BY LINDA SUTTER, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER
What would you do if someone you know decided to fabricate a number of complaints against you to the point that the Local District Attorney Office decided to go to a new magistrate to have a search warrant issued, that lacked probable cause? What would you do when the officers showed up, invaded the privacy of your home and belongings confiscated your property and developed evidence to utilize against you? Now you’re arrested, your property has been taken from you and you don’t have an attorney and the Court Appointed attorney is inept. The icing on the cake: the Local District Attorney hides the evidence by giving it away. Oh, and the county agency who is pressing these trumped up charges decide to let the local newspaper know so the newspaper is present during the arrest to write up their biased view of the story. Is this what our justice system here in Del Norte County has come to?
This is the rest of the Susan White Story that was left out of the Triplicate Newspaper. On August 2, 2012, Director of Animal Control, Ken Smith, receives a telephone call that there is an “odor” coming from Susan White’s residence. An Officer was sent out to investigate this “odor” and reported back with negative results, meaning there was no such odor. On April 17, Robin Shane walked into animal control and made a complaint that there were dogs kept in cages, 5 had diapers on and Susan White refused to let Ms. Shane come into her home to view the dogs. On April 18th, Robin Shane’s friend Ms. Judy Wheeler walked into animal control and stated, “I saw a skinny dog and 5 dogs were in diapers.” Also on April 18, Ms. Robin Shane submitted her son Eric Nuff’s complaint which stated “numerous dogs were in horrible condition and two dogs had died.” And finally, Animal Control officer, David Cavyell, went to Susan White’s house while she was not home, peered through the windows of her motor home and saw two dogs sitting in the motor home but the windows were heavily tinted so he could not tell the condition of the dogs.
These were the complaints that instigated an investigation by our local District Attorney Micks, Assistant DA Padilla, Assistant DA Walker, the Sheriff’s office and the animal control people, and where Judge Doehle signed a search warrant for invasion based upon untested and unverified information.
Let’s point out about our constitutional rights. WE the People have a constitutional right to have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Now what that means is that when an officer comes onto your property and starts peering through your windows when you are not home and without a search warrant, he is violating your reasonable expectation of privacy. Officers from Animal Control were sent out to Susan White’s house on two occasions. Both times they appeared on her property without her knowledge snooping around for evidence based upon telephone calls. Both times they violated her civil rights and both times reported negative findings, that there was nothing to report. Case in point is: People v. Camacho, 23 Cal.4th 824; 98 Cal.Rptr.2d 232; 3 P.3d 878 (2000): Police observation from a non-public area constitutes unlawful search. The County is liable for Fourth Amendment violations and has no immunity when its employees trespass upon areas that members of the public cannot be said to have been implicitly invited. No such implicit public invitation exists in a side yard, back yard, or neighbor’s yard for county employees or anybody else to conduct invasion of privacy and/or pre-textual search without probable cause to inventory livestock or other property by peeking over or through fences, even chain-link fences, which are there to exclude the eyes of strangers and trespassers.
Please Public, regardless of any alleged crimes committed, please be advise, we are all born with constitutional rights regardless of what has been done or thought to have been done. Don’t be bullied by our local officials who refuse to uphold the laws that they took an oath to uphold. Let’s see what else our infamous local officials did on this matter.
Remember Robin Shane, Judy Wheeler, and Eric Nuff; all allegedly submitted complaints for various reasons. These complaints were not legally verified under the penalty of perjury nor were these complainants required to produce any identification. In fact, all you have to do is make an anonymous phone call to Animal Control and they will use that as evidence against you. It should be noted, Robin Shane made a demand to trespass Susan White’s property to view her dogs and when she was not allowed to do so she submitted a retaliatory complaint against Susan White. We all have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Further, Ms. Shain unlawfully obtained a key to Susan White’s house through a realtor who gave her an unqualified tour of the home, and has since utilized that key to attain Susan White’s property and remove items from Susan White’s property. When Susan White called the Sheriff’s Department, they did nothing about it. In fact, Ms. Shane placed a restraining order on Susan White and if Ms. Shane was on or in Susan White’s property, Susan White could not go onto her own property.
Now is that abusing the law or what? No equal protection of the law there. In fact, in the eyes of the Sheriff’s Department, they treated Susan White as a criminal who was now behind bars. Innocent until proven guilty? Not in this county.
Weeks v. United States,232 U.S. 383. Camara v. Municipal Court, 387 US 523, 18 L.ed.2d 930, 87 S.Ct. 1727: The basic purpose of the Fourth Amendment is to safeguard the privacy and security of individuals against arbitrary invasions by governmental officials; the Amendment thus gives concrete expression to a right of the people which is basic to a free society. The guarantee against unreasonable searches and seizures contained in the Fourth Amendment is applicable to the states by reason of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The protection of the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures is not limited to a situation in which an individual is suspected of criminal behavior.
Robin Shane is not a veterinarian nor does she have a certificate as an animal health technician, but she has an opinion based upon speculation and ignorance. In her complaint she sees five dogs in diapers. Apparently she must not understand the mating process or that female dogs in heat need protection from the penetration of male dogs.
Remember, all of these items mentioned above were utilized to formulate probable cause so a search warrant could be issued. So far we have two separate occasions that officers showed up at Susan Whites house without her being home, they conduct their undercover investigation, go back to the pound and make reports of negative findings. But these negative findings are now used to attain a search warrant which is supposed to have probable cause. Next you have three alleged letters signed by people and hand delivered into animal control. Two of the informants, Shane and Wheeler, are friends with each other, so in other words they are corroborating stories. Now Animal Control has informed them they need to have three complaints before they will do anything. That is where Eric Nuff comes in. His mother, Robin Shane, gets him to write up something damning that includes death of dogs in it. Wow, two dogs died. But here is the clinker: Eric Nuff never signed or wrote anything. Oops, somebody has just gotten caught lying. Judge Doehle then signs a search warrant based on, well, I’m not really sure what she based it on because it was not based on probable cause. In the meantime, Susan White has not been able to leave the county for her cancer treatments and the courts here think “we will just drag this on for six months, give away Susan’s dogs and destroy the evidence.” Handshake wink wink. Yep folks we are all in trouble here, very hard pressed to find justice in Del Norte County. Scary.
And finally, in closing, some things to think about: There are two veterinarians involved in this case. According to Susan White, one was allegedly threatened by District Attorney Padilla because this Veterinarian was supposedly on probation. Ms. Padilla told him that if he talked with Susan White she (Padilla) would have his probation revoked. I made an attempt to interview this veterinarian, but he was unable to talk and verify this statement.
Another veterinarian testified at the Code Enforcement hearing in the presence of Commissioner William Cater that the testimony of the first veterinarian concluded that the dogs were in very good health, were friendly and outgoing except one was shy. Some of the dogs had flea infestations which is common in Del Norte County. The Commissioner was actually trying to persuade the veterinarian to recant his professional opinion, but the veterinarian would not bow down to the Commissioner. Still, the Commissioner refused to allow the dogs of Susan White returned. The Commissioner utilized illegally attained evidence to form his decision. It should be noted, Susan White spent thousands of dollars to have her dogs flown here from different parts of the country. She has also spent thousands of dollars on their medical visits making sure they are properly cared for. She is being charged with a crime she has not committed, and is being persecuted by the District Attorney office, the Sheriff office and the former Animal Control Director, Ken Smith.
So Public, get smart, know your constitution. Because if you think you are safe here in this county from rogue public officials…. think again. In the last 5 years there have been 26 cases of Civil Rights Violations in this County. $ Multi-million dollar cases.
Now, what about all the time and money involved in the Susan White case? You have the DA’s office, Sheriff’s office, Animal Control and our corrupt Court System spending time and money persecuting a woman who loves her dogs. She just wants her dogs back and to move out of this area. 4 of the dogs are licensed service dogs; Madison, Benny, Maggiemae, and Amy Lee. Susan’s daughter, Wendy 22 years old, suffers from seizures. Madison is trained to predict Wendy’s seizures and Benny comes and gets Susan to help her daughter.
Don’t worry because the American Civil Liberties Union has been contacted and maybe we have some help on the way.