Legality of the Complaint Driven Process of Building and Land Usage Inspections

The Complaint Driven Process of Building and Land Usage Inspections

Are these processes or action themselves illegal (under County, State or Federal constitution and/or other applicable laws relating to due process and similar)?

Points are:

* No criteria or process at county level for determining validity of complaint. Might the county be setting itself up for liability/legal action by prosecuting a fraudulent or otherwise invalid “complaint”?

* Anonymity of accuser. Is this permissible in civil or criminal court? That the accused not be allowed to know who the accuser is? If not, then how can it be allowable in this context?

* Accused is presumed guilty. This is in direct contradiction to our civil and criminal legal systems where accused is presumed innocent pending attempts to prove guilt.

* No formal procedure to respond to complaints. Again this is not allowed in our civil or criminal legal system. Could this be grounds for a civil lawsuit against the county?

I’m NOT advocating lawsuits against the county pre-emptively.
I’m suggesting that IF such lawsuits would have firm legal ground, the county needs to be aware of this and be aware that by doing what they’re doing WRT their current complaint process, they are putting themselves at risk of such lawsuits.

John S.


2 thoughts on “Legality of the Complaint Driven Process of Building and Land Usage Inspections

  1. victorio98

    Point 1) We have to be aware of our impact on our neighbors and neighborhoods. I know, for example, if someone opened, say, an unlicensed bar across the street from me, I would feel imposed upon. It goes both ways. Complaints are investigated for better or worse.

    Point 2) Those who initiate complaints are open to reprisals. Although it may be nicer to peaceably approach an individual with a perceived violation, experience has taught society to defer to the authorities to avoid escalating confrontations.

    Point 3) Again, when a formal complaint is lodged with a County/State agency it is a complaint, nothing more. The complaining party has to have good working knowledge of both the law and the language of the law to file a complaint; otherwise the document will be not be accepted. Even if it is accepted it is one of hundreds that must be handled by the particular agency. Usually none but the most egregious violations are perused.

    Point 4) First the alleged violation will be investigated. If any violations are found to exist the owner will be notified and given a certain amount of time to rectify the violations. At that time the owner of the property can confer with representatives from that agency. As far as I know, the only way one might be able to sue the County/State is with a Writ of Mandamus. You should be prepared to deal with the legal staff at the County Corporation etc. Good luck on that.

    1. alohajuggler

      The Complaint process is a huge subject l’d like to discuss further when time permits……or you could come to one of our HSCA Board meetings.
      Where are you located ?

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