What is Environmental Court?
The City of Clinton strives to protect the quality of life for all residents. The Environmental Court will provide a means to expedite the handling of historic and property maintenance and preservation issues for our community, including criminal and code violations involving private, commercial, and residential properties throughout the City.
Why Environmental Court?
Recognizing the importance property maintenance issues and code violations have on the quality of life and health of a community, the city of Clinton environmental court deals with derelict properties, tree ordinance violations, vandalism, building- and fire-code violations, and other issues.
Environmental Court will provide a means to expedite the handling of historic and property maintenance and preservation issues for our community, including criminal and code violations involving private, commercial, and residential properties throughout the City.
Current City Judge and City Attorney, William Purdie, will hear environmental cases.
Community Development Director Roy Edwards will continue to serve as the point person for inspections and resident complaints that could result in environmental cases through the Community Development Office at 961 Highway 80 East.
Mayor Fisher said the city needs the court because property maintenance and code enforcement issues often get bogged down under the current structure and sometimes take six months to bring a resolution.
The focus in Municipal Court is on crime. Environmental (code enforcement) issues, he said, will have a higher priority with a separate court.
Clinton is joining a trend toward municipal environmental courts. Gulfport, Hattiesburg, and Biloxi operate environmental courts.
Under the current administration, the city has “addressed some procedures that have helped speed up the process, but it is an interminable process. For a problem property, it becomes a never-ending cycle of citation after citation with no long-term solution.”