The Law Office of J. Patrick Sutton
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I handle real estate and property-rights disputes. That includes HOA law, property rights, fraud, commercial leasing, and construction. I've been at the forefront of short-term rental litigation and property rights challenges to municipal ordinances and deed restrictions.

I never represent HOA's. I believe that the HOA system is fundamentally flawed as a method of privatized local government. Nevertheless, I work within the law and the legal system to protect and defend homeowners.

I also handle
civil appeals in state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, Texas Supreme Court, Texas intermediate appellate courts, and the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Right now, my caseload is overwhelmingly property-rights oriented, particularly as regards leasing and short-term leasing, but also architectural and construction issues, particularly involving decisions by architectural control committees. I blog about these issues on this site.

CASE UPDATE: CITY STR BANS

My clients who sued the City of Grapevine won a significant victory in the Fort Worth Court of Appeals on August 5, 2021, turning back a challenge by the City of Grapevine which would have undone a temporary injunction granted to my clients by the Tarrant County District Court and caused the lawsuit to be dismissed. The decision in
Muns et al. v. City of Grapevine is HERE. The Fort Worth Court of Appeals, in a strongly-worded opinion, upheld every constitutional theory asserted by the homeowners who rent for short terms. The only claim dismissed was one in which the homeowners asserted that the Texas Legislature intended to prevent cities from banning short-term rentals (because the Legislature amended the Texas Hotel Tax in 2015 to include homes rented for short terms, meaning it wants tax revenue) (I remain fond of this theory. Why would the Legislature tax something, only to allow to be banned across the state by cities?).

The Fort Worth Court of Appeals strongly approved of the analysis of the Austin Court of Appeals in the
Zaatari v. City of Austin case, which put a stake in the heart of Austin's ban on non-owner-occupied short-term home rentals. In July, the Texas Supreme Court refused to even hear the Zaatari case, and at that point, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals evidently felt it was a good time to reaffirm and extend Zaatari.

Note, the temporary injunction that allows my clients to continue renting in Grapevine does not, by its terms, extend to other homeowners in Grapevine. If you are one of those homeowners who wishes to rent out your house for short terms, you will need to seek legal advice.


The Law Office of J. Patrick Sutton