Archive for June, 2012

Labor & Industries

Recent Court Case Upholds Filing Fee Requirement To Appeal Penalty Citations

A very recent decision by Washington’s Court of Appeals has considered and rejected a challenge based on constitutional due process arguments to the provisions in the Department of Labor and Industries law, which I have previously written on concerning appeals of “notices of infraction.”

I had previously written about the appeal provisions in connection with the Washington Contractor Registration Law. Those appeal provisions require the person who receives the Notice of Infraction to pay a $200 fee to the Office of Administrative Hearings in order to have the right to appeal.

In the specific case the court decided, a licensed electrical contractor received notices of eight infractions and was required to pay $1,600 to appeal. The contractor argued that it violated his right to due process of law to put a “toll gate” at the courthouse. The court did not agree with that argument. The court relied on some decisions by the United States Supreme Court that say that there are different levels of protection for rights that fall under the heading of “due process.” The United States Supreme Court has said that if a right is “solely economic,” then there is nothing wrong with requiring someone to pay for access to the courts to vindicate that right.

I also recently wrote about another Washington Court of Appeals case that involved a dog owner’s appeal of a dangerous dog order by Pierce County. In that case, the court held that the requirement of a filing fee to appeal was a violation of due process.

The court said that the dog owner case, decided by a different division of the Court of Appeals, could be reconciled with the electrical contractor’s case because the dog owner case involved potential loss of pets, which are not all the same and potential criminal liability for later violations of the county’s animal control ordinances. However, the Pierce County dog owner case did involve the economic issue of the additional registration fees and liability insurance the dog owner faced as a result of the dangerous dog finding.

It will be interesting to see what happens if the state Supreme Court considers this appeal or if the same division of the Court of Appeals that decided the dog owner case has occasion to consider a Labor and Industries penalty appeal case. It seems to me that the same potential for criminal liability for subsequent violations of the poorly written contractor registration statute exists, as existed in the dog owner case, and that could convince the court that the requirement for paying a fee to appeal an infraction is a violation of constitutional right.

The Court of Appeals seemed to be persuaded in the electrical contractor case that for a licensed professional, the defense of a penalty claim was just a cost of doing business, and hence “purely economic.” This case is not a particularly good omen for those investors who may be doing rehabs that the Department may consider require registration as a contractor.

So far, I have not seen any cases go through the courts on the contractor registration law, so we are still waiting for a definitive determination on what the statute actually means. In the meantime, given the penchant for the Department to write multiple violations when it can, the price tag for an appeal just to get into the hearing room can be substantial.

The foregoing is not to be considered as legal advice and is intended solely for educational purposes.

About the author…
Doug Owens practices real estate law and general business law from his office in Seattle. He offers a 20% discount for REAPS members and he can be reached at (206)985-6679 or [email protected]

“REAPS is the oldest – and largest – Professional Association for the real estate investor this side of the Mississippi. We provide education and networking resources for real estate investors, those who want to be investors and anyone who provides value to our members. Our goals are to motivate and support our members and guests through education, discussion, legislative action and networking. We host over 40 live events a year around Puget Sound and they are all open to the public. If you’ve never attended one of our meetings, just email our office at [email protected] and be our guest for free!”

 

 

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Jun
21

REAPS Welcomes Alan Cowgill

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 A SPECIAL MESSAGE from Alan Cowgill, our guest speaker for REAPS Main Meeting June 2012

This topic is near and dear to my heart. When I started my real estate career, I heard about the necessity of finding private lenders. I even found two! But then I stopped. For four years I procrastinated. I didn’t get it!!! For four years I continued to go to banks and jump through their hoops. I also had used hard money lenders, but found very expensive. It wasn’t until I quit my J.O.B. and found that banks wouldn’t loan me money that I realized that I needed to bring private lenders into my life quickly. When I took that step, everything changed for the better. What are some of the advantages of using private money for your real estate investments? Well, if you haven’t decided whether or not to use private money, I decided to lay it on the line here for everyone to see.

  • Fast & you can buy at a discount.
  • No credit check & doesn’t show up on your credit report.
  • Unlimited funds.
  • Control— you set the rules.
  • Help friends, family & meet a great group of people.
  • Get some of your profit when you buy.
  • Cash flow.
  • Flexible.
  • Can make offers with confidence.
  • Can structure quick and more profitable exit strategies.
  • Saves you money.
  • Cheaper than a partner.
  • Fund the purchase of defaulted paper.
  • It is the foundation for a very profitable brokerage business.

In this business when a deal comes along you have to move.  Many investors have watched a deal slip through their  while they waited for the bank to approve their loan you have private money available, that won’t happen  you! You can make an offer knowing you can go ahead  set a closing date. Meanwhile, your competition is  how you did it so quickly!

About Alan Cowgill…

Alan is a full-time Real Estate Investor, investing in single family and small multifamily properties in Springfield, Ohio. Since 1995, Alan has done hundreds of real estate transactions. Alan uses mainly Private Lenders, not banks, to fund his real estate purchases. By doing this, he has created his own private bank of private lender funds. Alan looks for “Win—Win” situations, where the seller, the lender and the eventual homeowner can all “Win.” He is not a Realtor, but a Private Investor. He is an author, consultant and national
speaker. Over the past 14 years, Alan Cowgill has perfected 16 methods for attracting people with money, winning their confidence and turning them into private lenders. No wonder he’s interviewed alongside Donald Trump in the book Walking With The Wise: Real Estate Investor.

REAPS June Main Meeting – June 21st

Special Saturday Seminar – June 30th

Register at www.REAPSWeb.com

“REAPS is the oldest – and largest – Professional Association for the real estate investor this side of the Mississippi. We provide education and networking resources for real estate investors, those who want to be investors and anyone who provides value to our members. Our goals are to motivate and support our members and guests through education, discussion, legislative action and networking. We host over 40 live events a year around Puget Sound and they are all open to the public. If you’ve never attended one of our meetings, just email our office at [email protected] and be our guest for free!”

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