The Law Office of J. Patrick Sutton
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I handle real estate, HOA, and property-rights disputes at the trial and appellate levels in Texas and Washington State. I spearhead short-term rental litigation in Texas, against both cities and HOA's.

I never represent HOA's. 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 handle 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.

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.

Homeowner Wins in City Short-Term Rental Ban cases

We are making headway against cities' bans on short-term rentals. My homeowner clients have recently prevailed in voiding such bans in Austin and Dickinson (near Galveston), and clients of mine have gotten a preliminary injunction in federal court against the town of Hollywood Park (near San Antonio). Homeowners in Dallas have also been successful in getting an early injunction against the City of Dallas's ban. Clients of mine are in the final stages of litigation against the cities of Grapevine, Texas and New Braunfels, Texas, and litigation is ongoing against the City of Fort Worth. Information on these case is on
the blog.

Homeowner Wins and Losses in Restrictive Covenant Cases

The situation with restrictive covenants (deed restrictions) has become dire for Texas homeowners. While one of my clients has prevailed recently in invalidating a host of new restrictions imposed on a homeowner after purchase, that was a trial court decision not yet decided on appeal. In appeals cases, theAustin, Beaumont, and Houston appeals courts — covering millions of Texans — allow new restrictions to be imposed on owners after purchase. That includes outright bans on leasing, a requirement of permanent owner-occupancy, and, in general, the taking away of valuable rights that people count on when buying land. In January, the Texas Supreme Court declined to hear several of my cases of this sort, so it's now up to the 10 other courts of appeals to turn the tide and protect Texas homeowners from having their property rights summarily taken away.

The Law Office of J. Patrick Sutton