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Friction in the Courts

Emills

Registered User
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
2
Location
Garnett, KS
Greetings, all!

I've run into a little problem with our Municipal Court here, and I'm wondering if anyone else has run into it as well.

I'm the Building Official/Zoning Administrator in a small rural town, with one employee, the Codes/Nuisance/Animal Control Officer. Recently, the Municipal Court Judge has determined, and subsequently ordered, that anytime we issue a NTA, it has to be accompanied by an affidavit attesting to the truthfulness of the information included in the NTA. Her logic is that, inasmuch as we're not certified law enforcement officers, we don't have control over our own signature.

Our municipal code states expressly that both of our positions are authorized to enforce the provisions of the Municipal Code to which my department has been assigned. And those that are not specifically assigned to my dept, are assigned to us on the authority of the City Manager.

The solution for me is simple. I was at one time a certified full-time law enforcement officer here in Kansas. I can have my certification reinstated, and I'm off to the races. My dude, on the other hand, would have to attend the academy to obtain such a certification, which we just can't afford right now. I'll be taking a plea to the judge today to eliminate the requirement, but I doubt I'll be successful. I've got the pertinent portions of our Municipal Code, as well as state statute to back me up, but I just don't see it happening. I've also got the backing of the City Attorney, which one would hope should bolster my argument.

So, my questions are these: Has anyone run into this situation elsewhere? If so, how did you handle it?

Thanks for any guidance anyone might be able to provide.
 

Emills

Registered User
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
2
Location
Garnett, KS
Thanks, I've been thinking about that. The Judge is appointed by the City Manager (my boss), who is well aware of the situation. He agrees it's unreasonable (the family-friendly term we use), and he's aware of other rulings and orders she's made that could be considered...questionable. He's the Mgr in an interim capacity right now, and I think he may defer until he receives permanent appointment, or they appoint someone else. Can't say as I blame him.

Someone also suggested taking it to the District Court. I don't have standing to challenge an administrative order from a Municipal Judge in the District Court. And, even if I did, I'd be getting labeled as one who is willing to argue with a judge, and the subsequent target on my back that would follow.
 

mtlogcabin

Sawhorse
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
8,385
Location
Big Sky Country
The NTA for what you do should be the same as a parking ticket. Most parking enforcement personnel are not certified law enforcement people. How does she handle parking tickets?
 

Pcinspector1

Platinum Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2009
Messages
3,818
Location
MID WEST
Is it possibly that the City Manager can request a Certified Officer present the case in court before the Judge and use your Codes Officer with his Affidavit in hand as a witness of the crime?
 

tmurray

Registered User
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
2,211
Location
NB, Canada
I feel like she s treating administrative law like criminal law. There is a much lower standard to be met (typically) with administrative law given that it lacks the stigma that goes with criminal law.
 

Yikes

Gold Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2009
Messages
2,010
Location
Southern California
Off-topic: If your position requires you to get re-certified as a LEO, my guess is that you would be eligible additional pay and benefits associated with the certification.
 
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