One of the constant problems I run into with defendants is trying to make sure proper service of notices or citations occurs. Too frequently defendants refuse to accept these documents making it more difficult to obtain enforcement. When I teach Legal Aspects and discuss this issue, I suggest a few crafty options. For example, you do not have to put your return address on the outside of the envelope making it obvious the papers are coming from your jurisdiction. I’ve had inspectors who have sent envelopes with balloons imprinted on them with the heading, “Prize Headquarters”. One inspector I know collects greeting card envelopes in which to send notices. When I taught at Region III recently I discussed the various ways to serve these uncooperative individuals including amending the code to include service by private carrier (doesn’t everyone sign for FedEx or UPS?) Some of the women in my class went home and took my suggestions even further. They sent the notice in a box with items (like free pens, pads of paper and magnets) to further entice the defendant to accept service. And, it worked! Thanks to the folks in IA for this tip of the day.
One of the inspectors at my Region III class brought to my attention a process of disposing of human remains that is called biocremation alkaline hydrolysis that his community rejected after a mortuary sought approval. (Cloquet Council Votes No) It’s being promoted as a “green” process which includes liquifying the soft tissues of the body and the liquid is poured into the sewer system. It’s not legal in many states yet and there has been concerns raised in some places including California for a variety of reasons. There is research on using this method to dispose of animal carcasses that may have some bearing on its effect on the environment.
Yesterday when I was teaching at the Region III conference in Chasta, MN, one of the participants shared with us his experiences with Compliance Connections. It’s a website that allows municipal inspectors to get connected with the right entity to gain code compliance on a problem property. It’s sponsored by Safeguard and the inspector says he’s had unbelievable help from the website. He told us that he’s had grass cut in a couple of days, he’s gotten calls from service companies that aren’t owned by Safeguard to promise compliance and is very pleased with the results. Apparently, Safeguard is trying to reduce the number of notices of violation that lenders are receiving for vacant properties or problem properties in their portfolios. It is definitely worth checking out when you have difficulty determining who is responsible for a property. The website is located at http://www.complianceconnections.com/
I’d love to hear from people who have tried it.