Property Owner Fined $573,000 For Simply Using His Land


A retired property owner in Sacramento, California, has actually been ordered to pay a massive $573,000 in city code infraction fines stemming mostly from his fondness for working on old vehicles in his yard, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Dan Altstatt, 83, lost his legal effort to challenge the fines when an appeals court judge ruled the city of Sacramento acted justly in enforcing the charges.

In his obstacle, Altstatt argued the city’s code enforcement actions infringed upon his human rights as a homeowner and competed that the city’s fines are extreme. He included that he is not able to pay the fines and would end up being  “homeless and penniless” if his home was taken as a result.

Judge Louis Mauro eventually discovered Altstatt’s arguments to be doing not have, calling them “unfocused and difficult to discern.” The judge likewise mentioned as precedent a 2000 San Francisco case in which courts ruled $663,000 in charges for ongoing code offenses were not constitutionally extreme.

According to the Bee, Altstatt’s case dates all the way back to 2014 when he brought a van and other automobiles into his yard, incurring a code enforcement charge.

In a blog post published in April,  the city clarified that it started getting grievances from next-door neighbors about Altstatt’s “accumulation of junk and debris” on the home, which included fruit from fallen trees along with “inoperable vehicles.”

City authorities sent him a notification and”order to abate the nuisances” however when Altstatt declined to comply, they took legal action against him. In the meantime, the city was imposing $250 daily fines on Altstatt that ultimately totaled up to more than $500,000.

In searches of Altstatt’s property over the years, the city claimed that it discovered multiple violations of unlawful storage of excessive junk including “metal objects, propane tanks, broken appliances, automotive parts, gasoline canisters, liquid cleansers and solvents, paint cans, and boxes full of miscellaneous trash and plastic waste.”

Altstatt has actually given that eliminated the lorries and cleared the scrap, however, he argues that the city has no right to work out such control over his personal property.

In an e-mail to the Bee, he stated,, “That the city can charge such exorbitant and unreasonable fees for having things in the backyard is beyond belief. I don’t know how they are able to do this. It is perplexing how disputed allegations of so-called ‘junk and debris’ in a person’s backyard can escalate to the point where the city owns your property.”

He consequently informed the outlet that he is prepared to appeal the choice to the California Supreme Court and take it all the method to the U.S. Supreme Court, if required.

The city appears unflinching in its position versus the house owner. Tim Swanson, the city’s interactions and media supervisor, did claim in a follow-up declaration that “the City of Sacramento remains open to working with Mr. Altstatt and to resolving this issue in a fair and just way.”

H/T The Blaze

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