Rep. Cody Harris

Representative Cody Harris (R-Palestine) has filed legislation abolishing the common law doctrine of public nuisance and replacing it with a more limited statutory action. HB 2144 does the following:

  • Abolishes the common law doctrine of public nuisance.
  • Substitutes a new statutory cause of action embodied in Chapter 100F, CPRC.
  • Provides that a person may only be held liable for a public nuisance if the person causes an unlawful condition and controls the condition at the time the condition violates an established public right (a right commonly held by all members of the public to the use of public land, air, or water).
  • Provides that the aggregation of multiple individual injuries or private nuisances do not constitute violations of an established public right.
  • Provides that only the state or a political subdivision can bring an action for public nuisance and may only do so by a government attorney for the relevant jurisdiction.
  • Allows enforcement by a private citizen only if the private citizen can show a special injury by clear and convincing evidence.
  • Provides that as a matter of law, the use of or damage to public land, air, or water with only personal, spiritual, cultural, or emotional significance to the individual is not a special injury. Remedies include injunctive relief and non-speculative monetary of non-monetary resources necessary to abate the nuisance (as shown by clear and convincing evidence).


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