six month jail time for no permit

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This was on the Drudge Report on 08/28/07
RHE man gets jail time for property fixes
By Megan Bagdonas Staff Writer
He built a fence, a retaining wall, a patio and a few concrete columns to decorate his driveway, and now Francisco Linares is going to jail for it.
Linares had been given six months to get final permits for the offending structures or remove them as part of a plea agreement reached in January, when he pleaded no contest to five misdemeanor counts of violating the Rolling Hills Estates building code.
If he failed to do one or the other, Linares faced six months in county jail.
On Monday, Torrance Superior Court Judge Sandra Thompson chastised Linares, a Farmers Insurance district manager, for not completing what he agreed to do in January and then handed him the maximum sentence without possibility of house arrest or probation.
"Imagine my disappointment to find we are no further along in resolving these issues," Thompson said. "At the rate we're going, we'll still be talking about this at my retirement party."
Linares is scheduled to report to county jail Sept. 10.
"I'm not scared," Linares said about spending time in jail. "It's just very unfair. The city said they wanted to teach me a lesson because they thought I wanted to get away with a lot of stuff."
Richard Hamar, Linares' attorney, said he has never heard of anything like this.
"We're talking about fixing a fence that was on city property," he said. "He didn't build a Las Vegas casino. You put a guy in jail for six months because he repaired the city fence?"
The 51-year-old bought the nearly 1-acre property in the 4600 block of Palos Verdes Drive North in 1998. After tearing down an adobe house on the site and building a 3,000-square-foot French-style home, he began landscaping.
When Linares asked the city to repair the white three-railed fence behind his house, he was told it was on his property and his responsibility. So he replaced the termite-infested planks. Then the city reversed itself and said Linares had illegally built the fence on city property.
In October 2004, the city charged Linares with three misdemeanors: for not taking down the fence, having a retaining wall built higher than a 2-foot restriction and for erecting stone columns without a neighborhood compatibility analysis. Later inspections found eight other violations, including a lack of permits for plumbing and grading.
"He's had a couple of years to correct the problems," said Dean Pucci, a Fullerton attorney contracted as the city's prosecutor. "His options were to obtain final permits or remove all of these structures built without permits."
Linares lives in the house with his wife and three daughters. He contends that he didn't remove the structures because he believed the permits would be approved.
However, Pucci said no permits are pending, since Linares failed to resubmit an application that was deemed incomplete.
At the sentencing, Hamar said his client was a good Christian man who has never committed a crime and who worked diligently - 142 hours - to try to resolve the issues with the city.
And the only reason he was not able to complete the stipulations of the plea agreement, he said, was because of the city's confusing building codes and negligence in rendering a decision on his permit applications.
"We established that he did everything that was humanly possible to comply. And the un-rebutted evidence is that (the city) hasn't ruled on the permits," Hamar said. "To … do something as harsh as put a good man in jail for six months, you got to look at the impact on society. What will society gain if you put this man in jail?"
The prosecutor, however, said, "In virtually every city in every county a violation of the municipal code is a crime."
Hamar said he plans to appeal.
"I'm praying that there will be an appeal and that my dad won't be sentenced to jail," said daughter Vanessa Linares, 18. "My dad is the backbone of our family. How would we be able to hold up if he's not here?"
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Sounds like Chicago, that's why I moved out of the city. If you dont grease the right palms and make sure your alderman gets your vote (and knows that he got your vote), and that you voted for the candidates your precinct captain told you to, eventually city hall gets you on permits, or your garbage cans mysteriously disappear, car gets towed, etc. My neighbor had to gut all the electrical in his garage and re- do it because one shop bench light was wired with Romex, the inspector said he could not trust the whole job. From then on he couldn't even put up his storm windows without a permit. Cant fight city hall.
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RickH wrote:

Well, in the first instance the defendant made a plea and (apparently) didn't fulfill the terms of the agreement he made (later in the article says after over two years)...
In your story, the neighbor didn't follow a well-known code proscription (even to those living outside of Chicago, so surely it isn't news to anybody living there). But, there would be no reason if the rest of the work _was_ up to code to not simply have it open for inspection when the rework was reinspected -- absolutely no need to redo the work itself (and the inspector wouldn't know different if it wasn't visible before). Of course, that then begs the question of why the work was inspected before closing it up so the question of unsatisfactory work would have been resolved long before--unless, of course, it was done in Romex in violation of the code and he was hoping to cover it up and "get by"...
In both cases, the end result seems to me to have been brought on by the individual themselves...
--
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wrote:

happens a lot in Tarrant County and Fort Worth as well. There was a situation where a convenience store had trash blowing in from their customers all over our yard. We called the city, and lo and behold, the city nailed US for several things. Turns out the owner of the store was some sort of low level city flunky. There is no justice or fairness when dealing with the city, or county here either. B
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On Tue, 28 Aug 2007 11:46:48 -0600, "Brian O"

You have 2 choices, change your address or change the government. Where I live we have a local government that understands they work for us. That was not true in my last place of residence so I moved. You do need to stay involved locally and not let your government get out ofd control.
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I would agree, but with a city the size of ours, it would be very very difficult to get enough public involvement to get anything changed. B
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In my city, Oklahoma City, I always have trouble getting a permit. About 17 years ago I wanted to build a wood shop (woodworking is a hobby). I went to the permit office with a site plan and the city decided my property was land locked with no access by road. I had lived on this site for 15 years at that time. They would not issue a permit. I went to the court house and found documents deeding the property for the road to the city and returned to the permit office. I was then told my address was invalid and needed to go to the Planning office and get a valid address. I got the new address, on a street 750 ft from my property. I returned to the permit office and was told they could not issue a permit because I only had 25 ft. of road frontage and city code requires 50 ft of road frontage. I eventually hired a lawyer and got the permit. Then the inspectors could not find the property from the new address.
I recently decided to build an attached garage and went through basically the same process to get the permit (I didn't need a lawyer or address change, but did have to go to the court house to find the road documents again). It took a week to get a plumbing inspection because the inspector could not find the property. Playing by the rules is sometimes difficult.
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spebby snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

But playing outside the rules can have highly negative consequences, even more onerous than the effort to be in compliance as the subject of the original post discovered...
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dpb wrote:

Playing by the rules is dangerous, playing outside the rules has consequences. The obvious alternative is to have no rules.
Consider Houston. No zoning. No permits required for ordinary maintenance (like replacing circuit breaker box, installing new roof, or re-plumbing entire house).
The assholes did recently pass a city-wide restaurant smoking ban (except for patios and tobacco restaurants). The city has TWO no-smoking enforcement agents and both work 9-5. On the other hand, the state did pass a new law that says carrying a pistol in your car is okay.
Then, too, there is the thing about armadillos...
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Why should everyone suffer because smoker trash cant go an hour without smoking. We'd have fewer tax problems if they made smoke $10 pack. The pigs who smoke will still buy them.

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On Tue, 28 Aug 2007 20:18:59 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.com wrote:

Tell me you are not an idiot! Raise a tax and in the same thought declare it a non tax?
Explain it too me Lucy, I have Bongo lessons! BRB.
-- Oren
"I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you."
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snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.com wrote:

No they wouldn't. Because the same people who insist on $10/pack tax would, given the chance, outlaw smoking altogether.
But why should either group be inconvenienced? Why not let the market decide? Smoking restaurants and non-smoking diners: you decide.
No, in the words of that great philosopher, Eric Hoffer, "People mind their own business when it's worth minding. When it's not, they take their mind off their own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business."
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wrote Re Re: six month jail time for no permit:

That's not what liberals are about.
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HeyBub wrote:

Can't allow that. Given a choice, people flock to the smoking-permitted establishment to the point where the non-smoking place can't survive. The only way to have non-smoking restaurants is to force them all to disallow smoking.
--
Tiger Direct forcibly checking receipts?
http://tinyurl.com/2hz3ht
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snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.com wrote in wrote:

You are either a troll or an asshole. Actually an asshole either way.
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wrote:

In the mid too late 1950's purses were made of armadillos. They looked like a football. The head fastened/snapped at the top/center. The first time I saw one at age 9/10 I thought Mom brought me a football.
Shucks!
-- Oren
"I don't have anything against work. I just figure, why deprive somebody who really loves it."
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Great. <sigh>
I'm going to Houston soon, perhaps for the first and last time, in a few months. From speaking with my daughter and now, from your words, must wonder: Does this qualify Houston as being in The Wild West<tm>?

I'm soooooooo relieved. :\\

Houston Chronicle dateline 08 March 2008, the statistics are in: Road Rage has disappeared from the streets of Houston.
If someone, ANYONE - the freakin' JANITOR - had a loaded pistol handy, mass murders might be fewer and not as massive.

Little tanks with a heartbeat. .22 just bounces off.
--
:)
JR

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Jim Redelfs wrote:

Nah, Houston is pretty peaceable (except in the Katrina-infested neighborhoods).
We hope you enjoy your visit.
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Thank-you.
My daughter is finishing-up her Pediatrics residency at Baylor/Texas Childrens Hospital. I am looking forward to the trip.
--
:)
JR

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HeyBub wrote: . The obvious alternative is to have no rules.

You better not get caught without having a permit pulled for most of the above.
Heck I even have to have a plumber pull a permit if I replace a furnace and I need to have the gas cock replaced. I can not do it legally, even when I pull a permit to do the job.
If you get caught in Houston without pulling a permit you can lose your state license.
--
Moe Jones
HVAC Service Technician
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