From the February 2002 Idaho Observer:
Silly septic system case dismissed
Pro se preserves toilet flushing rights for POC residents
NEWPORT, Wash. -- On January 24, 2002, Detra Johnson achieved the dismissal of a landmark prosecution by the Pend Oreille County Prosecutor's Office that, if universally enforced, may have removed toilet flushing rights for most county residents. The dismissal came after the county had filed a Complaint for Permanent Injunction against the Johnson family and its 656-acre farm near here January 3, 2000. Pend Oreille county began harassing the four generations of Johnsons who had been living on their farm for more than 50 years over a septic tank that worked just fine. Superior Court Judge Larry Kristianson had no choice but to dismiss the Johnson case for reasons perfectly illustrated in the Memorandum in Support of a Motion to Dismiss published on page 4. The Johnsons are economically poor working farmers who have a rich life. No matter who you are, the county's intent is pathetically transparent in this case. The larger picture is that this story is the rule in America today, not the exception. We at The Idaho Observer challenge anyone to prove otherwise. See the Memorandum in Support page 4 and then tell me you are proud to live in a country who pays people to terrorize their neighbors in this manner.
State requires two years to dismiss malicious prosecution
For the second time in as many months, Citizens Against Corruption founder Leonard Browning led an embattled family to the laws which ultimately resulted in the dismissal of malicious prosecutions against them. Though not a reflection of the hours spent studying applicable statutes and scrutinizing every character on every page of every document Pend Oreille county was using to persecute them, Detra Johnson's Memorandum in Support of her Motion to Dismiss is simple and straightforward.
Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss
A Complaint for Permanent Injunction against Detra Johnson was filed herein by Pend Oreille County on January 3, 2000. Since that date, there have been numerous ex-parte hearings between County Attorney Gregory Hicks and Judge Van de Veer. Judge Van de Veer ordered James Sayre of the Tri-County Health District to inspect my property with a trailer house on it on Scotia Road. On May 10, 2001, James Sayre submitted an affidavit stating he had inspected this property. However, the Hon. Court will notice that there is no motion or order for a search warrant issued and if James Sayre inspected this property, he did so without my permission or knowledge in direct opposition to Judge Van de Veer's order requesting that the parties agree on a date for inspection.
Notice also that James Sayre's affidavit, Clerk's docket 3 13 filed 5/10/01, clearly states that he inspected my property and stated that my trailer was not hooked to an approved septic system. However, the health code that I am accused of violating clearly states that the rules in place at the time a septic system is installed shall apply to that system.
Let it be noted that there was a house on that site that burned down. The trailer on that site was hooked to the system of water, electricity and sewage disposal previously used by the house that burned down. The trailer was temporary, the wheels were attached at all times, therefore it was exempt from a building permit. Also, this RV sewage system was not leaking and was functioning in a proper manner. It did not pose a health threat. No where in James Sayre's affidavit did he state that the sewage system for this RV was leaking or was a health threat to anyone.
Also notice the affidavit of Robert Gaulke filed January 3, 2000, Clerk's Docket #3. Mr. Gaulke states that it may he a health threat and wants the Court to use me as an example to other Pend Oreille County residents who may also have a safe and legally functioning, but non-permitted, septic system. Let it also be noted that Robert Gaulke refers to 8661 Scotia road, which is not my property, but my mother's. He claims Detra Johnson has been continuously discharging sewage, either to surface water or upon the surface of the ground.
Robert Gaulke stated, it appears, but he has offered no proof to substantiate that claim. As a result of these unfounded accusations, my mother, who is on Social Security at $400 per month, was forced to spend approximately $200 to have her functioning septic system at 8661 Scotia Road inspected by a State certified inspector. The clean bill of health is a matter of court record in this case.
Judge Van de Veer issued an order releasing me from liability on the trailer house situated on the property I own if I agreed to move it. Judge Van de Veer also ordered me to trespass upon my mother's property, dig perk holes, and install a separate legal permitted septic system. When I could not lawfully comply with this illegal order, Judge Van de Veer sentenced me to ten days in jail.
All these actions were done without my ability to defend myself or cross examine my accusers. At the order to show cause hearing, Judge Van de Veer continued this case in front of the Hon. Larry M. Christianson Superior Court Judge.
At that hearing, I asked for dismissal due to the fact my mother's property was not in violation of any health code. Also, I cannot be required to trespass on another person's property. My written and verbal motion for dismissal was not acted upon, but rather, I was ordered to remove from my property a trailer house that was in compliance with all County and State regulations, thereby depriving me of my Fourth Amendment right of owning property and being secure in that property.
I complied with that order and the Prosecuting Attorney agreed that order had been satisfied at the hearing on January 17, 2002 in an effort to avoid illegal incarceration. I also petitioned the court for a findings of fact and conclusions of law at that hearing, and requested the judge to make a ruling on my previous motions. Even though I verbally requested an order of dismissal due to the fact the order had been complied with, and the Prosecuting Attorney offered no objection, these motions were denied out of hand.
Therefore, I request that the Hon. Court comply with CR 52 so that I may get on with my Constitutional right of appeal. I demand a dismissal, and a final order in this case. I also demand the right to a fair hearing with my interpreter and first friend, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, which you denied me at the last hearing.
I certify under penalty of perjury of the laws of the state of Washington that the foregoing is true and correct.
Signed at Newport, Washington this 24th day of January, 2002.
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