When issued a notice for a city code violation, does the city have to inform you of the specific code you are in violation of?

This issue is about chickens. A notice was sent about a complaint of chickens on the road near

my house. The chickens were alleged to be mine. My chickens are in a secure confinement

at all times. There is no code prohibiting chickens in town and when I questioned the city coordinator director she could not provide an answer to what specific code I was violating.

How should I proceed?

Asked on April 28, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If there is a trial, hearing, or arraignment date, if you can't resolve it before (e.g. with the City Coordinator), raise that issue at court or the hearing: if you did not violate any code, clearly, you cannot receive a summons; and even if you did violate a code, a failure to identify the one you violated should mean that this case is dismissed (though they could, in that even, re-notice you properly and try again) because without notice of the violation, you did not receive "due process": a chance to defend yourself (you cannot prepare to defend yourself against an unspecified violation).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.