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Missouri Right to Farm Amendment and Chicken Ordinances

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by bfc3811, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. bfc3811

    bfc3811 Out Of The Brooder

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    In the Missouri primary elections last week, Missourians voted on whether or not a "Right to Farm" Amendment should be added to the state's constitution (read the amendment here: http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/2014ballot/HJRNos117.pdf). For better or worse, it passed. It occurred to me today that local chicken ordinances (and a host of other local restrictions relating to urban agriculture/homesteading) may now be deemed unconstitutional in the state. I found this awesome legal analysis of the amendment and its potential impacts: http://cosgrovelawllc.com/legal-ana...m-constitutional-amendment-1-hj-res-nos-11-7/

    I'm curious, what do folks think? Could this impact the legality of chicken laws in Missouri cities? Any attorneys out there??
     
  2. mrballance

    mrballance Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I read a lot of it till my head hurt. I don't think it will apply to city folk. We could say they are pets or we could say we are farming
     
  3. chicbaby

    chicbaby Out Of The Brooder

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    the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. anything repugnant to it is null and void and without effect. all these statutes and ordinances are unconstitutional. the Constitution was designed to give the government very limited responsibilities, with everything else being left to American citizens and the states(amendments 9 and 10). the constitution does not give us rights, our rights are inherent and god given.

    unfortunately, none of this is taught and our inherent rights have been converted unlawfully to privileges requiring permission, fees and taxes. until the people stand up and perform their duties and responsibilities as American citizens and demand our public servants uphold their oaths and remove all of these things, they will keep getting treated as second class u. s. citizens. most people love this nanny state and don't want to be responsible and free.
     
  4. bfc3811

    bfc3811 Out Of The Brooder

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    I've spoken with two attorneys so far and both agree with me. They think if one were to challenge a city's municipal code which restricts "livestock", the court would rule in favor of the livestock owner, not the city. That's the interesting thing about this law: if you grow food or raise livestock, Missouri law considers you a farmer. Under the new amendment, neither counties nor cities can enact or enforce ordinances that infringe on a farmer's right too farm. Thus, every local law in missouri restricting farming is now considered unconstitutional and illegal. I'd like to see an urban chicken owner challenge a city to see what the court decides. Hell, I don't have the required permit for chickens in KC. If I get turned in, I'll challenge the law.
     
  5. mrballance

    mrballance Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I didn't know you need a permit. I have six hens. Not getting turned in. I'll challenge it too
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I quoted the law (before it was an amendment) in my challenge to my city and ended up with a permit for 85 chickens and 5 roosters.
     
  7. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Overrun With Chickens

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    Local laws take precident to state I think. So if Missouri says OK, but your city says no...you are sol I believe. :( At least according to what I've read, but I'm not a lawyer. Would love if that were different! I am in kc,mo too. And while I have enough land to have enough of a setback to not have to have a permit or neighbors permission, I would love to have more than the 15 allowed!
    And, hi neighbors! Nice to see more poultry peeps from KC!
    What will not appear on the ballot is that the right to farm is, "subject to duly authorized powers, if any, conferred by article VI of the Constitution of Missouri." Article VI of the Constitution is titled Local Government. So your right to farm is subject to local law, which means, governmental infringement of a right. Read HJR 11&7. It's barely over one page in length
    http://www.news-leader.com/story/op...-amendment-allow-restrictions-farms/13200141/
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Which is why I believe the beneficiaries of the amendment to the constitution are large corporations.
     
  9. bfc3811

    bfc3811 Out Of The Brooder

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    Right, but article VI of the mo constitution doesn't give local governments the right to regulate farming.The purpose of this language: "subject to duly authorized powers, if any, conferred by article VI of the Constitution of Missouri." was to retain the constitutional powers of local governments to create laws under other authorities (ex. Public health).

    In fact, there are existing missouri laws that restrict local governments from regulating farming. As I understand it, the purpose of the amendment was twofold: to permanently remove the authority that local governments had to enforce or create laws that regulate agriculture, and to prevent the state from creating new laws that regulate farming. Thus, city ordinances that prohibit farming for the sake of prohibiting farming will be unconstitutional - local governments no longer have that authority. Cities could, via the powers delegated to them by article VI, regulate chickens if they can reason that chickens pose a public health threat. But I don't think that's a reasonable concern and the court would likely reject any such claim. And while I agree, the intention of the law was to protect industrial ag, this is a potential silver lining as far as I'm concerned. The law applies to all missouri counties, cities, and residents. It's now your constitutional right to farm as a missouri resident and no state body or delegated power has the legal right to infringe upon our right to farm. At least this is how I interpret the amendment.
     
  10. bfc3811

    bfc3811 Out Of The Brooder

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    @ChickenCanoe what city do you live in? Are you in an urban area?
     

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