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#68074 - 03/11/08 05:14 PM New Member Needs Help with Government Red Tape!
Anonymous
Unregistered


Does anyone know the name and/or contact information for a federal or state entity that deals with city governments who practice "selective" or "arbitrary" enforcement regarding poultry or other animals???

My City allows 10 chickens, which must be contained 24x7 (no free ranging, even in your own back yard). I thought I had done the right thing; however, in my efforts to make the best home for my hens (no roosters) after obtaining written permission from my surrounding neighbors, I overlooked an important item which states that the housing must be 20' from the property line. Mine is only 10' (and is not movable). The City said they would overlook the placement as long as no one complained.

I had 10 lovely quiet hens until two weeks ago when I was forced to give them up because of a hateful neighbor (two doors away who lives with his sister and brother-in-law)who started complaining that my hens were too noisy. The City found that they weren't too noisy and dismissed the first citation. Then he started complaining that my hen house was 10' too close to the property line (after he "self-educated" himself about the municipal code. This is a 54 year old man who hasn't had a job in 20 years, smokes pot and is emotionally disturbed. This neighbor started trouble six months ago, moved to another neighborhood last December, but made a point of harassing me even after he moved. During the time of trouble, he harassed me, he tried to extort money from me so that I could keep my chickens (according to him) and threatened me. I finally had to get a restraining order.

While the City was willing to overlook the 10' barring a complaint, they chose to enforce their municipal code because of the one bad neighbor who no longer lives in the neighborhood (but might move back at the end of the year).

Three blocks away from me in the same neighborhood there are hens running around loose and no one seems to mind them. They've been there for nine months.

I need help finding the organization that can help me deal with the City's bad behavior.

A chicken loving co-worker recommended this site and said the professionals would know what to do in a case like this.

Thanks!

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#68075 - 03/11/08 07:46 PM Re: New Member Needs Help with Government Red Tape!
J. Meyer Offline
Chicken

Registered: 01/17/08
Posts: 122
Loc: South Dakota
In my opinion, you need one of two things: Either a hit man, or a lawyer. Either one will cost about the same, but one will get you a permanent solution.

Seriously, I think that a lawyer might be able to make a case if there are hens running loose three blocks away, and the city hasn't done anything about them. Good luck!

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#68076 - 03/11/08 09:30 PM Re: New Member Needs Help with Government Red Tape!
Joachim Dippold Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1823
Loc: Austria
Good Morning Folks,

hehehe, "Either one will cost about the same"???LOL! Lawyers are WAY more expensive...

Peace!;-)

Joachim

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#68077 - 03/12/08 01:36 AM Re: New Member Needs Help with Government Red Tape!
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
If the neighbour who complained is two doors away, and the neighbour who shares the "10ft boundary with you did not, coupled with the written permissions and the council's own initial waiver, seems to me you have strong evidence in your favour. When you stack this up against a poor neighbour who threatens you and then tries to extort money from you, I wonder if you should infact establish a baseline or historical incident report with the local law enforcement. I did this on my lawyers recommendation following threats to me from a neighbour we were having trouble with. Historical evidence helps to build you a strong case in the event that further incidents should arise. There ought to be a process for revue with any decision made by your local council, but I can only speak from our democratic process here. Do you have such a community group as Citizens Advice Bureau? If you do, then they usually have a lawyer on board who will give you some advice for free. You would need to take all the written evidence you have with you, and if you recorded the extortion and threats (as you may have done for the restraining order) take those too. It adds weight against the charactor of the neighbour who complained.

I hope you do get some justice here. I'm sure we have members of this forum who will be knowlegeable about city ordinances.
All the best.

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#68078 - 03/12/08 04:02 AM Re: New Member Needs Help with Government Red Tape!
C. G. McCary Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 613
Loc: Alabama
I'm a lawyer but am in Alabama. Each city's ordinance is going to have its own unique characteristics. There are several ways to combat this sort of thing but always specific to your locality. If you will private me your phone munber, I'll give you a call & we can talk-- and I'll talk to you for free! [Private me by clicking the icon in top of my post in the middle-- the one with the postal envelope & two people].

You don't say what State you are located. I can give you general advice to maybe point you in some directions & perhaps give you some ideas--other than Alabama, I have only handled a case in South Dakota, a few that took me to California, Florida & Mississippi.

Chris

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#68079 - 03/12/08 04:45 PM Re: New Member Needs Help with Government Red Tape!
Anonymous
Unregistered


Thank you, Chris. I have sent you a PM.

I have an appointment this Friday morning with the Police Captain in charge of Animal Control. My hope is to get someone motivated to update the 33 year old municipal code with something more reasonable. I will take all the help I can get.

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#68080 - 03/12/08 04:51 PM Re: New Member Needs Help with Government Red Tape!
Anonymous
Unregistered


P.S...... to all of you.... boy don't you think for one minute that thoughts of my lovely shotgun didn't run through my head about this guy. But that would only mean that *I* would be the one in jail. While I believe this guy deserves just that, he's a feckless piece of dirt and not worth my time. Some people have nothing better to do than to make trouble for others who have what they wish they had.

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#68081 - 03/12/08 09:36 PM Re: New Member Needs Help with Government Red Tape!
J. Meyer Offline
Chicken

Registered: 01/17/08
Posts: 122
Loc: South Dakota
Hey! Good luck, and be sure to keep us informed.

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#68082 - 03/15/08 09:09 AM Re: New Member Needs Help with Government Red Tape!
Anonymous
Unregistered


The meeting with the PD was not what I had hoped. Naturally, the PD only enforces the code which the City Council approves. So, his best recommendation was to contact the individual City Council members and meet with them one on one. I called four members yesterday, had to leave message and got no returns. Same old circle it appears.

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#68083 - 03/15/08 09:20 AM Re: New Member Needs Help with Government Red Tape!
C. G. McCary Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/04/07
Posts: 613
Loc: Alabama
hmmmm, sorry to hear this news . . . sounds all too familiar . . . take some neighbors with you to the council meeting . . . if that doesn't work, maybe you should run for city council. That will get their attention.

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