Group forms to protect property rights

Group forms to protect property rights against what its members see as government intrusion.

This is an announcement to let everyone know that the Stevens County Property Rights Group is now the 15th Washington State Chapter of Citizens Alliance for Property Rights (CAPR). We encourage all property owners to attend our meetings, and especially if you are concerned about “setbacks” and “buffer zones” on your private property.

On July 3, the Stevens County CAPR group sent their introduction letter and official statement of “collective refusal to comply with all ‘setbacks’ or ‘buffer zones’ on private property” to the state attorney general. We cited 14 direct conflicts with the state and U.S. Constitution that have to do with property owners being denied their guaranteed right of due process of the law in these setback and buffer zone cases.

The state of Alabama put a near stop to all private property rights issues with the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Ecology through a bill referencing what was already written in the 5th and 14th Amendments that say, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of the law.”

However, people don’t need a new bill to state what is already guaranteed to them through the law of the Constitution, as the Constitution is the supreme law of the land.

This means that if you are accused of polluting, you are guaranteed a right to a trial by jury of your peers, which also includes a formal accusation, investigation, and jury derived verdict of innocence or guilt, prior to any court orders being issued to fence off any land that is privately owned.

In other words, if they are accusing a person of polluting, they have to prove it, and a jury of your peers has to find you guilty prior to sentencing.

For instance, a cattle farmer in Valley, Wash., had 2,500 cattle on his property of 3,200 acres that ran along the river for 3.2 miles. DoE accused him of polluting the river with his cattle, but after a solid year of testing, the county tests concluded the water was 300 percent cleaner when it left his property than when it went into his property. Had the owner not forced the DoE to prove their accusations, he would have lost his entire 3,200 acres to that demand made by the DoE. So the DoE had to back off.

So due process of the law is essential. The Washington State Constitution Article I, Section 21 also says that your right to a “trial by jury” remains inviolate — it cannot be denied, and if they are accusing you of anything, they have to follow the guidelines for the “rights of the accused.” Article I, Section 22 contains the “rights of the accused,” which also backs up the full requirements of the due process of the law.

Rene’ Holaday

Stevens County, Wash.



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