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

Answers:

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).


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