September 6, 2007
The Honorable Judge Kathryn J. Nelson
Pierce County Superior Court, Dept. 13
920 Tacoma Ave. S., Room 534
Tacoma, WA 98498
Honorable Judge Thomas Larkin
Presiding Judge of Pierce County Superior Court
Prosecuting Attorney Gerald A. Horne
Pierce County PA Division
bcc: Property Owners, Freedom Movement, WA State Attorney General via email & Fax
Subject: The Framing of Rural Property Owner Paul Hiatt, Case No. 06 1 03844 6
I live on 10 acres outside of Enumclaw, WA. I have come to know Paul Hiatt through fellow property owners after he came to Citizens Alliance for Property Rights looking for help, understanding why he has been framed.
Paul Hiatt is not only a good man; he is an organic gardener who only intended to raise food for his family on his land. He and his family have been brutalized beyond any common sense. His treatment by Pierce County is criminal. A half a dozen of local property owners have attended two of his prior hearings and have spent some time with him, his brother and friends. I am concerned there is an agenda by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Allen Rose of unduly punishing Paul Hiatt for normal land maintenance. The dirty details are attached herein and I will reframe from repeating them.
Paul Hiatt and his family and friends have suffered enough for cleaning out a ditch and burning debris on his land all of which he had received DNR approval and the necessary permits. The Hiatt's have lost everything to fight off these petty illegitimate charges. Mr. Hiatt has been set up by a neighbor from hell and then framed. He has already spent 60 days in jail for these trumpeted up contempt charges, all of which are patently unlawful. Paul believes this was done to keep him from fighting the contrived convictions on wetland charges and further action taken by the county against his private property. He was further denied pencil and paper for several days, after being arrested absent required hearing, told he had no right of appeal and denied counsel and is facing another 90 days for a patently unlawful conviction, only because the courts will not uphold the law.
Rural property owners are increasingly being used as public examples by extreme political factions within all levels of government. Excessive green regulation has strangled common sense out of owning and working rural land, farming, ranching. This has all been initiated by Olympia, WA politicians who never take into consideration the downstream consequences of what they are doing. Thousands of innocent rural property owners have been spending and loosing their life savings, marriages and property, fighting off, often for years, local and county governments from brutalizing them over common land and home use. A growing number of county and states are engaging in this criminal behavior because of upstream abusive interpretation of environmental policies.
The number of land use regulations is out of control and growing exponentially upon small rural landowners with this green fanaticism. It has become politically correct to shut down public and private land use to satisfy the green extreme groups in Puget Sound and in America. The penalties and laws have become draconian. My land almost burned up along with adjoining farms in a range fire and I almost lost my own life fighting a fire caused by excessive land and water regulation on my land.
Yet the City of Enumclaw has taken two 100-acre ranches and is developing close density housing on pasture land where the water sits on top during the rainy season. The City of Enumclaw also took half of the Rainier Stables horse farm 5 minutes from me. The City of Enumclaw is also working on taking over more of our rural farm. The rural farmers cannot farm their land let alone sell it for its true value for their retirement.
There is a growing trend of excessive and abusive regulation and punishment of innocent rural farm and landowners for normal land use work. Property owners rights groups are springing up all over the country to fight back. Paul Hiatt is only one of thousands of innocent people who are being persecuted for simple land use maintenance work. The rights to own and use your own private property are well established throughout history. The government and the green extreme groups are systematically ignoring our basic, common, natural and constitutional rights.
There is a growing alarm by many freedom groups that this abuse of basic private property use and rights has gone over the edge long ago. Our basic rights have been confiscated so gradually and progressively that we do not know we are strangling ourselves. Paul Hiatt and the thousands of landowners are innocently being "burned at the stake" for normal land maintenance work.
I have extracted some objectives of your "State of the Court address" below for your review and recall. I would like to suggest the case history of Mr. Allen Rose and others in the Pierce County Court including Judge David Kenworthy looked into regarding a history of overly abusive treatment and sentencing of rural private property owners. There is certainly a trend of abuse in King County Department of Development & Environmental Services run by Stephanie Warden and Executive Ron Sims and the policies of King County Council.
2006 Presiding Judge Stephanie Arend, delivers'State of the Court address' to County Council. (Pierce County WA
"The primary tool used by the Pierce County Superior Court to improve and hold itself accountable is its Strategic Plan, which defines a set of goals that the judicial system works to achieve. The theme of our current agenda, "becoming the best court in the state of Washington," reflects our commitment to making Pierce County’s justice system the best system possible, a goal that we recognize we can achieve only through leadership and participation from the other two branches of government.
Our Strategic Agenda includes 11 major goals; I will briefly discuss a few of them today.
Another goal of our Strategic agenda calls for us to be more accountable, in recognition of the fact that the public expects accountability for government operations and administration. To this end we have been working with the Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association to develop judicial performance evaluations. The process will begin in March. Initially, lawyers and jurors will be given an opportunity to assess our performance. It takes some courage to ask people how you are doing, but more important is the commitment to act on what you learn from the answers. We, at Superior Court, have that commitment.
Not only are we working to be more accountable, we are working to be more transparent. Several months ago we began examining files that had previously been sealed to determine whether they should remain sealed. While we recognize private interests that need protection, we also recognize that what we do must be open to public inspection. Our courtrooms are open, and we invite you to come and observe justice in action. "
Also I would like to direct your attention to the attached Advisory Memorandum Avoiding Unconstitutional Takings Of Private Property sent out by Washington State Attorney General Rod McKenna in December 2006. You may want to ask yourself, why Attorney General McKenna took the time and resources to have this 48-page document written and published.https://www.atg.wa.gov/takingsmemo.aspx
Avoiding Unconstitutional Takings of Private Property
"The Office of the Attorney General is directed underRCW 36.70A.370 to advise state agencies and local governments on an orderly, consistent process that better enables government to evaluate proposed regulatory or administrative actions to assure that these actions do not result in unconstitutional takings of private property.
This process must be used by state agencies and local governments that plan underRCW 36.70A – Washington’s Growth Management Act. The recommended process may also be used for other state and local land use planning activities. Ultimately, the statutory objective is that state agencies and local governments carefully consider the potential for land use activity to "take" private property, with a view toward avoiding that outcome.
ThisAdvisory Memorandum was developed to provide state agencies and local governments with a tool to assist them in the process of evaluating whether proposed regulatory or administrative actions may result in an unconstitutional taking of private property or raise substantive due process concerns.
The failure to fully consider these constitutional limits may result in regulatory activity that has the effect of appropriating private property even though that outcome may not have been intended. If a court concludes that private property has been "taken" by regulatory activity, it will order the payment of just compensation equal to the fair market value of the property that has been taken, together with costs and attorney fees. In other cases, a government regulation may be invalidated if it is found to violate constitutional substantive due process rights."
It is my opinion these clear and strong guidelines in the above Advisory Memorandum have been violated by Pierce County Court regarding Mr. Paul Hiatt. I have no doubt they are violated in King County where I live. My next question, others and I will be asking our Attorney General's office, the Washington State Legislature and the Governor's office, is the following.
I respectfully ask you to dismiss all of these vindictive charges against Paul Hiatt.
John R. Venrick
41250 250th Ave
Enumclaw, WA 98022
Citizens Alliance for Property Rights
National Association for Rural Land Owners
American Policy Center
Evergreen Freedom Foundation
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