The county attorney’s office processes environmental health cases. These cases include septic system failures and excessive amounts of garbage, rubbish, and refuse located on a property, which can result in the contamination of groundwater or surface water or the breeding of insects or rodents.
The steps for processing environmental health cases are as follows:
- The Environmental Health Department issues a notice that cites the ways the property is in violation of the Health and Safety Code.
- This notice allows an average of 30 days to comply and bring the property up to state standards.
- If the property owner and/or tenant does not comply, the Health Department notifies the county attorney’s office to seek legal action.
- The county attorney’s office notifies the property owner and/or tenant via certified mail of the violations, allowing an additional 10-day period from the receipt of the letter to comply.
- If the resident still does not comply, the county attorney’s office may file a petition in the 355 Judicial District Court alleging said violation of the Health and Safety Code.
- A hearing is held, at which time the judge issues a ruling or either a Temporary or Permanent Injunction .
- Following the period of time that the court has allowed the property owner and/or tenant to bring the property up to state standards, another inspection of the property is made by the Environmental Health Department and if the property is still in violation, a request is made to file a motion for enforcement of the order.
- The property owner and/or tenant is served with a notice to appear. At said hearing, the judge may allow additional time to come into compliance or sentence the resident to up to six months in the Hood County jail for failure to comply.