The Civil Liberties Monitoring Project (CLMP) was founded 1983 in Miranda, Humboldt County, California. We have preserved here an archive of the website.
CLMP covers only issues specific to our local area on California’s North Coast.
Bonnie Blackberry presentation outline for Civil Liberties Monitoring Project @ Humboldt County Board of Supervisors on April 8, 2008. 1. Who’s in charge of code enforcement? Who establishing process, set priorities and directing officer’s activities?
2. Who has the legal liability for actions taken on these searches?
3. Who’s in charge of oversight of code enforcement officer’s activities?
4. Is Board involved in oversight ? How often are reports made to the board? Where can we find those reports?
5. The incident in Trinidad that was reported in the North Coast Journal was brought to our attention when the young woman who was confronted with a gun pointed at her, spoke at our Town meeting with the Sheriff, DA, Supe and code enforcement officer. Apparently notice was given, but when group of officers showed up, their behavior, tactics and use of force has caused great concern. Is Board aware of those activities?
6. How decision to determine what becomes a code enforcement matter as opposed to code compliance handled by planning or building or health??? do code enforcement officers report only to County Counsel? Is code enforcement taking any direction from Planning?
7. Code enforcement officer, Jeff Conner recently stated that he was directed to do unpermitted development in rural Humboldt County, and given four target areas. The inspection warrants served in Southern Humboldt in late Feb an early March for Elk Ridge and Wood Ranch, were not in the target areas. Has enforcement officer John Desadier been directed to do something beyond what Jeff Conner has been directed to do ? And who has been directing him?
8. What is current policy and process which leads up to application for an inspection warrant? are there provisions which lay out a step by step process to contact a property owner to let them know there is a problem and an attempt to obtain compliance before code enforcement action is taken? Is there a written policy? Where can we find a copy of that?
9. Brief summary of inspection warrant issued to John L. Desadier dated 2-21-08 open warrant, go any where including entering buildings, only restriction, inspection not to be made between 6pm and 8am
10. Read reasons given to enter without notice or consent: in the Declaration of D. A. Investigator John L. Desadier in Support of Inspection Warrant:
a. Because of the forested nature of this parcel and the limited access, I have not been able to confirm all of the violations. I therefore request that this inspection warrant be granted so that I can determine the scope of additional violations on the property.
b. It has been by experience and training that violators of County code, especially those who may be cultivating marijuana, in grow buildings will attempt to hide or conceal non-permitted buildings among the trees.
c. I requested that this warrant allow me to inspect the entire parcel to check the status of the violations observed, and to determine if any new violations have occurred. i also believe that if the foreknowledge of this inspection warrant is given to the owners of the property, they could use the advance warning to obfuscate the conditions on the ground and make it more difficult, if not impossible to locate additional violations. Therefore I request that the requirement to seek consent and to provide advance notice of the service of the warrant be waived.
11. Was County Counsel involved in formulating legal language for request to waive the requirement to give notice and seek consent of property owner for inspection warrants for unpermitted buildings and septic systems?
12. If violation is not a public nuisance or an immediate health or safety threat, Why not notify the property owner that there is a problem with a suspected code violation with a letter, as a first step to obtaining compliance, instead of as the last step?
13. if it is true that only 15% of code enforcement officers in California carry guns, seems like guns aren’t a necessary tool for the job.
14. Suggest consider redirecting change code enforcement into a non law enforcement position, such as building inspector and tax assessor with focus on code compliance. Let the D.A. Investigators investigate criminal matters, when law enforcement is needed in a compliance matter, contact the Sheriff’s Dept and get assistance by special service deputies.
15. Request moratorium on rural code enforcement activities, until there is a clear policy, direction and accountability.
16. Form task force which includes non government citizens with experience and knowledge of rural life to develop proposals for rustic rural guidelines and codes which that are necessary to address real health and safety concerns.