Wednesday, September 30, 2015

St. Louis county considers punishing criminal violations with homelessness

The wise philosopher kings ruling over St Louis County are considering a bill.
 The free license would require an annual application from the landlords of residential rental properties in unincorporated St. Louis County. The application would include things like the name, street address and telephone number of the landlord and the address of each rental property. All basic enough.

However, buried in the guts of the bill are several paragraphs describing how those licenses can be suspended or revoked. According to a copy of the bill, the licensing law would allow the county to force landlords to evict any tenant convicted in the past year of felony, misdemeanor or ordinance violations on a variety of crimes, from drug dealing to alcohol consumption to gambling.

Landlords who don't evict tenants after 30 days would risk a $1,000 fine, one year jail and the loss their rental licenses on all of their properties.
What the fuckety fuck? Are these asshats really going to legally mandate homelessness as a consequence of pleading guilty to a criminal violation? What do they expect people to do? Vanish in a puff of magic fairy dust?

Here's what the ordinance says: (from the Riverfront Times, bolding theirs)
The [Director of the Department of Public Works] may provide written notice to the owner of residential rental property licensed under this Code that an occupant thereof, within a period of one year, has been convicted of having violated a felony, misdemeanor or ordinance related to the following acts:

a. illegal sale, manufacture, storing, possession, distribution or use of narcotics or other controlled substances or precursors;
b. illegal sale, manufacture, storing, possession, distribution or use of drug paraphernalia or precursors;
c. illegal sale, storing, possession, use or distribution of a firearm, weapon or explosive device, or other violation of law related to use or possession of the same;
d. prostitution;
e. illegal gambling;
f. illegal sale, distribution and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Within 30 days of receipt of such notice from the Director, the owner shall initiate eviction proceedings against such occupant or occupants, and shall thereafter diligently pursue them... An owner who fails to begin eviction proceedings with regard to such occupant or occupants within 30 days of receipt of the Director’s notice, or who fails diligently to pursue such eviction proceedings, shall be subject to license suspension.
Why don't they 

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