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Caught in the Code Enforcement’s Spider web-what are your rights?
Friday, August 3rd, 2012
Issue 31, Volume 16.
Their Blog is giving voice to the otherwise unheard horror stories of people caught in hopeless situations with their county departments of planning and land use. People all over the nation are rising up to tell their stories.
Patrick Henry said "Give me Liberty or give me Death". While he was speaking against the tyranny of the English, currently others are feeling the need for that same dedication to defend themselves against the tyranny of their county governments and agencies.
There is a family in Dade County, Florida that is standing up for their property rights and has paid dearly. They have been so severely harassed that they have suffered mysterious fires that burned their barn down with five horses in it. One of their beloved Friesian mares that survived was found dead from poisoning. The family also received death threats which lead to the mother taking her two young children and fleeing the United States for their safety, leaving dad behind to continue the fight over property issues with the county. Each thing that happened to them, happened after an interaction with an official authority, where they stood up for their rights.
Another family in Chino, CA just wanted to rebuild the fence that was destroyed by lightening and went through the proper channels just to meet with ridiculous resistance. They had retained a lawyer and were assured time to get prepared, but that didn’t stop a zealous code enforcement officer who brought a police officer with him to their place of business to try and force the father to sign a citation concerning their fence. No warrant was issued and they forced their way into a clearly marked "employee’s only" area to detain the owner.
Bob Morris believes that alone, people’s voices go unnoticed, but united; people are more likely to be heard.
Bob Morris of F.A.C.E. OFF has been in code enforcement’s spider web in San Bernardino County where he lives. Being a General Contractor there and working with the county over the years, Bob figured he could build his dream home--no sweat. Delays and wasteful mishaps on the county’s part lead him to extend his permits time and time again, until they just refused to renew them anymore. To add insult to injury, building costs kept rising as his $28,000 steel building that they would not let him put up laid rusting in his yard. It was then that the county’s Code Enforcement Officer sited him for a pile of junk in his yard. That pile of junk turned out to be his $28,000 building. It was then Bob found F.A.C.E. OFF’s blog which is based out of Florida and got to know who and what they were. Bob decided that if he was having such trouble, probably others were too. He wanted to help those people and then became the liaison for F.A.C.E. OFF on the west coast.
According to Bob Morris, he has found that the constitutional rights of citizens are being ignored on a daily basis concerning code enforcement in America everywhere. He says there is a lack of due process once citations are issued, and if the conditions are not met as per the Code Enforcement Officer’s opinion, the end result can be illegal search and seizure of the owner’s property, such as vehicles, storage buildings etc. Code Enforcement Offices make their decisions based on their own interpretation of the law, once cited and fined, and there is no going back, so they say. Code Enforcement officers give the citation, enforce the citation, and interpret the law that they give the citation for, all at their own discretion. Citizens at the recent meetings are wondering if this is a conflict of interest.
Code enforcement officers are responsible to know the code and to be able to inspect every aspect of a citizen’s life from their pets, fences, water, sewer, outbuildings, land, and homes--you name it and they can give a citation for a violation concerning it. These codes are not clear, easily accessible or understandable to the public in order to understand an actual offense or compliance. Too much is left up to interpretation. To see the range of county ordinances go to www.countyofriverside.us/livinghere/codeenforcement.html and click on County Ordinances and then a number. Try #190 near top called "AN ORDINANCE DECLARING AS A PUBLIC NUISANCE ANY AND ALL ACCUMULATIONS OF LIMBS, BRANCHES, PRUNINGS, TRIMMINGS, STUMPS AND PARTS OF DOMESTIC AND CULTIVATED FRUIT TREES AND PROVIDING A PENALTY FOR MAINTAINING THE SAME" for violating this ordinance you could go to jail for six month and or pay a fine of $500. If there is a good reason for this code it is unclear. What about firewood? Another site to see www.rctlma.org/ce/content/ce_faqs.aspx
Freedoms, as promised in the U.S. and our State’s Constitutions, are being denied as: "all men are by nature free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property: and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness."- From article one, of the State of California’s Constitution
Bob Morris points out that once cited, most people feel a sense of guilt and do not fight. Citied citizens now have only 15 days to respond and/or comply. No response is an admission of guilt and with no compliance, fines begin to be levied. These fines quickly add up and are unreasonable in their amount and how they accrue. To take action you need to know what to do before a code enforcement issue happens to you.
Bob Morris, after all he has been through, just wants to see injustice defeated and to do this we must stand up and fight for our rights as American citizens.
"When the people fear the government there is tyranny; when the government fears the people there is liberty" Thomas Jefferson
To learn more go to www.faceoffmovenment.blogspot.com. To read about what happened in Miami Dade County, Florida, go to: www.faceoffmovement.blogspot.com/2012/05/i-wont-hidei-will-fight.html.
To read what happened in Chino this month go to: californiafaceoffmovement.blogspot.com/
Check out Bob Morris’s story at: www.faceoffmovement.blogspot.com/2012/01/bobs-got-your-back-america.html.
This is the first two articles of the:
Constitution of the State of California 1849
We, the people of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure its blessings, do establish this Constitution.
Declaration of Right
Sec. 1. All men are by nature free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property: and pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.
Sec. 2. All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security, and benefit of the people; and they have the right to alter or reform the same, whenever the public good may require it.
To read the rest go to www.sos.ca.gov/archives/collections/1849/full-text.htm
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