Q The city has complied with Section 21-19-11 in order to clean a piece of private property. The city employees who attempted to enter for cleaning the property were met by verbal protests and a locked gate. May city employees remove the lock and enter the property?

A Yes. The city has the authority to remove the lock and enter to clean the property. If the situation escalates, however, and the property owner attempts to physically deny access, there is no authority for an arrest for noncompliance with a civil order. The most appropriate course of action in such circumstances would be for the city to seek judicial aid in enforcing its order. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Dye, December 21, 2012)