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This land is my land...this land is not your land

Property owner sues county for notice of entry to clear trash and weeds.

Location on Tommy Matthews's property where county posted their notice
Location on Tommy Matthews's property where county posted their notice

In an unincorporated part of El Cajon, property owner Tommy Matthews is fighting a court order obtained by the county to access the property in order to remove weeds, trash, and other debris. On July 21, Matthews and his co-petitioner John Smith filed a petition for a permanent injunction, barring the county from gaining access to his property.

Earlier that day, Matthews had received a "24-Hour Notice of Execution of Abatement" from the county's code-compliance division.

"Access to the premises is sought for the purpose of abating and removing any and all trash, junk, waste, scrap wood, scrap metal, wood pallets, metal racking, cages, automotive parts/equipment, inoperative vehicles, trailer coaches, construction materials/equipment/vehicles/debris, broken/discarded appliances/furnishings, wirings/cables, plastic buckets/bins/containers, tarps, tubing, cardboard boxes, old machinery and parts, outside stored items and debris strewn about the property," states the notice.

Refusal, according to the letter, is considered a misdemeanor offense.

Matthews and Smith aren't having it. They argue the county's request is an example of government overreach. In the petition he wrote, Matthews also claims that code-compliance officers placed the notice out of plain sight.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, house, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated and no warrant 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.

"Petitioner aver the County of San Diego Planning and Development Services access to the premises would be in violation of the petitioner's Fourth Amendment rights due to the general request of abating violations sought. These materials listed by respondents are so general they could be found on most property in the jurisdiction of San Diego County."

The petition will go before Superior Court judge Lisa Schall on October 17. The county has yet to file a response.

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Location on Tommy Matthews's property where county posted their notice
Location on Tommy Matthews's property where county posted their notice

In an unincorporated part of El Cajon, property owner Tommy Matthews is fighting a court order obtained by the county to access the property in order to remove weeds, trash, and other debris. On July 21, Matthews and his co-petitioner John Smith filed a petition for a permanent injunction, barring the county from gaining access to his property.

Earlier that day, Matthews had received a "24-Hour Notice of Execution of Abatement" from the county's code-compliance division.

"Access to the premises is sought for the purpose of abating and removing any and all trash, junk, waste, scrap wood, scrap metal, wood pallets, metal racking, cages, automotive parts/equipment, inoperative vehicles, trailer coaches, construction materials/equipment/vehicles/debris, broken/discarded appliances/furnishings, wirings/cables, plastic buckets/bins/containers, tarps, tubing, cardboard boxes, old machinery and parts, outside stored items and debris strewn about the property," states the notice.

Refusal, according to the letter, is considered a misdemeanor offense.

Matthews and Smith aren't having it. They argue the county's request is an example of government overreach. In the petition he wrote, Matthews also claims that code-compliance officers placed the notice out of plain sight.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, house, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated and no warrant 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.

"Petitioner aver the County of San Diego Planning and Development Services access to the premises would be in violation of the petitioner's Fourth Amendment rights due to the general request of abating violations sought. These materials listed by respondents are so general they could be found on most property in the jurisdiction of San Diego County."

The petition will go before Superior Court judge Lisa Schall on October 17. The county has yet to file a response.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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