Supreme Court vindicates all Americans’ right to be free from excessive fines

The Supreme Court held that the U.S. Constitution protects individuals from being excessively fined by all levels of government in this country—not just the federal government. The decision in this case, Timbs v. Indiana, is a significant victory that limits the abusive use of fees and fines by state and local officials—abuse that frequently targets the most vulnerable in society.

This case, litigated by our friends at Institute for Justice, started when the State of Indiana tried to take Tyson Timbs’ $42,000 Land Rover, on top of other punishments, for his violation of a drug law. Yet the maximum fine in cases like Timbs’s is $10,000 in Indiana.

Recognizing this obvious disparity, the trial court and court of appeal found that the confiscation of Timbs’s vehicle would violate the Eighth Amendment’s protection from excessive fines. But the Indiana Supreme Court reversed those decisions, holding that the U.S. Constitution does not protect individuals from excessive fines imposed by state or local government actors. Continue reading

Feb 28: Feb Dinner Speaker Chris Morrissey

The February  Speaker is Chris Morrissey, a contractor-owner of Morrissey Construction. He is the builder for the non-profit Coffee Oasis, has stories to tell about Code Enforcement, waste, and fraud. The dinner will be at our new location of Dennys 5004 Kitsap Way, Bremerton at 5PM on Thurs Feb 28.

Proposed Revision to Title 2 Code Compliance

The Kitsap County Department of Community Development is working on a proposed revision to County Code Title 2 Code Compliance (Entry Policy 020719 DDL ) specifically to the requirements needed to enter private property to investigate possible code compliance issues. They are proposing to hold a public hearing on March 11 at the 5:30 PM Board of County Commissioners Evening meeting, Commissioner Chambers, County Admin Building, 610 division St, Port Orchard.

State Law and the State constitution are very specific about what a County inspector can do without the owner’s permission.  RCW 59.18 Residential Landlord –Tenant Act

Support House Bill 1213

AN ACT Relating to granting local governments the authority to make challenges related to growth management planning subject to direct review in superior court.

The legislature finds that local elected officials are appropriately responsible and responsive to their citizens regarding land use decisions within their communities. The legislature also finds that citizens of these local governments have suffered significant financial and other costs resulting from reviews of disputes by the growth management hearings board that are subsequently resolved in a court of law. The legislature intends to relieve this additive burden of process by allowing jurisdictions with fewer government resources the ability to seek judicial interpretations of the growth management act without the costly and time-consuming practice of an initial review by the growth management hearings board.

HB 1213 http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/…/Bills/House%20Bills/1213.pdf

 

Jan 31: KAPO Dinner at new location

We have a new location for our monthly Dinners; the Bremerton Dennys 5004 Kitsap Way Bremerton WA.

Our January  speaker is Bremerton Mayor Greg Wheeler. “As Mayor of Bremerton I was elected to make positive changes for Bremerton. One of the issues I heard from the community during the campaign was that citizens were concerned about the increasing costs of housing for all income levels in our community. The laws of supply and demand dictate that when housing demand outpaces supply prices go up and for many, regardless of income, housing becomes less and less affordable. As a local government, Bremerton can affect the supply by supporting initiatives that create more housing. In addition, as local leaders we can make sure that there are programs and funding strategies in place to support our most vulnerable population and ensure that there are measures taken to support the creation and maintenance of low income housing, which is often referred to as “deeply affordable housing.”

“I have made it one of my goals this year to address affordable housing and have given direction to my administration to implement policies and funding strategies that lead to the creation of more housing for all income levels in the City. I also will be proposing funding in my 2019 budget for programs that support deeply affordable housing. I believe that the initiatives I have outlined here  will increase economic development and produce a variety of housing types for our community.”

Please join us for dinner on Thursday January 31 2019, 5:00PM at Bremerton Dennys 5004 Kitsap Way Bremerton WA.

 

Feb 28 Dinner Speaker Chris Morrissey

The February  Speaker is Chris Morrissey, a contractor-owner of Morrissey Construction. He is the builder for the non-profit Coffee Oasis, has stories to tell about Code Enforcement, waste, and fraud. The dinner will be at our new location of Dennys 5004 Kitsap Way, Bremerton at 5PM on Thurs Feb 28.

Supreme Court Deals Unanimous, Welcome Blow to Administrative State in Frog Case

Unanimity is elusive in today’s America but the Supreme Court achieved it last week. Although the dusky gopher frog is endangered, so are property rights and accountable governance. Both would have been further jeopardized if the frog’s partisans in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) had gotten away with designating 1,544 privately owned Louisiana acres as a “critical habitat” for the three-inch amphibian, which currently lives only in Mississippi and could not live in the Louisiana acres as they are now. The eight justices (the case was argued before Brett Kavanaugh joined the court) rejected both the government’s justification for its designation, and the government’s argument that its action should have received judicial deference, not judicial review.
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