a municipality cannot adopt an ordinance that conflicts with or is inconsistent with state law.Can you sue a city for not enforcing codes in Texas? ›
Like police officers, code enforcement officers have a legal defense (qualified immunity) and generally cannot be sued unless a court has previously ruled that what you say they did was illegal. You may have better luck suing the local government the code enforcement officer works for.What is extraterritorial jurisdiction in Texas local government Code? ›
42.001. PURPOSE OF EXTRATERRITORIAL JURISDICTION. The legislature declares it the policy of the state to designate certain areas as the extraterritorial jurisdiction of municipalities to promote and protect the general health, safety, and welfare of persons residing in and adjacent to the municipalities.What is Texas City limit? ›
The Texas City Limits Coalition aims to acquire equal rights for all landowners by giving them the ability to participate in the democratic process of the city that governs them or by reducing that governance.
What is the meaning of city limits? ›
Definitions of city limits. the limits of the area occupied by a city or town. synonyms: city limit. type of: demarcation, demarcation line, limit. the boundary of a specific area.What are the 4 forms of city government in Texas? ›
Organization of City Governments
Three common forms of city governments in Texas include mayor-council, council-manager, and commission. The mayor-council city government is used by some cities in Texas. This model gives the mayor executive authority.
Definition of Extra Jurisdictional Territory (EJT)
an area outside of the legal jurisdiction of a city or other governmental unit over which that government has limited control.
Intra-territorial jurisdiction deals with the crimes committed within the boundaries of the Indian territory. In contrast, extra-territorial jurisdiction deals with the crimes committed beyond the boundaries of the Indian territory.Who can determine territorial jurisdiction? ›
Article 226 (2) of the Constitution of India provides that High Court within whose jurisdiction or local limits any part or whole cause of action arises shall have the jurisdiction to pass any order or direction so as to enforce fundamental rights and any other right.Can the government take your land in Texas? ›
That means it can only be taken for a purpose or use that serves the general public. Texas law prohibits condemnation authorities from taking your property to enhance tax revenues or foster economic development. Your property cannot be taken without adequate compensation.Can a neighbor drain water onto your property Texas? ›
(a) No person may divert or impound the natural flow of surface waters in this state, or permit a diversion or impounding by him to continue, in a manner that damages the property of another by the overflow of the water diverted or impounded.What is extraterritorial jurisdiction example? ›
Examples include where a state maintains jurisdiction over its citizens when they are overseas, and where certain criminal offences can be prosecuted in a state regardless of where they were committed (e.g. piracy and child sex offences).What is ETJ zoning Austin? ›
The extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) is the unincorporated land within 5 miles of Austin's full purpose city limit not within the city limits or ETJ of another city. Austin's ETJ currently extends into 4 counties including Williamson, Travis, Hays, and Bastrop.What does Houston ETJ mean? ›
Houston's extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) is essentially a five-mile band around the City's general-purpose boundaries, with the exception of instances when that band intersects another municipality or its ETJ. Within its ETJ, Houston has limited regulatory authority.
On what grounds can an ordinance be challenged? ›
Union of India (1970) held that the President's decision to promulgate ordinance could be challenged on the grounds that 'immediate action' was not required, and the ordinance had been issued primarily to bypass debate and discussion in the legislature.What happens if a local ordinance conflict with a state law? ›
A local ordinance will be preempted by state law when it is in express conflict with state or federal law. there is no direct conflict if the state or federal government has fully occupied the area of law in general.Who can enforce city ordinances in Texas? ›
(a) The governing body of a municipality may enforce each rule, ordinance, or police regulation of the municipality and may punish a violation of a rule, ordinance, or police regulation.How do you challenge jurisdiction in Texas? ›
Pleas to the Jurisdiction of the Court
A plea to the jurisdiction of the court in Texas is a motion that contests the subject matter jurisdiction of the court. As mentioned above, the court must have personal jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter jurisdiction over the case to adjudicate the dispute.
Under this act, a person may sue the state or a local government entity for “property damage, personal injury, and death proximately caused” by a public employee's negligence, omission, or other “wrongful act” that occurs within that person's “scope of employment.” In other words, if you are injured in an accident ...What is the maximum fine for a violation of a city ordinance in Texas? ›
Ordinance violations involving litter, fire safety, zoning, public health, and sanitation are punishable by fines only, up to a maximum of $2,000. Punishment for violation of other types of city ordinances is limited to fines only, not to exceed $500.What do extraterritorial jurisdiction powers refer to? ›
Extraterritorial jurisdiction simply relates to the authority of a government to criminalize activity that occurs outside its territorial borders, or to investigate or prosecute such activity.What is territorial or local jurisdiction? ›
Primary tabs. Territorial jurisdiction is the court's power to bind the parties to the action. This law determines the scope of federal and state court power.Can code enforcement go on my property Texas? ›
Accordingly, unless an exception applies, an administrative search warrant is required before a code enforcement officer or code enforcement official may enter onto private property to conduct administrative inspections of residential or commercial premises for code violations.What does it mean to not be in city limits? ›
Areas outside any city's limit are considered to be unincorporated, and in most U.S. states they are by default regulated and taxed by the county. In others, areas outside a city's limit fall within another type of local government, such as the civil township (a division of a county).
What are the advantages of living outside a city limits? ›
- More space. Homes in rural areas typically have more square footage and acreage. ...
- Proximity to nature. Living in the country puts you closer to nature and away from the hustle and bustle of the city. ...
- Cleaner air. ...
- Cheaper cost of living. ...
- Increased safety. ...
- Less noise. ...
- More privacy. ...
- Lower stress.
A limit tells us the value that a function approaches as that function's inputs get closer and closer to some number. The idea of a limit is the basis of all calculus. Created by Sal Khan.Can a city be in two counties in Texas? ›
Cities that are part of two or more counties.
For example, the city of Austin, Texas (blue) spans three counties: Williamson, Travis, and Hays (gray).
- Municipalities. Cities, towns and villages are known as municipalities and are represented by a council, elected by residents. ...
- Regional Municipalities. ...
- Rural Communities (RC) ...
- Local Service Districts (LSD)
Presently, with very few exceptions, cities in Texas are classified as general law or home rule.What is ETJ zoning in Texas? ›
The Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction ( ETJ ) is a designated buffer area located just outside of the city limits. Each municipality is afforded an ETJ by the Texas Local Government Code as a method of defining potential growth and future service boundaries.What are the 4 types of jurisdiction? ›
There are four main types of jurisdiction (arranged from greatest Air Force authority to least): (1) exclusive federal jurisdiction; (2) concurrent federal jurisdic- tion; (3) partial federal jurisdiction; and (4) proprietary jurisdiction.What are the 5 types of jurisdiction? ›
- Subject-Matter Jurisdiction.
- Territorial Jurisdiction.
- Personal Jurisdiction.
- General and Limited Jurisdiction.
- Exclusive / Concurrent Jurisdiction.
Federal law provides “extraterritorial jurisdiction” over certain sex offenses against children. Extraterritorial jurisdiction is the legal authority of the United States to prosecute criminal conduct that took place outside its borders.What are the types of extraterritorial jurisdiction? ›
The new paradigm posits that the presumption against extraterritorial jurisdiction can be rebutted in five situations: (1) Nationality Jurisdiction, (2) Effects Jurisdiction, (3) Universal Jurisdiction, (4) Protective Jurisdiction, and (5) Passive Personality Jurisdiction.
What are the types of extra territorial jurisdiction? ›
For a nation to have authority to enforce its laws beyond its borders, three types of international extraterritorial jurisdiction must be present: prescriptive jurisdiction, enforcement jurisdiction, and adjudicative jurisdiction.Can territorial jurisdiction be challenged at any time? ›
Chaman Paswan & Ors., “The apex court held judgment passed by the court lacking jurisdiction is a nullity and invalid and that, its validity can be challenged at any time during the course of execution or even at collateral proceedings.”A defect pertaining to lack of jurisdiction in relation to territorial, pecuniary, ...How do you determine jurisdiction in a civil case? ›
The code provides that a court will have Jurisdiction only over as the amount or value of the subject matter of which does not extend the pecuniary limits of jurisdiction. Some courts have unlimited pecuniary to restriction like High courts and District courts have no pecuniary limitations.What does Austin 2 Mile ETJ mean? ›
The extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) is the unincorporated land within 5 miles of Austin's full purpose city limit not within the city limits or ETJ of another city.What is Round Rock ETJ? ›
This layer is part of an original dataset provided and maintained by the City of Round Rock GIS/IT Department. The data in this layer are represented as polygons. An Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) is the legal capability of a municipality to exercise authority beyond the boundaries of its incorporated area.What is San Antonio ETJ? ›
Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ)
It is the area in which the City of San Antonio is the only authorized entity able to annex land. The ETJ enables the City to extend regulations to adjacent land where development can affect the quality of life within the city.
A building permit is required to “erect, construct, enlarge, alter, repair, improve, remove, convert, move or demolish” any building or structure within Austin's zoning jurisdiction, according to the Austin Development Services Department.What is extraterritorial jurisdiction in Texas Local Government Code? ›
42.001. PURPOSE OF EXTRATERRITORIAL JURISDICTION. The legislature declares it the policy of the state to designate certain areas as the extraterritorial jurisdiction of municipalities to promote and protect the general health, safety, and welfare of persons residing in and adjacent to the municipalities.Is Houston the only city without zoning? ›
As the fourth largest city in the nation, Houston is the only major U.S. city that doesn't have a zoning ordinance.What does no zoning mean in Houston? ›
The biggest difference, of course, is the lack of zoning — but what that really means in Houston is that there is no zoning for use. Under the city's development code, no parcel of land is restricted for any particular land use, and in many cases, there are no density or height restrictions either.
What is special about Houston laws that requires deed restrictions? ›
A primary purpose of most deed restrictions is preserving the residential character of a subdivision by keeping out commercial and industrial facilities. For people who prefer to live in a wholly residential environment, deed restrictions are desirable.What are people from Round Rock called? ›
|Round Rock, Texas|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central (CST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
|ZIP Codes||78664, 78665, 78680–78683|
Round Rock, Texas, with a population of more than 120,000, is located 15 miles north of Austin in the Central Texas Hill Country. Round Rock is the 31st largest City in Texas, according to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data.What jurisdiction is San Antonio TX in? ›
The San Antonio Municipal Court presides over offenses which are punishable by fine only. The court has jurisdiction over Class C misdemeanor criminal cases, with punishment upon conviction of fines up to $500, after which criminal cases fall under the jurisdiction of the Bexar County Court.How far can San Antonio extend its land development? ›
The statutes allow a five-mile ETJ for cities in excess of 100,000 in population. San Antonio, with a population of 1.3 million (per 2010 U.S. Census), has a five-mile ETJ.How do I find my property zoning in San Antonio? ›
Find out the zoning information using our City's One Stop Zoning Map or call us at 210.207. 1111. You can also visit with us at the One Stop for a free commercial consultation.