How quickly is a code violation investigated after it’s reported?

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Viewers reach out to FOX13 asking us to investigate code violations, and when we do, we usually get answers within 24 to 48 hours. But is that the typical time frame for the everyday person?

From illegal dumping to a landlord not repairing a tenant’s air conditioning in the summer, we’ve investigated it all.

According to the City of Memphis, code enforcement will investigate within five days of reporting a code violation. How quickly one has to rectify the violation, like the men who dumped trash in Parkway Village, depends.

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“We have a service level agreement for things reported to 311, so the first step is they have to report it to 311,” said Robert Knecht, Memphis Division of Public Works Director.

Generally, when FOX13 reports a viewer’s complaint to Memphis Code Enforcement, an inspector looks into the complaint within 24 to 48 hours, but that’s not the typical time frame.

“Our normal service calls, we have five days, but we average three to four days,” said Knecht.

Knecht said someone would investigate within 24 hours if it’s an emergency.

“An emergency, if someone is living in an apartment or place with no heat, no water,” said Knecht.

However, viewers have often told FOX13 it takes much longer.

FOX13 decided to test it out by reporting a viewer’s complaint to 311 without sharing our identity.

The incident was reported, and hopefully, sometime next week, we can update you on whether the viewer’s complaint was investigated.

The men responsible for unloading trash from a U-Haul onto public and private property took responsibility for their actions Friday and said they were ready to right their wrongs.

READ MORE: 2 men caught dumping trash apologize to Memphis

Three days after they were caught on camera dumping it, the trash is still there. However, we’re told the men plan to clean it up.

FOX13 spoke with the City of Memphis about how they were able to identify these men and bring them to justice quickly.

“I want to applaud the citizen for taking the video and making sure it was made public,” Knecht said.

Knecht said thanks to the video, they were able to identify the men within 24 hours.

“That information was passed along to our environmental force team, who was able to identify the vehicle, identify the people based on the clothing they were wearing,” said Knecht.

He said code enforcement then went to the U-haul rental location, got the men’s driver’s license information, and issued them a citation.

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The men may also appear in environmental court.

“It’s possible the judge may decide they need some community service time in addition to that, and they may have to pick up trash across the city,” said Knecht.

Knecht said this should send a stern message to anyone thinking of breaking the law.

“You’re putting yourself at great risk, both financially and criminally, by making this decision to dump illegally. We want it to stop. We are tired of it,” he said.

If you witness someone illegally dumping. You’re asked to document by taking a video or picture of the vehicle and the license plate of the person.

If you see piles of trash or someone dumping in the City of Memphis, upload the photos below.