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Today, September 1st I emailed Mr. S  regarding the court date for a recent citation, with this response:

Mr. S
 
I received a citation for “Large Amount of Non-Permitted Items Stored in Back Driveway”, which I understand I am to answer for by today, September 1. I have every intention of disputing this, but cannot find any information on how to do so.
 
In the meantime, on Friday I learned that my husband is to have throat surgery on Tuesday, September 1. Obviously, I need to be with him at that time. As city hall is closed on the weekend, I tried to call today but could not reach anyone at the number provided on the website, and got no response to the message I left.
 
I still want to discuss this citation, as I believe it does not have merit, but am not able to find out what to do. Can I postpone a hearing? Is there a hearing? What is the protocol here?
 
Thank You for your consideration.
 
 I received a the following response from JO:
 
Mr. S requested that I respond to your email. 
 
Our records reflect that a pre-trial hearing is scheduled for September 15th, 2009 regarding case number —- for outside storage.  I cannot find a September 1st deadline for either of the open code enforcement cases at —-.  Since a citation was issued for case —-the case is now handled by the municipal court.  If you need to reschedule you would need to contact municipal court at 972-484-4112.   
 
Although we cannot reset or reschedule the municipal court hearings, we are available anytime to discuss the case.  Please feel free to contact me at 972-919-2533 if you would like to set up a meeting.
Sincerely,

JO – Building Official
City of Farmers Branch
13000 William Dodson Parkway
Farmers Branch, Texas 75234

To which I responded

Mr. O
 
Thank you for your reply. Upon spending a lot of time searching the website, and calling several people, I finally found the information I needed, thanks to Kenneth at the municipal court. You are correct: I was mistaken about the September 1st date – it is indeed September 15th.
 
Incidentally, I only received one warning prior to being issued the citation: this as a result of an April 7th inspection, which listed several issues. I talked to G about that as he stopped by while I was repairing the fence. We had a nice chat, and he indicated that the outside storage issue was with my “indoor” furniture being outside. I assured him that the furniture was indeed meant for outside: in fact I told him about how I had even sealed the mesquite wood with Thompson’s Water Seal, and that the upholstery is vinyl, not leather as he had thought. Therefore, I heard – and  thought – nothing more about it until I received the citation in July. Imagine my surprise and frustration.
 
I understand that you have pictures of all of the times my property was inspected, including the day I was cleaning and installing shelves in my garage. I am at a loss to determine how I could possibly clean my garage without first removing the contents -maybe the City can advise me. Furthermore, as The Code states that “outside storage” is defined as articles that are “stored” outside for longer than 7 days”, I am curious as to how the brief period I spent cleaning my garage constitutes a violation.
 
Apparently you have photographs documenting inspections. I want copies of those photographs. I know you can email them, so please do so at your earliest convenience.
 
Regards,
 
 
Mr. O sent several pictures at 1:23 p.m. At 1:45 I went outside and noticed the Code Inspection Officer’s truck parked behind the bushes by my back yard and I went to investigate. There was no one in the truck, but soon GR came down the  easement behind my house, camera in hand. I asked him what he was doing, and he told me that JO had instructed him to walk around my house and take pictures. He also said that Mr. O had instructed him to issue a citation for my driveway. When I reminded G that we had already discussed the driveway and he had agreed to hold off until October G denied remembering anything about that.
 
I then fired off the following email to Mr. O:
I just talked to G, who was walking in my neighbor’s back yard in order to take pictures all around my home. Please send copies of all pictures G has.
 
I’ll let you know when I get a response.
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