I am not sure how many times I have said “I am pleading the 5th” in jest. This time I really am! The 5th amendment reads :
“No person shall… be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
This is all in reference to the civil penalty we received Friday night for allegedly violating Raleigh City Code 12-3011(A) Allowing a dog to run at large. It was just sheer drama, instigated by my “less than desirable neighbor” (LTDN) as documented in my post.
I spent about an hour today trying to figure out how to appeal our citation. They don’t make it easy at all. The issuing officer did not even know what the appeal process is. There is nothing on the citation regarding an appeal process or on the website. So perhaps people just pay the fine. We are not guilty…therefore we will not pay until we are heard. The Raleigh City Government website is horrible. They are making Due Process hard. I finally called the Animal Control Dispatch and was able to speak to the supervisor. He was kind enough to hear me out and let me know that if I don’t pay the fine within 72 hours we may have a summons issued. My Due Process is in court! Seems a little crazy that a minor issue as such would get tied up in the court system. I think an administrative board would be more effective. I mean there are hardened criminals and child molesters waiting for their time in court and I am clogging up the system wanting to be heard over a minor citation. There is something terribly wrong with this.
So because I strongly believe that we were in no way condoning our dogs to “Run at large” I will wait for my day in court…if it ever comes. Yes, my dogs left my yard for 30-45 seconds but where do we get credit for trying to collect our dogs. The minute we knew they were out of the gate we were in action. It was instantaneous. There is no forgiveness for accidents or faulty equipment (i.e. gate latch)? What steams me even more is that the Animal Control Officer, since they have been in the news lately, said any time they are called out for a dog leaving their yard they will issue a citation. That is crazy! Accidents happen everyday….thats why they are called accidents. We don’t charge people with harassment each time they dial a wrong number. I agree there are people who do let their animals roam and they end up causing trouble, but there are also those that try to obey the laws and keep their animals contained. Gracious, by volunteering with a Dog rescue organization we are doing out part to take care of the neglected animals that Animal Controls picks up on a daily basis. Good deeds should not bite you in the rear…
Bottom line is most reasonable people don’t cal Animal Control on their neighbors when their dogs slip out of the fence. Most would try to retrieve the animal or call the neighbor to let them know. Obviously, my LTDN is not reasonable and is harboring some serious hatred towards us. Certainly, no way to live…life is to short to be so obsessed with other people and trying to hurt them.
So….we wait for our Due Process…..if and when that day ever comes.