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When & How To File A Complaint With the Sheriff’s Office: Part 1

BY DONNA WESTFALL

“A man’s home is his castle,” said Clarence Darrow.  Attorney Darrow, who died in 1938, was famous for his long, very long closing arguments (12 hours in the 1924 Leopold and Loeb case), his wit and his civil libertarianism.

The 4th Amendment to the US Constitution PROHIBITS, not suggests or is wishy-washy about it, it PROHIBITS unreasonable searches and seizures, because there were too many abuses over 400 years ago in  England, and then pre-revolution America. Our laws come from English law.  Further, the 4th Amendment lets you know that any request by law enforcement requires a warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause.

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Case in point, the BlackHawk Pistol story. Part 4 is due to be released later this month.  If you re-read parts 1-3, you’ll recall that the warrant was bad, the seizure was illegal and all felony charges were dropped against county resident Dave Egan.

This year, January 16th, according to a complaint filed January 21, 2015 by county resident, Fred Hansen, two sheriff’s deputies knocked on his door.  Sgt Richard Griffin (accompanied by  another deputy) from the Del Norte County Sheriff’s Office asked, “Fred, are you in here by yourself?”

Hansen responded affirmatively.

Griffin, “We need to look in your apartment for a person.”

Hansen writes, “He asked me to step outside, and I refused because I was in my underwear.”

Griffin told me to have a seat on my bed and then said, “We are coming in.”

Hansen objected and told him that there was no one else in his apartment. Hansen wrote on his “public complaint” form that the other officer went through his apartment and spent several minutes in his bathroom.  The last lines in Hansen’s complaint, “I believe this was a violation of my civil and constitutional rights. I want a copy of the report – the entire report.”

When should someone file a complaint?  Immediately!  Get it on record. If abuses are being perpetrated by any law enforcement, get it on record.  It takes under five minutes to file a simple report.  Sheriff Apperson knows he needs to restore the confidence of the public.  Help him by helping yourself.  If there are any rogue officers in the ranks, let them be weeded out or re-trained. But, do not sit still if you think your constitutional or civil rights are being abused. In this case, silence is not the answer.  Stories from the public make it sound like they have been victims of retaliation from the last administration. If that’s true, then it’s natural to be fearful.  Keep these three thoughts in mind and overcome those fears.

1.) THERE’S A NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN.

2.) THERE’S A NEW DISTRICT ATTORNEY IN TOWN.

3.) THERE’S A NEW JUDGE IN TOWN.

According to Commander Tim Athey of the Del Norte County Sheriffs Department, before an Internal Affairs investigation can begin, a report must be made.  The next thing is to call Diana Stanley (707) 464-9521 for a copy of the report.  That request can be made between the hours of 10 am to 11:30 am, Monday through Friday.

Fred Hansen is waiting to hear if a report was made, when he can pick up a copy of the report and then if there’s any cost to him.  While interviewing Hansen, some of his concerns were common concerns.  He wanted to know why the officer was spending so much time in his place.  He questioned whether they might be planting bugging devices or some type of planted evidence to be found at a later time to frame him.

Is this man acting paranoid?  I don’t think so.  We’ll go into more detail in Part 2.

Here is a copy of the two page form sent to me by Commander Athey.  The copies sent to our office were not in good enough shape to publish.  Our office retyped the forms and put two paragraphs in red ink with a box around it as Commander Athey pointed that portion out letting us know each person signing the form must read and understand it.DN County Sheriff's Dept Public Complaint form jpg0004 DN County Sheriff's Dept Public Complaint form jpg0003

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

37 Responses to When & How To File A Complaint With the Sheriff’s Office: Part 1

  1. Rach Reply

    April 4, 2019 at 5:06 am

    2 years all together? Btw can you prosecute someone for committing the same crime over again? You individuals sound full of yourselves. Ignorant as hell. Maybe fine tuning with precise calculations and you just might began seeing some of the bigger picture as what may be happening or happened.

  2. Optional Reply

    April 4, 2019 at 4:22 am

    What is this????? Rawr

  3. linda sutte Reply

    August 26, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    there is a website that can be utilized that attains and keeps track of all of the complaints people file on officers. I don’t see our county listed yet, but if you register with them it is free and the keep track of your complaint process for you. the web site is http://www.policeabuse.com again it is free and the keep track of your complaint.

  4. Ashlynn Pride Reply

    January 19, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Reply to Dan C. :Oh the things I come across…. First things first, you had a gun, but you were not “roughed up & in cuffs for 45 minutes.” You were not even touched. 2. I paid the bills in that house $750 back rent & $750 rent for that month all in a week. 3. I didn’t run from protective custody, I wasn’t welcome at the house I was put in. 4. There were DRUGS found in “your” house but it’s funny that it all got put on my cousin because you’re a snitch. 5. I didn’t run to my mothers house, I went to Mississippi, get that one straight. 6. It is funny that you run off, leave your daughter to pay rent because you’re spun out, then you try to come back (with a gun pointed to my head) thinking everything is going to be just peachy.
    From what I remember, the last time I saw you before you showed up that night, I kicked your girlfriend out for throwing dope in my face & almost got tazed by her aunt for dropping her ass. Then you came back telling me that a tweaker is going to live with me & control me, no. You are immune to justice, but I won’t stop until justice is served. The last time I talked to this man, he was beating the fuck out of a dude that had a deal go wrong, he kidnapped him, & almost beat him to death. You aren’t poor, you collect unemployment, deal your drugs, + income from your mother every month. Don’t let this man fool you. Everyone is all about getting justice for everyone else. Well, I was out in a situation where I was almost killed by my own father, but nobody cares. This man is dangerous, it could be anyone next. Daniel C. everyone.

    • Rach. Reply

      April 4, 2019 at 4:33 am

      Was justice served when your truck got stolen and you threatened myself pulling a bat out of your belt?

  5. Webmaster Reply

    May 3, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Actually Fleshman was promoted to Sargeant. Don’t believe everything you hear. Sent anonymously.

    • Rach Reply

      April 4, 2019 at 4:30 am

      I vote he get demoted or subject to more training or get educated on human relations/reactions or something.

  6. 4hunter4 Reply

    February 7, 2015 at 2:42 am

    National security act – You or anyone you know or don’t know can be arrested (in their own home or anywhere else) with no explanation, no warrant. Detained with no representation, no phone call, no Miranda, indefinitely.
    You can thank our democratic government aka Homeland Security with unlimited power and unlimited resources.
    Was 911 a US plot to instate Marshall law in the US?
    Have you noticed law enforcement becoming more and more aggressive?

    • Daniel Chilcutt Reply

      April 29, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      I tried to return to my home to have the police tell me I could not enter my home. Two weeks prior the sheriffs dept served a warrant on my nephew for a gun. They let my minor daughter with a grown man in my home. I returned two weeks later to pick up two cars. When I found one vandalized the police were called and told I had a gun. I was roughed up and cuffed for 45 minutes. They let everyone leave the house and told me I could still not be in my home. They took my daughter and told me nothing. She ran away from protective custody to her moms who I got sole physical and legal custody from. Not one report on the cars, even after I asked 3 officers about it. I’m poor and would love to meet a civil attorney who could help me, a U.S. citizen, right a wrong by the all powerful police force, by force I mean by force.

      • Ashlynn Pride Reply

        January 19, 2016 at 3:35 pm

        Oh the things I come across…. First things first, you had a gun, but you were not “roughed up & in cuffs for 45 minutes.” You were not even touched. 2. I paid the bills in that house $750 back rent & $750 rent for that month all in a week. 3. I didn’t run from protective custody, I wasn’t welcome at the house I was put in. 4. There were DRUGS found in “your” house but it’s funny that it all got put on my cousin because you’re a snitch. 5. I didn’t run to my mothers house, I went to Mississippi, get that one straight. 6. It is funny that you run off, leave your daughter to pay rent because you’re spun out, then you try to come back (with a gun pointed to my head) thinking everything is going to be just peachy.
        From what I remember, the last time I saw you before you showed up that night, I kicked your girlfriend out for throwing dope in my face & almost got tazed by her aunt for dropping her “behind”. Then you came back telling me that a tweaker is going to live with me & control me, no. You are immune to justice, but I won’t stop until justice is served. The last time I talked to this man, he was beating the “heck” out of a dude that had a deal go wrong, he kidnapped him, & almost beat him to death. You aren’t poor, you collect unemployment, deal your drugs, + income from your mother every month. Don’t let this man fool you. Everyone is all about getting justice for everyone else. Well, I was out in a situation where I was almost killed by my own father, but nobody cares. This man is dangerous, it could be anyone next. Daniel C. everyone.

      • Angela pofahl Reply

        January 19, 2016 at 3:49 pm

        i am the mother of the minor at the time I was contacted by DNSO and cps About the situation I did not loose my rights anyone can read our custody case I gave him custody he screwed up my daughter left the place I let her go because I do not reside in crescent city she chose to leave the house and go somewhere else also at the time my daughter had already graduated high school and had a job and 5 months away from 18 his house was raided drugs found in the home Dan is a compulsive liar anyone that helps him I feel sorry for u he abused our son and got away with it and it was founded by cps. He is a drug addict that needs help and in time it will all catch up to him

      • Rach Reply

        April 4, 2019 at 4:38 am

        Why are you involved with law enforcement so much is the question that intrigues me.

    • Rach. Reply

      April 4, 2019 at 4:36 am

      Next they would turn you into a science project and kidnap you indefinitely, right?

  7. carc Reply

    January 26, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Scott, aren’t you staying in Fred’s old house and have Fred’s old job at the Flying B Ranch?
    and weren’t you one of the people helped kick Fred out of his home and moved all his property out of his home?

    I think someone told me that you were working there with Fred when some stealing was going on at the Flying B Ranch?

  8. David Reply

    January 24, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Soctt I think you are the one that was trying to take photo’s of Lori Markel in her back yard and also was trying to spy on her for Kevin Hartwick, a police report was made.

  9. David Reply

    January 24, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Scott Norris maybe you should have seen the house before fred moved in, and by the way you seem to know a lot about stealing out at the flying b ranch. Scott aren’t you staying in Fred’s old house and have Fred’s old job at the Flying B Ranch and weren’t you one of the people, helped kicking Fred out of his home and moved all his property out of his home. I think someone told me that you were working there with Fred when some stealing was going on a the Flying B Ranch. Why would Fred steal from Kevin Hartwick, when Kevin was Fred’s Best Man in Fred’s wedding, to be a best man you would think Kevin would be Fred good friend. You also know a lot about a drug-den that wasn’t in the police report. Was this your drug-den, you’re taking about?

  10. Linda sutter Reply

    January 24, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Limitation: Searches Conducted for Purposes of Harassment

    A probationer (or parolee) subject to a search condition retains the right to be free from a search that is arbitrary, capricious or harassing. A search is arbitrary “when the motivation for the search is unrelated to rehabilitative, reformative or legitimate law enforcement purposes, or when the search is motivated by personal animosity toward the parolee.” A search is a form of harassment when its motivation is a mere “whim or caprice.” (People v. Reyes (1998) 19 Cal.4th 743, 754; People v. Medina (2007) 158 Cal.App.4th 1571, 1577.)

    “It is only when the motivation for the search is wholly arbitrary, when it is based merely on a whim or caprice or when there is no reasonable claim of a legitimate law enforcement purpose, e.g., an officer decides on a whim to stop the next red car he or she sees, that a search based on a probation search condition is unlawful.” (People v. Cervantes (2002) 103 Cal.App.4th 1404, 1408.)

    Fourth Waiver searches have been held to be unreasonable if conducted too often, at an unreasonable time, when it is unreasonably prolonged, or for any other reasons establishing arbitrary or oppressive conduct by the searching officers. A search is arbitrary or oppressive when the motivation for the search is unrelated to a rehabilitative, reformative or legitimate law enforcement purpose, or when the search is motivated by personal animosity toward the parolee or probationer. (People v. Reyes, supra, at pp. 753-754; see also People v. Clower (1993) 16 Cal.App.4th 1737, 1741; and United States v. Follette (S.D.N.Y. 1968) 282 F.Supp. 10, 13.)

    The United States Supreme Court found California’s restrictions on arbitrary, capricious or harassing searches as an important ingredient in upholding the constitutionality of a suspicionless Fourth Waiver search of a parolee. (Samson v. California (2006) 547 U.S. 843 [165 L.Ed.2nd 260].)

  11. Linda sutter Reply

    January 24, 2015 at 10:06 am

    A Fourth Wavier condition of probation will be upheld unless:
    • The wavier has no relationship to the crime for which the offender was convicted; and
    • The wavier relates to conduct that is not in itself criminal; and
    • The waiver is not reasonably related to preventing future criminality

  12. Linda sutter Reply

    January 24, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Mr. Hansen was convicted in 2009. BOOM…unless he is still on PAROLE OR PROBATION HE IS NOT SUBJECT TO SEARCH…. NOW MR. NORRIS GO TO SHERIFF APPEARSON AND GET YOUR OJT hours for remedial training….

    General Rule: All parolees, and some probationers, are subject to what is commonly referred to as a “Fourth Waiver;” i.e., where the subject has agreed, prior to the fact, to waive any objections to being subjected to searches and seizures without the necessity of the law enforcement officer meeting the standard Fourth Amendment requirements of probable cause and a search warrant. (See Vandenberg v. Superior Court (1970) 8 Cal.App.3rd 1048, 1053.)

    The courts and the Legislature may, under certain limited circumstances, condition the freedom of parolees, some probationers, and (in some cases) even pretrial detainees, upon an agreement that law enforcement, probation officers and/or parole agents, be allowed to search and seize a subject’s person and possessions without probable cause and without a search warrant. (People v. Bravo (1987) 43 Cal.3rd 600, 610; In re York (1995) 9 Cal.4th 1133, 1150.)

    Although imposed as a condition of the subject’s parole or probation, such a waiver, albeit coerced at least to some extent, is often considered by some courts to be a form of “prior consent.” (In re Tyrell J. (1994) 8 Cal.4th 68, 79-80, overruled on other grounds.)

    Note: In re Tyrell J., supra, has been specifically overruled by the California Supreme Court in In re Jaime P. (2006) 40 Cal.4th 128, on the issue of whether an officer had to know of the probation condition prior to the search. (See “Searching While In Ignorance of a Search Condition,” below.) Tyrell J. is cited in this outline for its other still-valid legal points

    • Rach. Reply

      April 4, 2019 at 4:28 am

      BS and if so that’s a stupid hidden clause the probation department should get rephrehanded for. Why do I say this? On terms and conditions, there’s a box whether or not you’re allowed to get seached.

    • Rach Reply

      April 4, 2019 at 4:44 am

      Boom

  13. Nicholas Maietta Reply

    January 23, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Some reasons why I wasn’t allowed to press charges against former Sheriff Dean Wilson and another officer for crimes committed against me by their department?

    They wouldn’t allow it. Ta da!

    Oh, and the DA? Yeah, that didn’t go far.

    Oh, and the next step was going to the Grand Jury? Guess who’s on it? Edwin Fleshman and Heidi Fleshman.

    Now that I live farther away and no longer on probation or parole and in their reach and Dean Wilson is no longer the Sheriff and heard Ed Fleshman was recently demoted and Morris is now apparently retired, it might be time to let the new Sheriff in town know exactly what I went through.

    Amazing life I lived up there. The hell never ends up there. Maybe it will soon, with a good cop as Sheriff. I’m still pissed that nearly half the voters up there still voted for Dean Wilson. Thank GOD Apperson got the position.

    I still think to myself.. how stupid can people be up there?

    I can’t wait for the day the Feds come in and rip that town apart. (Feels like it’s about to happen.)

    • Rach Reply

      April 4, 2019 at 4:42 am

      Heidi Fleshman???

      • Nicholas Maietta Reply

        April 5, 2019 at 12:04 pm

        Yes. I came across a document which had their names on it, showing they were among the list. Interestingly, a fire just over a year ago took out all my paperwork and virtually everything I owned. From now, it’s all digital and encrypted, replicated and available to others. I am no longer interested in pursuing these matters as I am moving forward on a far bigger project, changing the rules of the game a bit. Soon gone will be the days of corruption in Del Norte County.

    • Rach Reply

      April 4, 2019 at 4:46 am

      And let’s add one small note in… “”take one day , one step, at a time””

  14. Linda sutter Reply

    January 23, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    Scott Norris, once a person has served time and and off of parole or probation the law enforcement no longer has a right to search their property without reasonable suspicion, probable cause or exigent circumstances…hopefully you’re not in law enforcement….and if you are take a remedial class…or do us all a favor and quit. We have enough “law enforcement” idiots violating our civil liberties on a daily basis, without justification. Mr. Griffin is extremely abusive and dangerous, and wears a badge and has a gun. He abuses his authority under the color of the law regularly and is commonly known among the public defenders of having a “heavy” hand. Deputy Gil is another unreasonable and irrational person who works for the sheriff office who is known for the same conduct. Neither one of these men need to be in law enforcement.

    • Margaret Baker Reply

      January 27, 2015 at 8:53 pm

      Yes Mr Norris, I can relate to what you said, I was harassed for years by a deputy for years , Merady, wilson, and come to fine out Hartman retired with a clean record, a lady also complained about the same person, none of these complaints did any good. I took this person to court and much to my surprise the Judge said well I have never had any problems with Mr Hartman, at this point I saw what was about to be, charges dropped from Judge Follet I was so disapointed with this judge.

  15. Anonymous Reply

    January 23, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    From the Triplicate

    Had faced 69 counts of burglary and theft
    A Crescent City man was sentenced Thursday to two years in a state penitentiary for 10 counts of second-degree burglary.

    Fred Elmer Hansen, 48, agreed to a negotiated plea deal that dismissed more than 85 percent of the original charges against him, and gave him 152 days of credit for time served.

    Jon Alexander, Hansen’s public defender, said his client was satisfied with the plea agreement.

    “Mr. Hansen was very pleased with the disposition we achieved,” Alexander said.

    The initial complaint against Hansen was filed by District Attorney Mike Riese in July 2009. It included 69 counts of second-degree burglary, receiving stolen property, writing fraudulent checks and petty theft.

    Katherine Micks, deputy district attorney, said Hansen pleaded guilty to entering businesses with the “intent to pass off bad checks.” She said the plea deal is an attempt to mimic the outcome of his case had it gone to trial.

    “As with most cases, we look at what we think the judge would do,” Micks said about crafting a plea deal.

    As part of his punishment, Micks said Hansen must pay more than $6,900 in restitution to six local businesses.

    He owes $1,215.32 to All Star Liquors, $708.94 to Crescent Ace Hardware, $929.52 to George’s Auto and Diesel, $513.78 to Mor-Jon Inc., $813.81 to Safeway and $2,816.14 to Ray’s Food Place.

    Some of the dismissed counts were for accusations of writing bad checks to Rite Aid, Home Depot, Fort Dick Market, Coast True Value Hardware and Shop Smart.

    The court has reserved the right to command Hansen to pay additional restitution if more loss claims are received.

    Del Norte County Judge Robert Weir ordered Hansen to surrender to the Del Norte County Jail on Dec. 29. He is scheduled to be transported to San Quentin State Prison within 10 working days.

  16. Mike Reply

    January 23, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    Bad checks had nothing to do with Kevin. Kevin looked for an opportunity to show power and demolish Fred Hansen. WHY WOULD ANYONE BE SO PASSIONATE TO PUT SOMEONE AWAY IN PRISON FOR SOMETHING THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THEIR LIFE? Kevin’s mistresses brother was the arresting officer of Fred Hansen. IRONIC? If anything Fred knew to much that was actually going on at the Flying B Ranch and Kevin needed to keep him quiet.

    • Anonymous Reply

      February 4, 2015 at 12:35 pm

      I wonder if Gale Harwick knows about all these affairs her husband is having? Do you think she supports it? Is she a victim of it of his control? If she condones his actions the community should be questioning if her ethics and morals are right to be teaching our children considering she is a school teacher at one our local schools! How about Kevin’s brother Bill Hartwick? Is he apart of Kevin’s power for corpution in our town? He is a principal for one of our local schools! I’m starting to feel worried that nothing in this town isn’t controlled or intertwined with the Hartwicks. Our children Is our future do we want them to feel mistrusted by the people they should be looking up too? Their teachers/role models.

    • Rach Reply

      April 4, 2019 at 5:15 am

      Ironic how the person you’d take a bullet for ends up being the one behind the gun.

  17. scott norris Reply

    January 23, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    If by caretaking you mean destroying his house,turning it into a drug den and stealing everything that wasn’t nailed down to sell for his drug habit, then yes he did an excellent job!

  18. Rita Hammon Reply

    January 23, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Wow. I’m speechless. And that has rarely happened to me. Great addition to the original chapters, Donna. This needs to be shared. And will be. Thank you.

  19. David Markel Reply

    January 23, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Fred Hansen was threatened with 19 years in prison for writing bad checks after Kevin Harwick fired him. His Public Defender, Jon Alexander, at the time told him to sign a statement for Kevin Harwick and then they (Kevin, former DA Mike Riese and Jon Alexander) would make this all go away. Fred even has a written statement passed to his PD from the DA’s assistant that states, “Remember we have to keep Kevin happy.” Fred did his time. He shouldn’t have to be harassed by rogue deputies. They’ve harassed him enough. The guy spent nearly 20 years caretaking Hardwick’s Flying B Ranch. When he got too sick to work anymore, Harwick threw him out like garbage. Hansen did his 2 years in prison. Leave the guy alone.

  20. Scott Norris Reply

    January 23, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Fourth Waiver. A convicted felon can be searched by police or probation officer at any time for any reason. And he is a CONVICTED FELON.

    • Rach Reply

      April 4, 2019 at 5:12 am

      Only because money talks and BS walks… and this clearly shows money talking.. all the way.

    • Nicholas Maietta Reply

      April 5, 2019 at 12:09 pm

      Your statement only applies to those who are on probation or parole. Cops don’t have the legal authority to search citizens for any reason other than reasonable suspicion of a crime, if a person is on probation and parole (and parole/probation officer MUST BE PRESENT) or a warrant is still required otherwise.

      Cops are also no longer immune to personal liability either. If a cop commits a crime or violates the personal legal rights of an American citizen, that officer can be held personally liable as well as their superiors.

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