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Pig petition prevailing…real issues not addressed

Minnie and Betsy

Tara Payne with one of the piggies

Posted by on Thursday, January 11th, 2018 @ 11:38 am.

Minnie and Betsy

EFFINGHAM, Ill. - The situation of a family who has two pot-bellied pigs as pets in Effingham is heating up, and local media outlets are jumping on the bandwagon, but while they're featuring some support, they're not getting to the point of the case.

Our page 13 article this issue (January 2018) is a complete account of what's happened with the Payne family and their two adorable porcines, Minnie and Betsy, since back in December when a neighbor made what's likely a false complaint about odor coming from the Payne's Effingham residence. We outline why it's likely false in the article: The pigs aren't large enough in number (being only two of them instead of a whole herd) who have as their "litterbox" a plastic wading pool full of cedar chips that's cleaned daily, and they've been at their location since October 2015, so "why now" probably has more to do with the complaining neighbor than any odor.

A somewhat painful-to-listen-to interview with Effingham mayor Jeff Bloemker was featured on one of the local radio stations yesterday, wherein Bloemker tap-danced around what the real problems are (primarily because the right questions weren't really asked).

The real problems are this: The Paynes say they weren't given proper notice of any infraction; they weren't advised of who the complainant was (so they don't know who the accuser is, part of the Fifth Amendment); they claim they weren't issued a citation; they claim they haven't been apprised of the actual Ordinance Violation; they claim they haven't been advised of what the possible punishment and penalties are; and they haven't been given an opportunity to provide a defense.

All of this is being unaddressed and overlooked by other outlets, and all of it can lead to one whopper of a lawsuit for the city if it's all accurate, because the city can't take action if they didn't handle it properly from the outset, then come and try to take the family pets away as a result. This is known as "due process." An ordinance violation (OV) is in that gray area that's between a civil and a criminal complaint. Nevertheless, if there's an infraction, it must be treated the same way as anyone else is treated who has been accused of violating a law. The Paynes told us over the weekend that none of these actions have yet occurred, and online court files via Judici show that no OV has been issued for the Paynes. And when lawsuit-happy attorneys catch wind of it, they might have an opportunity to explain it in full to the Effingham City Council...in a court of law. For all intents and purposes, it appears that the city council is just shoulder-checking the pigs out the door, hoping the Paynes don't realize that there's a PROCESS by which they can handle this...and the city's not following that process.

Hit this link to read the article in full if you are an online member with the e-Edition (if you're not, that link will take you to the signup page), or head on out before the weather turns really bad and get your print copy of Disclosure at your vendors, which in the Effingham County area include Effingham MotoMart, and Edgewood Store down in Edgewood. In surrounding counties, Jasper has us at Newton Marathon and MVP up on the river outside Falmouth, as well as in Ste. Marie at The Gas Station; in Clay, we're at Needmore Store, Louisville, Discount Tobacco Warehouse and Midtown Package in Flora and The Price Is Right, Clay City; in Richland County at MotoMart, Marilyn's Package and Midtown Package in Olney and RJ's in Noble; and in Marion County at MotoMart in Salem.

And while Bloemker may be all dismissive of the online petition process (because he's thinking "local" petitions, not what a massive petition drive can do on a huge, nationwide or even global scale...which might include an attorney who is a pet lover who will represent the Paynes for free...), that doesn't mean you can't jump on it. Here's the Change.org link. Feel free to sign.

Tara Payne with one of the piggies

Short URL: https://www.disclosurenewsonline.com/?p=99215

Posted by on Jan 11 2018. Filed under Breaking, Effingham. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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