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Right to be secure in my home

Discussion in 'Constitutional Law & Civil Rights' started by Mike RR, Aug 26, 2020.

  1. Mike RR

    Mike RR Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    In 2018 the manager local water company, a quasi-governmental entity, told me he wanted to gain access to my home to change a meter. I informed him, he needed to get someone else to do the job. (This is a man that has lied to me on a number of occasions, confided in me how he was working with board members to terminate the employment of a fellow employee,(the termination was litigated and the company had to pay a undisclosed sum), demonstrated sub acceptable work quality, and even in one case mentioned the possibility of a injury claim while changing a meter in a hard to reach area.)

    I have been a critic of the water company for several years as they have placed a undue hardship on our community. (This escalated to the point a board member tried to physically intimidate me). In Jan. 2019 I received call from the manager, I met him a few days later at the office, caught him in another lie and told him he was not coming into my home. A few days later, I received a letter from the water office making a official request to access my home, I responded in writing, that I did not trust him and the board member that tried to intimidate me. I denied them access however I offered to allow a third party licensed plumber access as I felt their effort was unconstitutional. the manager stopped in my driveway a couple of weeks later and informed me he had given my letter to the board and they were not happy. I replied I didn't care. He told me to take their letter serious, if I didn't he would disconnect my water service. I replied I would drill a well, he said "go ahead, you got water rights" and drove away angry. April 2019, I received another letter from the water company however, this letter was written by an attorney and the letterhead was omitted in a copying process stating my offer for a third party was unacceptable and my water would be disconnected on May 26th. In early May I drilled a well, the manager did everything he could to interfere to no avail. I took the day from work to be present when they were to disconnect, he did not show. Two days later he shut off my water while I was at work having law enforcement present. That evening I removed the meter and attached my well to my home.

    The board now has brought legal action against me for drilling the well, as their ordinances state there is to be no domestic wells drilled within the district boundaries after May 1996, I have provided documentation that more than 30 other domestic wells since then have been drilled in the district that they have not taken action against before and after my well.

    From what I can find, operating outside to confines of the demand letter is unlawful, their actions violate my Fourth Amendment right to be secure in my home, and this is a arbitrary/capricious application of ordinances. I am confident this is a case of retaliation from the board due to criticism.

    Advice?
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Advice? You need an attorney. It's unfortunate that you violated the relevant ordinance(s)...
     
  3. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    This isn't really a 4th Amendment issue. This is more of a civil dispute over services provided.

    I agree with your right to refuse access to your home, however they also have the right to disconnect the service.

    Whether or not your well is a violation if any ordinance is something that requires a lot more information to determine. Do you have the language of the ordinance? Were there any subsequent changes to that ordinance?

    That others installed wells does not make yours legitimate. You would have to know the circumstances of those cases and whether any special permission was obtained.

    This is not something you should pursue without legal assistance.
     
  4. Mike RR

    Mike RR Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for the reply, in the Camera case, which a city worker demanded access to a home, the Supreme Court stated the city could not access without a warrant thus a violation.

    The language of the ordinance is simple, "As of this date, May 10th 1996 there will be no new domestic wells drilled within the district". There are more than 30 in the area since that time including one owned by the vice president of the board, some have been given verbal authorization while others acted independently.

    The well is a legitimate well as it is register with the state and assigned water rights.
    So guess the question is, can a quasi-governmental entity arbitrarily enforce ordinances?
     
  5. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    You need an attorney.
     
  6. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Nobody entered your property. Yours is not a 4th Amendment issue.

    That does not make yours lawful. You may have a reasonable complaint to make about unequal application if the law.

    You will need assistance to proceed further.
     
  7. welkin

    welkin Active Member

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    Boy oh boy did you make a mess for yourself over a meter change. And I will predict that you will not prevail in your quest for a private well under any circumstances.

    First you describe the water company as a quasi-governmental entity. Does that mean that it is a municipal water company, a water authority, what? Then you speak of the board. The board of what? Your local council, a board of directors of the water company, commissioners of an authority, or what?

    What case are you citing here and what were the circumstances? Perhaps you could provide a link to the case.


    I suspect that you are only providing a very small portion of the ordinance that was passed after a municipal or county water system was installed and that the ordinance has a mandate that everyone has to hookup to that system for new development or when a well goes bad. I also suspect that the ordinance would also say that the water company has the right to service their meters in your home or on your property.

    It's too bad that you spent what you did on your own well instead of just letting the water company change your meter.

    You will not win no matter how much you spend on attorneys.
     

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