They actually believe "due process" means that the same agency prosecuting you is the only one to which you can also appeal.
It doesn't take a genius to see how a system of fines and penalties for which your only recourse is to appeal to the people who are assessing them to you is fundamentally totalitarian, especially when it implicates the seizure of property.
The premise that 'no party should be judge in their own cause' is a cornerstone of our notions of due process and impartiality in proceedings brought against a citizen.
How about double jeopardy? Under the insane proposed scheme, you get fines and points for violations, and then fines for accumulating points themselves.
The absurdity of a city point system for nuisance properties
It's understandable that Wilmington City Council wants to address the growing complaints of residents about the so-called nuisance or disorderly properties that bring down nearby property values and can make life in general miserable for neighbors. But, as city landlord Mark Bunitsky so aptly put it at a public meeting on a proposed law the other night, the proposed version is full of "absurdities."
It's mysterious that veteran City Councilman Charles Freel, a usually level head on the sometimes zany council, put forward the proposal that angered some 100 people at the public meeting. Many, like Mr. Bunitsky, were landlords who complained that tenants could use the law to lodge complaints or simply harass the landlords whenever they felt they were being treated unfairly.
The proposal includes a bizarre system in which points are assigned against a property for various types of nuisances. For instances, a homeowner or landlord would be assigned six points if police determined there had been a rape, riot or drug sale on the property.
A murder on the property would result in an eight-point assessment. Why only two points more for a homicide? If the property accumulated 12 or more points in a six-month period, it could be considered "disorderly" and be shut down by the License and Inspection commissioner. As if Wilmington's L&I department hasn't over the last 30 years already branded itself as a jack-booted bully agency.
Does it now need the power of "points" to shut places down?
As for Councilman Freel's opinion that landlords should be responsible for their tenants' action, he should read the state's Tenants' Bill of Rights, which protects renters' rights to the detriment of landlords.
This proposal is off the wall and Councilman Freel needs to start over.
Read this insane proposal here. No need for conviction to be found liable. Even knowledge isn't necessary. The Commissioner of Licenses and Inspections is literally given singular and dictatorial powers to short circuit due process.
Meanwhile, city government stooges Gerald Brady and Harris McDowell ready the trap at state level, as legislation works its way through the General Assembly to allow schemes exactly like this proposal to be grounds for sheriff sale of your property to recover fines and penalties racked up under this kangaroo system.
Coincidence? I think not.
The Wilmington government head bully Baker has stated he will escalate every possible fine, fee, tax, and other-revenue source he can. In his administration's eyes the property owners are easy targets with deep pockets to be targeted for mining.
Even Baker's bullies know they are skating on thin ice and need cover under state law.