Fines

A City Charged This Woman More Than $100,000 for Parking on Her Own Property

Sandy Martinez says that fine, along with another $63,500 for driveway cracks and a downed fence, violates Florida's constitution.

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Sandy Martinez has a car. So do her two adult children and her sister. When all four cars were parked at Martinez's home in Lantana, Florida, two of them sometimes extended slightly beyond the driveway, which is flanked by her lawn and a walkway. Because that violation of Lantana's municipal code is punishable by a fine of $250 per day, the city is demanding more than $100,000 from her, plus another $63,500 for cracks in the driveway and a fence that was blown over in a storm.

In a lawsuit that Martinez filed today with help from the Institute for Justice, she argues that such an enormous bill for trivial code violations—amounting to nearly four times her annual income—runs afoul of Florida's constitution. "The government cannot lock you into a lifetime of debt and cripple you financially for minor infractions that do not threaten health or safety," says Institute for Justice attorney Ari Bargil. "Florida's Constitution forbids fines that are 'excessive' or 'shock the conscience.' And that's exactly how to describe six-figure fines for petty violations—unconscionable."

Martinez's street has no curbs and is not wide enough to accommodate parked cars. She and her relatives therefore could not legally or safely park on the street, leaving the driveway as the only option. But as the complaint notes, "parking on one's own front yard space, even a tiny bit, is illegal in Lantana."

On May 6, 2019, Martinez received a citation for "vehicles parked on unapproved
surface/grass/walkway." After a hearing on June 20, the city imposed an accumulated fine of $11,500. Martinez repeatedly tried to arrange a visit by a code enforcement officer to show that she had corrected the violation. But after those efforts proved "fruitless," the complaint says, she "eventually forgot about the issue." Her daily fines therefore continued to accumulate for 407 days, and the total now exceeds $100,000. Nobody had told her that would happen.

In addition to the parking situation, the city faulted Martinez for driveway cracks that the complaint describes as "minor and purely cosmetic." Because Martinez "did not have the time or money to fix [the driveway] right away," the lawsuit says, she was hit with $75 daily fines for 215 days, totaling $16,125—"far greater than the cost of an entirely new driveway."

And then there was the fence. Because it was downed by a major storm, the repair was covered by insurance. But the claim took quite a while to process, and meanwhile Martinez could not afford to fix the fence. The delay resulted in $125 daily fines for 379 days, totaling $47,375—"several times the cost of the repair and substantially more than the cost of a completely new fence."

All told, Martinez is on the hook for $165,250, plus interest. Although she "is now fully in compliance and has not had any new cases opened against her," the lawsuit says, the only way she could begin to cover that debt would be selling her home. But even that option is not feasible, because she "would never realize nearly enough profit from the sale of the Home to pay both her mortgage and the City's fines."

As much as Martinez might want to escape Lantana and its draconian decrees, she is stuck where she is. "Given Sandy's career and current income, she will be unable to move for many years, if ever," the complaint says. "If she moves, she will owe so much money that she will be unable to start anew anywhere else. She cannot seek a job anywhere not in driving distance of her current home. When she is older, she will not be able to retire at a different residence. The crippling fines she faces trap Sandy in a place she wants to leave."

The punishment will continue even after Martinez is dead. While she is currently protected from foreclosure for the fines by Florida's homestead exemption, the city can seize the house once she dies. "But for the City's fines against her, Sandy would be able to pass the Home to her children upon her death as long as she continues to pay her mortgage," the lawsuit notes. "However, as a result of the fines against her, Sandy's children will not inherit the Home."

The lawsuit notes that none of Martinez's code violations presented "a legitimate threat to the health and safety of the general public in Lantana." It argues that the penalties violate the state constitution's ban on "excessive fines" because they are "grossly disproportionate" and "shock the conscience."

Martinez thinks "it's ridiculous that Lantana would charge me over $100,000 for parking on my own grass that I paid for." She says the fines "basically make me a renter in my own home," adding, "I hope that by successfully challenging these fines, I can ensure that no one else has to go through something similar."

Martinez's case is part of the Institute for Justice's broader attack on local code enforcement practices that generate revenue by imposing outrageous fines for trivial offenses, such as $30,000 for tall grass in Dunedin, Florida, and $90,000 for trucks parked on rural property in Eagle, Wisconsin. "Municipal code enforcement in America is completely out of control," says Institute for Justice attorney Michael Greenberg. "All over the country, hardworking people regularly face financial ruin from daily code enforcement penalties that quickly snowball into tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Our constitutional protection from excessive fines prohibits precisely this sort of abuse."

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  1. We need to import more of this sort of lawless culture.

    1. If it’ll put an end to city hall busy bodies, we sure do.

      1. I’ll admit it. The wistful lost looking picture of a marginally pretty woman and the accounts of government gone wrong almost got me for a second. Then I checked and sure enough, it’s one of Jacob Sullum’s *victim articles*. By the time I got down to reading about her 379 days [over a year] of fence fines…. yeah, this story is carefully constructed bullshit with zero intent of any honest reporting or documentation… another hallmark of Sullum.

        Now for a little honesty. Unless of course you believe that there was a city inspector there fining her ass the day after the storm, you can count on the fact that there were at likely at least 6 months of her sitting on her ass with a broken fence getting warnings BEFORE they started fining her. Code violations follow notices, which follow complaints, which generally only result after extended periods of non-action. And then there’s the option she had of puling down her broke-ass fence [which she and her adult children and sister evidently couldn’t be bothered with], in which case there would have been no fines at all. They only fine you for severely broken fences, not for not having one. She was just happy to let her dilapidated property sit there for a couple of years and not lift a finger.

        Then lets talk about this driveway. What I’m seeing there looks like hell, and no, those aren’t superficial cosmetic cracks. That’s a crumbling driveway, and it’s large enough for 2 cars wide. If they cited her for cars not in the driveway, then shame on her. I’ll guess one of her kids parks his car in the middle of the lawn or they hang over into the street.

        You can be pretty sure there are several years of this woman being a complete pain the ass, ignoring warnings, and killing off her neighbors’ property values with her lazy-ass bullshit. I’ve had two neighbors like this and their useless kids and relatives living there that won’t lift a hand. Okay so 40 years from now, her lazy kids won’t inherit the house. She’s reaping what she’s sown, and so are they.

        Two lessons to be learned from this. If you don’t like city rules, don’t live in the city. There are other people in the world and when you choose to have neighbors, you have a duty of self-care, because your lack of care affects them as well.

        1. Bullshit. It’s her property. If the neighbors don’t like it, they can move just as easily as you allege that she can.

          Or they could maybe be real neighbors and offer to help a family in need. Which, in fairness, maybe they did. If you’d actually paid attention to any of the stories about petty and financially-motivated code enforcement by small towns, you’d grant no deference to the city’s side of the story.

          1. I hope your neighbors turn their houses into rendering plants, junk yards, and strip clubs. Because its “their property” and you can move.

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            2. Comparing a rendering plant to a cracked driveway is more than a lame analogy, it is a deliberately dishonest “reductio ad absurdum” argument.

            3. I don’t know about rendering plants, but it would be cool to live next to a junkyard and a strip club.. Throw in a Chipotle’s and I’d be in hog heaven.. If they neighbor’s take your advice let me know and I’ll buy the nice lady’s house..

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          2. I understand. Everyone knows you can get the full story from a plaintiff and her attorney, particularly when it comes to you at least third hand. Right? There’s no evidence here that Sullum did anything more than print a derivative story here and copy someone else’s image. He’s such a first rate journalist.

            Oh, BTW, the city offered a reduction of 85% of her fines when she complained, but she ignored that too. And so did Sullum in his story. Or perhaps he just didn’t know because he just rewrote someone else’s work.

            Bad government stories exist everywhere, but not all the time. Sometimes citizens are just assholes and don’t like or didn’t anticipate the consequences. It happens. However, you only have credibility if you don’t copy someone else’s work, leave out exculpatory info or rubber stamp the storyline because it matches your emotional agenda. This is a journalism 101 lesson that Sullum has yet to learn or internalize.

            As for who should move, your argument is silly. If you don’t want to watch the show, it’s your job to find something more to your liking. It’s not the other guy’s responsibility to get off the road because you want to drive drunk. If you don’t like the job, quit. If you don’t want to do the homework, it’s not the teachers’ job to change the curriculum. Everything has rules and consequences, so if you don’t want to obey the city ordinances, move your ass outside city limits where there are none. Demanding the city give you a pass or ignore your years of infractions or that your neighbors move is stupid on a stick. NO rights are absolute, and even where they are, there are consequences.

            1. Wow, you don’t even have a clue about libertarianism, do you? “The government can pass any laws and if you don’t like them, leave.” Nevermind the concept that the government should have as few laws as possible.

            2. You poor functional retard. Fuck off slaver faggot.

          3. Not to mention that IJ does not pick up bullshit cases. They have a track record a mile long of fucking up municipal regs from local to state levels. Won SCOTUS cases as well. This is party of their long game strategy to get cities etc to back the fuck off of the regs, property seizure, eminent domain bullshit and other intrusive government activity restricting trade, free association and the right to work. Fuck the regulatory state. Give your money to IJ.

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        2. “Now for a little honesty. Unless of course you believe that there was a city inspector there fining her ass the day after the storm, you can count on the fact that there were at likely at least 6 months of her sitting on her ass with a broken fence getting warnings BEFORE they started fining her.”

          “Now for a little honestly” is followed by a bunch of lazy idle speculation driven by your apparent beef with your own neighbor. All of this was of course in defense of a clearly outrageous level of fines. You win the asshole of the thread award. congrats!

          1. LOL! No, it’s not idle speculation. It’s how shit works. Your lack of information on how urban/suburban areas work doesn’t mean others who do know are speculating. Also, there’s no speculation about her sitting with this shit for extended periods of time when the article says she accumulated 379 days of fines. For those who are in capable of basic math, that alone is more than a year.

            1. I would agree with you, except I’ve seen some people be just as absurd as this article claims. HOA busybodies giving complaint letters before hurricane winds have calmed below a gale, making up random rules (like not allowing a mix of brick and stone flower bed liners), and even retroactive fines for said made-up rules. In cities with code enforcement, there is no hesitation in the same way than an HOA has (because if it does get to court, judges tend to very heavily side towards the homeowners around here). They can and do act with impunity. Finally, let’s get to the final number, a figure so absurd that no rational person can agree with it.

              No, we cannot be certain that the story is as clear cut as the article makes it seem, but I do not see any reason to doubt the basic facts as presented.

              1. “No, we cannot be certain that the story is as clear cut as the article makes it seem, but I do not see any reason to doubt the basic facts as presented.”

                Well, actually we can. First, this is Sullum, and he isn’t ever honest about anything. The man presents his case as he wants you to know it, not the case in it’s entirety including information that is exculpatory to his preference for you to decide based on all the facts. He’s a debater, not a journalist. For just one example, he doesn’t bother to tell you that when she approached the city regarding the excessive fines, they offered an 85% reduction in the fines. It certainly seems like someone at city hall had a heart and understood but also said she wasn’t going to get away with years of code violations and the money she’s cost the city. That information would seem to be an important part of the story of “excessive fines” and a big mean ol’ town. She ignored that settlement offer and kinda forgot to include it in her story, as did Sullum because it didn’t fit his story. If I could find that info on page one search, so could he.

                Second, he’s basically just repurposed this story from elsewhere and has no original information. I won’t go so far as to say he’s plagiarized it because I have no dog in this fight, but let’s just call it strongly derivative, and he’s copied someone else’s image [though at least that is credited]. I can’t find any evidence that he actually talked to either this woman, her lawyer, or city hall. Now THERE is a journalist you can trust.

                As for the HOA, I have no time for them either but therefore choose to not be a part of one. I’m not going to move into an HOA neighborhood, disregard the rules, and then whine that I’ve got trouble. This isn’t an HOA contract with rules set up by bored fascists in search of a kingdom. City ordinances are rules set forth by duly elected officials and ones like these are not uncommon in any town of any size anywhere in the country, and there is due process. Like them or not, they are set up for the protection of everyone’s property from the 1% of folks who don’t think rules should ever apply to them.

                Nobody’s talking about absurd flower bed gravel here. More like don’t leave your dilapidated fence in ruins, park your lawn, or let your cars hang over into the narrow street. Name me a city where these rules don’t exist. Of course code enforcers can get power hungry and perhaps even mean, and I wouldn’t want to be one. They likely take more shit than an IRS auditor and it’s got to be a miserable job. I’ll cut them a break because of that but also recognize that they can easily get out of sorts, which is why we have due process and a check/balance on power.

                But I recognize city regs aren’t for everyone either. Don’t like them, go a mile outside city limits where there are none. It’s really not all that complicated.

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              2. this would never happen to me, because I don’t open my mail.. no bills, no citations, no worries.. I’m considering a few upgrades like not answering my phone and putting a dangerous dog sign on my broken fence.. might not do the dog sign thing because I look forward to Girl Scout cookies every year.. love me some Thin Mints..

            2. Because very municipality in the United States works exactly the same way. Not only an asshole but a stupid asshole.

            3. No, it’s not idle speculation. It’s how shit works.

              Also, Brett Kavanagh ran a rape ring because that’s how rich white private school kids roll.

              1. Hey, don’t forget Russia and any other Tinker Toys you have bouncing around in your cranium looking for more than an echo.

        3. Why are people obliged to help maintain their neighbors’ property values?
          And if you don’t intend to sell your property, higher property values are a burden, since you will pay more property tax. I find property value a completely illegitimate justification for rules like these. The only thing here I see that might be reasonable to cite her for is the parking in the street.

          1. There’s an easily distinguishable difference between “helping maintain your neighbors’ property values” and just not making it bitchin hard for them to find a full-value buyer because you are a lazy ass. Everyone lets jobs around he house go a little too long from time to time. This is not that. A full year and not her, her two adult children or her sister could just go out and take down a few panels of broken fence? Bullshit.

            City codes are generally very minimal standards and designed to stop the freefall of neighborhoods. These are not HOA neighborhood nazi regs. Without them, it’s a guarantee that you will sooner or later have some asshole like this lady turn the property next to yours into something only The Munsters would love.

            Code enforcers have a very lenient process of advising property owners of deficiencies, allowing adequate time to rectify problems, and generally take inordinate circumstances into account. There are appeal processes galore. Code enforcers only start getting bitchy when you make their job tough, ignore all the notices, won’t communicate, and show no attempt to remedy. It’s true though that there is a point in which they are just done taking your shit and they will enforce the letter. It’s a stupid strategy to purposely piss off an enforcement officer, and one that isn’t gonna make you a winner.

            There are millions of places in this country to go buy a house that don’t have these restrictions. Want to put a sofa on your front lawn, your old fridge on the porch, a couple of junk cars in your overgrown lawn, watch your roof fall in, and take your daily shit in the front yard? So be it. Finding a place to do this isn’t hard. As the analogy goes, nobody is restricting your ability to swing your fist, just that you can’t do it in a crowd where someone else will catch it with their nose. Don’t like your playground rules that say ‘no shitting on the slide’? Then go find another playground where they like shit on the slide or build your own in the country and nobody will even know.

            Oh, and your assessed values and property taxes are going up regardless of whether your neighbor lives in a cesspool or a highly manicured house. You seriously don’t really think that they actually come to your house and individually assess your property, let alone give you credit for having a shitty neighbor, do you?

            The only thing that suffers is your resale value because no buyer wants to pay full price to live with that nonsense next door when they can find something just as good, but without the nonesense.

            99% of property owners don’t have a problem with living with minimal standards and at some point in life are happy that it’s there to reign in a shitty neighbor. Code enforcement is for that 1% of shitty neighbors, most of which are like this lady who just bitch about it and call themselves victims when they don’t want to live by the rules they implicitly agreed to when purchasing property within a city limit that has these rules, and now have to pay the excessive fine that they let get excessive.

            Also, let’s understand that this is Jacob Sullum writing this, and being the great journalist he is, he just writes down whatever she says and puts his spin on it with zero effort to find out any mitigating factors or corroborating details. There’s no sense in actually holding this poor victim accountable for a damn thing because that would ruin the story. Sullum is a whiner who comes up with an occasional bullshit story to bolster the idea that he has an occasional libertarian thought, all his other work to the contrary.

            1. “There’s an easily distinguishable difference between “helping maintain your neighbors’ property values” and just not making it bitchin hard for them to find a full-value buyer because you are a lazy ass”

              Strange how you managed to fill a novel after that statement without backing it up. No, those are literally the same thing, you’re just being pejorative in the latter sense.

              You love for municipal codes and sustain for the concept of private property aside, there’s a really easy remember for this: file a civil suit over the lost value. If you can prove your case, you’ll get the list money back. Arbitration, unlike asthetic code enforcement, is a legitimate purpose of government. And when IT turns out such effects are actually quite hard to quantify and assign culpability, it’s still better to take out to a fair arbitration process than unilateral coercive enforcement.

            2. You know who else was a code enforcer? As well as a PTA member, middle-class suburbanite, and devout Lutheran Churchman?

              Dennis Rader, the BTK serial killer.

              I’ll have Sandy Martinez as a neighbor over walking “Banality of Evil” any damn day of the week.

        4. What? A fine for cracks in driveway??? So what if the fence has fallen over. Is it hurting anyone? Dangerous? The lesson is to NOT put up with this crap. What sort of community fines people for this kind of nonsense?

        5. Believe me, somebody in your neighborhood is unhappy about some aspect of the way you live. If that individual gets a chance at being in power to wreck you, you are doomed. Life is short and you are no doubt one of those people that wants it to be to seem to long.

        6. Your property values are your business, not anyone else’s. It is not the job of the government to punish other people so you can make money.
          Why even have a constitution at all with your “rule?”

        7. @bluwater
          You make a compelling case that government busybodies should be allowed to force a law abiding citizen into a life of debt slavery and servitude because they think a car should not be able to slightly touch the person grass on their own yard. Or due to pavement cracks or downed fences.
          Well it would be compelling in North Korea.

        8. This is a world with Communist China, Communist North Korea, a Revanchist Russia, Islamofascist Theocracies and Dictatorships, Third World Shithole Kleptocracies and Warlordships throughout Africa, Asia, and South America, plus sundry and various Welfare/Warfare/Police States everywhere else.

          If you don’t like those, should you have to choose another Planet?

        9. Fuck you and your twisted bootlicker rationalizations. This woman could have deliberately and willfully violated these ordinances, ripped up and thrown a thousand warnings in the city official’s faces, and even that would absolutely not justify five or six figure fines for these trivial violations. Libertarianism is understanding that letting the government stomp on someone you don’t like for your benefit means they’ll just as easily stomp on you or someone you care about next time.

        10. A well-thought out, eloquently expressed, and articulate declaration that the writer is an individual who is able and willing to follow orders – any orders – and if questioned about his activities would respond, “But I was just following orders.” He would also expect that justification to excuse whatever he may have done under those orders. He? is definitely the type individual I would not want to work with, associate with, be around or have as a neighbor – he would likely provoke me to both his and my detriment.

    2. There is no such thing as importing culture.

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    3. Honestly, you’re right. If it weren’t a hispanic woman playing the victim, most leftists, including Reason’s editors, wouldn’t bat an eye.

    4. I agree completely. Didn’t TarrantBlog explain this a few weeks ago?

  2. While millions of privately employed Americans were forced out of work last year by government “mandates,” how many local government busybodies lost their jobs?

    1. I KNOW! I KNOW!

      zero…

  3. The fines are absurd.

    But don’t park into the street. I don’t miss living in urbia/suburbia.

    1. She didn’t park on the street. She parked on her driveway and slightly on her lawn

      1. According to Sullum and the “victim”.

        1. You’re crazy dude.

        2. And, apparently, according to the Fascists that you’re supporting, because they are FINING HER FOR DOING SO.

        3. The IJ takes few cases, so I trust that they investigated the matter and found the homeowner to be worth their time.

          Read their filings. The village is evil, not the homeowner.

      2. Even if it was fully in the middle of the street, the recourse is absurd. Give her a ticket and if she doesn’t pay take her to court like your supposed to. If it’s really a tragic hazard, tow it. We don’t need this Sackett v. EPA fine schedule shit.

  4. Kafka was born way before his time ….

    1. I wish I could argue with this statement with any degree of credibility.

      It does seem his writings, along with 1984 and the move Idiocracy were used as instruction manuals of late.

  5. She says the fines “basically make me a renter in my own home,”

    Because that’s exactly what you are. Any modification requires permission, which means your property is not yours.

    1. See how long you “own” it when you don’t pay property taxes.

      1. You mean rent?

        1. we all rent everything.

          1. I don’t. I live in sarcs head, gratis.

            1. lol I love an anomaly.

    2. In our ‘city of the future’ we won’t own anything.

      And that’s good thing hey I’m just asking questions… I never suggested this scenario was good.

    3. Fun fact: in China all property is government owned, and leased for 20 or 70 years at a time. But of course the expectation is that the lease is always renewed automatically (in guessing at some point that will be tied to your social capital or the like). But here we managed to cocoons everyone they own land that can be repossessed without the hassle of waiting for a lease to end.

      At least the people still think they have property rights, so maybe one day they’ll actually start demanding them back.

  6. >>punishable by a fine of $250 per day

    the people who passed this are culpable.

    1. Find out officials’ and bureaucrats’ names and addresses, then see how pristine their lawns and castles are. Then let them pay fines too!

  7. Lampposts are begging for additional functionality.

    1. yes. I am a fan of the lamppost

    2. Woodchippers

  8. Did they also invoke the excessive fines clause of the 8th Amendment?

    1. Not 8th from my quick review. They did invoke FL constitution’s excessive fines clause.

      1. Hmmm…maybe they want to keep the case in FL court? Just a guess.

    2. It would apply to States and Cities via the 14th Amendment, as do all rights in The Bill of Rights.

  9. I am surprised the FL Legislature has not passed a bill that waives her penalties. The FL Legislature can over-ride any municipal regulation they like. They do have the power to do that. That is a lot quicker than the Courts.

    Where is Martinez’s district-level state legislator? Why are they not helping?

    1. Because it’s south Florida, so they’re all democrats

      1. No. The Cuban communkty there is staunchly Republican, but that is waning as their kids get woke.

      2. The legislature can pass laws for the entire state, and it’s controlled by Republicans right now. So yes, they could waiver it. I hope this case gets to their attention.

        As to South Florida, it depends. I wouldn’t say it’s straight-out Democratic, but more like “slightly leans blue”. The mayor of Miami is a Republican, and so was the one before him. Not sure about the Lantana city council.

        1. It’s between Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.

          1. Yeah, I attend a synagogue (digitally, of course) in the Boca Raton area. That area (Palm Beach to Ft. Lauderdale) is definitely ‘woke’.

      3. The mayor, David J Stewart, is a Democrat.

        The Democrats succeeded in blaming the way they train, hire and manage police (to kneel on the necks of perps, police for profit, use deadly force to enforce laws against selling single cigarettes on the street, seize assets under civil asset forfeiture, destroy innocent people’s property in pursuit of shoplifters, etc.) on Trump and all his “racist” supporters. This all to distract from their actions of oppressing the public, especially the relatively poor.

        It sure shows Democrats as a bunch of willing sufferers of TDS, kind of like the black slaves who supported the master.

  10. “Martinez’s street has no curbs and is not wide enough to accommodate parked cars. She and her relatives therefore could not legally or safely park on the street, leaving the driveway as the only option.”

    I’m sure they’ve backed that up with an even more severe penalty for having to park on your own lawn.

    1. “She has been treated for gender dysphoria…with hormone therapy and counseling.” WTF?! I challenge someone to name one other psychiatric disorder that is “treated” with therapy and drugs that empower the delusion.

      1. Opiate Addiction.

      2. Critical race theory

    2. Democrat standards follow the political science in advancing their political power and career, rather than ensuring good government.

      Not providing for people (by the government) is immoral to them, so they must take stuff from people (a truly immoral act) to do it. That’s robbing from workers for the political class’s power.

      Brings to mind all the requirements to get a government welfare check (or any government check) in that they always require an ID, but not for voting. That’s following the political science, not the science of ensuring no cheating in the elections.

  11. But after those efforts proved “fruitless,” the complaint says, she “eventually forgot about the issue.” Her daily fines therefore continued to accumulate for 407 days, and the total now exceeds $100,000. Nobody had told her that would happen.

    Just an FYI, the state never forgets.

  12. Looking around the neighborhood (on Google Earth / Google Maps), the streets are indeed very narrow, and many people are parked on the grass – typically in that ‘hell strip’ area between the road and the sidewalk.

  13. This case shouldn’t be up for debate, it should be used to illustrate what an unconstitutional excessive fine is, for the benefit of high school civics classes.

    Yet it seems the municipality is going to say with a straight face it’s not excessive.

    What exactly *would* be excessive, then?

  14. So, basically, fined for being poor.

    1. If only those retrograde Founders had thought of this when writing their white supremacist “constitution.”

  15. Sounds like it’s time for:

    KILLDOZER II: Electric Boogaloo

  16. And, yet, there are people who inexplicably want MORE government.

  17. the city faulted Martinez for driveway cracks that the complaint describes as “minor and purely cosmetic.” Because Martinez “did not have the time or money to fix [the driveway] right away,” the lawsuit says, she was hit with $75 daily fines for 215 days

    How much does the city fine itself for cracks in its streets?

    1. If it’s like cities I know, they can block off the streets, pipe in some hot water, and use the potholes as hot tubs for the mayor and council.

      1. Oh, great, now I’ve given them ideas.

    2. OOOOOOOH! That was a burn right there!

  18. The federal constitution forbids excessive fines, too. Martinez should swear out a federal criminal complaint against these assholes for violating her civil rights under color of law.

    -jcr

  19. Her daily fines therefore continued to accumulate for 407 days
    she was hit with $75 daily fines for 215 days
    daily fines for 379 days

    she “eventually forgot about the issue.”

    I’m all for cutting down on government busybodies and code enforcement Nazis but at some point you’ve do this to yourself.
    https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/05/underclass-character-eviction-court-native-born-americans-entrepreneurial-immigrants/

  20. So, adherence to laws and consequential punishment should be tailored to the cultural and economic situation of the perpetrators? Sounds like something the New Equity Times would write.

    1. The law should apply equally to all…for the purpose of protecting the individual’s rights to Life, Liberty, and Property, not to protect re-sale values.

  21. +1 for IJ.

  22. When do they seize the cars and house as civil forfeiture claims?

  23. When people showed up at city hall with torches and pitchforks on a regular basis, crap like this didn’t happen. Politicians remembered their damn place.

    At some point we decided we are above all that, and now we end up with outrage after outrage committed by public officials because they view the populace as nothing but a source of revenue.

    1. If more municipalities suffered losses of their leaders in woodchipper “accidents,” this sort of shit would happen less frequently.

  24. Florida Man Gets A Taste of Political Power; Goes On Naked Drunken Rampage.

  25. I wonder if she could address the problem by turning her whole lawn into a big slab of concrete or asphalt? Complete with a sign that says: “No lawn! Fuck you!”

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  29. lots to love here. was there NO ONE to help her tear down the wrecked fence in all that time? NO ONE? her kids? the nabes? her boyfriend/girlfriend? no one from a local kiwanis club or some boy scouts? i see she has nice cars…no way to spend a few bucks to extend the driveway to add parking on BOTH sides of the existing driveway? (which looks fully depreciated to me). the city is certainly excessive but fucking christ on a crutch…get off your ass lady and ask for some help. MOST neighbors will gladly pitch in.

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