Government “Compliance Inspections” Are Illegal Under The U. S. Constitution’s 4th. Amendment.
In this article we will demonstrate in no uncertain terms that:
- The existing New Orleans Code of Ordinances prohibits any government “compliance inspections” of your private residence without having first established a 4th. Amendment “probable cause.”
- The U. S. Constitution and Louisiana Constitution prohibits the government from entering our residence to search for violations of the law without “probable cause” and a sworn warrant.
- All New Orleans legislators are bound to uphold the Federal and State Constitutions and must not seek to violate them by statute.
- An apathetic electorate is a breeding ground for injustice.
Political activist have orchestrated a seductive media and legislative campaign aimed at taking captive the collective conscience of our community by promulgating a socialist ideology that is a brazen affront to our right of privacy. This socialist style assault can only be restrained by the U. S. Constitution and Louisiana’s State Constitution. We diligently continue to debunk each aspect of this flawed proposition commonly known as the Rental Registry (RR). The more we investigate the more we uncover distortions of facts and misinformation parroted by RR propagandist. We have and will continue to expose this illegal house-to-house search that encompasses every square foot of our rental homes.
RR propagandist employ divisive tactics to characterize the tenant landlord relationship as adversarial and abusive by calling the property owners bad landlords, slumlords or people who don’t play by the rules. RR propagandist use old-school socialist-style strategies to instigate class hatred between landlords and tenants while presenting themselves as the only voice of reason. They alone have the answers to this non-existent theatrical crisis created in the minds of socialist ideologues. From backstage to center stage they appear, well rehearsed and smartly scripted to rescue renters from the grasp of evil fat-cats know as landlords.
Before moving forward we want to remind our new readers that according to all the data and research we have compiled there is no systemic problem that exist in the New Orleans rental industry. This is not our opinion, but documented facts that you can review just as we did. However, the RR propagandist tell a clever and horrifying story of systemic neglect and abuse steeped in exaggeration. Inaccurate and distorted information is used to give the appearance of a rental community in crisis. In fact, in the “Charts Tell The Real Story” the U. S. Census Bureau’s “American Home Survey” report data reveals that New Orleans landlords received a high tenant satisfaction ranking of 93.51%. All the data and factual information is laid out in several articles in the right side column of this page. Yes, it is complex, time-consuming and detailed. But if it were easy to understand then everyone would see through the RR smoke and mirrors proposition and their distortions could not gain traction. The RR proponents are highly sophisticated propagandist that benefit greatly from this kind of socialist activism. Now, let’s examine the law and understand how the RR program violates our constitutional rights and surprisingly the New Orleans Code of Ordinances.
Current New Orleans Code of Ordinances Requires “Probable Cause” Exist.
Chapter 26 – Article IV – Division 3 – Sections 26 151 – 155 explains the legal process New Orleans government officials must follow when attempting to breach your constitutional right of privacy and enter your home. Let’s breakdown the legal process.
First, we need to be crystal clear. Americans are not required by law to unlock our doors and allow any government officials inside our home to search for violations simply because they ask us to let them conduct a search. Federal, state and city laws protect us “against unreasonable searches” like this. That being said here’s the legal process that the government officials must follow:
- A certified or registered notice is mailed to you and posted on your door announcing the governments intent to search your home on a certain date and time. If you assert your constitutional right of privacy the government officials must obtain a sworn search warrant from the court.
- By law, the court will only authorize the search if the government official provides a “sworn and signed affidavit containing facts within the personal knowledge of the affiant [official] that probable cause exist” and that a search will reveal violation(s) of the law. Without possessing factual knowledge of a violation of law the court cannot authorize the search warrant. This is our constitutional right of privacy and it “shall not be violated.”
It should be noted here that when a code violation is properly reported to the Code Enforcement Division they must respond to the report and inspect the property. If the person reporting the violation is the occupant, then obviously no warrant would be required to enter and inspect the property. It is important to distinguish between a “compliance inspection” that is ordered by the government without having first established a “probable cause” and a resident reporting a code violation that effects either their health, safety or welfare. As stated below, code enforcement is charged with responding to these reports and enforcing the code.
Sec. 26-151. – Division of code enforcement.
(a) The division of code enforcement shall be the agency responsible for the administration and enforcement of this code and the executive official in charge thereof shall be known as the code official.
Sec. 26-153. – General duties.
(a) The code official is hereby authorized and directed to enforce the provisions of this code.
What the RR proposes to do is violate our rights by creating a new unconstitutional statute, a RR “compliance inspection,” that forces New Orleanians to take time off work, pay a fee or tax (passed through from the landlord) for an uninvited government official to violate our constitutional rights and illegally enter our homes without probable cause, knowledge or evidence of any known violations of the law and without a court ordered warrant established by probable cause. Then they want to search every square foot of our homes hoping to find a violation of the law. Not only is this unnecessary, unreasonable and intrusive, it’s an illegal money grab that borders on extortion.
New Orleans city government has the potential to gain $10 to $16 million from renters’ pockets by implementing this illegal and unnecessary law. In a city that can’t fund its police department, repair its streets or understand that a $2,900 solar trash can is mismanagement ($714,000 for 246 cans) this multi-million dollar money grab is an irresistible proposition. Meanwhile, RR propagandist continue to work on a formula that will sugarcoat the poison pill and make the RR palatable.
We are opposed to this illegal undermining of our constitutional rights and reject this flagrant attempt by RR proponents and any lawmakers to enact legislation aimed at coercing their way inside our homes through intimidation, threats of fines or other punitive action that is contrived to violate our constitutional rights. City statutes must conform to federal and state constitutions. Moreover, as we have stated and referenced above, New Orleans current Code of Ordinances requires our constitutional rights be respected and only upon “probable cause” will a warrant to search your home be issued.
Both U. S. And LA. State Constitutions Protect Citizens From “Compliance Inspections”
The 4th. Amendment of the U. S. Constitution states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Louisiana’s State Constitution – Right to Privacy – Section 5:
Every person shall be secure in his person, property, communications, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches, seizures, or invasions of privacy. No warrant shall issue without probable cause supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, the persons or things to be seized, and the lawful purpose or reason for the search. Any person adversely affected by a search or seizure conducted in violation of this Section shall have standing to raise its illegality in the appropriate court.
Council members are encouraged to act with prudence and refuse further consideration of the RR laws that are proving to be a clear violation of the U. S. Constitution’s 4th. Amendment and Louisiana’s constitutional Right to Privacy. Neither constitution grants, confers, authorizes, or empowers New Orleans lawmakers the right to violate federal and state constitutions by enacting a city statute.
New Orleans Legislators Are Sworn To Uphold The Constitution
It is disheartening when we hear political activist cajoling council members with comments aimed at advancing their misguided agenda at the expense of ordinary citizens’ constitutional rights. We hope New Orleans council members hold-fast to their oath of office and cherish the rights and privileges afforded each American and New Orleanian as stated in the New Orleans Code of Ordinances.
Sec. 2-769. – Responsibility of public office states:
Public officials and employees are agents of public purpose and hold office for the benefit of the public. They are bound to uphold the constitution of the United States and the constitution of this state and to carry out impartially the laws of the nation, state and city and thus to foster respect of all government. They are bound to observe in their official acts the highest standards of morality and to discharge faithfully the duties of their office regardless of personal considerations, recognizing that the public interest must be their primary concern.
Previously, New Orleans lawmakers wisely set-forth our current body of codes and ordinances that conform and protect our right of privacy and the right to be “free from unreasonable searches” by government officials. To knowing legislate laws that assail the edicts of liberty, trample on the rights of our citizenry and violate our constitutional rights is not the type of government New Orleans needs or deserves.
New Orleans lawmakers cannot violate the constitutional rights of American citizens by statute. Unfortunately, that is exactly what the socialist based RR proponents are asking the New Orleans lawmakers to do.
An Apathetic Electorate Is A Breeding Ground For Injustice.
The dangerous side effect of indifference is that it often leads to injustice. We have repeatedly said, “your voice matters,” but if we fail to speak up for our rights then we have no right to complain when others trample on them and take them away. An apathetic electorate is a breeding ground for injustice.
All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. —Edmund Burke
Such is the case of the RR laws that have crept into a few cities across our nation stripping citizens of their 4th. Amendment right of privacy. What few knew then is that RR advocates are allied propagandist collaborating across the country to promote their socialist style agenda city by city. Once the RR propagandist schooled the local governments on how to shakedown the electorate for millions of dollars through a fee based taxation, politicians zealously jumped on the bandwagon. All that was needed is a clever way to package the tax and circumvent the citizenry’s 4th. Amendment rights. Sadly, the silent majority spoke not a word as their constitutional rights were trampled underfoot by the RR propagandist and illegal laws were enacted.
How can this be happening in America? Can a city government enact laws that violate the U. S. Constitution? Well, yes they can, yes they did and yes they will. Only afterwards did the silent majority realize they were remiss in failing to raise their voices in opposition to this unconstitutional legislation. Eventually, tenants and landlords challenged the unconstitutional laws with one group of litigants in Garland TX. being awarded about $100.000.
An apathetic electorate is highly susceptible to the notions and will of the few. It is not uncommon for a disinterested electorate to silently watch its rights trampled underfoot by zealous political activist. These agenda driven activist seek their own goals at the expense of what is good, right and legal. Their arguments are clever, cunning, manipulative and effective upon the preoccupied majority. The indifferent and lethargic mind is virtually defenseless against their belligerent agenda. RR proponents are mostly composed of non-profits, government grantees and political activist groups that require an enemy to fight, a cause to defend or a protest to orchestrate. In doing so they validate themselves, which is essential to continued funding and without which they would cease to exist. Theirs is an agenda of discontent and division. To these groups the only right is what they declare right. All other views are wrong and must be defeated.
One of the wisest men that ever lived believed there is “a time to be silent and a time to speak.” Friends, now is not the time to remain silent, but speak. Your voice matters, but it means nothing if we fail to stand and speak out for our constitutional rights. Silence and indifference will only encourage their aggression.
What can you do?
Leave a comment below. Contact your council member to express your opposition. Forward this article to others. Share us on Facebook. Click the follow button to the right and get on the email list. Let others know about the facts and invite them to get involved.
We appreciate you taking the time to read our position and hope you will get involved and take action today.
Your help is needed now to stop government intrusion. The Rental Registry is a bad idea and without your help it could become a $10 to $19 million tax on tenants and landlords.
Contacts for New Orleans City Council members and staff. Your voice matters!