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OfflinemotamanM
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LANDLORD ORDERS SEARCHES FOR DRUGS
    #1693278 - 07/07/03 03:49 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

http://www.digmo.org/news/story.php?ID=2607

Landlord orders searches for drugs
Tenants say their rights were violated, but the landlord says he was entitled.
By DEBRA GULBAS

July 3, 2003

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Johnathan Porter, 19, was sleeping Tuesday morning when he heard knocking at his front door. Porter looked out the window and saw his landlord, a private patrol officer and a German shepherd.

?The officer told me the dog took a liking to my door,? Porter said.

Porter said he was told the dog, a certified canine narcotic handler, sniffed and scratched the green front door, which indicated the dog smelled narcotics in the apartment at Columbia Square Townhomes.

When the officer asked Porter if he could search the apartment, Porter told him ?no.? Porter said that?s when he was given a choice: If he didn?t allow the search, he would be sent to court for the proper procedures ? possibly eviction. When Porter heard the word eviction, he signed a consent form to let them search.

Tenants at the 128-unit complex, even those who did not have their apartment searched, are angry because they said their rights were violated. But Dan Fletcher, the property supervisor, said he had the right to go in the apartments.

While Porter sat outside his apartment, Fletcher, the officer, and the German shepherd searched inside for narcotics. They returned after about 10 minutes to tell Porter what he already knew ? there were no drugs in his apartment.

Some apartment residents peered out of their windows. Others walked outside to see if there was a problem. Tenants, like William Lewis, said their privacy was invaded.

?I understand where they are coming from because they are trying to get rid of the drug problem, but I think there is a better way of doing it,? Lewis said.

Fletcher, the Columbia Square Townhomes property supervisor, said he was handling the situation in a fair way.

Fletcher contracted two metropolitan patrol officers and two certified canine narcotic handlers on an hourly rate through a private security company called Metropolitan Patrol, which is based in Kansas City. The dogs sniffed at all the apartment doors, but most units were not searched.

?I had the right to go in the apartments as long as I gave the residents 24-hour notice prior to the search,? Fletcher said.

That notification was a green flier given to all Columbia Square residents on Friday, stating that the management would be ?conducting random unit inspections throughout the property? on July 1.

Fletcher said he doesn?t understand why people are upset.

?I am just trying to provide decent, safe, sanitary housing and give the residents a safe place to call home,? Fletcher said.

While Fletcher and Maj. Greg McQuade, one of the officers involved in the searches, said drugs were found in the apartments, they would not comment on the specific amount.

?I was pleasantly surprised on how few drugs were found,? Fletcher said.

The drugs found were documented and photographed, McQuade said, but no arrests took place. McQuade said the company is not allowed to confiscate drugs during the search, but he said the police are normally notified.

But Sgt. Bryan Piester of the Columbia Police Department Narcotics Unit said he was unaware that any drugs had been found, and Chief Randy Boehm said the police were not involved in the search.

First Ward Councilwoman Almeta Crayton said she is looking at both sides of the situation.

?I wanted to make sure their (residents?) rights were not violated,? Crayton said.

The Columbia Square Townhomes are owned by Yarco Co., but tenants receive government subsidies from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Fletcher said the drug search was funded through the Columbia Square security budget. Although he wouldn?t state exactly how much it cost to contract the Metropolitan Patrol, he said it was ?well worth it.?





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http://heffter.org


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InvisibleMOTH
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Re: LANDLORD ORDERS SEARCHES FOR DRUGS [Re: motaman]
    #1694156 - 07/07/03 08:58 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

I would have taken it to court and suffered the eviction.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
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Re: LANDLORD ORDERS SEARCHES FOR DRUGS [Re: MOTH]
    #1694279 - 07/07/03 09:29 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

EllemyshShade said:
I would have taken it to court and suffered the eviction.



Actually, as a landlord I can tell you that's not what to do.

What to do depends on your lease.

Many times a lease will give the landlord permission to do just what happened in this story. If it's in your lease, you're screwed as long as the landlord follows the lease himself. If it's not in the lease you would win that battle in court.

An eviction on your court records will show up in a search. Many landlords (more everyday) will do a search and not rent to someone who has an eviction history.


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You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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InvisibleMOTH
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Re: LANDLORD ORDERS SEARCHES FOR DRUGS [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1695803 - 07/08/03 09:42 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Yeah, you have a point. I just checked my own lease and couldn't find anything that would give my landlords permission to search my apartment without a warrent. I suppose it could happen though.


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OfflineSev
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Re: LANDLORD ORDERS SEARCHES FOR DRUGS [Re: luvdemshrooms]
    #1698878 - 07/09/03 07:19 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

luvdemshrooms said:
Many times a lease will give the landlord permission to do just what happened in this story. If it's in your lease, you're screwed as long as the landlord follows the lease himself. If it's not in the lease you would win that battle in court.





In many states, clauses like this in a lease are illegal -- anyone who is a renter should find books on renters' rights for their state. Many landlords put them in anyway, knowing that most people aren't fully aware of their rights, and can be bullied into a lot of shit.


--------------------
"Do we want the stars? We can have them. Can we borrow cups of fire from the sun? We can and must and light the world." --"On the Shoulders of Giants", Ray Bradbury

All of my posts are full of fiction and blatant lies.


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