Jackson County, Ore. — Administrative government, comprised of “administrative hearings officers” (unelected judges) who act as judge, jury and executioner in many cases across the United States have created serious problems for our country. Citizens in Jackson County, Ore., claim this type of system is causing them “permanent damage.” “Administrative hearings deprive us of our 7th Amendment right to trial by jury” and also violate Oregon’s Constitution, Article 1, Section 17: “Jury trial in civil cases. In all civil cases the right of Trial by Jury shall remain inviolate.”
In 2011, more than seven years after Bernie Zieminski of Clams LLC, purchased a billboard, he was accused of “illegally illuminating the billboard.” Zieminski had already proven that other charges to remove the billboard by Jackson County and the State of Oregon were frivolous because the sign was protected under free speech, which has been upheld in other cases by the Supreme Court. So with nothing to go after Ziemenski for, the county finally saw the “light.” (No pun intended.)
The billboard had been around for many years. It was built prior to the construction of Interstate 5, a major West Coast freeway. The billboard was constructed in 1959, many years before Oregon Senate Bill 100 (land use) was signed into law (May 29, 1973). Clams LLC claims that the billboard was “grandfathered” and exempt from land-use ordinances, which became law long after the billboard’s construction.
Clams LLC and their registered agents appeared at a Jackson County administrative hearing and “demanded a jury trial.” Jackson County Administrative Court Hearings Officer Donald Rubenstein said that Clams LLC was not entitled to a jury trial. The administrative court ruled that Clams LLC “violated Jackson County’s land use ordinances by adding lights to its billboard even though Clams LLC presented evidence that the billboard had been illuminated before I-5 was built and that it had only repaired the lights that already existed.”
Jackson County mailed a separate complaint (the document that initiated a new administrative court case) to Clams LLC’s registered agent, an attorney in Ashland, Ore. No attempt was made to personally serve either Clams LLC’s registered agent or anyone else. No one from Clams LLC appeared in court, and the administrative court granted a default judgment in favor of Jackson County.
Less than a year after both events (sign violating land use and illegal lighting) described above, attorney James E. Leuenberger filed motions to set aside the judgments against Clams LLC. The first motion said that the judgment was illegal because the court violated Clams LLC’s right to a jury trial and because Clams LLC had newly discovered evidence (a very old photograph showing the lights on the billboard). Administrative hearings officer Donald Rubenstein said he did not recognize or grant motions to set aside judgments.
The second motion said that the administrative court never had jurisdiction over Clams LLC because Jackson County had not obeyed Oregon Rule of Civil Procedure 7 that says that a limited liability company must be personally served with a complaint if the registered agent is located in the same county as the court (not mailed). The administrative court again (Rubenstein) said it did not recognize or grant motions to set aside judgments, even default judgments for which the defendant never appeared in court.
Clams LLC has now filed petitions for writs of review in the Circuit Court for Jackson County. Clams LLC is asking the Circuit Court to tell the administrative court that Clams LLC has a right to a jury trial and that the administrative court did not get jurisdiction over Clams LLC for the second case because Jackson County did not have anyone personally served with the second complaint.
Clams LLC is confident that it is exempt from land-use ordinances because the sign is protected under free speech and the lights were part of that sign, long before the 1973 land-use law.
When a government imposes a fine on someone, and states it is “not a criminal matter,” it becomes a civil issue. For Ziemenski, “It’s a matter of principal.” Ziemenski continued: “I have been fined over $12,000 for my billboard, and I will not let a few corrupted people try to extort money from me. I work hard and give more than my fair share to the community. For them to try and abuse a man who works hard is something I will fight. In fact, I will fight this all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. Furthermore, I will do everything in my power to cost Donald Rubenstein his job for what he’s done to myself and others. I will also fight to make sure county officials put a stop to what these ‘hearings officers’ are unjustly doing to people in the community.”
Increasing costs, decreasing funds and other tactics are all being used by local governments across the United States to deprive people of their civil or criminal rights to a jury trial. Clams LLC is just one of thousands, if not millions of cases across the United States that verify how the Constitution is damned.
US~Observer Editor’s Note: This is an obvious case of government employees using taxpayer money to pay other government employees to find ways to extort more money from taxpayers. Administrative government goes against the United States’ representative form government by giving one unConstitutional branch of government the power of all three branches — the executive, judicial and legislative (judge, jury and executioner).
If you have any information about Donald Rubenstein, Danny Jordan or anyone in Jackson County administrative government regarding this case or any other cases, please contact us immediately. Send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 541-474-7885.