Constitution Be Damned


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.

–Joseph Snook

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 or call 541-474-7885.

Personal Liberty

Joe Snook

is an Investigative Reporter with the US~Observer Newspaper. A former decorated Assault Medic in the 82nd Airborne Division and Ron Paul Campaign Coordinator. Joseph assists victims of the criminal justice system to help them achieve total vindication.

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  • flashy

    1. The billboard co LLC never denied they weren’t given notice. Service by Mail in Oregon requires a signature of receipt.

    2. The county admin court ruling was he had notice of the action, in fact. Such is the purpose for serving notice.

    3. The dispute is not the lighting. I’ve driven this stretch of road and know the sign. It’s well known for its crackpot extremist messages. Very entertaining. It is lit,.

    4. The “lighting” he installed is far beyond the then existing lighting. It is more than changing bulbs to higher luminosity. It’s obvious he added lighting and ratcheted up the power. Significant change. Obvious a matter requiring a permit under Oregon Land Use. ( which by the way, has the support of a vast majority of Oregonians).

    5. The planning dept acted because of a large number if complaints about in increased lighting. Had he applied for a Change Permit, he would have had a public meeting. That he chose not to apply and hold a public meeting should tellyou how far that would have gone given his neighbors opposition.

    • Mike Austin

      So what. This is America. Don’t like it? I can provide several alternate destinations.

      • Novaguy

        Do that Mike. Please do that.

        Our rights guaranteed under The Constitution are being violated slowly , but surely, just about every day.

        It is getting to the point where I don’t even recognize the country we live in today. It is not the good old USA I grew up and loved so much.

      • independent thinker

        Just in case you do not know flashy has been proven wrong so many times and caught in so many lies/inaccuracies in his posts here on PLD that his credibility is less than Obama’s.

    • Robert Messmer

      No they never claimed that they didn’t get notice. What they claimed, based solely on this article, was that this kangaroo court failed to follow its own published set of rules. Makes it hard for the citizens to know what to do if they publish one set of rules but then do something else. If your claim in #3 is correct, that is not the lighting then the only thing left is the freedom of speech which is protected under the constitution. Of course then you contradict yourself with #4 and #5 saying it is the lighting. Since it is along a highway, lighting should be a plus not something for people to complain about.

  • Daniel F. Melton

    If the government at any level does not follow its’ own regulations, we have in effect, arbitrary and capricious rule by apparachtiks. Is there no wonder the government wants us disarmed?

  • FreedomTrainUSA

    The Liberal are using every tactic they can to not follow the Constitution…and are using every tactic they can by changing what it taught in the Public Indoctrination Centers….by using NOT THE REAL CONSTITUTION… But the version that they would like it to be….

  • Mike Austin

    Americans are very near ready to kill for this kind if thing. If thst happens,I hope I am on the jury. I am in need of a good nap and when I wake up, I mumble, not guilty.

  • Justin Case

    It is my limited understanding because of the unConstitutional nature of Admin Law, any cases there can be moved to a district court. And I believe also Admin Law courts do have to obey the constitution when demanded.

  • William James Ward

    We are all persons under the law, government agencies are only
    persons in the eyes of the law so when out of line they can be
    brought to a court of proper jurisdiction and slapped silly. Intimidation
    is what makes the leftist obfuscators get away with so much, personal
    lawsuits must be brought against them in order to quell the loss of
    citizen rights and freedoms. Oregon and Washington are bastions
    of leftist political action and have the support of almost everyone
    in the I-5 corridor, sadly they are leeches that live off of the hard
    work of others and they will never stop until stopped. Leftist
    bullying is notoriously flagrant where leftist populations have
    enough votes to keep the bums in public office. Once honest
    and trustworthy people were abundant in America but thanks
    to our educational systems perversions of character we have
    wrong being right and right being wrong……………..William

  • Motov

    Here is something for liberals and neo-cons to chew on.
    Lets just say Obozo is really a nice guy with all intentions to do good for us.
    So we allow him extra freedoms so he can do what he sees fit.
    Keep in mind one thing, one of these days he will be out of office, and someone else will take his place. It could be the worst guy in the world to take his place.
    Guess what? He will also have those “Extra Freedoms” to do whatever he wants. This is the reason why our constitution exists. The founding fathers understood by limiting and keeping our government’s powers to a minimum,
    tyranny would not be a problem. It is better that we have less laws to follow than to worry about every detail how we live just to remain law abiding.