Opinion: huge blow to property rights

Inyo Clerk/ Recorder Kammi Foote

Inyo Clerk/ Recorder Kammi Foote

AB2206 – Another Attempt to Weaken Property Rights  – from Inyo Clerk/ Recorder Kammi Foote

A barrage of new bills was introduced into the California Legislature recently including a bill that masks a huge blow to property rights under the guise of increased public protection. Assembly Bill 2206 by Assemblyman Gomez is almost identical to AB 2299 introduced in the 2011/2012 legislative session by Assemblyman Feuer. The bill would shield the names of public safety officials from land records, which are currently open to public viewing. The reason put forth is to protect these individuals. However, County Recorders and others familiar with the public land records system, recognize the harmful effects this bill would have on property rights.

Under the provisions of AB2206, certain documents that contain the names of public safety officials would no longer be open to public review. Today anyone can research property records and see every document recorded to evaluate its authenticity. This is crucial with the rise of mortgage and real estate fraud that often financially devastates homeowners.

Providing public access to all property records protects against fraudulent conveyances and prevents a situation where only the government would be able to validate home ownership.

With all documents open to public inspection, California citizens can independently research the records to confirm ownership of their own homes and discover if unauthorized documents were recorded.

A strong property system also protects societies in times of financial instability. In many countries today, the general public is kept economically disadvantaged, partly due to their inability to prove ownership to their land. Early in the history of our nation, previous legislators recognized the value of property rights to protect citizens from poverty. They formalized a way for ordinary people to become landowners, a revolutionary concept. Today many people have forgotten that the public land records system transformed our nation, through the use of property, into a land of opportunity.

There are already lawful systems in place that any member of the public can use to help protect their identity from criminal use of land records. Anyone can create a trust or organization that does not make use of their legal name in the public record, but still allows the public land records system to remain intact for its intended use.

The California legislature must recognize the importance of economic stability and fraud prevention above the desire to protect public safety officials from theoretical threats. We already have existing laws that will protect the identity of public safety officials without harming the property rights of every Californian. I urge the California legislature to vote no on AB 2206.


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5 Responses to Opinion: huge blow to property rights

  1. Desert Tortoise March 11, 2014 at 10:27 am #

    There have been instances where LASO deputies have been gunned down in the driveways of their homes. Ask yourself where the bad guys found the addresses of deputies. Prison guards are often shown photos of their homes by inmates. At that point the guard is owned by the gang or they move and find another job. This is a big part of the reason that contraband like drugs and cellphones are so prevalent in prisons. As it stands today organized gangs are able to determine the where LEOs and prison guards live and use this leverage to threaten them, and on occasion kill those who are not impressed by their intimidation tactics.

    This is real life. It is not a nice world we live in. Where do your rights for information overstep a LEOs right to be secure in their home? If it becomes well understood by LEOs and those considering a career in law enforcement that the bad guys can find them at home, how long will it be before we no longer have enough LEOs to do the job? Just another side of the story folks.

    • Kammi Foote March 12, 2014 at 6:56 am #

      Recorders sympathize with the fear of violence that may come from doing our jobs as public servants. Karen Mathews, Stanislaus County Recorder was assaulted in her driveway for her doing her job: http://articles.latimes.com/1995-06-27/news/mn-17748_1_group-members . If any member of law enforcement has concerns that their address is published online they can contact this company: http://policeprivacy.com/ and get all of the tools that they need to remove their personal information from the internet.

      • ConcernedLeo December 31, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

        We all have areas of expertise, so I would not speak about subjects I don’t know about, i.e. how county records are kept. What I would speak to is technology and law enforcement and I do believe its very misleading to say that there are things law enforcement can do to protect ourselves. That particular website you mention for law enforcement is not a hundred percent. It’s only as good as the ability to identify those database storage companies that disseminated the information. So when a new company comes out, then they have to be served with the notice not to release a police officers information. The problem is that once a data management company releases information its not like they can take it right back. By the time they are served the information is out. And as far as the law that protects us, the language is really in place for businesses. The language states that no county agency can post it online but they are allowed to sell it to businesses. The language further says that the companies cannot knowingly post it. Of course that is just a huge loophole for them. So in really the only way to cut off the dissemination of data is to cut it off at the source. Another argument you mention is that its one way to prevent fraud. I honestly don’t understand that argent since the information that would be concealed belongs to the property owner. I don’t know what fraud is being prevented. Bottom line we live in a new age with the internet becoming a huge part of our lives and unfortunately some consequences have arisen from that. But as a police officer, I know I signed up for a dangerous job but that doesn’t mean I should be putting my family in danger. This proposition needs to be revived and approved.

  2. John March 10, 2014 at 7:31 am #

    Welcome to the U.S.S.A.

    • Gistine March 10, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

      Terrifying, isn’t it? First, the Patriot Act, drafted under the guise of “protection,” then NDAA is passed under our noses, and don’t even get me started on gun control and the Trojan Horse that is Obamacare. I don’t need protection from others now so much as I need protection from the tyranny that has taken hold and uprooted our democracy. Many of our so-called “leaders” are really nothing but corporate whores who have, and continue to sell us and our beloved country down the river. Things must change, but they won’t because most people don’t want to know about what is really going on. I don’t blame them. There are times I wish I had never taken the Red Pill. IMHO, now, more than ever, the future is uncertain, so I try to live each day as if it were my last, love everyone in my life with all my heart, and be kind and respect my fellow humans and all creatures on this beautiful earth. At the end of the day, there may be hope, but love is what truly remains.


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