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Voice: Animals illegally taken from family that can't affort the loss

January 31, 2002

The Constitution of the U.S., Article 14, Section 1, states "No state may deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law."

It appears that no government agency in the Imperial Valley believes in the Constitution of the U.S.

The case here is where animals and property were taken from a family off their own property in the Niland area. We are not talking about a stray dog or cat but 80 goats, two horses, a flock of chickens and a stock trailer: estimated value $7,000 to $10,000.

The reasoning for this action was that the animals were abandon. The agencies involved in this confiscation were county animal control, Sheriff's Office, Department of Health, county counsel, DA's office and Niland Fire Department.

A concerned friend of this family trying to help went to all the above agencies to get information as to why this action was taken. The only thing these people were told was that this property was confiscated and given away. All other questions were answered with "This information is not available, we can't give out that information or we don't have any information."

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Many details of this case are missing in this letter because space is not available and facts and details were not forthcoming from the agencies involved.

This family would be considered poor by most standards and cannot afford a lawyer. They are not on welfare and don't want welfare or charity. They just want their animals back.

ED THIEL

El Centro

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