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» Ship of Fools   »   » Oblivion   » How to get evicted, Pennsylvania style

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Source: (consider it) Thread: How to get evicted, Pennsylvania style
EtymologicalEvangelical
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# 15091

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Please, someone, for the sake of the maintenance of sanity, tell me that this moronic shit isn't true.

Just what sort of specimens of non-humanity, dragged up from the lowest moral sewers (although that's an insult to sewers), could formulate such a pathetic, bullshit law that evicts people from their homes as punishment for asking the police for help when they are victims of criminality?

I thought the UK was bad when it comes to punishing victims.

Frankly, (polite) words fail me...

[Mad]

[ 27. April 2013, 12:43: Message edited by: EtymologicalEvangelical ]

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You can argue with a man who says, 'Rice is unwholesome': but you neither can nor need argue with a man who says, 'Rice is unwholesome, but I'm not saying this is true'. CS Lewis

Posts: 3625 | From: South Coast of England | Registered: Sep 2009  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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Calling the police is disorderly conduct?

Impressively, I was able to find an online version of the municipal laws. I'm pretty sure the relevant provision is 245-3 here.

It specifically says that the city itself won't evict tenants and will punish landlords. But of course that doesn't stop landlords from evicting tenants.

And sure enough, it refers to any calls attended by the Norristown Police Department, and specifically says calls from a tenant do count if the disorderly conduct happened in the rental property. What if fails to say is whether the tenant was responsible for the disorderly conduct, either personally or by assent to the behaviour of guests.

So no, this isn't a beat-up. It looks like a case of poor drafting that failed to envisage that disorderly conduct could occur at a tenant's property without the tenant being responsible for the disorderly conduct.

[ 27. April 2013, 13:29: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

Posts: 18173 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Calling the police is disorderly conduct?

Impressively, I was able to find an online version of the municipal laws. I'm pretty sure the relevant provision is 245-3 here.

It specifically says that the city itself won't evict tenants and will punish landlords. But of course that doesn't stop landlords from evicting tenants.

And sure enough, it refers to any calls attended by the Norristown Police Department, and specifically says calls from a tenant do count if the disorderly conduct happened in the rental property. What if fails to say is whether the tenant was responsible for the disorderly conduct, either personally or by assent to the behaviour of guests.

So no, this isn't a beat-up. It looks like a case of poor drafting that failed to envisage that disorderly conduct could occur at a tenant's property without the tenant being responsible for the disorderly conduct.

Excellent Google-fu there orfeo. You know more about drafting legislation, but my guess is that some landlord(s) wanted a pretext to evict "undesirable" tenants and pushed this through so they could, quite reasonably claim that "We have to evict, or the City will punish us".

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Posts: 24276 | From: Newport, Wales | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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That's possible. I tend to assume incompetence over evil motives, but I could be wrong.

As to the Google-fu, I'm sure you realise that navigating legislation is my bread and butter. The surprising bit was finding that something at municipal level was so readily available online.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

Posts: 18173 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
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# 14333

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It is of note that the poor wording was passed twice.

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Posts: 17627 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It is of note that the poor wording was passed twice.

Given the option I'm sure it will be passed three times. Or four. Or five. After all, these oh so bloody powerful people have to show how resolute they are. To actually read the thing and think, then decide that they ahve actually made a mistake in passing this crock of shite would be to show weakness, and that is so much worse than evicting those who are unable to defend themselves. Why, they'd be laughed out of the country club.

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

Posts: 24276 | From: Newport, Wales | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It is of note that the poor wording was passed twice.

Never underestimate the power of the "but that's what we had before" mindset.

First I should note that it's quite unlikely that any of this was written by a professional drafter - not only because it's at municipal level, but because the notion of professional drafters hasn't really taken hold in the USA.

But from the experience of professional drafters, people can be amazingly reluctant to change existing wording. Even if you can see it's wrong, even if you can demonstrate that it's wrong, people are reluctant. They've generally got along fine with the existing words. If the sky hasn't fallen in at their end, they don't want to rock the boat.

(And yes, I realise that's an awful sentence. I don't care. I'm on holiday. [Razz] )

I can't remember the correct name for it, but there is a known cognitive bias where people will tend to believe whatever they are first told, and it is much harder to get them to change from that initial position, regardless of whether the initial position was correct.

I think that's always at play when it comes to laws. We passed a law. We sorted everything out, didn't we?

So it often takes a considerable song and dance of some sort to get the wording of a law changed later on. Someone has to strongly demonstrate that the existing wording is not working before 'what we know' will be altered. People get frightened by the unknown implications of new wording.

Of course, as Sioni has already suggested, there's another possibility: that the wording isn't poor at all, in the sense that it does exactly what was intended, and it's the nasty policy that's the problem. To man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail and I might just be keen to use my particular form of trusty hammer.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

Posts: 18173 | From: Under | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
Porridge
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# 15405

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It's also possible there was some thought, as well as experience, behind it.

In households where there's abuse, it's not that uncommon for each party to claim that the other party is the abuser. When working in the domestic violence field, I saw this fairly often.

He punches her, and she, in self-defense perhaps, punches him back, and it promptly escalates into a brawl. Unless there's an actual witness to the "first strike," it can be difficult to establish which party is the aggressor, especially if, as sometimes happens, the parties are not especially unequal in size.

It could take months for this to get sorted out (if ever), and I'm guessing landlords are eager to evict the troublesome tenants and avoid further risk of property damage. Over-aggressive people seldom limit their hurtful attentions to just each other.

I'm guessing it was a situation like this which inspired the legislation in the first place, and it was a property owners' association which prompted it. So I'm going with evil intent over incompetence, though Orfeo's approach is probably the one to take in most instances.

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Moon: Including what?
Spiggott: That everything I've ever told you is a lie.
Moon: That's not true!

Posts: 3925 | From: Upper right corner | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
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# 14333

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And I shall see the middle path between the two as the most reasonable explanation.
No matter the underlying intent, there will be undeserving victims.

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I put on my rockin' shoes in the morning
Hallellou, hallellou

Posts: 17627 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Lyda*Rose

Ship's broken porthole
# 4544

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My guess is that the sources of such a law are police cut-backs in this economy and disdain for abuse victims who call 911 many times. The official attitude is, "Why doesn't s/he get the hell out of that kind of relationship and leave the police to do real police work?"

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

Posts: 21377 | From: CA | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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We've got two of those situations right now... [Confused]

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

Posts: 20059 | From: off in left field somewhere | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged


 
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