June 4, 2024

Board of Directors
Northwest Harris County MUD No. 24
14448 Hollister Street,
Houston, Texas 77066

RE: Liabilities Related to Unauthorized Use of District Facilities and Services.

Dear Board of Directors for Northwest Harris County MUD No. 24,

Based upon information received, as attorney for the District, The Harris Law Firm has a duty pursuant to Texas Disciplinary Rules Professional Conduct Section 1.12 to take reasonable remedial measure action to prevent further action that may cause legal injury to the District.

Our office was made aware of an unauthorized event that took place at the District’s Activities Building on or about May 26, 2024. Unauthorized events hosted by Directors and taking place on District property pose a legal risk to the District as well as Directors.  Please be advised of the current district policies related to the rental of the District’s Activities Building and Access to District Facilities and Services.

The District’s Activities Building General Use and Reservation Policy was enacted May 7, 2024 and outlines the process by which a resident may reserve and rent the Activities Building.  The policy does not authorize any Director to host events at their discretion without following the protocols as outlined within the policy. The process to initiate and reserve rental space at the District’s Activities Building involves the following; submitting and obtaining approval of a Rental Application, paying a security deposit for damages, paying a rental fee, furnishing insurance information and the resident’s water bill account number, paying a fee for security (if applicable).Finally, no reservation is complete and/or authorized, without executing a Rental Agreement and Waiver of Liability between the District and the resident who is responsible for renting the building.

The District’s Policy for Access to District Facilities and Services was enacted April 4, 2023 and outlined the protocols for proper access to the Districts Properties and Services.  The Policy explains that Directors may only access District property, or services for the purpose of doing official work of the District.  Further, the policy states that any other individual accessing the District’s Facilities shall have an agreement in place authorizing use of the building.  Those individuals utilizing District property or services outside these parameters are trespassing.  The

District’s policies sets out the available remedies for such violations including revocation of key cards and pursuing all other available legals remedies both criminal and civil.

We have found that where a Director hosts an unauthorized event, where there was no approved Rental Application, No Rental Agreement, or Waiver of Liability, the Director hosting the event is in direct violation of District Policies.  Further, we find that the District was put at risk of potentially having to defend against legal action in the event an injury occurred on the premises during the event.

Without a signed Waiver of Liability, in the event that injury occurred while on the premises, guests invited by the host would not be precluded from filing suit against the District for damages. Waivers of Liability protect entities from legal exposure for injuries and other claims that may arise from personal injury.  A Waiver of Liability gives the Defendant in a suit for damages resulting from injury, an opportunity to move for dismissal of the case on the grounds of a waiver being in place.  Without a waiver in place, the District would be forced to defend itself based upon the merits of the case, which can end up being more complex and costly to the District.

Additionally, we have also found that the following criminal charges may apply to Directors found using the District’s Facilities or Services, including hosting unauthorized events at the District’s Activities Building may apply.

ABUSE OF CAPACITY: Section 39.02, Texas Penal Code

(a) A public servant commits an offense if, with intent to obtain a benefit or with intent to harm or defraud another, he intentionally or knowingly:

(1) violates a law relating to the public servant’s office or employment;  or

(2) misuses government property, services, personnel, or any other thing of value belonging to the government that has come into the public servant’s custody or possession by virtue of the public servant’s office or employment.

(b) An offense under Subsection (a)(1) is a Class A misdemeanor.

(c) An offense under Subsection (a)(2) is:

(1) a Class C misdemeanor if the value of the use of the thing misused is less than $100;

(2) a Class B misdemeanor if the value of the use of the thing misused is $100 or more but less than $750;

(3) a Class A misdemeanor if the value of the use of the thing misused is $750 or more but less than $2,500;

(4) a state jail felony if the value of the use of the thing misused is $2,500 or more but less than $30,000;

CRIMINAL TRESSPASS: Section 30.05, Texas Penal Code

(a) A person commits an offense if the person enters or remains on or in property of another, including residential land, agricultural land, a recreational vehicle park, a building, a general residential operation operating as a residential treatment center, or an aircraft or other vehicle, without effective consent and the person:

(1) had notice that the entry was forbidden; or

(2) received notice to depart but failed to do so.

It is hereby our advisement that all Directors follow existing District Policies as it relates to Use of District facilities and services as well the process to reserve and rent the District’s Activities Building.

Please feel free to reach out to the District’s general counsel, Michael Harris at (713) 398-1268 if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Best regards,

/s/ Michael R. Harris, General Counsel,
Northwest Harris County Municipal Utility District No. 24

Please see the District’s Policy regarding access to District Facilities here.