Showing posts with label Dillon Rule. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dillon Rule. Show all posts

Monday, October 27, 2014

Gloucester, VA County Government Document Shows Illegal Ordinance AC 3-18

Gloucester, Public Hearing, Nov. 2014 from Chuck Thompson

All you have to do is go to page 6 in the document above.  We downloaded this from the Gloucester County government website.  They show the illegal ordinance they want to force on everyone.  There are no state codes that match this making it a made up ordinance which is a blatant violation of the Dillon Rule.  The folks running this county have no regard for the rule of law yet they expect you to?  How does that work?

  Now one of the kickers in all of this is that the county attorney, Ted Wilmot, knows this is illegal, but he does not care.  He is just creating an income opportunity for the county.  That's how the county views it.  Never mind the fact that they are going to turn innocent victims into criminals.

  Let's go even further, the county is purposefully putting Animal Control and potentially, the sheriff's deputies at life threatening risk if they are forced to enforce this illegal law.  If someone breaks a window on a vehicle, there could be a big dog in the vehicle who is not going to like this violation and may maim or even kill someone.  We the tax payers are the ones who will have to foot that bill as well.

  Now where is the local media on any of this?  Anyone think they do not know about it?  Sure they do.  They are complicate in all of this through their silence and they wonder why their following keeps dropping?  They no longer report any real news.  They become just as guilty for victims created by this illegal ordinance if they refuse to report on this.

  The Board of Supervisors took an oath of office before they could start on their jobs, now we see what they think of that oath.  It meant nothing to them if they allow this kind of garbage.

We are putting up this video to remind the three new board members what they said when they were running for these Board of Supervisors posts.

County Attorney, Ted Wilmot has been known to lie to the Board of Supervisors in the past, this video is a very interesting study on that.  Ted has worked very hard ever since with his body language but still has many tells.  Sorry, at this point, Ted Wilmot needs to be fired for cause trying to push through illegal ordinances that will wreck total havoc everywhere, even with county employees.

Gloucester, Virginia Links and News, GVLN
Gloucester, Virginia's Best News Source

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Virginia's Dirty Secret That Allows Localities To Create Corrupt Ordinances

English: Attorney General of Virginia Ken Cucc...
English: Attorney General of Virginia Ken Cuccinelli (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
§ 2.2-505. Official opinions of Attorney General.

A. The Attorney General shall give his advice and render official advisory opinions in writing only when requested in writing so to do by one of the following: the Governor; a member of the General Assembly; a judge of a court of record or a judge of a court not of record; the State Corporation Commission; an attorney for the Commonwealth; a county, city or town attorney in those localities in which such office has been created; a clerk of a court of record; a city or county sheriff; a city or county treasurer or similar officer; a commissioner of the revenue or similar officer; a chairman or secretary of an electoral board; or the head of a state department, division, bureau, institution or board.

B. Except in cases where an opinion is requested by the Governor or a member of the General Assembly, the Attorney General shall have no authority to render an official opinion unless the question dealt with is directly related to the discharge of the duties of the official requesting the opinion. Any opinion request to the Attorney General by an attorney for the Commonwealth or county, city or town attorney shall itself be in the form of an opinion embodying a precise statement of all facts together with such attorney's legal conclusions.

If you ever question the legality of local ordinances in the State of Virginia, and you can not find a proper corresponding state code that would seem to go along with the ordinance in your locality, what do you do?  You start asking a lot of questions and perform a good deal of research.  Virginia is a Dillon Rule state.  What that means is that localities can not create their own laws that are not in accordance with state law.  So what happens when you have a locality that has a great deal of ordinances on it's books that are not in accordance with state law?

  Well you follow the chain of command to see about getting them fixed.  What happens when that chain of command does not work?  Well you would think you would go straight to the top.  Report your findings to the state attorney general.  Right?  Wrong.  What you get kicked back at you is the above legal jargon.  The attorney general does not get involved in local matters and even though you may be requesting an investigation you are told that you are seeking an opinion from the attorney general who can not, by state law, get involved.

  Is anyone's BS meter running high?  Ours has been as we have several emails from the state attorney's office showing us the above code and telling us we were seeking an opinion.  No, we were seeking an investigation.  Guess Cuccinelli was to busy running his failed campaign to bother to know this.  The chain of command throughout the state is broken and it needs to be fixed.  Very soon we are going to be calling for new state laws seeking audits of localities for compliance of their ordinances meeting the Dillon Rule, hence, being in compliance with the state as they are required to.  Any locality that fails an audit can have a number of issues occur.  The loss of state funding is one option, criminal charges against the attorney of the locality and board of supervisors is another possibility based on who and how the illegal ordinance(s) may have been voted on and passed.  Audits of the court system and the judges who may uphold the illegal ordinances along with potential criminal charges against any judge who goes along with said illegal ordinances.

  Further audits that require the investigation into anyone who may have been charged under the illegal ordinances and restitution made to anyone found harmed by the illegal ordinances and paid for by those responsible for the creation of the illegal ordinances.  This must be put into place at the state level and very strictly adhered to in order to protect the people of the state.  Otherwise, localities can run all over their local populations or certain sections of it with impunity.  We all know that there is no such thing as equal access to the legal system anymore, even though that is what our founding fathers built with the Federal and State Constitutions.

  We have created a petition on calling for our new governor to seriously look at this and see what it will take to enact such laws and get the office started.  Please sign the petition so that we can get this moving forward.  If localities are required to go through financial audits on a regular ongoing basis to ensure the people are not being robbed, why should audits of our laws be any different?  It still has the very real potential to rob us all.  This is how we insure our future against any potential unjust local government.
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Friday, December 6, 2013

Gloucester, VA Board of Supervisor's Meeting Video for December, 2013

The last meeting for 3 members of the Board of Supervisors and they go out approving yet more ordinances that look to us like very clear violations of county code.  All we can say is we are very glad these criminals are gone.  And of course, they had to pat themselves on their own backs because no one else wants to go any where near them.

County animal control officers may purchase their county-issued
service handguns in the situations set forth in, and subject to the
requirements of, Va. Code § 59.1-148.3, and all amendments thereto, with
the approval of the county administrator.

So what does state code read?

§ 59.1-148.3. Purchase of handguns of certain officers.
A. The Department of State Police, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the State Lottery Department, the Marine Resources Commission, the Capitol Police, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Department of Forestry, any sheriff, any regional jail board or authority and any local police department may allow any full-time sworn law-enforcement officer, deputy, or regional jail officer, a local fire department may allow any full-time sworn fire marshal, the Department of Motor Vehicles may allow any law-enforcement officer, and any institution of higher learning named in § 23-14 may allow any campus police officer appointed pursuant to Chapter 17 (§ 23-232 et seq.) of Title 23, retiring on or after July 1, 1991, who retires (i) after at least 10 years of service, (ii) at 70 years of age or older, or (iii) as a result of a service-incurred disability or who is receiving long-term disability payments for a service-incurred disability with no expectation of returning to the employment where he incurred the disability to purchase the service handgun issued or previously issued to him by the agency or institution at a price of $1. If the previously issued weapon is no longer available, a weapon of like kind may be substituted for that weapon. This privilege shall also extend to any former Superintendent of the Department of State Police who leaves service after a minimum of five years. This privilege shall also extend to any person listed in this subsection who is eligible for retirement with at least 10 years of service who resigns on or after July 1, 1991, in good standing from one of the agencies listed in this section to accept a position covered by the Virginia Retirement System. Other weapons issued by the Department of State Police for personal duty use of an officer, may, with approval of the Superintendent, be sold to the officer subject to the qualifications of this section at a fair market price determined as in subsection B, so long as the weapon is a type and configuration that can be purchased at a regular hardware or sporting goods store by a private citizen without restrictions other than the instant background check.
B. The agencies listed in subsection A may allow any full-time sworn law-enforcement officer who retires with 5 or more years of service, but less than 10, to purchase the service handgun issued to him by the agency at a price equivalent to the weapon's fair market value on the date of the officer's retirement. Any full-time sworn law-enforcement officer employed by any of the agencies listed in subsection A who is retired for disability as a result of a nonservice-incurred disability may purchase the service handgun issued to him by the agency at a price equivalent to the weapon's fair market value on the date of the officer's retirement. Determinations of fair market value may be made by reference to a recognized pricing guide.
C. The agencies listed in subsection A may allow the immediate survivor of any full-time sworn law-enforcement officer (i) who is killed in the line of duty or (ii) who dies in service and has at least 10 years of service to purchase the service handgun issued to the officer by the agency at a price of $1.
D. The governing board of any institution of higher learning named in § 23-14 may allow any campus police officer appointed pursuant to Chapter 17 (§ 23-232 et seq.) of Title 23 who retires on or after July 1, 1991, to purchase the service handgun issued to him at a price equivalent to the weapon's fair market value on the date of the officer's retirement. Determinations of fair market value may be made by reference to a recognized pricing guide.
E. Any officer who at the time of his retirement is a full-time sworn law-enforcement officer with a state agency listed in subsection A, when the agency allows purchases of service handguns, and who retires after 10 years of state service, even if a portion of his service was with another state agency, may purchase the service handgun issued to him by the agency from which he retires at a price of $1.
F. The sheriff of Hanover County may allow any auxiliary or volunteer deputy sheriff with a minimum of 10 years of service, upon leaving office, to purchase for $1 the service handgun issued to him.
G. Any sheriff or local police department, in accordance with written authorization or approval from the local governing body, may allow any auxiliary law-enforcement officer with more than 10 years of service to purchase the service handgun issued to him by the agency at a price that is equivalent to or less than the weapon's fair market value on the date of purchase by the officer.
H. The agencies listed in subsection A may allow any full-time sworn law-enforcement officer currently employed by the agency to purchase his service handgun, with the approval of the chief law-enforcement officer of the agency, at a fair market price. This subsection shall only apply when the agency has purchased new service handguns for its officers, and the handgun subject to the sale is no longer used by the agency or officer in the course of duty.

Nope, don't see Animal Control listed in the above list of who can buy a handgun.  But the county does not care and they are going to sell one to Carl Shipley for all his years of terrorizing animal owners in the county?  Twitching Ted, (I'm still not an attorney), Wilmot, the court jester, county attorney is the one who wrote this code knowing that Virginia is a Dillon Rule state.  Maybe the new board should fire both Ted and Brenda as their first line of duty come January, 2014.  We must say, Twitching Ted performed in his sorry manner giving away the fact you just can't trust this guy?  Watch him in the video.  His body language still has not improved although he has taken a bit more control over his hands when he isn't hiding them.

  Anyone find it odd that Sheriff Warren refuses to take responsibility for selling a handgun to an animal control officer?  Is it because Sheriff Warren is smart enough to know that he can't do that?  Is Brenda being put up as a patsy then for selling a handgun to a retired Animal Control officer?  The fall gal?  It would seem that the new board might just have just cause for termination of two overpaid county employees and they do not get to pass go and collect $200.00 either.  They would just get to go.  

Now here is the real kicker, Chris Hutson stated that he had issues with going with anything other than keeping within the state rules or following the Dillon Rule.  He voted against version 3 of the new county code because he feels like it's in violation of the Dillon Rule and accused Ted of making up his own laws.  Watch the video, it's right there.  All the other board members had no problem with violating state laws?  Anyone have issues with this?  Ted didn't care and neither did Brenda.  Seems they have no issues with violating state laws.  We need criminals running the county why?  Just open the jail cells, those folks could probably do a much better job than these two.  We can just imagine how many people are behind bars that should not be and we see those who should be but are not.

That's okay, we are presently working on a plan that will forever prevent the county from violating Dillon rules in the future.  If they do, it will cost them very dearly and we are working on this at the state level with the introduction of new state laws.  Here is a little preview, it falls in under state compliance audits.  Fail an audit and funding disappears and criminal charges could also be brought along with investigations into the courts depending on the nature of the violations.  That's just a small sample preview.  The state then forces the criminals out of office and may criminally charge the offenders.  Does that make you nervous Ted?  How about you Brenda?  Welcome to accountability for actions.  Coming very soon.

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

More On Gloucester's One Dollar Gun Sales

Regulating Animal Control
Regulating Animal Control (Photo credit: Office of Governor Patrick)

Gloucester One Dollar Gun Sales from Chuck Thompson

Here is the entire issue that was a part of a public discussion last night before the Gloucester, Virginia board of supervisors.  As it turns out, Carl, (Chuck), Shipley decided to whine and cry about being able to buy his gun for one dollar from the county even though he only had 22 years of service in, and county code says you have to have 25 years of service in.  Well, first off, the 25 years of service is in violation of state codes.  Not that this is bad enough, but Animal Control does not qualify as law enforcement per Virginia code.  Now they are granted limited law enforcement capabilities by both state code and local ordinance, but are not technically considered law enforcement by either that we see.  See the above 59.1-148.3 state code.

 It appears Animal Control officers are excluded from section A which is the defining section for the rest of the code.  Carl's complaint was that he wanted to buy his gun for one dollar even though he does not have the right to from what we see in the state code.  Watch the video here as Brenda Garton now plays legal interpretation for state code in violation of the Dillon Rule.

We have gone over the state codes regarding law enforcement officers and animal control officers.  Animal Control at this time is not listed as law enforcement.  They have certain deputized duties of law enforcement, but are not listed as law enforcement at all.  Link to Animal Control officer status with the state.  Now it looks like in the future there will be a new breed that does meet the law enforcement section of state code, but that division has not yet been made law, even though it is on the books to become law.  This link will take you to where the state is looking at Animal Protection Police.  If and when that comes, then those are the ones who will meet law enforcement guidelines of the state.  (More invasions on privacy).

  So what we see in the video is county employees making assumptions in violation of the Dillon Rule regarding Carl Shipley being able to buy a gun for one dollar when he is not classified as law enforcement.   Where was Twitching Ted, (I'm not an attorney), Willymot, the court jester, county attorney on all of this?  Not a word came out of his mouth.  County employees just state Twitches opinion for him, and it does not look as though that opinion was correct.  But hey, when do we actually see these people trying to even consider following any laws anyway?  It's more fun to make them up as you go along.  Even the Sheriff was appalled at the county ordinances not meeting state guidelines.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Gloucester Animal Control Ordinances Debate Continues

Gloucester, Virginia Animal Control Ordinance 3-17 continues it's legal debate as we have heard back from Gloucester County Attorney, Ted Wilmot on his opinion of the code.

First let's once again explore the code and our arguments against it, then we shall turn our attention to his arguments that are pro.  Once we cover his pro arguments, we shall again show you what looks like holes to us.

Gloucester, Virginia Animal Control Ordinance 3-17 reads as follows;

Sec. 3-17. Animals riding in open vehicles.

It shall be unlawful for the operator of any motor vehicle on a pubic road to place or keep an animal in any portion of such vehicle that is open in such a manner so as to permit such animal to jump out of or escape the vehicle or to be thrown from the vehicle by acceleration or stopping of the vehicle or by an accident involving the vehicle. The prohibited portions of a motor vehicle shall include, but not be limited to:

(1)The open bed of a truck or upon a motorcycle; or

(2)The rear storage portion of a vehicle with the tailgate, truck, or hatchback portion open or down. For the purposes of this section, the operator of a motor vehicle shall be deemed to have control of any animal found there.

Our arguments here are that we can not find any corresponding state code to the above local ordinance which is what the Dillon Rule would seem to argue for.  It appears to us to be made up.  We received confirmation from the Gloucester County attorney, Ted Wilmot, that it is in fact made up.  However, he claims justification for it.  Here is his argument.

"There does not appear to be one specific Virginia State Code section constituting enabling legislation for Gloucester County Code Section 3-17. However, that code section’s requirements are legally defensible regulatory measures in light of the following:

1. The section is limited to public roads and public places, and does not regulate activity on private property;

2. Va. Code Section 3.2-6570 prohibits the carrying by vehicle of any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner;

3. The County has the authority to prohibit cruelty to and abuse of animals and fowl, see Va. Code Sections 3.2-6544(B) and 3.2-6543;

4. The County has the authority to prohibit animals running at large (see, e.g., Va. Code Sections 15.2-1218, 3.2-6538, 3.2-6543, and 3.2-6544) ;

5. The County has the authority to require that animals have “adequate shelter.” “Adequate shelter” is defined, in part, by Va. Code Section 3.2-6500, to include shelter that is “safe and protects each animal from injury.”;

6. No case or opinion of the Attorney General of which I am aware demonstrates the unlawfulness of Gloucester County Code Section 3-17; and

7. Va. Code Section 15.2-1201 generally vests in the County Board of Supervisors the same authority and powers as are vested in City Councils. Va. Code Section 15.2-1102 vests in municipal corporations (here, cities) the authority to legislate to protect welfare, safety and health.

I hope that you can understand and appreciate that one of my roles is to defend and assist in enforcing the ordinances passed by the Board the citizens have elected, at least unless such an ordinance has been declared unlawful by a court of competent jurisdiction, or is clearly unlawful even without a court determination. Mr. Thompson’s assertion the Section 3-17 is unlawful is not sufficient for me to agree.

Ted Wilmot"

So here we have Ted stating that it's fine to create new ordinances via hodge podge means.  Just cut and paste areas of state codes from various sections.  Even if it creates new meanings, it's justified.  We sent a message back that if the codes are already in place, there is no reason to duplicate them in new manners especially when those manners have a tendency to change the meaning of the original codes.  To be fair, we also stated that we are going to create a new form questionnaire and send it out to other attorney's, the state and law schools to get their opinion on all of this.  

The form will be ready before the end of this week.  

Argument 6 from above, Ted states that he is unaware of any opinion the Attorney General may have on Gloucester County ordinance 3-17, well if the Attorney General has not seen it, why would he have an opinion on it?  Bad argument there.

Argument 7 from above, Ted states that counties in Virginia have the same rights as city councils.  So?  What is that supposed to mean?  Does that mean that both counties and cities can make up whatever ordinances they want in violation of the Dillon Rule?  I don't think so.  

From what we see of Ted's arguments, as already stated, codes are already on the books to cover the proper protection of animals.  So there really is no reason whatsoever to duplicate them through a mosaic of words that create new meanings, unless of course the final desired results were to create new meanings.

The Dillon Rule Applied In Another Virginia County:

The Dillon Rule Defined:

What is the Dillon Rule?

The Dillon Rule is used in interpreting state law when there is a question of whether or not a local government has a certain power. Lawyers call it a rule of statutory construction.

Dillon's Rule construes grants of power to localities very narrowly. The bottom line is that if there is a question about a local government's power or authority, then the local government does not receive the benefit of the doubt. Under Dillon's rule, one must assume that the local government does not have the power in question.

In legal language, the first part of Dillon's Rule reads like this: Local governments have only three types of powers, those granted in express words, those necessarily or fairly implied in or incident to the powers expressly granted and those essential to the declared objects and purposes of the corporation, not simply convenient, but indispensable.

It is the second part of the Dillon Rule, however, that puts the vice on local government's powers. 

This part states that if there is any reasonable doubt whether a power has been conferred on a local government, then the power has not been conferred. This is known as a rule strict construction of local government powers.  Fairfax County PDf of the Dillon Rule.  Sent to Ted Wilmot, Brenda Garton and the entire Gloucester County board of supervisors.
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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Gloucester, VA Ordinance Violations To The Dillion Rule

We are starting a new monthly segment here on GVLN.  The objective?  To expose Gloucester County Ordinances that are on the county's books that look to be in violation of the Dillon Rule, hence in violation of state codes.

  Gloucester County Officials that seem to make up their own laws for their own agenda's despite knowing that doing such is a violation to their offices, oath of office and intentional and willful breaking of laws.

  What we are including with each of these is background information as it is given to us.  The first one we are looking at is Animal Control ordinance 3-17, Animals Riding In Open Vehicles.  Here is the background given to us, this is a Louise Theberge, Mark Hawkins ordinance designed to to go after one specific Gloucester County resident that it is said, Mark Hawkins does not like and wanted to get something on this resident.

  Please note:  We can not verify this information.  Officials will deny such no matter what as it would implicate them on willfully and knowingly breaking laws.  Also, the person this happened to, we can not report on as it could jeopardize that individual.  We are only showing here what has been told to us.  We are not reporting it as fact.  If proven to be wrong, we will be happy to post a correction.  Please do not consider this information as accurate unless evidence can be produced to show such.  This is just third party hearsay creating background history that could prove false.  The questions to the legitimacy or validity of the Gloucester County AC ordinance is very real however.

  Here is the county ordinance as it presently reads for Gloucester Animal Control.

Sec. 3-17. Animals riding in open vehicles.

It shall be unlawful for the operator of any motor vehicle on a pubic road to place or keep an animal in any portion of such vehicle that is open in such a manner so as to permit such animal to jump out of or escape the vehicle or to be thrown from the vehicle by acceleration or stopping of the vehicle or by an accident involving the vehicle. The prohibited portions of a motor vehicle shall include, but not be limited to:

(1)The open bed of a truck or upon a motorcycle; or

(2)The rear storage portion of a vehicle with the tailgate, truck, or hatchback portion open or down. For the purposes of this section, the operator of a motor vehicle shall be deemed to have control of any animal found there.

State Code:

§ 3.2-6508. Transporting animals; requirements; penalty.

A. No owner, railroad or other common carrier when transporting any animal shall allow that animal to be confined in any type of conveyance more than 24 consecutive hours without being exercised, properly rested, fed and watered
as necessary for that particular type and species of animal. A reasonable extension of this time shall be permitted when an accident, storm or other act of God causes a delay. Adequate space in the primary enclosure within any type
of conveyance shall be provided each animal depending upon the particular type and species of animal.

B. No person shall import into the Commonwealth, nor export from the Commonwealth, for the purpose of sale or
offering for sale any dog or cat under the age of eight weeks without its dam.

C. Violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

3.2-6503. Care of companion animals by owner; penalty.
(AKA AC Ordinance 3-15 in state version).

A. Each owner shall provide for each of his companion animals:
1. Adequate feed;
2. Adequate water;
3. Adequate shelter that is properly cleaned;
4. Adequate space in the primary enclosure for the particular type of animal depending upon its age, size, species,
and weight;
5. Adequate exercise;
6. Adequate care, treatment, and transportation; and
7. Veterinary care when needed to prevent suffering or disease transmission.
The provisions of this section shall also apply to every pound, animal shelter, or other releasing agency, and every foster care provider, dealer, pet shop, exhibitor, kennel, groomer, and boarding establishment. This section shall not
require that animals used as food for other animals be euthanized.

B. Violation of this section is a Class 4 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent violation of subdivision A 1, A 2, A

3, or A 7 is a Class 2 misdemeanor and a second or subsequent violation of subdivision A 4, A 5, or A 6 is a Class 3

The state codes above are the closest we could find to Gloucester's AC ordinance 3-17.  Not within the context of meeting any Dillon Rule.  In fact, 3-17 appears to us to be a complete fabrication.  Not allowed under state codes.  Plus we will point out that these other state codes cover everything needed for law enforcement to do their jobs.

Therefore we challenge Gloucester officials to show the state code that matches this ordinance and prove that this is within the Dillon Rule and within state codes or request the removal of this ordinance from the books at once under state mandated procedures.  Not doing so after being informed of such violations is a violation to the oath of office and proper codes of conduct.

We do not want a nanny state and will not tolerate such.  We ask that Gloucester officials follow the rules the same as they expect us to.  We will continue to look at ordinances each and every month and do this until they are all cleared off the books or shown to be valid.  We already have a list like this and will be producing these requests at least one per month.  Or Gloucester officials can start cleaning them all up on their own without us showing them everything we keep finding. 

Final note:  We are not attorney's and none of this is to be considered legal advice in any way. We are simply looking at the facts and asking questions along with requesting corrections.
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Friday, January 11, 2013

Gloucester, VA - Dillon Rule For State And Local Government And Home Rule Laws

Once again we have heard from the person who stated yes to Gloucester Animal Control Law, Section 3-15 being a valid law.  The following is the recent reply and we again wish to thank that person for taking the time to respond and the invaluable argument that person gives as well as contributing to the knowledge base of us all.

Me again. I think the discussion is moving in the correct direction. I would suggest that the intent of 6543 is to permit local governments to adopt AND make more stringent ordinances that parallel the sections listed. Localities may adopt parallel ordinances for all of the code so long as they are not more stringent. In fact, they do not need to do so because the locality could simply rely on the state code to file charges. Adopting codes locally serves to make ordinances overall more clear and transparent so a citizen does not have to navigate a few applicable ordinances in local law (that in this case are permitted to be more stringent) and a few from state law never really knowing if they have observed all laws. 

So, I continue to maintain that if you do not like the ordinance, your beef should be with the state, not the locality. This is particularly true in Virginia given it is a "Dillon Rule" state.

I trust this information is useful.

One argument I have here is the use of "Adopt AND" phrase in the above argument. In state law 3.2-6543, there is a coma after adopt in the wording that the state uses and it is there for a reason.  It has a meaning.  If the state law makers meant "adopt and", then they would not have used the coma in the sentence.  In law, the coma break is used to signify the proper context of the meaning.  Now let's look at the Dillon Rule.


Dillon Rule in Virginia

Fairfax County operates under the urban county executive form of government, an optional form of Virginia county government, and like other Virginia local governments,Fairfax County has limited powers.
More specifically, Virginia courts have concluded that local governments in Virginia have only:
  1. Those powers that are specifically conferred on them by the Virginia General Assembly
  2. Those powers that are necessarily or fairly implied from a specific grant of authority
  3. Those powers that are essential to the purposes of government -- not simply convenient but indispensable
This doctrine of limited authority for local governments is commonly called the Dillon Rule, a name that is derived from the writings of John Forest Dillon, who served as a judge, a law professor and an author of legal textbooks in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The Dillon Rule is used in interpreting law when there is a question of whether or not a local government has a certain power. The Dillon Rule narrowly defines the power of local governments. It also states that if there is any reasonable doubt whether a power has been conferred on a local government, then the power has NOT been conferred.
The Dillon Rule as a concept is found in all states – meaning that apart from the power ceded to the federal government in the U.S Constitution, the state governments have all the remaining governmental authority. However, most states have adopted various types of “home rule” provisions that permit some or all of their local governments to undertake those governmental functions that are not specifically precluded by the laws of those home rule states. Virginia has not provided such home rule authority to its local governments.
The Virginia Supreme Court and other Virginia courts routinely apply the Dillon Rule to determine whether or not a local government has the legal authority to undertake a disputed action. For well-established county functions, like planning, zoning, and taxation, there are a number of statutes that give the county clear direction and authority to act, but in new areas of governmental concern, the Dillon Rule can serve as a constraint to innovative governmental responses.
This means that Fairfax County has limited powers in areas such as raising revenue, and it cannot take certain actions without appropriate action from the state, which limits revenue diversification options among other things.

The above is reprinted from the Fairfax County Government web site.

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Home Rule Law & Legal Definition

Home rule is the power of a local city or county to set up its own system of self-government without receiving a charter from the state. Home rule is allowed under some state constitutions. The authority to act in local affairs is transferred from state law to a local charter, adopted and, as need be amended, by the voters through referendum. Home rule shifts much of the responsibility for local government from the state legislature to the local community. A county that adopts a home rule charter has the ability to amend its governmental organization and powers to suit its needs. A home rule charter is, in essence, a local constitution.
A home rule county is still subject to restrictions found in the United States Constitution, state constitutions, and in state laws applicable to all counties. While not restricted to only things specifically authorized by state law, home rule counties can do anything not specifically forbidden by state or federal law.

The "Home Rule" definition is reprinted from US Legal web site.  The link will take you right to the definition as re printed above.

  So again, I like the argument.  It is very clear, well thought out and executed, however I still see all of these flaws.  So again, I argue that the state has not authorized the county to import and or alter Gloucester County Animal Control Section 3-15 as derived from state law 3.2-6503 as it pertains to what the state does permit under 3.2-6543 which only allows restricted adoptions of certain laws and 3.2-6503 not on the approved list for adoption.  No where do we see the Dillon Rule working on Gloucester County's behalf, but instead, against it.  The Dillon Rule is limited government not expanded government.  To import 3.2-6503 and alter it is an expansion of power, not a limitation of power and definitely not a transparent use of law but more like an abuse of law in our view.

§ 15.2-1425. Actions by localities.
The governing body of every locality in the performance of its duties, obligations and functions may adopt, as appropriate, ordinances, resolutions and motions.

  If you wish to argue this as being open to adopting state laws under the Dillon Rule, we don't see it as a valid argument.  We have gone through the laws of what localities can and can not do, 3.2-6543 seems to stand as what localities may adopt for the laws and or ordinances of each locality within the state under Animal Control Laws.  Section 3-15 of Gloucester County Animal Control Law does not seem to stand the test as it is derived from 3.2-6503 of Virginia State law that does not fall under 3.2-6543 as having the ability to be adopted by localities.  Again the coma after the word, "Adopt" in the state law 3.2-6543 is the key here.

  If I were to hazard a guess as to who our person is with a brilliant grasp of our legal system, I would guess that it's a person who is employed by the Gloucester County government.  If I were to hazard an even further guess as to exactly who this person is I would hazard it to be Ted Wilmot, the Gloucester County Attorney.  These are only guesses.  Either way, it seems clear that the intent of the continuing arguments for 3-15 is in defense for having the law on the books of Gloucester County as it has the ability to raise plenty of money for the county and court system.  Taking it off the books would cause a serious cash flow issue for the county and certain services which in many cases seems more like citizen dis services as it seems to be abused by Animal Control officers on a regular basis.

  Still I like the arguments and would prefer them to continue.  It's a learning curve and I will not say we are 100 percent right.  There could be areas we are missing.  After all, we are not attorney's and this is not meant as legal advice in anyway.  It's just questioning everything.  Again, thank you and  please continue the input and we ask that you not take offense to our arguments.  We all have something to learn from it.

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