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Georgia city sued by fed-up residents over 'ridiculous' fines.....

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posted on May, 31 2018 @ 04:41 PM
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Geo rgia city sued by fed-up residents over 'ridiculous' fines for chipped paint, driveway cracks

Hilda Brucker went down to the municipal court in October 2016 after receiving a phone call. She hadn’t received a formal summons or known of any wrongdoing; instead, she thought she needed to clear a ticket.

But when she arrived at the Doraville, Georgia, courthouse, Brucker said she was placed before a judge and prosecutor who accused her of violating city code -- because of cracks in her driveway...

...Brucker is part of an Institute for Justice (IJ) lawsuit against Doraville, a town of about 10,000 people just northeast of Atlanta. The lawsuit challenges the constitutionality of Doraville “using its law enforcement and municipal court system for revenue generation.” ...

... About 25 percent of Doraville’s operating budget is reliant on fees and fines, ...

... "prosecutors and law enforcement have a financial interest in convicting the defendant," as they have an "incentive" to ticket and prosecute because they are paid from Doraville's revenue....

...Jeff Thornton, a neighbor, was fined $1,000 and threatened with an arrest warrant because he had a “disorganized” pile of wood in his backyard, according to IJ. Thornton told the nonprofit that he used the wood for cooking or building birdhouses...


PDF of Institute for Justice Lawsuit


INTRODUCTION
1. This lawsuit is a constitutional challenge to a municipality’s policy
and practice of using its law enforcement and municipal court system for revenue
generation.
2. Courts, prosecutors, and law enforcement are public officials,
entrusted with discretion over the cases they adjudicate or prosecute.
3. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that municipal courts cannot have,
or appear to have, an independent interest, such as a financial interest, in obtaining convictions.
4. The U.S. Supreme Court has also stated that the government violates
a defendant’s constitutional rights when prosecutors and law enforcement have a
financial interest in convicting the defendant.


Now this sort of thing really pisses me off. If you look at the photo's these are not cases where these people have horribly unkempt homes, but nitpicky carp to in my opinion rob their own citizens to pay themselves.


Brucker also said the prosecutor tried to nail her for some chipped paint near a water drain on her house and a small patch of what appeared to be weeds in her yard. The prosecutor brought photos of the supposed neglect to her house to the judge, but those complaints were dismissed, she said.


Something needs to be done about this sort of thing happening to residents of communities where the local government is one step shy of organized crime and a protection racket. On top of that, you have cities, especially small ones, that rely on ticketing out of state or out of town drivers passing through.




posted on May, 31 2018 @ 04:44 PM
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a reply to: Blaine91555

Wanna take any bets on how many of these city officials get reelected?



posted on May, 31 2018 @ 04:51 PM
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originally posted by: Bluntone22
a reply to: Blaine91555

Wanna take any bets on how many of these city officials get reelected?


Doesn't make one bit of difference - the city policies & employees are doing the deeds.

I live in the same kinda little town in Texas...

ganjoa



posted on May, 31 2018 @ 04:53 PM
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they have these laws where I am now

trying to find the spot in the constitution where it says the government is allowed to micro manage how you care for your property

anybody know where that's at?



posted on May, 31 2018 @ 04:53 PM
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a reply to: Bluntone22

I've had a real problem with cities and towns that are like this since I had to drive through one to get to work for a couple of years. The small town made the national news often for harassing truck drivers and hitting them with huge fines.

They had the game rigged and if you did not live in the area, you got caught and fined. They did that easily by how they located their speed limit signs.

The highway, a major truck route in Idaho, dropped down into the downtown both before and after the town as the downtown was in low area. The signs were placed so you could not see the new speed limit until you were on a slope, traveling too fast to slow down in time. The single cop sat at the bottom and issued fines all day long.

They lost a lawsuit and had to clean that up, but it was way back in 76 or so. Oh, and the cop was also the mayor and the judge. Sat next to him many times in a bar and he was for lack of a better description a cliche.



posted on May, 31 2018 @ 04:53 PM
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I'm pretty sure every municipality out there is guilty of these types of things...



posted on May, 31 2018 @ 04:57 PM
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a reply to: muzzleflash

I'm sure you are right, but it does not make it right or even legal or constitutional.

I'm glad to see any lawsuit that slowly chips away at this kind of abuse.

Sadly these things hurt those with the least the hardest.



posted on May, 31 2018 @ 05:04 PM
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a reply to: Blaine91555

A pile of wood in the backyard or a crack in the concrete? Are you #in kidding me!! This is mafia-level local-government insanity and frankly, criminal. I fail to see how these municipal bylaws are constitutional in any way, shape or form.



posted on May, 31 2018 @ 05:04 PM
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a “disorganized” pile of wood in his backyard


I assume this is defined in a city statute.

Work opening for a wood organizer or a new start up business. Who would have thought.



posted on May, 31 2018 @ 05:09 PM
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a reply to: Sublimecraft

Well if the IJ is right it's not constitutional.

INTRODUCTION
1. This lawsuit is a constitutional challenge to a municipality’s policy
and practice of using its law enforcement and municipal court system for revenue
generation.
2. Courts, prosecutors, and law enforcement are public officials,
entrusted with discretion over the cases they adjudicate or prosecute.
3. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that municipal courts cannot have,
or appear to have, an independent interest, such as a financial interest, in obtaining convictions.
4. The U.S. Supreme Court has also stated that the government violates
a defendant’s constitutional rights when prosecutors and law enforcement have a
financial interest in convicting the defendant.


I think where they cross the line is making it a criminal matter instead of infractions.
edit on 5/31/2018 by Blaine91555 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 31 2018 @ 05:18 PM
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a reply to: Blaine91555


That's like that craphole Ohio town that had Route 80 pass through and used it generate buckets of fines. The ended up getting sued and had to stop the practice.



posted on May, 31 2018 @ 05:25 PM
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I would be slapped with 50K worth of fines for issues with my yard.
I leave the weeds, got cracks in my drive, paintchips everywhere.
My house is older than me and I'm pushing 60.
This kind of abuse is just so far out of line most can't imagine it's real.
Until you see the ticket with a fine you MUST pay or go to jail.



posted on May, 31 2018 @ 06:31 PM
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originally posted by: toysforadults
they have these laws where I am now

trying to find the spot in the constitution where it says the government is allowed to micro manage how you care for your property

anybody know where that's at?


Take a look at the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, which gives states the rights and powers "not delegated to the United States." States are thus granted the power to establish and enforce laws protecting the welfare, safety, and health of the public.
But if the laws or enforcement is, instead, a revenue measure, it falls outside of the Amendment, a becomes a "taking" without due process, and therefore unconstitutional.
Most states have eliminated these municipal or justice o the peace courts and have gone to a unified court system with District Courts handling misdemeanors, probate, juvenile and preliminary step felony cases and smaller civil cases. Circuit Courts handle larger civil, divorce and felony cases. Then a Court of Appeals is the intermediate Appeals Court, and the state Supreme Court bring the highest appeals court. If you don't like what happens there, you can ask the US Supreme Court to please, pretty please, let you appeal to it. You don't have the right of appeal from the state court system to SCOTUS, and very few such appeals are granted.



posted on May, 31 2018 @ 06:37 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

We had Lindale, in Cleveland. It was like 200 feet of I71 with a bridge. 58 in a 55 would likely get you a ticket.



posted on May, 31 2018 @ 08:33 PM
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Don't let this practice get to your town. They originally say they want to clean up the real bad properties, but within ten years you are getting a fine because you left your rake lean against the house or left your BBQ grill in front of the house for the night. I have heard of these kind of things happening, it seems like fines are what they are looking for. They got away with seatbelt fines, now they are trying to expand revenue. Locally they have no parking on some streets in residential areas and all cars or trucks have to go past the face of the house. If you are a contractor, you can buy an exemption to park on the street or in front of the house. Three hundred bucks for a week. In a town near here, it is another type of tax which always gets passed on down to the person getting the service, if I have to pay three hundred a week to park, I am going to charge four fifty a week.



posted on May, 31 2018 @ 08:51 PM
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a reply to: network dude


That's what I'm thinking of.



posted on May, 31 2018 @ 09:10 PM
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Ridiculous, people are so petty at times.

Reminds me of the story below, she was in the right and was in compliance of Tulsa's ordinances. They didn't care and it didn't matter.

www.newson6.com...



Last August, Morrison's front and back yards were filled with flowers in bloom, lemon, stevia, garlic chives, grapes, strawberries, apple mint, spearmint, peppermint, an apple tree, walnut tree, pecan trees and much more.

She got a letter from the city saying there had been a complaint about her yard.

She said she took pictures to meet with city inspectors, but they wouldn't listen, so she invited them to her home so they could point out the problem areas.

"Everything, everything needs to go," Morrison said they told her.

When she heard they wanted to cut it all down, she called police. The officer issued her a citation so it could be worked out in court.

She said she went to court on August 15, and the judge told them to come back in October. But the very next day, men were cutting down most of her plants.

They even cut down some of her trees -– ones that bore fruit and nuts -– and went up next to her house and basically removed everything in her front flower bed.

"I came back three days later, sat in my driveway, cried and left," Morrison said.


I live in a HOA sub-division, they were going to fine my landlord for pouring a patio in the backyard. Saying, nothing could be done to the property unless it's payed for in full. It wasn't bothering anyone nor could you even see it with the 6ft high fence. I understand some of their rules in order to keep the neighborhood looking good, but come on, just silly. We received a $150 fine for parking a car in the street for a week while we had company.



posted on May, 31 2018 @ 10:30 PM
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The township I live in has many ordinances that are out of line IMO, however, they don't have a big enough budget to take everyone to court. Bottom line, do what ever you want and if your good with the neighbors, no complaint, no fines.

I imagine they have enough corrupt money making things going on, they wouldn't want to rock the boat by messing with too many residents.



posted on Jun, 1 2018 @ 12:43 AM
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The disparity of rules in my town run from one extreme to another. One end, there is industrial scale dumping on boro property, on the other end nit-picking down to the level of individual blades of grass.



posted on Jun, 1 2018 @ 01:19 AM
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Kick em in the balls!

Watch Desperate Housewives.

Get some ideas.






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