Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Help with Appeal of Calif. Admin. Ruling (Citation for Fire Hazard)

Please critique my "brief." I'll post in multiple parts. propurrr08/13/17
UNFAIR HEARING Summary: Alleged AHO denied Contestant a r propurrr08/13/17
PREJUDICIAL ABUSE OF DISCRETION SUMMARY: Alleged AHO cite propurrr08/13/17
SBC PROCEEDED WITHOUT OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION SUMMAR propurrr08/13/17
If I were the Superior Court judge reading your appeal I'd b specv31308/13/17
Whatever you do, do not attack the hearing officer in any wa guyingorillasuit08/13/17
Thanks. I removed all the "attacks" on the AHO. I also cu propurrr08/15/17
Just an opinion. This area (Cajon Pass/Phelin) had a big as 2ski08/14/17
Given the low fine amount is there a reason for not just pay retard08/15/17
After obtaining a bulls*it warrant, SBC Land Use Services "a propurrr08/15/17
Ok. I reviewed this, I reviewed the relevant codes and I hav retard08/15/17
A city very likely CAN do that. In my case, however, County propurrr08/15/17
Do you actually have proof that the MOU was entered into inc retard08/16/17
1. Yes. It violates the CA Gov. Codes I mentioned in my brie propurrr08/16/17
My Admin. Citation Appeal Ruling ("ACAR") stated that I coul propurrr08/19/17
Sorry you are getting the runaround. Probably because SB cou 2ski08/19/17
It is the largest county (in acreage). That might justify o propurrr08/19/17
What you're probably filing is not an appeal, but a petition guyingorillasuit08/19/17
It could be done as a "writ of mandate" (CA GOV. Code 1094.5 propurrr08/19/17
You are wrong. Minimizing fire risk is a community issue, no retard08/19/17
I meant that, by ignoring my weeds, I stood little chance of propurrr08/19/17
WRT the 4", this is probably the standard height that a brus 2ski08/21/17
UPDATE: On 8/18, I used my cell phone to record (1) all o propurrr08/27/17
The clerks often screw things up. They are overworked, under guyingorillasuit09/15/17
My check was taped to page #1 of my appeal. Page #1 of my a propurrr09/15/17
I'm going to second GIGS comment. If you go in raving about thirdtierlaw09/15/17
RE: Conspiracy Theory Unless County were to claim "late f propurrr09/15/17
One more thing. You said this $100 ticket is "no big deal." propurrr09/15/17
If you want to take on the County for its bad practices, you guyingorillasuit09/15/17
Yea, I'd prefer to avoid that, since a lawsuit would necessi propurrr09/15/17
got a court date for October (SB Court wasn't stupid enough propurrr09/15/17
I should also mention that SB Court scheduled my case for EA propurrr09/15/17
You realize that the court schedules you when they have open thirdtierlaw09/16/17
I don't understand why it's like that. Why isn't there a cou propurrr09/16/17
Why is anyone engaging with this guy? He displays the cla passportfan309/16/17
RE: Minutia: Are you referencing my distinctions between propurrr09/16/17
I like to watch Sovereign Citizen Getting Owned videos too. 2ski09/17/17
I think this going to result in some unintended consequences 2ski09/17/17
I suspect you're right. Regardless if he wins or not, the ru thirdtierlaw09/17/17
The rules won't necessarily change, whether I were to win or propurrr09/17/17
It's the opposite. My city ***might*** give county authorit propurrr09/17/17
You make a good case for a cash strapped city to clean up it 2ski09/17/17
No. Whenever City of Hesperia has attempted similar buffoone propurrr09/17/17
Just learned that San Bernardino County is a "charter county propurrr09/18/17

propurrr (Aug 13, 2017 - 5:34 am)

Please critique my "brief."

I'll post in multiple parts.

(Format is somewhat jacked, since this website is primitive).

(My appeal is to a CA Superior Court and will be treated as a "limited civil case").


Appeal of Administrative Citation Appeal Ruling: CA Gov. Code 53069.4(b)(1)

BACKGROUND
On 6/14/17, San Bernardino County (“SBC”) issued a $100 citation (“Citation"), alleging that

[redacted] (“Property”) violated San Bernardino County Code: 23.0305(b)(4) (“Code”).

Contestant then filed a Notice of Appeal (“NOA”), claiming Citation lacked legality for

multiple reasons. In a subsequent Administrative Citation Appeal Ruling (“ACAR”), an alleged

Administrative Hearing Officer (“AHO”) “upheld" the citation. Contestant now appeals that

decision for three reasons. First, the alleged hearing was either unfair or non-existent.

Second, the alleged AHO demonstrated prejudicial abuse of discretion. And, third, SBC issued

Citation either without or in excess of jurisdiction.


(Note: Contestant uses “SBC” to mean any of the following: San Bernardino County, San

Bernardino County Land Use Services, San Bernardino County Code Enforcement, San

Bernardino County Fire Hazard Abatement, or San Bernardino County Fire).

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Aug 13, 2017 - 5:45 am)

UNFAIR HEARING

Summary: Alleged AHO denied Contestant a reasonable opportunity to be heard, failed to give

Contestant proper notice of a new allegation, failed to show that Contestant received a

hearing, failed

to show qualification to hear Contestant's case, and upheld Citation with bias.

CODE: Vagueness

Code failed to define either "unincorporated areas" or "grass." For those reasons,

Contestant claimed (in the NOA) that Code was "void for vagueness." But alleged AHO

ignored this argument.

CODE: Arbitrariness

Because Code lacked a rationale for defining a fire hazard as "grass exceeding 4 inches in

height," Contestant claimed (in the NOA) that Code was "void for arbitrariness." But

alleged AHO ignored this argument.


CODE: Inapplicable to Property

Code plainly limits itself to "unincorporated areas" of San Bernardino County. On or

before Citation date, Property sat within Hesperia, a city incorporated since 1988. As a

result, Contestant claimed (in the NOA) that Code did not apply to Property after 1988.

But AHO ignored this argument. (Instead, alleged AHO focused on an altered version of SBCC

23.0301, an ordinance for which Contestant was not cited).


MOU: Invalid Extension of Code to Property

After setting Contestant's hearing, SBC mailed Contestant a "Memo of Understanding"

("MOU") claiming it provided SBC with jurisdiction over Property.

Contestant subsequently rebutted it.

First, Code does not allow itself to extend to "incorporated areas" via a MOU (emphasis added):

§ 23.0305 Desert Area Fire Hazard Abatement.
(a) Desert Area means all portions of the unincorporated area of the County of San Bernardino north and east of the National Forest boundaries.
(b) Flammable vegetation in the Desert Area means:
(1) Tumbleweeds (Russian thistle);
(2) Limbs and debris of salt cedar (Tamarisk) within six feet of the ground;
(3) Plants, unless pruned to remove dead material;
(4) Grass over four inches in height.
(c) Fire Hazard in the Desert Area means:
(1) Flammable vegetation within ten feet of a road;
(2) Tumbleweeds, regardless of distance from structures;
(3) Combustible rubbish;
(4) Flammable vegetation within 30 feet of all structures, including that portion of the property within 30 feet of structures on adjacent properties;
(5) Where neighboring persons or properties are especially vulnerable to the effects of a fire, including, but not limited to schools, hospitals, mobilehome parks, residential occupancies or chaparral/development interfaces, flammable vegetation within 100 feet of all structures.
(Am. Ord. 3586, passed - -1994)

Second, Code lacks any revisions/amendments that extended Code to "incorporated areas."

Third, no CA Gov. Code permits change to county codes via a MOU. [See CA Gov. Code: Title

3 ("Government of Counties"), Division 2 ("Officers"), Part 2 ("Board of Supervisors"),

Chapter 1, Article 7 ("Ordinances"), Sections 25120, 25121, 25122, 25124, & 25129].

Fourth, the MOU bears signatures of an assistant, county fire chief, a director of county

land services, and a deputy county counsel. But neither Code nor CA Gov. Code provides

such people with power to legislate. Only Board of Supervisors can create, revise or amend

county ordinances. (A signatory space on MOU for Board of Supervisor B. Postmus is blank).

[See CA Gov. Code: Title 3 ("Government of Counties"), Division 2 ("Officers"), Part 2

("Board of Supervisors"), Chapter 1, Article 7 ("Ordinances"), Sections 25120, 25121,

25122, 25124, & 25129]

For all those reasons, Contestant claimed (in the NOA) that "MOU" failed to extend Code to

Property. But alleged AHO ignored those arguments.

Contestant also mentioned that no evidence suggested that MOU had ever met a publishing

requirement mandated by state law. [See CA Gov. Code: Title 3 ("Government of Counties"),

Division 2 ("Officers"), Part 2 ("Board of Supervisors"), Chapter 1, Article 7

("Ordinances"), Section 25124]. But alleged AHO ignored this argument.


CITATION: Fatally Inaccurate

Since Citation described alleged violation of Code as "Weeds and Grasses," Contestant

claimed it was fatally flawed. The description is fatally flawed, since Code limits itself

to "grass," mentioning neither "weeds" nor "grasses." Stated differently, Citation is

invalid, since it describes a different code than the one for which Contestant was cited.

But alleged AHO ignored this argument.

By ignoring Contestants arguments, alleged AHO gave them zero weight, treating them as if

they had never been raised. As a result, alleged AHO denied Contestant a reasonable

opportunity to be heard. [See Grannis v Ordean (1914) "The fundamental requisite of due

process of law is the opportunity to be heard"].

NEW ALLEGATION: No Notice

Citation accused Contestant of one ordinance violation: SBCC 23.0305(b)(4) ("Code"). But,

alleged AHO ignored it, finding Contestant liable for a violation of a different

ordinance: SBCC 23.0301. Lacking notification of the new allegation before the hearing,

Contestant was not able to mount a defense in the NOA. Contestant also can't request

another administrative appeal, since the ACAR states that "[t]his decision is final"

(emphasis added).

Therefore, Contestant's right to procedural due process in this case was permanently

denied. [See CA Constitution, Article 1, Section 7(a). Also see Fortich v. WCAB (1991):

"An elementary and fundamental requirement of due process in any proceeding which is to be

accorded finality is notice reasonably calculated, under all the circumstances, to apprise

interested parties of the pendency of the action and afford them an opportunity to present

their objections"]


ALLEGED ADMIN. HEARING OFFICER: Phantom

CA Gov Code 27724 (Title 3, Division 2, Part 3) requires that "[a]ny county hearing

officer, or any deputy or assistant hearing officer, appointed pursuant to this chapter,

shall be an attorney at law having been admitted to practice before the courts of this

state for at least five years prior to his or her appointment." But, since ACAR lacks

alleged AHO's name, signature and law license, Contestant can't know whether alleged AHO

satisfied the 27724 requirement.

Without alleged AHO's name, signature and law license, Contestant also can't verify

whether a hearing even occurred. Since no plausible reason existed for said omissions,

Contestant assumes that alleged AHO failed to satisfy CA Gov. Code 27724 and was therefore

unqualified to hear Contestant's case.


ALLEGED ADMIN. HEARING OFFICER: Lack of Impartiality

Historically, SBC has picked AHO's in a way that can strongly influence subjective outcomes

for SBC [See Haas v. County of San Bernardino (2002): County's selection-and-remunerative

scheme tempted AHO's to base decisions on potential for future work from SBC].

In this case, SBC notified Contestant of the hearing date, without describing what process

SBC would use to select the AHO.

SBC also failed to give Contestant advanced notice of the alleged AHO's name or CA law-

license number.

Additionally, SBC claimed Contestant's hearing would occur in San Bernardino. But the

ACAR's return address is a PO Box (not a street address) in Newport Beach, CA 92658. That

return address is similar to a company that processed Contestant's Citation: Citation

Processing Center, aka Data Ticket, Inc. Its mailing addresses is a PO Box (not a street

address) in Newport Beach, CA 92658.

In addition, alleged AHO ignored Contestant's NOA arguments, and misconstrued MOU

favorably to SBCC (discussed later). Alleged AHO also found Contestant liable for Code by

relying on an illegally altered version of a different SBC ordinance (discussed later).

The ACAR also lacks alleged AHO's name, signature and CA law-license number, allowing him

to render a baseless decision, without fear of consequence.

These facts suggest that Contestant's Citation was upheld with bias for SBC, violating

Contestant's due-process right to a fair hearing.

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Aug 13, 2017 - 5:55 am)

PREJUDICIAL ABUSE OF DISCRETION

SUMMARY: Alleged AHO cited wrong ordinance, misconstrued MOU, relied on an altered

ordinance, and used photographs of an incorporated-area property to uphold an alleged

violation of a code for unincorporated areas.


DECISION NOT SUPPORTED BY FINDINGS

Alleged AHO claimed that:

"The San Bernardino County code, section 23.0301 (as incorporated by agreement between the

County and the City of Hesperia), is clear that '[e]very owner or person in control of any

land or interest therein in the [City of Hesperia] shall abate all fire hazards...from

such land....'Grasses, a code-defined fire hazard, in excess of 4 inches were evident at

the time of the second inspection."

First, Contestant was not given a ticket for SBCC 23.0301. Instead, Contestant was

ticketed for SBCC 23.0305(b)(4). To uphold Citation (and not violate Contestant's due-

process right), alleged AHO should have focused on the code for which Contestant was

actually cited (emphasis added):


§ 23.0305 Desert Area Fire Hazard Abatement.
(a) Desert Area means all portions of the unincorporated area of the County of San Bernardino north and east of the National Forest boundaries...
Code clearly does not apply to Property. Therefore, alleged AHO should have dismissed Citation.

Second, alleged AHO misconstrued the MOU (a.k.a."agreement"). Nobody from City of Hesperia

signed the MOU. It's actually an agreement (but not binding law) between two, SBC

agencies: San Bernardino County Fire ("SBCF") & San Bernardino County Land Use Services.

Realizing that City of Hesperia had not authorized enforcement of Code within Hesperia,

alleged AHO should have dismissed Citation.

Third, alleged AHO altered SBCC 23.0301, removing "unincorporated" and inserting "City of

Hesperia."

To uphold alleged violation of SBCC 23.0305(b)(4), alleged AHO relied on the altered

version of SBCC 23.0301.

Nevertheless, the altered version fails to comply with CA Gov. Codes regarding creation,

amendment or revision of county/city ordinances. [See CA Gov. Code: Title 3 ("Government

of Counties"), Division 2 ("Officers"), Part 2 ("Board of Supervisors"), Chapter 1,

Article 7 ("Ordinances"), Sections 25120, 25121, 25122, 25124, & 25129. Also see Title 4

("Government of Cities"), Division 3 ("Officers") Part 2 ("Legislative Body"), Chapter 2

("Ordinances"), Article 2 ("Enactment"), Sections 36931, 36932, 36933, 36934, and 36937.]

Fourth, neither SBCC nor Hesperia Municipal Code contain the altered version of SBCC 23.0301.

For those reasons, the altered version of SBCC 2303.01 is not actual law. Instead, actual

law is the real, unaltered version of the county ordinance (emphasis added):

§ 23.0301 Duty to Abate Fire Hazards or Hazardous Trees. Every owner or person in control of any land or interest therein in the unincorporated area of the County of San Bernardino shall abate all fire hazards and hazardous trees from such land and from all sidewalks, parkways, road easements and all other easements on such land...

Given that SBCC 23.0301 plainly limits itself to unincorporated areas, alleged AHO should

have logically concluded that it did not apply to Property. As a result, he should have

dismissed Citation.

Since alleged AHO's findings are illusory, they do not legally support his decision to

uphold Citation.

FINDINGS NOT SUPPORTED BY EVIDENCE

Alleged AHO stated, ..."Based on all the testimony and evidence provided by the appellant

and the County, particularly photographs of the violation at time of second inspection,

the facts are sufficient to uphold the citation. The San Bernardino County code, section

23.0301 (as incorporated by agreement between the County and the City of Hesperia), is

clear that '[e]very owner or person in control of any land or interest therein in the

[City of Hesperia] shall abate all fire hazards...from such land.

Nevertheless, Alleged AHO did not state that the MOU (a.k.a. "agreement") extended SBCC

23.0305(b)(4) (the code for which Contestant was cited) to "incorporated areas."

Therefore, alleged AHO implied that SBCC 23.0305(b)(4) retained its original form,

applying exclusively to unincorporated areas of SBC.

If photographs are of Property, they show one that sits within Hesperia, a city

incorporated since 1988. Photographs of an incorporated-area property are not evidence of

a violation of SBCC 23.0305(b)(4), since it plainly limits itself to unincorporated areas.

Therefore, the evidence (photographs) does not support the findings.

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Aug 13, 2017 - 5:57 am)

SBC PROCEEDED WITHOUT OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION

SUMMARY: Unaltered versions of both SBCC's limit themselves to unincorporated areas, do not

extend to incorporated areas via MOU, and are not codified by City of Hesperia. Additionally,

no Hesperia Municipal Code grants SBCF authority to enfore either code within City of

Hesperia.

Both SBCC 23.0305(b)(4) and SBCC 23.0301 plainly limit themselves to unincorporated areas of

SBC (emphasis added):


§ 23.0305 Desert Area Fire Hazard Abatement.
(a) Desert Area means all portions of the unincorporated area of the County of San Bernardino north and east of the National Forest boundaries...

§ 23.0301 Duty to Abate Fire Hazards or Hazardous Trees.
Every owner or person in control of any land or interest therein in the unincorporated area of the County of San Bernardino shall abate all fire hazards and hazardous trees from such land and from all sidewalks, parkways, road easements and all other easements on such land...

Neither code extends to City of Hesperia via MOU. First, nobody from City of Hesperia

signed the MOU. Second, no Board of Supervisor signed the MOU. And, third, the MOU

otherwise fails to comply with CA Gov. Code regarding creations, amendments or revisions

of or to county/city ordinances. [See CA Gov. Code: Title 3 ("Government of Counties"),

Division 2 ("Officers"), Part 2 ("Board of Supervisors"), Chapter 1, Article 7

("Ordinances"), Sections 25120, 25121, 25122, 25124, & 25129. Also see Title 4

("Government of Cities"), Division 3 ("Officers") Part 2 ("Legislative Body"), Chapter 2

("Ordinances"), Article 2 ("Enactment"), Sections 36931, 36932, 36933, 36934, and 36937.]

On or before Citation date, City of Hesperia had not codified either SBCC 23.0305(b)(4) or

SBCC 23.0301 into Hesperia's Municipal Code.

And, on of before Citation date, no ordinance in Hesperia's Municipal Code authorized SBC

to enforce either SBCC 23.0305(b)(4) or SBCC 23.0301 within Hesperia's city limits.

For any or all of those reasons, SBC issued Citation either without or in excess of

jurisdiction.

Ultimately, Contestant's hearing was unfair; the alleged AHO committed abuse of

discretion, and SBC acted either without or in excess of jurisdiction.

For those reasons, Contestant asks that ACAR be reversed, and that Citation be dismissed.

Reply Like (0)
specv313 (Aug 13, 2017 - 10:02 am)

If I were the Superior Court judge reading your appeal I'd be annoyed by it. You raise so many arguments it's frustrating; the Judge and his or her clerk now have a sh_t ton of work to do to resolve your appeal. Sometimes making a mountain out of a $100 mole hill works in your disfavor.

Reply Like (0)
guyingorillasuit (Aug 13, 2017 - 11:19 pm)

Whatever you do, do not attack the hearing officer in any way, refer to him as "alleged", or question his qualifications (unless you have direct proof otherwise, which I doubt). Judges do not like to see other bench officers or lawyers being attacked in this manner, and it turns them off.

Also, I wouldn't use the "shotgun" approach to your writ - i.e. throw out a million different arguments, to see what sticks. Take several of your best arguments and expand on them. Research and find out whether or not an MOU is legally enough to extend the ordinance to Hesperia. In other words, would the ordinance itself have to be facially amended to include Hesperia, or whether, perhaps, there is another code section that allows the County to exercise jurisdiction over incorporated land by means of a contract such as the MOU. Look to see what case law governs. See if you can find precedent for the argument that even though the MOU may "incorporate" County regulations into Hesperia, and make them Hesperia regulations, the County still cannot reach into Hesperia. Therefore, it is Hesperia that has to prosecute you for the violation, and not the County, because the County has no jurisdiction over incorporated land.

Here's an example: let's say a County, for some reason, signs an MOU with a federal agency that federal law shall apply within the County. However, that MOU standing alone does not and cannot grant federal courts jurisdiction within the county over all affairs, because federal jurisdiction is granted only by statutes promulgated by Congress. An MOU is not enough.

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Aug 15, 2017 - 3:56 pm)

Thanks. I removed all the "attacks" on the AHO.

I also cut the "unfair hearing" part.

Now I'm focusing on a few key issues under "Prejudicial Abuse of Discretion" & "Without or in Excess of Jurisdiction"

Reply Like (0)
2ski (Aug 14, 2017 - 12:49 pm)

Just an opinion. This area (Cajon Pass/Phelin) had a big ass wildfire last year that was very close to burning into a neighborhood pushed by very strong winds common in that area. Given they has such a close call, me thinks you are going to have a long fight with the FD.

Reply Like (0)
retard (Aug 15, 2017 - 9:39 am)

Given the low fine amount is there a reason for not just paying it and being done with it? A consequence such as a strike under a three strikes enforcement ordinance? Increased insurance? Because otherwise there has to be a better use of your time.

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Aug 15, 2017 - 3:59 pm)

After obtaining a bulls*it warrant, SBC Land Use Services "abated" my weeds. If citation were upheld, I'd have to pay the $100 fine and "reimburse" SBC several hundred dollars for the "abatement" services.

Reply Like (0)
retard (Aug 15, 2017 - 7:51 pm)

Ok. I reviewed this, I reviewed the relevant codes and I have a strong background in local government and intergovernmental cooperation.

First, a city very likely CAN contract out enforcement of its codes to a county. Even if the MOU was not signed by those with legislative authority, if it was ratified in the appropriate manner by the legislative body then it likely passed the smell test. For reference, municipalities incorporate by reference building and fire codes into their own code. If at that point a city and county want to share or delegate enforcement then it's in the public interest (moves the budget liability to the party able to bear it). Here, SBC has an interest in making sure that the fire code is enforced in a city within its boundaries.

The reality is that in a fire prone area a judge is not going to strike down a legislative act that allows for fire protection. Your best shot on this though would be for the judge and the county to realize that they don't want to rule on this and it goes away. Good luck.

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Aug 15, 2017 - 11:22 pm)

A city very likely CAN do that. In my case, however, County cited me for a County code. And that County code limits itself to UNincorporated areas.

There's NO evidence that MOU was ever ratified.

Also, there's NO evidence that City of Hesperia ever incorporated the code for which I was cited.

SBC should have NO such interest within City of Hesperia, since it has its own municipal code and code-enforcement division.

One, I don't live in a "fire prone" area (Fire-prone areas are, as you may have guessed, in SBC's unincorporated areas. Those places have large, continuous parcels of thick brush. But my neighborhood doesn't). Two, I don't see any evidence that the MOU was ever a "legislative act."

https://preview.ibb.co/nsi87v/Image_6.jpg

https://preview.ibb.co/eZgw0Q/Image_8.jpg

I agree that SBC won't want to get into this, and will (most likely) "no show."

BTW, I'm also going to argue due-process violation under "fair notice" doctrine, since code didn't warn me that it might apply to an incorporated area. Any thoughts on how a judge would perceive that, assuming SBC were to appear?

Reply Like (0)
retard (Aug 16, 2017 - 2:27 am)

Do you actually have proof that the MOU was entered into incorrectly? I mean do you have every agenda from that time period to show it wasn't ratified? Have you FOILed the Secretary of State (or whatever CA's procedure for the promulgation of a local law or its CA equivalent)?

I think the fair notice doctrine fails for the same reason. The policy underpinning this is strong and I doubt a judge is going to want to rule against a fire prevention measure that is squarely in the police power (public health, safety and welfare, etc).

Also, the proper enactment of the MOU is notice in itself. To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson (or Franklin?) ignorance of the law is no excuse to break it.

Lastly, the Hesperia code states that overgrown grass is a public nuisance. I believe it's also in the fire prevention code. It is probably also in the state fire code, which applies everywhere, but I haven't checked there because I have babies to feed, cigars to smoke and you aren't paying me. It seems your real issue is the enforcement of the code by the SBC.

Again, your best bet is you convince a judge that he (Or she,ust in case a liberal is reading!) might have to make a ruling that results in a net negative to the public health, safety and welfare and forces a settlement. To be honest though your best bet is to either hire a lawyer or pay the fine.

Keep in mind that judges come from the political system, which draws its power from government and you are challenging an aspect of government that, despite its seemingly unfair application, actually does benefit the public.

If you want a crusade hire a lawyer and see the cost of the city hiring an enforcement force in your next tax bill should you prevail. My advice is to pay the bill. Even if you win, in addition to wasting valuable months of your life, you might find yourself on the local version of an "enforcement list".

For the record, though I was in the law department of a 500,000 person municipality for much of my formative years, I represent developers and love to stick it to the government. This is not that case.

Happy Hunting.

p.s. that will be $875.00.

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Aug 16, 2017 - 5:28 am)

1. Yes. It violates the CA Gov. Codes I mentioned in my brief. Only Board of Supervisors can create, amend or revise county ordinances. A creation, amendment, or revision must also be published in a newspaper of general circulation, with names of Board of Supervisors who voted for or against a creation, amendment or revision of a county ordinance. I look forward to seeing proof of that publishing requirement, when reading SBC's response to my appeal.

2. I don't get how SBC could argue that it was "good policy" to have three, non-legislative functionaries clandestinely alter an existing law. If SBC were all about serving the public good, why not simply have legislators (a.k.a. Board of Supervisors) OPENLY amend the code to permit fire-hazard abatement in incorporated areas? Why the need for secrecy? I've got to assume it was needed to cover up something illegal.

3. Would you agree that a "proper enactment" of the MOU would require that it be disclosed in the code for which I was cited? How else would I have known about the document? Before receiving a copy of the MOU, I had not even heard of such a thing. My guess is that 95% of other laypeople haven't either.

Here's the actual law. If you were to read it (and were unaware of the MOU), would you know that it applied to incorporated areas?

§ 23.0305 Desert Area Fire Hazard Abatement.
(a) Desert Area means all portions of the unincorporated area of the County of San Bernardino north and east of the National Forest boundaries.
(b) Flammable vegetation in the Desert Area means:
(1) Tumbleweeds (Russian thistle);
(2) Limbs and debris of salt cedar (Tamarisk) within six feet of the ground;
(3) Plants, unless pruned to remove dead material;
(4) Grass over four inches in height.
(c) Fire Hazard in the Desert Area means:
(1) Flammable vegetation within ten feet of a road;
(2) Tumbleweeds, regardless of distance from structures;
(3) Combustible rubbish;
(4) Flammable vegetation within 30 feet of all structures, including that portion of the property within 30 feet of structures on adjacent properties;
(5) Where neighboring persons or properties are especially vulnerable to the effects of a fire, including, but not limited to schools, hospitals, mobilehome parks, residential occupancies or chaparral/development interfaces, flammable vegetation within 100 feet of all structures.

(Am. Ord. 3586, passed - -1994)

4. I would've need to be cited separately under city code, and state code. But SBC cited me for only that one, county ordinance. A judge couldn't find me liable for violations of other codes, since I wasn't given proper notice. Without proper notice, there's a due-process violation. (Also, state fire code doesn't apply unless a city formally adopts it. Calif. gives local municipalities an option to create their own fire-related ordinances).

5. How is it a "net negative?" Hesperia is a big-boy city, with its own municipal code and code-enforcement agents. If Hesperia wanted me cited, it would've done so. If SBC Land Services were supposed to cite me, it would've been given a law to enforce (not one limited to unincorporated areas). If anything, this is a "net positive," since it redirects Land Services to where it's actually needed: in unincorporated areas, with acres of thick continuous brush, and no city agents to conduct heroic enforcement activities.

6. Somebody found this for me. A Superior Court found that SBC Land Use Services LACKED jurisdiction to issue fire-hazard citations within Grand Terrace, an incorporated city.

"The City has contracted Fire Hazard Abatement services with San Bernardino County since March, 1995.

Grand Terrace City staff was contacted by San Bernardino County Counsel regarding recent court appeals, stating San Bernardino County Land Use Services Department does not have legal authority to issue citations to Grand Terrace residents for non compliance and abatement of fire hazard violations...."

Packet Pg. 61 (Pg. 63 in Adobe PDF)

http://grandterracecityca.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=1166&Inline=True

7. Hire a lawyer? How would I afford that? "Hesperia Man Torches House to Pay Mounting Legal Bills for Alleged Infraction of County Fire Code"

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Aug 19, 2017 - 1:12 am)

My Admin. Citation Appeal Ruling ("ACAR") stated that I could appeal to a Superior Court in my district. That court is in Victorville, about 10-15 miles away (Victorville was SPECIFICALLY mentioned on the ACAR).

Today, I went to Victorville Superior Court. While I stood in line in the court's "civil division," a court worker asked me what I was filing. I told her. Then she told me to file it in "criminal," even though I told her that an ACAR appeal was a "limited civil case."

I then went to "criminal." A clerk subsequently REFUSED to let me file my case. She claimed that, since 2014, Victorville STOPPED hearing "limited civil cases." Then she told me that I'd need to file my case in San Bernardino, 60+ miles away.

Afterwards, I asked her to verify what she had said with her supervisor. Her supervisor confirmed it.

I then asked to see the supervisor's supervisor. After I waited for about 10 mins. the higher-level supervisor confirmed that Victorville did NOT accept "limited civil cases." She also confirmed that I'd need to file in San Bernardino. Then she handed me a handwritten note with a San Bernardino address. Unfortunately, she's dumb, ignorant, or evil, since the address was for SBC Code Enforcement, NOT for San Bernardino Superior Court).

Despite her "error," this website (below) actually seems to confirm that Victorville does NOT accept "limited civil cases." In fact, it does NOT even accept "unlimited civil cases" ($>$25k). Other San Bernardino County Superior Courts do NOT accept limited/unlimited civil cases, either. Only the San Bernardino Court does.

http://www.sb-court.org/Divisions/Civil/WhereCanIFile.aspx


How does San Bernadino County get by with these shenanigans? Isn't there a violation of due process, since many people can't get to a court 60+ miles away? For that reason, aren't they suffering implicit DENIALS of access to court services?

(It would be one thing if NO court were in Victorville and SBC couldn't afford to build/staff one. But that's NOT the case here. If you lived in my area and had a family-law issue, you'd get CLOSE access to court services. But, if you wanted to sue somebody for a small sum, you'd spend more $$$ getting to San Bernardino than you'd recover from a judgement). How can such an obvious, unnecessary bias be justified?

Would 9th Circuit COA entertain this issue? Has a COA already addressed this issue? (serious questions, I'm NOT trolling. This much bullsh*t pisses me off).

Reply Like (0)
2ski (Aug 19, 2017 - 8:43 am)

Sorry you are getting the runaround. Probably because SB county is one if not the largest county(acreage)in the state and have to allocate resources within the court system.

Fair question: Why were the weeds not mowed in the first place?

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Aug 19, 2017 - 3:12 pm)

It is the largest county (in acreage). That might justify offering LIMITED court services (Perhaps a few p/t, retired judges could roll in once or twice a month, or even every other month). But I don't think it's legit to SHUT OFF court services to an entire area.

My property is 1/2 acre. It's a PITA to mow, and I didn't enjoy paying $150+ for abatement. Historically, City of Hesperia has NOT cited me. And, over several years, SBC has NOT given me anything more than a "warning." (I figured the "warnings" would NOT turn into citations/warrants, since SBC LACKED jurisdiction). So why should I have either exerted myself or spent $, when repercussions were most likely ZERO? (My property was/is insured. So fire risk was somebody else's problem).

(My reasoning might be vile. But it's rational).

Reply Like (0)
guyingorillasuit (Aug 19, 2017 - 3:34 pm)

What you're probably filing is not an appeal, but a petition for writ of administrative mandamus. Here's a link on what the difference is: http://saclaw.org/law-101/appeals-topic/

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Aug 19, 2017 - 4:28 pm)

It could be done as a "writ of mandate" (CA GOV. Code 1094.5). But SBC does a "limited civil case," under CA GOV. Code 53069.4. (That's the code mentioned on my ACAR).

"(b) (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 1094.5 or 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure, within 20 days after service of the final administrative order or decision of the local agency is made pursuant to an ordinance enacted in accordance with this section regarding the imposition, enforcement or collection of the administrative fines or penalties, a person contesting that final administrative order or decision may seek review by filing an appeal to be heard by the superior court, where the same shall be heard de novo, except that the contents of the local agency’s file in the case shall be received in evidence. A proceeding under this subdivision is a limited civil case."

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=GOV§ionNum=53069.4

Here's SBC's form for code-enforcement appeals.

http://www.sb-court.org/Portals/0/Documents/PDF/Forms/13-19890-360NoticeOfAppealCodeEnforcement.pdf

("A copy of the citation and the Administrative Ruling shall be filed with this form").

Reply Like (0)
retard (Aug 19, 2017 - 8:33 pm)

You are wrong. Minimizing fire risk is a community issue, not just the property owner. If there was a brush fire the repercussions could potentially be born by the neighbors, the firemen, etc.

Also i wonder if you'd be covered after ignoring a part of the fire abatement code.

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Aug 19, 2017 - 11:50 pm)

I meant that, by ignoring my weeds, I stood little chance of suffering a fine from gov't. And I saved money from not paying for abatement. Others could get fuc*ed by my large weeds, no doubt.

Yea, it's possible that my insurance company would attempt to deny/reduce my claim IF big weeds were a contributing factor to a fire on my property.

That said, I could possibly argue that city/county weed code was arbitrary. Both claim weeds >4 inches in height are a "fire hazard." But what's the rationale? One isn't given in either code.

4-inch weeds = of ZERO importance

4.01-inch weeds = fire hazard

WTF?

But perhaps a rationale isn't necessary, as long as code seems intuitively reasonable? IDK.

Also, City of Hesperia considers a violation of its code a "civil infraction," punishable by a $100 fine. A "civil infraction" is even less severe than a "criminal infraction" (a.k.a. traffic violation). And a $100 fine is small. So "civil infraction" + small fine = very minor (if not most minor) offense. Would that constitute a reasonable basis to DENY (or SIGNIFICANTLY reduce) a large insurance claim? IDK. But I would assume not.

Lastly, both fire codes (city & county) concern themselves ONLY with "height" of weeds (>4 inches). After serving a warrant, SBC's workers LEFT all of the "abated" weeds on my property. So weeds >4-inches in height ARE a fire hazard, but a yard full of formerly-greater-than-four-inches-in-height weeds isn't? If both types of weed presented similar combustibility, I don't think a code violation would represent a basis for denial/reduction of an insurance claim. My 4.01-inches-in-height weeds would = denial/reduction. But my neighbor's equiv.-to-ten-inches-in-height weeds would = full payment. WTF? That seems ridiculous, but is possibly true.

I previously thought that either code REQUIRED cutting AND REMOVAL (removal = major PITA). Now I know that cutting alone is sufficient for compliance. So, from this point forward, I'll meet that standard to cover my as*.

Reply Like (0)
2ski (Aug 21, 2017 - 9:57 am)

WRT the 4", this is probably the standard height that a brush mower can cut. So if you cut your grass with a sickle you are trimming the 'excess' height and probably wouldn't be hassled. So, I wouldn't go the wall about the 4".

Now, you make some good points in the rest of your argument. Be persistent, make the drive, get your day in court, and keep us posted. ( there are some good eateries in down the hill in san berdu )

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Aug 27, 2017 - 10:55 pm)

UPDATE:

On 8/18, I used my cell phone to record (1) all of my paperwork, (2) my $25 check--cost of appeal--, (3) my placing paperwork/payment in a large envelope, (4) my addressing it, (5) my affixing postage, and (6) my dropping envelope in a USPS mailbox.

I mailed everything to SB Court on night of 8/18.

On 8/26, I got a response from SB Court, rejecting my submission. REASON: There was "no payment" of $25 fee. What's funny is that I had taped my payment to page #1 of my paperwork. When that page came back, it still featured some tape. And the tape contained a piece of my TORN check. (I've recorded it). (Of course, I can understand SB Court committing a crime to protect a SB agency. But I wouldn't expect to have clear evidence of said crime returned to me).

I was also told to fill out a "cover sheet," since a "limited civil case" obviously demands formality. But I guess a missing "cover sheet" was NOT a legit "deficiency." A "missing" payment apparently was. (SB Court accepts either checks or money orders for my type of case. But NO form of electronic payment is permitted. I guess "traceable" is bad).

Now I'll record everything with 2 cell phones and resubmit. Will my check go missing a second time? Will I get evidence of sabotage returned to me again?

On a positive note, at least SB Court stamped some of my paperwork "Received: 8/21/17."

On another negative note, I must include a SASE with my paperwork. Otherwise, it would be left "in a bin" somewhere in SB Court.

Lastly, anybody know whether punitive damages are available during a "judicial review" of an admin. ruling? I want to argue "fraud," (under CA Civil Code 3294), since SBC attempted to trick me into paying a $100 fine. Given CLEAR CA GOV. codes regarding amendments/revisions to county ordinances, SBC had to know the MOU was NONSENSE. Also, SBC had learned (in 2014) that it LACKED jurisdiction in Grand Terrace (another incorporated city) for the same issue I'm appealing. Those two points suggest intentional deception, yes? There's also my admin. ruling with a blank spot for name/signature of "admin. hearing officer." And that document features a return address in Newport Beach. That Orange County city is coincidentally home to the company that makes $$$ processing civil citations for SBC. Should I ask for $5k?

Reply Like (0)
guyingorillasuit (Sep 15, 2017 - 2:16 pm)

The clerks often screw things up. They are overworked, underpaid, and have to deal with difficult people. Attorneys hire court runners to go file things in person in order to avoid standing in line and dealing with the clerks. There is no sabotage. They have no reason to hate you or even care about you. They are just doing their usual crappy job.

There are no punitive damages available for a review of a $100 ticket. Your best bet is to come in humble and sincere, and not to talk over the judge. In this case, someone who looks like they just fell off a turnip truck has triple the chance of success of someone who tries to impress the judge or argue with him. Showing anger or frustration will not help your case. Blaming some administrative agency, or alleging a conspiracy will not help your case. The judge knows it was tough for you to file this paperwork, and that you had to put in a lot of work. Your best bet is that the judge will simply take a liking to you and give you a small victory. The $100 is not much for the County to miss out on.

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Sep 15, 2017 - 2:51 pm)

My check was taped to page #1 of my appeal. Page #1 of my appeal came back with a piece of my check still attached to the tape. An attached notice claimed I hadn't included payment. That seems like a really strange thing to screw up unintentionally. Somebody collects payments, and somebody else looks for payment deficiencies?

Also, SB Court sat on my re-submission for about two weeks. When I called, my paperwork still hadn't been filed, and a clerk couldn't "find" it. Note that the same dept. had rejected my first submission on same day of receipt (two days after mailing). This seems like another strange coincidence.

(Note that said antics delayed "official" filing of my case by ten (10) days. My guess is that SB County will now go into court, arguing that "I" filed "late").

I'm seeking punitive damages for reasons other than the ticket itself. (1) Since 2014, SB County knew it lacked jurisdiction for fire-hazard abatement in my city. Courts had said as much. Nevertheless, SB County sent me that MOU, claiming it gave SB County authority to do fire-hazard abatement in my city. That's a false claim, one meant to trick me into paying $100 for NO violation of law.

(2) In my Admin. Appeal Ruling (from 2017), SB County included a paper. It showed I could seek judicial review in Victorville court. Nevertheless, Victorville had stopped taking judicial-review cases in 2014. How was SB County unaware of that fact, three years later? Such ignorance is not plausible. That notice was meant to trick me into filing late.

I consider both (1) & (2) to constitute fraud (as defined by a CA civil code) . As a result, I asked for punitive damages. (Of course, I doubt I will get them. My judge will most likely spin the fraud as "typical gov't idiocy." I guess it's nice to get by so easily with crimes).

Reply Like (0)
thirdtierlaw (Sep 15, 2017 - 4:27 pm)

I'm going to second GIGS comment. If you go in raving about some grand conspiracy you'll get slammed. The clerks do not care about you. That is a fact. You didn't file with the appropriate cover sheet (because you don't think it's important in a limited civil claim?), yet they didn't outright reject it due to that. Clerks are way too busy and underpaid to care about you or your case. I'm on great terms with the clerks in all the courthouses I practice in. They've "lost" my filings in the past. It always ends up turning up, even if it appears in a different docket. Your check is very likely in the case file and was never entered, sitting under a stack of files, in another docket's file, or in the shredder from when they discovered it sitting out and realized they already sent you notice that you needed to write them a new check and follow the proper procedure regarding a cover sheet.

Just because the case "hasn't been filed yet" doesn't mean that the court didn't stamp the documents when they came in. That is the date they'll use for filing. I'm also assuming you had to serve your brief on the agency, so you should have your certificate of service, or whatever CA calls it, to back up your claim.

Judges hate default judgments they also treat pro se litigants with kid's gloves. That holds true until the pro se starts acting up. I'd double and triple check that you're entitled to punitive damages from your appeal before you start using words like "fraud" and that you can prove the fraud. My State does not allow for a request for damages in an administrative appeal. You can file a separate claim in civil court and the cases won't be heard together. If you're not entitled to damages and you start ranting about being owed $5,000 you'll lose whatever little credibility you may have.

I still don't understand how this was worth any of your time.

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Sep 15, 2017 - 6:28 pm)

RE: Conspiracy Theory

Unless County were to claim "late filing," I will avoid mentioning the disappearing check. Even then, I would characterize the issue as a "lost/misplaced check." What I say here is VERY different than what I will say in court.

RE: Filing Date

Some of my paperwork was stamped: "Received 8/21/17." BUT my "official" filing date is 8/31/17 (The Court received my re-submission thereon). That's what makes me believe SB Court is working against me.

My filing date should be 8/18/17, since I attempted to file in Victorville on that date. If not 8/18/17, my filing date should be 8/19/17, date of postmark of my original submission. Otherwise, my filing date should be 8/21/17, date that SOME of my original paperwork was stamped. 8/31/17 = BS

RE: Service of Process

In CA, one must first file paperwork with a court, obtaining a court-case #. Then one serves the paperwork. I haven't done any service yet. As long as I file proof of service with the court as least five days before my hearing, I'll be fully complaint with petty, arbitrary, bureaucratic procedure.

RE: Punitive/Exemplary Damages

I can't find any codes/cases that explain whether I can ask for punitive/exemplary damages during a judicial review. For that reason, I asked for them anyway, in case I AM entitled to request them. If I look stupid, oh well. I'm pro per (Cali's version of pro se). Unless asked, I won't mention a $ amount for punitive/exemplary damages.

RE: Fraud

To get punitive/exemplary damages in a CA civil case, one must allege malice, oppression or fraud. I went with fraud, since it seems to describe what happened here.

"(3) 'Fraud' means an intentional misrepresentation, deceit, or concealment of a material fact known to the defendant with the intention on the part of the defendant of thereby depriving a person of property or legal rights or otherwise causing injury."

http://www.remappingdebate.org/california-civil-code-%C2%A7-3294-exemplary-damages-when-allowable-definitions

Grand Terrace cases SHOW that County KNEW it LACKED jurisdiction since 2014.
But there was NO disclosure on my Citation. At a minimum, that's "concealment." Why else would County have concealed that fact, if not with an intention to deprive me of $100? If County had DISCLOSED its lack of jurisdiction, would I have ever even thought about paying the fine?

In 2014, Victorville STOPPED doing judicial review. Nevertheless, County sent me a form, saying I could file in Victorville. That "misrepresentation" looks like an intent by County not only to take $100 from me, but also to deprive me of my legal right to an appeal. (For example, I could've shown up at Victorville on my appeal window's last day, learning that I couldn't file there. Then, technically, my paperwork would've been late, preventing me from seeking due process).

RE: Courtroom Decorum

While in court, I will exhibit reasonable politeness. I foresee little chance of my going 5150, as I expect to get railroaded. If my judge were to shill for County, he'd simply confirm my preconception about him (and about this ordeal).

RE: Waste of My Time

This turned into an "escalation of commitment." Originally, I appealed my Citation, since I got to do so by snail mail. I thought I'd win, since County obviously lacked jurisdiction. Then some County shill ruled against me, based on nonsense. That pissed me off.

Soon thereafter (or perhaps while I awaited my ruling), County served a BS abatement warrant. Two guys spent 20 mins. in my yard with weed wackers. All weeds were left behind. But County sent me a bill for nearly $500. Of course, that pissed me off, too.

That led me to appeal to SB Court, since I was led to believe I could file in Victorville court. (It's only about a 15 min. drive from my house). But then Victorville rejected my paperwork, claiming no ability to hear my type of case. That pissed me off, as well.

By then, I'd already put a lot of effort into my appeal. So I appealed to SB Court. Then I got hit with the "missing payment" nonsense, and the "lack of a cover sheet" buffoonery (Note that my Admin. Ruling FAILED to tell me I needed to include a cover sheet. Additionally, the code-enforcement-appeal form LACKS a warning that a cover sheet is necessary. You'd think the appeal form would feature a "heads up," given that most code-enforcement appellants are quite likely pro per. That's more evidence of bias against outsiders).

Now I'll most likely lose, since this looks bad for County.

But, since I've already invested a lot of time/effort, I'll appeal to SB Court's Appellate Division. If I lose there, I'll see whether CA's 4th Circuit will hear my case. Then I'll stop.

(You might laugh. But some guy got a civil citation in Riverside County ---NOT for weeds. He eventually appealed to the 4th Circuit. He lost, since ACTUAL LAW supported Riverside County's Land Use Services. In my case, NO ACTUAL LAW supports the criminal enterprise that is SB County).

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Sep 15, 2017 - 3:05 pm)

One more thing. You said this $100 ticket is "no big deal." And that's true. What's actually a big deal is that SB County is doing (and has been doing) fire-hazard abatement in MULTIPLE cities WITHOUT jurisdiction. If SB County were to lose this case for lack of jurisdiction, another public record would illuminate SB County's ongoing fraud. (In my appeal, I'm using evidence of SB County's fraud in Grand Terrace. I doubt SB County wants other Contestants using both the Grand Terrance cases AND my case to support future appeals. If this snowball were to get huge, SB County would get sued for a lot of $$$$$ over abuse of power).

Reply Like (0)
guyingorillasuit (Sep 15, 2017 - 5:05 pm)

If you want to take on the County for its bad practices, you can file a civil lawsuit for damages. This is an appeal of a ticket. This is different. The Court will have jurisdiction to grant your appeal (reverse) or say no to your appeal (affirm). I do not believe they are likely to do anything else, though this is not my practice area.

In the future, if you want to avoid dealing with the clerks and the mail, hire a court runner. I use www.onelegal.com.

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Sep 15, 2017 - 6:51 pm)

Yea, I'd prefer to avoid that, since a lawsuit would necessitate another trip to SB. (Recall that Victorville Court got gutted in 2014). (If I were to lose, I'd return to SB anyway. But, if I were to win, I wouldn't want to go back to SB for small claims. Also, there's no guarantee that SB Court hooligans would schedule both my appeal & my lawsuit on one day).

CA is weird. Technically, my case is a request for "writ of mandate" (That's what I had to check on my cover sheet). But, under CA law, my appeal is also treated as a "limited civil case." That's why I asked for damages.

"(b) (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 1094.5 or 1094.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure, within 20 days after service of the final administrative order or decision of the local agency is made pursuant to an ordinance enacted in accordance with this section regarding the imposition, enforcement or collection of the administrative fines or penalties, a person contesting that final administrative order or decision may seek review by filing an appeal to be heard by the superior court, where the same shall be heard de novo, except that the contents of the local agency’s file in the case shall be received in evidence.

A proceeding under this subdivision is a limited civil case."

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=GOV§ionNum=53069.4

Thanks for the link. Let's hope I don't need it.

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Sep 15, 2017 - 5:46 am)

got a court date for October (SB Court wasn't stupid enough to toss my check twice).

will update again (for those two people who care).

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Sep 15, 2017 - 7:14 pm)

I should also mention that SB Court scheduled my case for EARLY morning (WITHOUT consulting me). Today, my request for an afternoon appointment was DENIED. pricks.

Reply Like (0)
thirdtierlaw (Sep 16, 2017 - 9:35 am)

You realize that the court schedules you when they have openings? They have zero obligation to ask what works best for your schedule. I'd have been more surprised if they had asked.

You really need to stop taking any of this personally.

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Sep 16, 2017 - 8:02 pm)

I don't understand why it's like that. Why isn't there a court calendar on SB Court's website? One should get to look at what's available and pick what's convenient. Under that setup, SB Court could even make some $$$, charging a premium for coveted dates/times.

Reply Like (0)
passportfan3 (Sep 16, 2017 - 4:57 pm)

Why is anyone engaging with this guy?

He displays the classic characteristics of an impossible pro per:

He writes in great detail about minutia.

He makes way too many arguments.

He brings up hyper-technical reasons why laws or agreements don't apply.

Pro pers who lob "lack of jurisdiction" arguments almost never know what they are talking about.

He insists on challenging a tiny judgment because of some principle.

He displays a continuous sense of grievance.

Whenever anyone with experience tries to tell him something reasonable, he has a lickety-split response about why he is right.

Oh, and he wants free advice. Because, even though this case is freighted with important principles and ramifications, somehow the case is not important enough for him to pay a real attorney to handle it.

In private practice, these guys are shown the door after a few minutes.

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Sep 16, 2017 - 7:45 pm)

RE: Minutia:

Are you referencing my distinctions between grass or weeds? I'm NOT arguing that at this stage.

RE: Too Many Arguments:

I edited them (based on advice received here).

RE: Hyper-technical Reasons:

These are hyper-technical reasons?

Non-legislative functionaries don't get to alter exiting law with a secret, non-published agreement. That sort of violates due process, since one doesn't find out one's in violation of a "law," until the violation has already occurred.

When a law limits itself to "unincorporated areas," said law applies exclusively to "unincorporated areas." I'm sure that's shocking. But "unincorporated" does NOT mean "incorporated." If SB County Board of Supervisors wanted that ordinance to cover "incorporated" areas, the ordinance would say so.

RE: Jurisdiction

See one of my earlier posts. In 2014, SB County learned that it LACKED jurisdiction to perform fire-hazard abatement within incorporated areas. SB learned that fact after LOSING multiple court cases in Grand Terrace for LACK OF JURISDICTION.

The county ordinance in the Grand Terrace cases was IDENTICAL to the ordinance for which I was cited. See one of my earlier posts for a link. City of Grand Terrance ended up adopting the SAME ordinance for which I was cited. Before that adoption, the ordinance did NOT apply within Grand Terrance.

My city (Hesperia) has STILL NOT adopted the ordinance for which I was cited.

RE: Tiny Judgement

My $100 fine already DOUBLED, since I didn't pay it within a few day of my BS, Admin. Hearing Ruling. I've also gotten a bill for nearly $500 for "weed abatement." If Citation were dismissed, I could use the dismissal to get the "weed abatement" bill cancelled. (My weed-abatement hearing is pending. Fortunately, I get to do it by phone, instead of having to show up at dawn in SB).

RE: Continuous Sense of Grievance

Yes I do, since this ordeal is ridiculous.

I didn't violate the Code.

Before issuing Citation, SB County knew it lacked jurisdiction.

A secret, non-published agreement among "nobodies" is NOT law.

My Admin. Hearing was done by a shill (who neither printed his name nor signed it on the Ruling)

I was given a VERY SHORT time to appeal to an actual court (20 days, wtf?)

My Admin. Ruling said I could file in Victorville, although SB County knew that Victorville had STOPPED accepting judicial-review cases THREE years earlier.

SB Court "lost" my payment.

My Admin. Ruling FAILED to tell me I needed to include a cover sheet with a subsequent appeal.

My "official" filing date is 8/31/17, even though I attempted to file on 8/18/17. Also, some of my paperwork is stamped "8/21/17."

I have to appear in San Bernardino, even though Victorville court is 10-15 mins. away from me.

My court time is both EARLY and UNCHANGEABLE. (Actually, I think it is changeable. But I'd have to file a motion. For it to be heard, I'd have to appear in San Bernardino, or possibly get to do CourtCall for $86, assuming my judge accepted telephonic appearances).

If I were to lose my Admin Ruling appeal, I'd have to file more paperwork and appear in SB again. My guess is that my hearing time would be EARLY.

A subsequent appeal would require more paperwork and an appearance in Riverside.

After all that, I might lose, since I didn't file some unknown paper in a "timely"
fashion.

Oh and, although this is 2017, SB Court does NOT accept e-mail submissions. If it does, the court's email is hiding somewhere.

Perhaps all of this buffoonery is normal for you. (Many lawyers even seem to manifest symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome). But this is NOT normal for me.

RE: Great Importance of Case

See earlier post of mine. I already said this matter is mostly trivial. But I got sucked in through an "escalation of commitment."

RE: Lickety Split Responses

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I haven't gotten responses from anybody "experienced" in defending civil citations, where jurisdiction is at issue, or where a county has attempted to alter law with a secret, non-published agreement among non-legislative functionaries.

RE: Private Practice

I would do same, since "client me" would obviously NOT be spending thousands of dollars for a civil-citation defense. That's why I haven't contacted any lawyers.

Reply Like (0)
2ski (Sep 17, 2017 - 8:11 am)

I like to watch Sovereign Citizen Getting Owned videos too.

Reply Like (0)
2ski (Sep 17, 2017 - 8:19 am)

I think this going to result in some unintended consequences for the OP. Fine and abatement costs will stand and the city will make a quick resolution changing the enforcement language to clarify its authority to enforce weed abatement.

Then fire prevention or code enforcement will then step up its enforcement in that region. Boom.

Reply Like (0)
thirdtierlaw (Sep 17, 2017 - 9:06 am)

I suspect you're right. Regardless if he wins or not, the rules will be clarified to give them permission and he will see the enforcement group outside his house everyday with a ruler.

I had an assigned client who tried suing the police department, pro se, for harassment. His case didn't survive a MTD. Now the police have a nearly permanent "speed trap" set up across the street from his home.

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Sep 17, 2017 - 3:50 pm)

The rules won't necessarily change, whether I were to win or lose. I suspect that many cities like to feign ignorance as to SB County's fire-hazard abatement antics.

SB County talked Grand Terrance into adopting code. But I don't know how many cities said "no thanks, you're on your own."

Adoption of Code by cities is absurd. Grand Terrance (apparently) adopted the Code, without changing its language. So how exactly can a property within Grand Terrace (an incorporated city) violate a code that limits itself to unincorporated areas? (I said "apparently" adopted code. That's because Grand Terrace's Agenda Report shows that city council had yet to sign off on the adoption. Look at the link. You'll see something like this: "City Council: pending."

Grand Terrace also spun the code adoption as something like "an alternative fire-hazard abatement option." Wtf does that even mean? Who gets "conventional fire-hazard enforcement," and who gets the "alternative" version?

From what I can gather, the adoption is most likely illegal, since CA GOV codes require that new ordinances be published in a local newspaper. The publication must also include names of city-council members who voted for/against the "new" law. Before new laws go into effect, I believe there must also be an advertised city-council meeting, where city residents can object to the proposed law. There are other requirements, too. I doubt Grand Terrace satisfied them (or could satisfy them).

So, by FORMALLY involving itself in SB County's buffoonery, Grand Terrace has likely set itself up for some nice lawsuits. That extra risk is why I believe many cities don't want to adopt Code.

Finally, if your client were actually a victim of police harassment, police wouldn't retaliate in such an obvious way (via nearby speed trap). That's because video of the alleged harassment + speed trap would show that police WERE targeting your client. When somebody complains about ACTUAL harassment, police tend to make future harassment much more subtle/indirect.

Quasi-police agencies behave similarly. If I were to beat code enforcement, it wouldn't do something as obvious as measuring my property everyday/week/month. That's because my complaint is LEGIT. Code enforcement knows as much. So it wouldn't draw MORE attention to an obvious abuse of power. Instead, retaliation would come in some oblique form (possibly from a different SB County agency or possibly from some gov't agency in another jurisdiction, when I was visiting).

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Sep 17, 2017 - 3:21 pm)

It's the opposite. My city ***might*** give county authority if I were to WIN. If county were to win, why would anything change? No need to alter a status quo that's working for you.

See the Grand Terrance link I provided. That city adopted (or appeared to adopt) county codes AFTER MULTIPLE LOSSES.

Reply Like (0)
2ski (Sep 17, 2017 - 5:16 pm)

You make a good case for a cash strapped city to clean up its laws so it can then shake down its citizens for fees and inspections. It's a win for them to do this. No?

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Sep 17, 2017 - 6:48 pm)

No. Whenever City of Hesperia has attempted similar buffoonery, MULTIPLE citizens have shown up at city-council meeting, ready to lynch city-council members.

That's (a big reason) Hesperia is hiding behind SB County. It's better to stay alive and take a cut of criminal proceeds than to be dead and get nothing.

Reply Like (0)
propurrr (Sep 18, 2017 - 1:56 pm)

Just learned that San Bernardino County is a "charter county." A charter county (apparently) gets a bit more power/control than a "general-law county."

Fortunately, SB County's charter doesn't authorize creations, amendments or revisions of county ordinances by either MOU or secret, non-published agreement.

Also, I see nothing giving legislative power to any of the three people who signed the MOU.

http://www.sbcounty.gov/Uploads/CAO/Uploads/Content/SanBernardinoCoCharter.pdf

Reply Like (0)
Post a message in this thread