This is the latest development in a long long story. The city police are pressuring us and using scare tactics to get us to let them search our home for chickens! Note - my chicken coop is located on a different property because ours is just a couple feet shy of being large enough to legally house the birds on. However, I recently had a sick bird in the house who has since died. Poor thing. She had something wrong internally and slowly wasted away despite all my efforts to save her. I also had a batch of chicks who had hatched out and I kept inside in their brooder until they were old enough to move outside to the coop. So yes, I did indeed have chicks and a chicken in my house. But how would the police know this?! Well it turns out that the community patrol officer conducted an illegal search by going around and peering through our windows. I don't mean the window in our door or along a walkway, but that she went around the back of our home and left the sidewalk and went around the corner of the house and then climbed through bushes so she could press her nose against our windows. This "officer" is in charge of enforcing ordinances for the city like keeping one's grass mowed and one's garbage can area tidy. And she has been gunning for us for years. We aren't really sure why. The only thing we can figure is that she has targeted us because we live in an old (nearly one hundred years) run-down house in a neighborhood of nice upscale homes. It is the oldest home in this part of the city. We bought it only 6 years ago and right before the housing market crashed. Our intention was to fix it up, but then everything changed financially and so here the old house sits just slowly falling apart around us. We really should just give it back to the bank, but our payments are current. However it is now so "upside down" that there is no chance to refinance and it's turned into a money pit It's worth a third less now than what we paid for it. Anyhow, the community officer stalks our house. She is here weekly and walks around our property and if anything is out of line cites us for it. For example, we leave an item in the driveway up by the garage and we are cited for illegal dumping. We have to be careful to always put all garden tools away and never ever leave ANYTHING outside, not even a piece of wood or a bird feeder. Anyway, I am getting off track.... The police contend that they know we are harboring chickens in our home and that if we don't allow a complete search of our home we will be found "guilty" in a municipal hearing and fined thousands of dollars. Locally, the municipality holds hearings with a hearing officer who is a lawyer, but not a judge. Nobody is sworn in. The hearing officer is free to set the fine at any level he deems appropriate as long as it does not exceed a maximum dollar amount per citation. The police do not have to submit any physical proof or follow court procedure because it is not a court. We already had an initial hearing and that hearing officer heard our testimony and then DISMISSED the entire case but ordered us to return one more time for a follow-up. When we reappeared for the follow-up a few weeks later it was a different hearing officer and HE REVERSED EVERYTHING THE FIRST HEARING OFFICER DECIDED WITHOUT HEARING ANY OF OUR TESTIMONY! We are beside ourselves. I had no idea things like this went on in the USA. None of it even makes any sense. We can't even argue that an illegal search was conducted because according to the police and the hearing officer they are not bound by those laws in a municipal hearing! But that's the 4th Amendment! We read an article in the local paper about the municipal "court" that called it a "kangaroo court". Until we read that article we didn't realize it was not actually a court and the "judge" was not actually a judge. The police call it court and refer to the man as the judge. When we went to the first hearing the room was full of people who had been cited for various offenses. They were almost all poor people. The hearing officer fined them one after the other and ordered them to pay the city. The article we read in the paper states that this is how the city is making money and that this system is quite lucrative. This has now dragged on for nearly two months and caused us stress beyond measure. The worst part is that we are now always worried about the officer looking in our windows. I currently have a sick chick with an injured leg that I am "harboring". This all seems crazy to me. You'd think we were running a meth lab the way the cops are treating us! I'm open to advice. Has anyone else gone through anything even close to this?