they're coming to take me away, oh my!
Posted October 19, 2002 - 06:42 AM
Gee, I can't stop shaking! (I miss the "roll-eyes" smilie)
Seems my wife thought I had already seen it and she filed it away in my junk pile not knowing the contents...
I reiterated my demand for my day in court and reassured them that the vehicle and it's documentation was safely out of their jurisdiction. Sent a letter to my state-level senator, too. I don't know how much that will help...he is proudly endorsed on his web site by the Sierra Club...and his fellow Democrat-the-Governor never has responded...
Dared them to arrest me since THAT would GUARANTEE my day in court and I am sick of their assinine threats... The law is on my side. They have done all they can ("lost" my timely registered-letter response last spring demanding my day in court as provided by law, refused to answer emails, verbally agreed I have a good case to kick their butt on the phone, then sent 'official' threats anyway) to keep this out of court and the public's eye.
Golly, I probably better relocate all of my "semi-automatic and assault" guns, bows, arrows, and slingshots, too...These losers are nuts!! Don't want to make their trigger fingers jumpy, ya know...
Please bear in mind this is all for a "mistake" they accuse THEMSELVES of making years ago (under a Republican administration),before I even owned this bike. I have broken NO law, nor have I been ACCUSED of breaking any law WHATSOEVER! But demanding your day in court and telling them "NO, I WILL NOT SURRENDER MY ASSETS JUST 'CAUSE YOU DEMAND IT" is far worse than breaking the law, I guess. Jackbooted Stormtroopers!
Hey, Lewischris, think I can move my family to my fellow Iowan's (Randy Weaver) old cabin up on Ruby Ridge? I seek political asylum!! I'll be your new ridin' partner...
Posted October 19, 2002 - 12:47 PM
Hope you get your day in court and that things go your way.
Hang in there!
Posted October 19, 2002 - 03:14 PM
Moral to the story, stick to your guns and dont give up!!
Posted October 19, 2002 - 07:57 PM
Posted October 21, 2002 - 06:23 AM
Geeez, these guy's sure aren't the sharpest tacks in the drawer are they! Crimony, how much more time are they going to make you put in on these bogus charges. You know your in the right, keep up the good fight ..........ever wonder if gov't officals have too much time on their hands ?
Posted October 21, 2002 - 09:58 AM
I just returned from visits to my county treasurer's office, the county clerk of court, and my friendly local Yamaha dealer in pursuit of action on this matter. I have more support than I imagined, and from sources I can't believe:
County Treasurer's Office: Went to the man who sent me the "surrender or else letter". He said the Supervising DOT Vehicle Enforcement Officer for this region of Iowa had contacted him after speaking with me and had instructed him to not take any action as this matter is pending and he ( the DOT man ) believes I will, or at least should, prevail.
The treasurer's office official also thinks the State DOT is in error and I am right both legally and morally. He suggested some specific political connections who he feels would help me. He,too, wants to see me win. This has complicated his job greatly and is just simply wrong to him. Every officer and official I have actually been able to state my case to has had the same reaction: "Gee, I think you are right." Furthermore, they seem to appreciate and acknowledge the fact that I could probably "go around" this action in numerous ways and save a lot of headaches but refuse to since I want the law set straight once and for all and refuse to run from a fight in which I know I have Right on my side.
We all agree at this point that THE problem is somewhere in the DOT administration where a single individual has misinterpreted the Iowa Code and wrongly sent a directive to the inspection officers to begin retroactively seizing titles and to the county treasurers instructing them not to accept such. The only thing remaining is to figure out HOW to get this to a judge.
I went to the clerk of court to attempt this. I requested the necessary info to file an injunction against the DOT. When told I, as an individual with no lawyer, can't do this nor can he provide any such info, I got a little hot about being denied access to our justice system just because I cannot afford (or find) an attorney who knows squat about this subject. The one I talked to told me the cost to have a lawyer represent me would easily exceed the value of the asset I am trying to defend and cannot afford to lose...
I do not need a lawyer. But the doors of our justice system remain closed to me because the only ones accused of any wrongdoing is the DOT and they are also the accuser (get all that?) . Can't sue the State without the State's permission. I have been charged with no offense and therefore am not entitled to justice?!! This is America, right?...Justice for all... no man shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law...?
The clerk was kind enough to ask what the problem was and was very sympathetic and also reitterated the treasurer's political solution and agreed with his recommendation of one particular representative who owned (his son now does) the local Harley dealership.
On to the Yamaha dealer: Mike the counter guy (and fellow Club member) is writing me a statement to the effect: "As a Yamaha dealer, and an extension, therefore, of Yamaha, we will in no way recognize this highly modified vehicle as being a "Yamaha" or as being manufactured by "Yamaha". We will accept no responsibility whatsoever for this vehicle of which only some of the 'component or donor' parts were manufactured by "Yamaha". Therefore, we object strongly to any government agency to try to apply Yamaha's MSO for the donor vehicle's frame to this homemade vehicle." (It probably helped when the owner (who doesn't really know me) was listening in and I pointed out that I need to win this so I can buy a WR450F w/ e-start, but it would be worthless to me unlicensed... )
This disclaimer is important since Iowa is trying to remove the Iowa VIN and "Title to Reconstructed Vehicle" to accomplish their ends. This Titling was all done quite properly BEFORE the bike was registered and is in full accordance with the law. If Yamaha won't claim it, then it MUST be homemade/reconstructed since it truly does exist, right?
HINT:WE MUST STOP REFERRING TO THESE VEHICLES AS "CONVERSIONS". Iowa, at least, has no laws referring to "conversions", giving agencies such as the DOT far too much discretion. They are and MUST be considered "Reconstructed or Homemade Vehicles" (which ARE acceptable) in the states we have difficulty in. Mine happens to already own such a designation, and that is my ace.
The law they are misapplying states: IAC 761-400.21(4) "The department shall not register a vehicle constructed for off-road use only."
This law is found in a section of the Iowa Administrative Code which sets forth the steps and standards for constructing your own vehicle, including a special section devoted to motorcycles. It is perfectly OK to build your own motorcycle. No part of this law, or any other, limits or restricts the source of the components in ANY way as long as they can be proven to be legally obtained. They do not have to be homemade, or from numerous vehicles, or even from vehicles at all. With one exception: the engine MUST be a motorcycle engine; no more V-8 Harleys, or Volkswagon trikes. No law prevents the DOT from performing its duty in inspecting these owner-built vehicles and, having found them to be in full compliance with safety standards, issuing a lawful Title to Reconstructed Vehicle.
That's IT! Any and/or all of the components from a WR,(or your granddaddy's John Deere!), are fair game so long as the components such as lights that are required to be DOT approved, are. I can actually even show that very FEW of my bike's components are of Yamaha manufacture, and even those have been modified. But none of that matters.
All that matters is the FACT that they did not REGISTER a vehicle "manufactured for off-road use only"!!! They REGISTERED a vehicle ALREADY inspected, certified, and Titled by the DOT themselves as having been Reconstructed for street use and in full accordance with the law. You cannot REGISTER a vehicle without FIRST obtaining a lawful Title (to a street legal vehicle). Off-road vehicles in Iowa do not have Titles. The law they are citing pertains ONLY to Registering, NOT Titling. As for the law's intent, it was clearly intended to prevent vehicles such as quads, golf carts, lawn mowers, etc., from being licensed. NOT motorcycles. Slam dunk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NO ONE has been able to punch any holes in that argument and it is the reason I will win.
I got into the details here, just a bit , for a couple of reasons: I hope this may help others in similar situations, and I would appreciate any ideas and help that any of you might provide. I'm smart, but no genious; I am determined, but it is truly David vs. Goliath...
Again, I want to thank everyone past and present for the info sent about your States' laws, the moral support, and the ideas and suggestions. At this point, I would dearly love to get a disclaimer statement from Yamaha USA themselves. The DOT would not want to take on Yamaha for the same reason they only Title homebuilt/modified Harley's as "reconstructed": They would be misleading future buyers and stepping all over the real Harley's patents and rights and liabilities. Yamaha would be wise to defend their's, as well.
Better get some sleep now, I'm on the OFF-DUTY line of the DOT logbook in which I must literally account for every moment of my entire life...(SCREAM!!!! I can't escape these guys!!)