Last week, we shared the story of Erin Smith.
She and her neighbors were recently ticketed by OKC code enforcers for parking in a backyard that was only visible by trespassing in the backyard:
Well here at TLO, we’ve got your back(yard).
In this case, a code enforcement officer apparently walked up the driveway and entered the backyard to write a ticket for parking on an unpaved yard.
After our story was published, Smith said an attorney for Oklahoma City contacted her and her neighbors to say the tickets would be dismissed.
Smith told The Lost Ogle the city called to apologize. “She said they had already scheduled a training to remind code enforcers their responsibility relating to not violating the Fourth Amendment.”.
“Training for Code Enforcement has been scheduled for Monday, May 13′” OKC spokeswoman Kristy Yager told The Lost Ogle. “Staff has been instructed to only issue yard parking citations for front yard parking. City employees should only access resident’s backyards in an emergency.”
Smith also said the city also acknowledged her home and her neighbors were “grandfathered” into the current city ordinance, meaning when they were built a gravel lot in the back of private property was acceptable parking.
In dismissing the tickets, the City returned the bond money, the cost of the ticket plus $35, to Smith and her neighbors. That amount is what the city requires for access to the municipal courts to contest a ticket. The City courts administrator previously told TLO if people cannot pay the fee the city will allow them to contest a ticket on their own recognizance.
Smith, a lawyer by trade, said she would be following up with the city in the coming weeks to make sure they are conducting the training on protecting private property rights.
You can bet TLO and Cross-hairs team will be checking up as well.