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The Code Enforcement Process
There are four Neighborhood Improvement Officers for the City of Joplin. Each officer is tasked with covering one fourth of the City's residences. This equates to each officer inspecting approximately 8 sq. miles of land consisting of about 7,000 parcels and 4500 structures in each quadrant of the city. 

If you can imagine, this is a large task, and the goal is to inspect each parcel/property four times a year. Here is how the process works: 

Neighborhood Improvement Officers conduct routine inspections in every neighborhood in Joplin. While routine inspections are the primary way violations are found, citizens can also report potential violations by notifying Neighborhood Services in one of the following ways: 

Phone: 417-624-0820 x518
Web: Request Tracker

All citizen requests are inspected within 48 hours of receipt. 

If an officer observes a violation during a routine inspection or through a report from a fellow citizen, we notify the owner and tenant (if there is one) in one of three ways:
  • A personal visit with the occupant if they are home
  • A door hanger making them aware of the violation
  • A letter to the owner and tenant

Because a letter is the only legal means of communication, the Division will usually employ this method of notification, although the other two methods are used when appropriate. 

The property is then re-inspected between 3 and 20 business days later, depending on the violation. If the violation continues to exist, the Neighborhood Improvement Officer does everything in their power (making personal contact, phone calls, and a final notice) to make sure the occupant is aware that a violation needs to be corrected. 

If the owner/tenant fails to work with the Neighborhood Improvement Officer, a final notice is posted to the door of the property, a citation is written, and a summons is issued so that the occupant must appear in court. This is considered a criminal charge. The judge may grant the defendant more time to correct the issue, issue a fine, or give the City permission to hire a contractor to correct the code violation.

This, as you might imagine, is a long process. Depending on the violation it can take between 10-45 days or longer before the violation is finally resolved. 

Common Violations
Below is a list of the five most common violations we deal with in a year. 

1. Tall grass and weeds (Sec. 54-61): about 2500 cases/year
2. Refuse, garbage, and trash (Sec. 54-35:9,10): about 600 cases/year
3. Limb and brush piles (Sec. 122-52 & 54): about 400 cases/year
4. Outside Storage of furniture or appliances (Sec. 54-35:18): about 200 cases/year
5. Inoperable or un-tagged vehicles (Sec. 54-35:22): about 150 cases/year

For a layman's handbook of common code violations, click here for the "UNDERSTANDING CITY CODES HANDBOOK."

For a fully searcheable enumeration of Joplin City Codes, click here for MUNICODE.

How You Can Help
There are several ways you can be active in your neighborhood to ensure City codes are understood and followed. 

1. EDUCATE YOUR NEIGHBORS. Many people living in Joplin are simply unaware that what they are doing is in violation of City codes. Use this educational flyer to educate your neighbors or post it on your neighborhood's social media page to educate people about the most commonly violated City codes. 

2. REPORT CODE VIOLATIONS: If you believe there may be a violation in your neighborhood, Report it, using the link provided or by calling 417-624-0820 Ext. 518 and a Neighborhood Improvement Officer will inspect the property in question within 48 hours. 

3. UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS. If you are unclear on how the code enforcement process works, please read the above section entitled, "The Code Enforcement Process." If you report a potential violation, please wait three weeks before you call back to check on your concern. This ensures the code enforcement process has had time to work. We appreciate your patience!