And You Thought Palm Bay Demanding Homeowners Hook Up To City Water And Sewage Was Bad.

You may remember that the City of Palm Bay made overtures that would have required homeowners with functioning septic systems to connect to City water and sewage within a year once notified by the City of the services being available within their area.

The hookups would have cost thousands of dollars and after backlash from citizens, the City decided to not visit the issue for now.

Failure to hook up would result in a fine from the City on a daily basis with the City eventually putting liens on homes.

Fines and liens are relatively tame compared to what some people in Lenawee County, Michigan are faced with:

MORENCI, Mich. — In a case touted as a precedent for religious freedom and fair housing, a team of lawyers representing at least 14 Amish households sued the Lenawee County Health Department on Wednesday for what some of those attorneys claim is an unreasonably aggressive, unconstitutional action and an abuse of government power.

Three attorneys and other staffers from the Wright & Schulte, LLC law firm in Vandalia, Ohio, with help from the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, assert their clients — dozens of Lenawee County residents who practice the Old Order Amish faith — are being discriminated against by the county health department.

The county apparently wants each of the Amish households equipped with flush toilets and fully functioning septic systems. That would require those residents to install modern technology and electricity, which goes against their faith.

It’s been more than a suggestion, though. Earlier this fall, county health officials posted condemnation notices on each of the houses in question, serving owners with a demand to install the technology or risk having their households bulldozed. (emphasis ours)

You read that right. Because the County wants the Amish, who shun modern conveniences such as indoor plumbing as part of their religious beliefs, they are willing to raze homes of people that are structurally sound.

While this fight is being cast a fight between water quality and religion, we think there is another issue here as well.

In October, 2018, the Supreme Court issued an opinion in the case of Timbs v. Indiana which held that the excessive takings where the government takes more than the fine or value of the offense, is illegal under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment. The ruling is actually an extension of earlier cases that decided the Federal government could not take excessive amounts, but the Timbs case extended that ruling to the states and municipalities.

It is difficult for use to believe that the cost of installing plumbing would be larger than the value of the actual homes which would mean the county would have no legal right to bulldoze the homes.

So take heed, Palm Bay.

The City Council and their minions may read this and come back with the idea that either you hook up to the city water and sewage, or they will come and bulldoze your home as well.

Editor’s Note: We found it interesting that the Amish are suing Lenawee County on the basis of religious freedom and are being supported by the ACLU. That would be the same ACLU that has filed briefs in support of making bakers, photographers, tee-shirt makes, video production companies, doctors, pharmacists, etc. act against their religious beliefs when dealing with abortion, gay marriages, etc.

We think there is a lack of consistency there.

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