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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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In Texas is code enforcement legally allowed to look

Customer Question

In Texas is code enforcement legally allowed to look over your fence?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.
That is a very good question. In general the Fourth Amendment applies. Under the Fourth Amendment, a warrant is required to search an area in which a person has a "reasonable expectation of privacy" unless something can be seen via 'plain view'. As far as 'plain view' is concerned, there are certain exceptions or conditions that the courts have found to be permitted. The courts have held, for example, that standing on a cement block and looking in would not violate the Fourth Amendment. Likewise watching through a neighbor's upstairs window is not a violation. Similarly, if the code enforcement officer is tall enough to look in, unassisted, it is permitted. Likewise aerial view is generally held permissible as is view through binoculars or other such tools. But if all that is missing, and there is a fence that blocks access, this is a fence that cannot easily be seen over, then an argument exists that the violation was not in 'plain view', and enforcement was in violation.
Dimitry, Esq.