Olice-pay Ate-stay: What to do if you feel you live in one?

Oh, let's not forget that apparently you can now be thrown into jail for losing your job and not being able to afford to finish your home renovations.

The short of it: dude completely remodels his house, is unable to afford to finish just the back of it, tries a cheaper temporary fix because, y'know, he has no money, spends time in jail. So because your neighbors may not like the look of your house because you lost your job, you can now serve jail time. What would have happened had he tried to resist arrest?

What. The f*ck. Is wrong with us?

Minarchist wrote:

Oh, let's not forget that apparently you can now be thrown into jail for losing your job and not being able to afford to finish your home renovations.

The short of it: dude completely remodels his house, is unable to afford to finish just the back of it, tries a cheaper temporary fix because, y'know, he has no money, spends time in jail. So because your neighbors may not like the look of your house because you lost your job, you can now serve jail time. What would have happened had he tried to resist arrest?

What. The f*ck. Is wrong with us?

Apparently nothing if you read most of this thread. Everything is A-OK.

If you need proof that drones are evil, here it is:

"Tacocopter Aims To Deliver Tacos Using Unmanned Drone Helicopters"

If anything should be a violation of your rights, Taco Bell via air should be on the list.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...

Bear wrote:

If you need proof that drones are evil, here it is:

"Tacocopter Aims To Deliver Tacos Using Unmanned Drone Helicopters"

If anything should be a violation of your rights, Taco Bell via air should be on the list.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...

That's the final straw. Unmanned drones are one thing. Unmanned drones with horrible food...

DSGamer wrote:

:)

That's the final straw. Unmanned drones are one thing. Unmanned drones with horrible food...

Spying is one thing, airborne diarrhea....that's worth fighting against.

Minarchist wrote:

Oh, let's not forget that apparently you can now be thrown into jail for losing your job and not being able to afford to finish your home renovations.

The short of it: dude completely remodels his house, is unable to afford to finish just the back of it, tries a cheaper temporary fix because, y'know, he has no money, spends time in jail. So because your neighbors may not like the look of your house because you lost your job, you can now serve jail time. What would have happened had he tried to resist arrest?

What. The f*ck. Is wrong with us?

Did you even read the article?

article wrote:

Indeed, court documents indicate that Faber was given ample time to put the siding on his house. He was sent warning letters in 2009 and in 2010. Finally, Faber was given a deadline in 2011 – either complete the work on his house or report to jail.
...
“The homeowner also failed to appear in Court to turn himself in as was ordered by the judge,” Doll wrote. “Because of his failure to appear in Court on June 1, the City understands that the judge in the case subsequently issued a bench warrant.”
...
He was ultimately sentenced to 30 days in jail but was given the opportunity to serve his sentence at home by wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet

So, dude contravenes some local ordinances, ignores several warnings about that spread over several years, finally fails to turn up in court, then is made to wear an electronic bracelet for a month while at home.

So,
1: Dude totally brought it on himself, and had ample warning that things were headed south, which he ignored.
2: Dude went to jail for 2 days, then served another 28 days in his own house.

Frankly, I'm failing to muster the slightest hint of outrage.

Jonman wrote:

So, dude contravenes some local ordinances, ignores several warnings about that spread over several years, finally fails to turn up in court, then is made to wear an electronic bracelet for a month while at home.

So,
1: Dude totally brought it on himself, and had ample warning that things were headed south, which he ignored.
2: Dude went to jail for 2 days, then served another 28 days in his own house.

Frankly, I'm failing to muster the slightest hint of outrage.

I think the outrage should come from the fact that, no matter WHAT kind chances he was given, he was put in jail for violating a local ordinance involving a code violation. You don't put people in jail for not finishing a remodeling job on their own house: you hit them with a fine if it's a 'neighborhood property values' situation; you declare the house uninhabitable if it's a safety situation; if it's that imperative that the job get done, the government finishes the remodeling job itself and charges the person, using umm...the house as collateral?

You don't put people in jail for not completing a construction job of his own house. The consequence of jail--even 2 days--is never appropriate for a situation like this.

Jonman wrote:

Did you even read the article?

As a matter of fact, I did.

The point isn't that he didn't have ample warning, or didn't show up to court (hell, I wouldn't have either, since the whole thing is patently absurd). The point is that he got actual jail time for not doing something to his own house, on his own property, that can't even be seen from the street. It had no potential of harm for anyone. And he got jail time. Jail time. What's next? Jail time if you plant some azaleas your neighbor doesn't like? If you erect a big playground in your back yard? If your (gasp) have a truck on blocks in the front yard? And again I say, what would have happened had he resisted arrest?

Honestly, if you don't see anything wrong with that I'm not sure there's any point in discussing it.

CheezePavilion wrote:
Jonman wrote:

Frankly, I'm failing to muster the slightest hint of outrage.

I think the outrage should come from the fact that, no matter WHAT kind chances he was given, he was put in jail for violating a local ordinance involving a code violation. You don't put people in jail for not finishing a remodeling job on their own house: you hit them with a fine if it's a 'neighborhood property values' situation; you declare the house uninhabitable if it's a safety situation; if it's that imperative that the job get done, the government finishes the remodeling job itself and charges the person, using umm...the house as collateral?

You don't put people in jail for not completing a construction job of his own house. The consequence of jail--even 2 days--is never appropriate for a situation like this.

Again, did you read the article?

the article wrote:

The trouble started in 2007 when Faber was initially cited, said Marty Doll, the city’s communications coordinator.

In a written statement to Fox News, Doll said this case was “very unusual in that the situation was not remedied after repeated requests.”

“The City is aware of the concerns regarding this situation, and agrees that it is extremely unfortunate that it escalated to the point that it did,” Doll wrote.

Dude was originally cited in 2007. It took 5 years for the situation to escalate to "jail". It's not like he wasn't given ample warnings, or more than a fair amount of time to rectify the situation.

Should that ever escalate to jail though? [I haven't read the article] Was there a citation/fine phase first?

Minarchist wrote:
Jonman wrote:

Did you even read the article?

As a matter of fact, I did.

The point isn't that he didn't have ample warning, or didn't show up to court (hell, I wouldn't have either, since the whole thing is patently absurd). The point is that he got actual jail time for not doing something to his own house, on his own property, that can't even be seen from the street. It had no potential of harm for anyone. And he got jail time. Jail time. What's next? Jail time if you plant some azaleas your neighbor doesn't like? If you erect a big playground in your back yard? If your (gasp) have a truck on blocks in the front yard? And again I say, what would have happened had he resisted arrest?

Honestly, if you don't see anything wrong with that I'm not sure there's any point in discussing it.

So we should all be free to ignore any building codes that we disagree with? There's any number of things that I'm legally not allowed to do to my own house, and those limitations are set by my local municipality.

And yes, jail time if you plant some azaleas that contravene your municipality's building codes, then fail to remove them, despite multiple warnings over 5 years, yes.

Don't like the laws? Change them, don't pretend like they don't apply to you.

Jonman wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:
Jonman wrote:

Frankly, I'm failing to muster the slightest hint of outrage.

I think the outrage should come from the fact that, no matter WHAT kind chances he was given, he was put in jail for violating a local ordinance involving a code violation. You don't put people in jail for not finishing a remodeling job on their own house: you hit them with a fine if it's a 'neighborhood property values' situation; you declare the house uninhabitable if it's a safety situation; if it's that imperative that the job get done, the government finishes the remodeling job itself and charges the person, using umm...the house as collateral?

You don't put people in jail for not completing a construction job of his own house. The consequence of jail--even 2 days--is never appropriate for a situation like this.

Again, did you read the article?

the article wrote:

The trouble started in 2007 when Faber was initially cited, said Marty Doll, the city’s communications coordinator.

In a written statement to Fox News, Doll said this case was “very unusual in that the situation was not remedied after repeated requests.”

“The City is aware of the concerns regarding this situation, and agrees that it is extremely unfortunate that it escalated to the point that it did,” Doll wrote.

Dude was originally cited in 2007. It took 5 years for the situation to escalate to "jail". It's not like he wasn't given ample warnings, or more than a fair amount of time to rectify the situation.

D00d! Did you read my comment? I don't care if it takes OVER 9000 years. No number of warning as ample, no matter how many times the request is repeated. Like I said: if it's that big of a deal, you use fines. You condemn the house and kick him out. You finish the job and put a lien on the property. You do not send people to jail for not finishing a remodel of their house.

I did read the article, and I can detect no evidence of him being put in jail for failure to participate in the process: the two days in jail does not look to be a consequence of refusing to appear or the bench warrant. As far as I can tell it was two days in jail for not finishing a remodeling job on your own house. This is a disagreement that no reading of the article will resolve: you're going to have to make the argument that we should be putting people in jail for this kind of thing, and I'm going to make the argument that we shouldn't. As far as I can tell, the facts are not in dispute between us.

Jonman wrote:

So we should all be free to ignore any building codes that we disagree with?

Wait, when did this become "free to ignore the law" or "go to jail"? I brought up that they could fine him; they could condemn his house; they could finish the job themselves and then charge him, using the house as collateral.

CheezePavilion wrote:
Jonman wrote:

So we should all be free to ignore any building codes that we disagree with?

Wait, when did this become "free to ignore the law" or "go to jail"? I brought up that they could fine him; they could condemn his house; they could finish the job themselves and then charge him, using the house as collateral.

So your solution is to take his home away from him (i.e. "condemn the house and kick him out")? Making him homeless is somehow less bad than his spending 48 hours in jail and another 28 days wearing an electronic bracelet?

To quote the article once again....

the article wrote:

But Burnsville city leaders weren’t interested in excuses. They argued that Faber was in violation of a city code – and they wanted him to pay – by serving jail time and by paying a $1,000 fine. The judge ruled against them on the fine.

Fines were attempted, but were blocked by a court. At this stage, what other option did the municipality have?

My stand is that jail-time is an appropriate punishment to escalate to after all other, less severe methods have been exhausted.

Jonman wrote:

So your solution is to take his home away from him (i.e. "condemn the house and kick him out")? Making him homeless is somehow less bad than his spending 48 hours in jail and another 28 days wearing an electronic bracelet?

Do you realize that if the remodeling job took less than 48 hours, it would mean he'd actually spend *less* time homeless.

And that you're saying it's worse to make him go find a hotel than it is to lock him up?

Besides: if this is not a safety issue, then there's no reason to condemn the house in the first place. If there is a safety issue, then he shouldn't be living there anyway.

To quote the article once again....
the article wrote:

But Burnsville city leaders weren’t interested in excuses. They argued that Faber was in violation of a city code – and they wanted him to pay – by serving jail time and by paying a $1,000 fine. The judge ruled against them on the fine.

Fines were attempted, but were blocked by a court. At this stage, what other option did the municipality have?

Change their ordinance so that fines *won't* be blocked by a court. It's hard for me to believe that the law is such that jailing someone for non-compliance with an ordinance is forbidden, but locking them up is okay. If it is, that place has bigger problems to deal with than than ugly houses! Maybe they should fix their legal system before asking people to fix their houses.

My stand is that jail-time is an appropriate punishment to escalate to after all other, less severe methods have been exhausted.

My stand is that it is not. It is never appropriate punishment to escalate a code violation over a remodeling job of your own house to jail-time.

So I guess everyone would be okay if we re-instituted debtors prisons? We incarcerate people for smoking weed so why not...

I wish we could get past jailing people for everything. There's an industrial complex building rapidly because we're so quick to incarcerate people. Ironically all of this is happening while no banker has gone to jail.

DSGamer wrote:

So I guess everyone would be okay if we re-instituted debtors prisons? We incarcerate people for smoking weed so why not...

I wish we could get past jailing people for everything. There's an industrial complex building rapidly because we're so quick to incarcerate people. Ironically all of this is happening while no banker has gone to jail.

This.

I don't think is really a case of a police state. Breaking a law and getting punished for it is expected behavior here, it's the form of punishment. DS hit the nail on the head..we're way to happy to put people in jail. Which is funny, considering our current government budget situations. I would think fines would be the preferred method everywhere right now.

On a devil's advocate note, if I were in his shoes I'd take 2 days in jail + house arrest over a fine.

SixteenBlue wrote:

On a devil's advocate note, if I were in his shoes I'd take 2 days in jail + house arrest over a fine.

I don't know: I've known a lot of people who a couple of hours into a stay in jail wound up paying the fine instead. Maybe you're a lot more hardcore in your life experiences than I am, but until I've been in jail for two days, I'm not sure I'd take the jail sentence.

Especially if I have a job where I can't be away for two days/work from home for roughly a month.

CheezePavilion wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:

On a devil's advocate note, if I were in his shoes I'd take 2 days in jail + house arrest over a fine.

I don't know: I've known a lot of people who a couple of hours into a stay in jail wound up paying the fine instead. Maybe you're a lot more hardcore in your life experiences than I am, but until I've been in jail for two days, I'm not sure I'd take the jail sentence.

Especially if I have a job where I can't be away for two days/work from home for roughly a month.

Oh right, work from home is an issue I didn't consider. I was actually assuming unemployed from the context of the conversation. Essentially, what I was saying is: financial problems got him in the mess, it might actually be worth it to take jail time over increased financial problems.

It's pretty important to remember that Farber was arrested for failure to appear, not for violating a building code.

“The homeowner also failed to appear in Court to turn himself in as was ordered by the judge,” Doll wrote. “Because of his failure to appear in Court on June 1, the City understands that the judge in the case subsequently issued a bench warrant.”

He was ordered to appear in court if the work wasn't done by June 1st. It wasn't, but he didn't go to court, so a warrant was put out for him. In Minnesota, failure to appear (for a misdemeanor like violating building codes) is a crime punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or up to a $1000 fine.

Stengah wrote:

It's pretty important to remember that Farber was arrested for failure to appear, not for violating a building code.

“The homeowner also failed to appear in Court to turn himself in as was ordered by the judge,” Doll wrote. “Because of his failure to appear in Court on June 1, the City understands that the judge in the case subsequently issued a bench warrant.”

I'm not sure that's the case. As I read it he was arrested for failure to appear like you say, but he was put in jail and given 28 days of home arrest for the violation, not the failure to appear. The article states: Finally, Faber was given a deadline in 2011 – either complete the work on his house or report to jail.

WipEout wrote:

I could see it going either way-- either he was simply jailed for not completing the house, or the judge used the excuse of jail time for the failure to appear previously as a means to light a fire under the guy's ass and finish the construction. Considering the judge waived the $1000 fine in light of the guy's obvious financial hardships, I'm more inclined to assume the latter.

Yeah, it can be interpreted that the judge was saying "If you actually fix your house, I'll forget about your jail time for failure to appear."

I could see it going either way-- either he was simply jailed for not completing the house, or the judge used the excuse of jail time for the failure to appear previously as a means to light a fire under the guy's ass and finish the construction. Considering the judge waived the $1000 fine in light of the guy's obvious financial hardships, I'm more inclined to assume the latter-- it really reads to me like the judge was rather lenient and attempting to reach a compromise among all parties. Farber failed on his end of the bargain, so he was sentenced to jail time. I'd say all things considered, he still got off light compared to the maximum number of fines and incarceration he was facing for all the violations/misdemeanors he committed.

CheezePavilion wrote:
Stengah wrote:

It's pretty important to remember that Farber was arrested for failure to appear, not for violating a building code.

“The homeowner also failed to appear in Court to turn himself in as was ordered by the judge,” Doll wrote. “Because of his failure to appear in Court on June 1, the City understands that the judge in the case subsequently issued a bench warrant.”

I'm not sure that's the case. As I read it he was arrested for failure to appear like you say, but he was put in jail and given 28 days of home arrest for the violation, not the failure to appear. The article states: Finally, Faber was given a deadline in 2011 – either complete the work on his house or report to jail.

Digging up the case file it looks like you're right, and why the judge ordered jailtime is being investigated. The city is unable to issue fines itself, so it has to go to court when they need to. It's apparently up to the judge to decide what the appropriate punishment is. What's being investigated is why she felt that 30 days in jail was more appropriate than a $1,000 fine. Her reasoning when initially deciding it was that she'd rather see him use his money to finish the job than add to his financial troubles. She probably realized that fining him would only delay the house actually being fixed. From what he's said, it was done by the deadline, but I guess he either waited until the last minute or never notified the city when it was done, because the inspector that stopped by on June 1st said it still wasn't up to code.

SixteenBlue wrote:
WipEout wrote:

I could see it going either way-- either he was simply jailed for not completing the house, or the judge used the excuse of jail time for the failure to appear previously as a means to light a fire under the guy's ass and finish the construction. Considering the judge waived the $1000 fine in light of the guy's obvious financial hardships, I'm more inclined to assume the latter.

Yeah, it can be interpreted that the judge was saying "If you actually fix your house, I'll forget about your jail time for failure to appear."

That's what I was thinking, but the jail time was assigned as punishment before his failure to appear. It seems that they just used that to put out a warrant for him. I didn't see any charges stemming from it when I looked for the other case.

It all seems like a very large waste of time, money, and manpower for such a small code violation. Maybe they could do something like, I dunno, let it go? The word is forgiveness.

Is such a thing really worth all that? Do we really need to be such hard asses about this crap? Do we really need our government to enact retribution for such inane bullsh*t? There are far more important things that need to be handled than how one guy's house looks. At least he has a house, at least he isn't starving to death in a sh*tty little hut in the garbage dump, praying he can find enough organic matter to feed his kid one more time this week.

Maybe if the government hadn't let super-corporations destroy our worker base, our economy, and our laws just to get richer over and over for the last 30+ years this guy might have a decent wage. Maybe he would have a decent job and could afford to finish the project in time. What does it matter if his house looks like a giant pile of sh*t? We have more important things that need looking into.

Sorry, but this kind of busy-boding from the government ticks me off at times.

plavonica wrote:

It all seems like a very large waste of time, money, and manpower for such a small code violation. Maybe they could do something like, I dunno, let it go? The word is forgiveness.

Is such a thing really worth all that? Do we really need to be such hard asses about this crap? Do we really need our government to enact retribution for such inane bullsh*t? There are far more important things that need to be handled than how one guy's house looks. At least he has a house, at least he isn't starving to death in a sh*tty little hut in the garbage dump, praying he can find enough organic matter to feed his kid one more time this week.

Maybe if the government hadn't let super-corporations destroy our worker base, our economy, and our laws just to get richer over and over for the last 30+ years this guy might have a decent wage. Maybe he would have a decent job and could afford to finish the project in time. What does it matter if his house looks like a giant pile of sh*t? We have more important things that need looking into.

Sorry, but this kind of busy-boding from the government ticks me off at times.

Generally the idea behind the ordinance he violated is that it's not just him that is affected by his house looking sh*tty. It makes the whole neighborhood look sh*tty. I'm not a fan of stupid laws like it either, but the reason it wasn't forgiven is that doing so would set a bad precedent. If he was forgiven and allowed to continue breaking the law with no consequence, what's to stop other people from breaking other minor laws and not expect to be forgiven as well.

It's not like they sprung this on him either. He was notified that his house needed to be brought up to code in 2007. He wasn't given the ultimatum until December of 2010, and then he was given until the end of May to finish the job. It took him over 5 years to finish putting a stucco facade on his house. I can't find anything saying that he tried working with the city to resolve the problem, or notified them of his progress. The original story says that after receiving the ultimatum, he spent $12,000 finishing the job (how he came up with that much money that quickly isn't mentioned, nor is why he couldn't have come up with it earlier), but apparently never checked with anyone to make sure his house was now in compliance, because when the inspector showed up on June 1st, it still didn't pass.