The INDEPENDENT, November 18, 2010 Page 21 From the Sheriff’s Desk… From page 19 there are key differences in the conditions that allow deputies to execute the requirements of criminal and civil law. over property lines – A police officer or sheriff’s deputy fice can get involved. responding to such calls will not be able to make an ar- These are just some of the civil matters that require rest of criminal trespass where a dispute over proper- a judicial review and civil order for the Sheriff’s Office ty lines will require an expert opinion to settle it. A to get involved. And these types of cases represent a judge will need to make a determination in this case. small percentage of the work of our Civil Process Unit. Criminal Law vs. Civil Law Once a judge makes a determination, and determines Civil Process involves executing writs of assistance in Probable cause must be present before a police of- that damages should be awarded to a plaintiff, the civil cases, serving subpoenas in civil matters, serving ficer or sheriff’s deputy may make an arrest in the en- plaintiff will be directed to the sheriff for the enforce- restraining orders, small claim notices, writs of gar- forcement of criminal law. Probable cause is the rea- ment of the court’s order. nishment, restraining orders, and foreclosures of real sonable belief that a person has committed a crime. • Nuisance Complaints – Nuisance complaints are or personal property. The Sheriff may also seize and Witness statements, personal observations of the civil matters. Code enforcement officers get involved sell real or personal property as ordered by the courts. deputy, and other evidence tying the suspect to the with nuisance complaints (noise complaints, kennel vi- Our seven enforcement deputies have been helped crime can make up enough probable cause to make olations, environmental complaints, etc), and may is- greatly by the recent addition of a civil deputy to han- an arrest. To obtain the conviction in court in a criminal sue civil code violation citations to individuals found to dle most of our civil process services. This has freed matter, a judge or jury must be convinced beyond any be in violation of county ordinances. Civil penalties are them up to be more proactive in the deterrence and reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the the result for those who fail to comply with ordinances. detection of criminal law violations throughout Colum- crime. Fines can be levied and pile up. Sheriff’s deputies bia County. All of our deputies work together to provide Criminal laws have been delineated by the state could get involved following a court order in regard to the most effective and efficient Criminal AND Civil law legislature, signed into law by a governor, and are de- unpaid fines that are in default, resulting in a civil resti- enforcement and execution services possible with the signed to keep the public safe and free from the crim- tution order. But no one is going to go to jail for violat- resources we have. inal intent of others. A key distinctive of criminal law is ing a county nuisance ordinance – just like no one is the requirement to prove criminal intent. For example, going to go to jail for running a stop sign. it is a crime for a person to take money belonging to • Theft Complaints based on unpaid someone else through intentional fraud or deception, contracts – Many times we receive a com- power, call your local power but it is generally not a crime to take money from plaint that someone stole the com- From page 16 When the power comes company. someone else through a contractual arrangement plainant’s car. The responding deputy back on, wait a few minutes be- FEMA’s mission is to sup- (such as an agreement to repair a car), and then not learns that the complainant had agreed to fore turning on major appli- port \citizens and first respon- perform the work. sell the car to the suspect on a payment ances to help eliminate prob- ders to ensure that we work to- In both instances, the victim is out the money, but in plan, and the suspect failed to pay. This is lems that could occur if there’s gether to build, sustain, and im- the first, you can prove criminal intent. In the latter, considered a contract violation, and thus a a sharp increase in demand. If prove our capability to prepare criminal intent is much harder to prove. In the latter, a civil matter. The argument is over the con- you think that electric power for, protect against, respond to, judgment must be obtained tract, and a judge will have to has been restored to your area recover from, and mitigate all through the courts that will au- make a determination of the WEATHER REPORT but your home is still without hazards. thorize the sheriff to execute remedy before the Sheriff’s Of- OCTOBER 2010 the court’s directives under civ- Wind storm preparedness tips il law. Sheriff’s deputies in Co- lumbia County execute scores of writs of assistance every year in regard to findings by the courts in civil matters. But before we can get involved in a civil matter, we generally need some order by the court that authorizes us to do so. On the other hand, enforce- ment deputies can take action immediately with their own probable cause when they rea- sonably believe that the intent of perpetrator is criminal in na- ture. Often, police officers re- spond to calls for service only to advise complainants that their complaints are civil in na- ture. They are not trying to blow off the complainant; they are saying that there is nothing they can do about the matter until the court has made a civil judgment. Beside the example I have given above, police offi- cers and sheriff’s deputies of- ten respond to the following calls that end up requiring a ruling by the civil court before law enforcement can get in- volved: • Criminal Trespass com- plaints based on arguments DATE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 TEMPERATURE HI LO 67 66 62 59 66 77 58 65 64 64 61 69 73 65 56 60 61 64 72 73 57 60 56 54 53 48 53 53 55 51 56 47 53 37 34 34 33 50 50 54 46 37 36 33 35 37 27 30 28 29 33 35 38 46 44 41 35 35 45 41 38 33 PRECIP. AMT. T -- -- T -- -- -- .10 .18 .19 -- -- -- .01 -- -- -- -- -- T .01 .07 .94 1.25 .60 .61 .09 .12 T .26 T Temperature and precipitation amounts are from the official U.S. weather station at the Vernonia wa- ter plant. Measurable precipitation in October totalled 4.43 inches.