Fire Chief’s Inspection of Activist Center Thrown Out by Court

smokeDetector[1]Recently, I had a hearing on the “administrative inspection warrant” that was the reason for the raid on the Keene Activist Center in June of 2011. Eventually that raid resulted in a criminal case bring brought against me over not having AC-powered, interconnected smoke alarms in my tenants’ home.

Good news! As a result of the hearing on the warrant, judge Runyon of district court issued an order reversing the fire inspection portion of the warrant and threw out all evidence gathered by fire chief Gary LaFreniere. Apparently judge Runyon agreed with my argument that NH RSA 153:14 II prohibits the fire chief from inspecting single family homes and duplexes. The city had argued that they believed it to be a “lodginghouse”, so that justified the fire inspection. However, as I pointed out, the city never proved it was a “lodginghouse” and never changed the legal status of the home from a single family. Therefore, the inspection was illegal and all evidence gathered by the fire chief has been suppressed.

I have filed a motion to dismiss the complaint as it was written by the same fire chief. The city attorney, Thom Mullins, has filed an objection to my motion to dismiss and further, has filed a motion to reconsider the judge’s decision, arguing the judge made an error.

So, the smoke alarm case isn’t closed entirely yet. Stay tuned here for the latest.

What is the takeaway here? If more homeowners stood up for themselves and their property rights and actually went to court, they would discover that even by the city/state’s own rules (to which I never consented, of course) that the city aggressors have no case. Either way, their attorney and staff have been tied up with trying to prove this case in court – and that means they have less time to threaten others. As a bonus, the court gets clogged with useless cases. Freedom and truth always win in the long run. You just have to be willing to take risk.

7 comments
JoeCNY
JoeCNY

WRT to the motion for reconsideration, of course the court got it right. The city should not be allowed to unilaterally determine the new category of the premises without affording you due process to challenge that. They have the evidence from the inspection, so invite them to prove that the dwelling belongs in the new category they urge. Otherwise, the ruling of the court should stand.

JoeCNY
JoeCNY

Ian, On most all these cases you should motion to sequester all witnesses. That way, the collusion among witnesses may be avoided, and more easily impeached. Fred P. and the fire chief should not be present in the court for the examination of each other. BTW, is the courts order published?

JoeCNY
JoeCNY

In light of the judge stating that the evidence suffices as probable cause that the premises are a rooming house, be ready to challenge the letter you'll soon receive, stating as much. Be sure to appeal it, or take the next administrative step, and motion the court to adjourn the fire equipment case until the dwelling classification is resolved. This should take a year or two and cost thousands.

Ian Freeman
Ian Freeman

The judge was only claiming the probable cause was at the time the warrant was issue last year. They were unable to ascertain any evidence of a lodginghouse at the time of the raid, or they would have moved on that issue at that time.

Molari
Molari

Thom Mullins seems to be mentioned often these days,,,

AgoraJoe
AgoraJoe

Another lesson: When government wants to do something, they'll do it, even for made-up reasons.