City Targets Keene Activist Center with Hundreds Per Day in Fines

smokeDetector[1]As you may recall, last June the Keene Activist Center was raided by code enforcement and the fire department. They contend it was being operated as a “lodginghouse” or “tourist home” and cited claims posted online in early 2012 by former tenants to make their case to the judge to receive the search warrant. Despite having no evidence the current tenants at the time of the raid were doing the same things the previous tenants were, they issued a “NOTICE OF VIOLATION” in September. I challenged that notice by responding that the judge (Burke) is biased against Free State Project participants and should recused himself, invalidating his warrant.

Later in the year in December I received an “ORDINANCE VIOLATION” from the fire department. In it, they allege that I am in violation of the city’s smoke detector ordinance 2-2011-02. It appears the ridiculous ordinance in question requires all homes in Keene to have multiple smoke detectors, all hooked to AC power, and all interconnected (meaning if one goes off, they all go off).

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never lived in or heard of a home that has a system like that. I can see the benefit in having one smoke detector on each floor, and the KAC has that, but the rest of the ordinance is ludicrous and who knows what it would cost to have AC-powered interconnected detectors installed in a home. I suspect most homes in Keene do not have such a system. Does yours?

Fred ParsellsIt’s pretty clear that I am being targeted because of my activism. Fred Parsells, one of the city’s code enforcers, has told me that he thinks I’m going to leave Keene. His continued campaign of harassment against me and my tenants is clearly designed to encourage me to leave through constant threats and court engagement.

I responded to their “ORDINANCE VIOLATION” and contested their violation to district court. I received a “SUMMONS” to come to court for an arraignment on a criminal town ordinance violation for the smoke detector issue. I showed up and a trial date was set for 5/29 at 10am. I then filed the following:

We’ll see where this goes from here, but my house is on the line and may have racked up many thousands of dollars in fines by this point – I am not certain. I have very little experience dealing with fines involving real estate. Perhaps my quick responses to their notices of violation froze the number of days they can count, or perhaps not. By the time trial comes around, that number could be over $180,000 – more than the city’s assessed value for the property. (A value “the city of Keene” refused to reduce in an abatement request this year, despite homes selling nearby for half their assessed value in 2012.)

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13 Comments

  1. I did a little searching online and found this…

    http://www.pelhamfire.com/SmkDet.rules%20Copy.pdf

    It looks like it is a long standing rule, however this one is from Pelham. Was the KAC built or renovated after 1982? If not, it appears they are classifying it was a rental property.

  2. Sorry to hear about all of this harassment. =(

  3. I’m not in NH, but my last two rentals have had the AC connected fire detectors.

  4. yea, even the shitty attic apartment I lived in on Roxbury St. (which is now CONDEMNED mind you) had AC smoke detectors. that being said, what happens when there is a power failure AND your house is on fire?

  5. New Hampshire Civil Liberties (ACLU)
    Executive Director: Devon Chaffee
    18 Low Avenue, Concord, NH 03301
    Phone: (603) 225-3080
    Web: http://www.nhclu.org

  6. Most of them come with battery backups

  7. Is Fred still stealing signs?

  8. They also mandate they have battery backup.

  9. $180,000? I fail to see how a rule that is supposed to protect against a piece of property being destroyed can justify a fine that exceeds the value of the property to be protected. You’d be better off financially if the house burned down and you had to rebuild it than if the house didn’t burn down and you had to pay the fine.

  10. I bet judge burke is a pedophile, and masturbates to little boys in a sears catalog. This parsels guy was obviously conceived by a weak sperm. His dad was jacking off, and his mom sat on it at the last second. What a couple of pathetic little bitches.

  11. CRY BABY CRY! IF YOU WANT TO LIVE IN THE BIG PEOPLES WORLD
    AND BE A SLUM LANDLORD, UOU HAVE TO FOLLOW SAFETY STANDARDS.

  12. cry baby cry! welcome to the big peoples world where you have to
    follow safety standards if you want to be a slum landloard.

  13. The trouble with America is that we are too nice to the bullies. Time to flex.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. City Targets Keene Activist Center with Hundreds Per Day in Fines - Unofficial Network - [...] View original article. [...]
  2. KAC Smoke Alarm Case: City Claims They’re Only “Requesting” Compliance? - Free Keene - [...] If you’ve been reading this blog for the past year, you know that the people calling themselves the “City…
  3. KAC Smoke Alarm Case: City Claims They’re Only “Requesting” Compliance? - Unofficial Network - [...] If you’ve been reading this blog for the past year, you know that the people calling themselves the “City…
  4. Hearing on Administrative Inspection Warrant 2013-05-29 - Free Keene - [...] you may recall, my tenants were raided last summer as a pretext to enter the Keene Activist Center. The…
  5. Hearing on Administrative Inspection Warrant 2013-05-29 - Unofficial Network - [...] you may recall, my tenants were raided last summer as a pretext to enter the Keene Activist Center. The…
  6. Fire Chief’s Inspection of Activist Center Thrown Out by Court - Free Keene - [...] I had a hearing on the “administrative inspection warrant” that was the reason for the raid on the Keene…
  7. Keene Property Owner Remains Undeterred Despite Ongoing Harassment from “Authorities” - Unofficial Network - [...] City Targets Keene Activist Center with Hundreds Per Day in Fines posted to FreeKeene.com on February 13, 2013 by…
  8. District Court Dismisses City’s Smoke Alarm Case - Unofficial Network - [...] I need to have interconnected, AC-operated smoke detectors in my tenants’ home, which was raided by code enforcers and…
  9. District Court Dismisses City’s Smoke Alarm Case | OccuWorld - [...] I need to have interconnected, AC-operated smoke detectors in my tenants’ home, which was raided by code enforcers and…
  10. #155 Pro-Cannabis Group Sows Pot Seeds ‹ Peace News Now - [...] Keene district court judge Runyon has dismissed the case brought against Ian regarding their claim that he needs to…

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