Local Government

Little Girl's Playset Is in Her Own Backyard, City Wants It Destroyed Anyway



Fellow libertarians, we may be observing peak bureaucratic cruelty in Santa Fe Springs, California. City officials told Jessica Torres and Felix Miranda to destroy their backyard playset—a gift to their handicapped 10-year-old daughter from the Make-A-Wish-Foundation—because it is a "public nuisance," according to CBSLA.com.

Young Tiffany suffers from seizures and can't play at the public park, so the Make-A-Wish-Foundation gifted her a personal playground. It sits in her backyard, on Miranda family property. Nevertheless, the city thinks it has the right to force the family to disassemble the playset. When Torres approached a city official, she was treated as courteously as would be expected by anyone else who has ever gone up against the tyranny of local government. According to CBSLA.com:

"When I asked the city, 'So where do you expect my daughter to play?' they said 'Well, the city's not responsible for your daughter's disability,'" Torres said. "They said 'Your Tiffany is not our problem.'"

The city's rationale for ruining a little girl's happiness is that the playground area is cluttered and dangerous. Local reporters called shenanigans on that verdict:

But Torres, who's an oncology charge nurse at Beverly Hospital in Montebello, showed CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Adrianna Weingold the backyard, front yard and the inside of the family's home and things looked relatively neat and tidy.

Torres showed Weingold some of the tickets the city's issued, calling on the family to remove all items from the backyard and front yard, including all playground equipment.

After Weingold approached city officials, they changed their story. Now it's perfectly fine to keep the personal playground up and running, they said—despite what is explicitly printed on the numerous tickets the Mirandas received for hosting unauthorized fun in the privacy of their own backyard.

NEXT: Colorado's Governor Realizes Calling Pot-Legalizing Voters 'Reckless' Was Reckless

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  1. Is there any way to buy total property rights to land? Meaning all the way down and all the way up?

    1. It would be a lot more honest if instead of having a deed local governments issued an occupation license.

      1. They already issue both.

        1. Proggies got to prog.

    2. There’s a way, if you’re the federal government.

    3. Nope. And you can blame Madison for that. The 5th, through eminent domain establishes the United States as the ultimate title holder. The best title you can get under this is fee simple. Allodial title was eliminated by the Constitution. Jefferson tried his best to stop it*, but lost.

      *Start from the 4th paragraph before the end.

      1. I hereby declare that I own my little parcels of land in fee complex. Eat it, world.

          1. Very well, then I declare that I own my parcels in fief complete, like in Dune.

            1. Still subject to the Emperor’s assent.

            2. The Golden Path is actually a Toll-way.

      2. I once joked to the town clerk that I was only renting my house, and that they would come and take it if I didn’t pay rent. She cheerfully agreed. I was not amused.

      3. That was fucking awesome. Thanks for sharing. Jefferson was clearly drawing a line in the sand yet showing KGIII a way to make it disappear. TJ was brilliant. That said, I am sure he was winking when he wrote this,”The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest.” Probably had a good laugh over a glass of sherry after writing that?.

      4. I don’t hear many libertarians expounding the virtue of allodial property. Good work.

        1. I’m going to start today!

    4. All the way up would make it awkward for airplanes, spacecraft and the international and Chinese space stations, not to mention the occasional galaxy.

      1. Tough shit. I own Andromeda!

        1. But only sometimes.

          1. Yea but if you go out far enough the solid angle gets pretty damn big.

    5. Is there any way to buy total property rights to land?

      No, next question.

      1. I meant aside from the government’s right to steal my stuff.

        1. No, I’m being serious. At least from the side of a private citizen. I do not believe you can own a piece of property in this nation without having to pay some ongoing tax on it.

          You may get close to what the spirit of your question was asking, but not in toto.

          The moment you fail to pay your property taxes, you will no longer own the property.

          In the end, we’re all just renting.

          1. Clearly, if I want to own land completely, I need to buy land on another planet.

            1. And then keep a government from forming which will then claim it has the right to tax you on that land, and take it away from you if you fail to pay those taxes.

            2. BTW, it’s sort of a toss up between property taxes (“you’re just renting that land from the government, forever”) and income taxes (“we own you and your productive output”) as to which one makes me more blood-boilingly angry as an anarchist…

              1. Auric is right. The key to freedom is getting to space first then denying the rest of the planet access to space.

          2. North Dakota recently tried to abolish its property tax, but 76% of the voters wanted to keep it.



            1. How. . .how does this happen?

              1. When this issue was going on, I remember the “Save our Property Taxes” crowd made a lot of hay out of the fact that the anti-tax guys hadn’t come up with any plan for replacing the money.

                I agree with you, it doesn’t make sense to me either, but the voters seemed to be pretty afraid that the alternative would be worse than what they already knew.

                1. Adam Smith wrote that a tax on ground-rents (the annual value of holding a piece of land) is the least economically intrusive tax. That said, given voting patterns in the past 100 years, I doubt 76% of the people read Smith.

                  1. I go along with him. Property tax can be based merely on acreage, and paid anonymously. Income and consumption taxes require intrusive verification bureaucracies.

                    I don’t believe any government taxes are necessary, but if I had to choose the lesser of several evils, that’s how I would go.

                  2. A land tax is theoretically without any dead weight loss.

              2. Just ask the “Please Tax Our Pot” crowd.

          3. Are there not some states where there is a bare minimum of your own property that any creditor is required to leave you? Something about 40 acres? Or is that A) a suburban legend and/or B) something that doesn’t apply to the State?

    6. Declare yourself sovereign, and have the power to back it up.

      1. I have requested a power ring from superaliens. Perhaps they’ll give me one. Then we’ll see who owns my land.

        1. I didn’t request one, but one showed up. Apparently I’m dead, because it was a Black Lantern Ring.

          1. Speaking of that, were the New Gods always such assholes? I don’t remember them being as such, except Orion of course. But fuck. I’m cheering on Darkseid after seeing Highfather’s portrayal in the New 52.

        2. Robot armies are where it’s at.

    7. Your best bet is to buy in unincorporated areas of some place like Texas or Alaska.

    8. Unlike in England, you have rights all the way down (within reason, you’re not allowed to pump all the petroleum out of a reservoir that your neighbors also have rights to). But you do not have rights all the way up,, you only have rights up to a certain distance. This is due to a series of court rulings where property owners tried to bill airplanes who flew overhead.

      Do you really want a world where airplanes at 30,000 feet had to pay a fee for every parcel they flew over?

    9. Not really, not since the Treaty of Westphalia. With the creation of the nation-state sovereignty became something attached to institutions rather than individual people. Land stopped being the property of a person and became, ultimately, the property of the “nation”.

      It’s funny, for all the bad things you read and hear about feudalism, a lot of ideas about a post-state society or a “libertarian utopia” borrow a lot of principles from it.

  2. Funny how the cockroaches scatter when the glare of the TV camera lights are upon them.

    How about some real-world penalties handed out to the assholes who wrote the tickets?

    1. The should be strung up by their ankles and beaten on the soles of their feet.

      1. I vote for the strappado, with a hat tip to Neal Stephenson and his fine novel, The Confusion.

    2. Not enough. I want the supervisors and management staff too.

      1. Do we have to limit the beatings to the souls of their feet?

    3. Nothing to see here. Move along. Ignore that shredder behind the curtain.

  3. Kalifornia…a new low.

  4. Line up everyone who wrote this family a ticket.

    Remove their pants.

    Live TASER. 50,000 Volts. 30 seconds in the crotch for each ticket written.

    1. Nice. Can we go for 60 seconds?

    2. Nah, publish a time when ordinary citizens can take it up with them, then give them a 3 minute head start ? after breaking their knees.

    3. Or, a weekend with the pain monster.

  5. Let’s see the names of the people who wrote the tickets, their supervisors, and whoever told the family to piss off.

    Print their names, so it shows up in Google.


    You get more of what you reward, and less of what you punish.

      1. Yep, let their pain be their education and everyone else’s entertainment.

    1. And publish their home addresses.

    2. FOIA.

      Although it shouldn’t be that hard to get some names off the government rolls of Santa Fe Springs…

      1. Just for laffs, http://www.santafesprings.org/…..efault.asp

  6. Names and pics responsible for this on national and local news outlets please.

  7. I say we bring back the classics, like the guillotine!

    1. That’s a little harsh. Stocks and rotten fruit should adequately make the point.

      1. Like the founding fathers, I’m fond of tar and feathers.

        1. If you’re going back that far, go to their homes and break every window.

  8. Holy shit. When I grew up in the 70’s, there was at least one house every other block had a yard with these playthings. These were the kids we wanted to be friends with.

    Why do I get the feeling some bureaucrat’s kid was rebuffed by this kid and this is said bureaucrat’s revenge?

    1. Nope, probably just “we’re saying no cause we can and better put a smile on that face of yours or you want a cps audit”.

    2. My old neighbors from Switzerland had a swingset, a low trampoline and one of those inflatable above ground pools.

      The set it up so that kids could climb the ladder on the swingset, jump off it onto the trampoline and into the pool.

      All of the kids loved it and all the neighbors did too. Every adult told them “That is awesome! Too bad you are going to be sued.”

      Luckily no one ever got hurt so bad that lawyers got involved and all the kids had a blast. The only time they got in trouble was when the insurance company noticed the pool in some background shots they had taken of hail damage. They stalled and the insurance company forgot about it.

  9. Santa Fe Springs is a weird little polity composed mostly of industrial parks. Surprised people chose to live there when there are bedroom communities in all directions surrounding it.

    1. Maybe there’s some good incentives for living there. Like in Stafford, a suburb of Houston that sounds a lot like what you described. Last I checked, they had no residential property tax.

  10. Southern California, paradise 4 decades ago, is fixed in my mind now as the place where the L.A. city councilwoman said on camera “We found out that the constitution doesn’t allow us to ban certain kinds of music.”

    This story is no surprise. These people are the results of a progressive government education system. Burn it to the fuckin’ ground. Then, let an earthquake turn it into the Gulf of Arizona.

    1. I’m still here you know.

      1. But… aren’t you the island of capitalism that the California government is trying to destroy?

      2. It may be time to tell you that many Americans feel that Lex Luther was the hero of the original Superman movie.

        1. The self-made man versus the illegal alien who uses violence and intimidation to enforce his moral code on the petty humans?

    2. That must have been quite the little “let-down” moment for her.

      1. She’s an idiot, “still wants to ban walking around with stuffed animals!” and speaking of idiots wasn’t surprized that blabbermouth Biden also made an appearance.

    3. The cunt in question is the Assemblywoman from SF, Fiona Ma. She was a Supervisor here a few years back. Moving on up the Dem ladder. you should see the latest SF voter handbook if you really want to laugh at us. Fucking ridiculous shit. I actually meet a fair amount of people who do realize this though. Unfortunately the leftism here runs deep.

    4. I wanna be the first to swim in Arizona Bay

  11. Nothing left to cut.

    1. Everytime I hear that I can’t laugh the way I want to because I become enraged. Then I picture that vile hag’s smug face and I want to puke.

  12. ‘Your Tiffany is not our problem.’

    The public is everyone but you.

    1. It takes a village to crush a child’s joy!

  13. Remember guys: Government is just the things we choose to do together!

    1. Government is just the evil things we choose to do together that we can’t morally or legally do on our own!

        1. That’s what we (Government) said!

  14. Nor a big fan if Make a Wish after they stopped granting “wish” hunts. Another entirety, Hunt of a Lifetime, took over. But made me question MAWF.

    1. That’s why I never give $$$ to MAW Foundation.

  15. Torres showed Weingold some of the tickets the city’s issued, calling on the family to remove all items from the backyard and front yard, including all playground equipment.

    Emphases added. WTF?

    “*Now* you’re citing me for having ‘no lawn’ and ‘no sidewalk’?!”

    1. Can someone ask the family to scan in those tickets so we can identify the people we need to line up for the testicle roast?

  16. Some of these cities need to start throwing their politicians out with the trash. Crunch….

  17. This is seriously a WTF.
    I thought back yards were generally considered private space to do what you want. Is the yard fenced?
    Is there a psycho HOA that wants the back yards to maintained as meticulously as the front?

    What is the reasoning?

    1. I suspect there was some idiotic complaint, and the bureaucracy was overjoyed that it had a chance to swing into action.

      Similar situation with a property my mother owns out in the country, violations on every parcel in a 10-mile radius in terms of stuff stored, land usage, etc., but it’s not a problem until some crotchety old bastard complains that the pickup that is visible if you drive right up to the gate and squint is destroying his property value.

    2. Judging from the picture, I don’t think the city would have chance in hell in proving a public nuisance claim.

      But that, of course, doesn’t matter: when a city threatens an individual with suit, the intimidation is usually enough to enforce that individual’s compliance.

  18. Hmmph, and yet this doesn’t get protests or rioting. If I was this girls neighbor, I’d make this my mission. “This far, no furtha!!”

  19. The city admits to not accommodating a person with a disability. Sue under the ADA.

  20. Find me the person, and I’ll find you the crime.

  21. Fellow libertarians, we may be observing peak bureaucratic cruelty in Santa Fe Springs, California

    I think that’s wishful thinking.

  22. Slimey, local government officials don’t like the “sunlight” of media attention to their brainless acts of domination over the public. Everyone involved in this for the city should be fired. Whoops, I forgot you can’t discipline a public employee in California. Their Unions own the Legislature.

    1. “Their Unions own the Legislature.”

      And will, right up to the point where enough people have had enough of this, or when the State and Local governments collapse into Detroit redux.

      Hope they kept the receipt.

    2. Plenty of lamp posts

  23. This is likely just another application of the government’s “No Child Left Outside” policy. It’s just too dangerous, what with the hole in the ozone layer, UV radiation from sunlight, and unstable weather due to climate change, not to mention the possibility of abduction. Ergo outdoor recreational equipment is just an attractive nuisance that endangers health and, since the government is now responsible and paying for that, we all need to be more socially responsible and keep our kids indoors. If they complain about that just up their medications until they no longer care.

  24. Only property owners should be allowed to vote.

  25. This is no surprise. CA is has the most corrupt local government in America.. except for DC, Chicago, LA, NY, Conn……. etc.

  26. They must have pissed off some official who lives near by..

  27. When are Americans going to stand up to the gestapo government tactics. Haven’t we had enough of government over reach?

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