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Region III conference in Minnesota

February 11th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I actually escaped the snow in Chicago this week by heading up to the Region III ICC conference in Minnesota where the weather was sunny.  I always have a great time at that extraordinary conference.  It was great to see that attendance was very healthy and maybe we’re beginning to see a thaw in some of the gloom we’ve all been dealing with since the economy tanked.  I taught Advanced Legal Aspects for Fire Code Inspectors and the inspectors asked a lot of good questions.  We had a healthy discussion about post-deprivation hearings after an emergency evacuation.  There’s quite a few cases now that make it clear that people (tenants and owners) who are deprived of their property rights in a building because of an emergency evacuation order,  have a right to be heard after the fact at such a hearing.  Most of the time no one actually appears at a hearing or files a notice appealing the order of the fire official.  But, in order to meet the requirements of the fourteenth amendment, they must be given the opportunity. By keeping an appropriate record of the hearing or appeal, the local jurisdiction can easily avoid a civil rights lawsuit for depriving an individual of his or her property without due process.

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