Understanding How To Deal With Government
Since every city in Faulkner County is so different, it is very important to have a resource to know where to go, whom to contact, when you can contact them to get necessary things done.
For example, not every portion of the county has an animal control agency. Some areas do not need such an agency. Others do need an animal control agency. However, in those who do, the specific rules and methods of operation may be different.
This is America. We don’t all have to do things alike. Government is supposed to be adjustable to the people. Not the other way around like governments where there is central planning as in dictatorial and Marxist governments.
That is why we have designed the information for each area to be available at the click of a mouse at your desktop computer or laptop computer or your smart phone. Be sure to send in comments about areas we have not yet provided. Ask us a question if you can’t get in touch with a government bureaucrat. Tell us your situation. Our commitment to you is to use the power of the press to open up government and get their cooperation.
If you remember from the study of civics, we the people are the government. The municipal corporations we call cities and counties, or school boards, fire departments and water improvement districts are public service agencies. The people who work in this public service agency are public servants. They are there to serve and to a limited degree, regulate.
One interesting aspect of public service agencies is that they seem to get the notion in their well-meaning noggins that they are to regulate almost every breath you take within their purview. Such is not the case. In America, as the most recent election demonstrates, the people will rise up and make changes when the public servants and their public service agencies begin to over regulate and in some case even rule over the people.
This nation and all its parts were not designed to be nation of the government, by the government and for the government. We the people designed it to be of the people by the people and for the people.
Here is some very good input from a very sharp lawyer who has had to deal with the many frustrations that citizens experience in dealing with their various and complex levels of government.
If they come a knock’in… and ask’in lots of questions…
If the gov’mint comes a knock’in and they’re ask’in lots of questions, about you or people you know, consider this statement told to me year’s ago…”When you go to them with a problem, they may be your friend, but when they come to talk to you, they are NEVER your friend. Be leary of them.”
Consider the information below as a public service message. Be brave enough to stand up and ask some questions.
Some words of encouragement that will help you deal with your very complex public service agencies. Remember, they are there to serve the public, not rule over it:
- “There’s nothing wrong with asking those questions, but there’s no requirement in the law that they all be answered. I don’t think you could ever require a public servant disclose his or her residence address when acting within the scope of their job. Office address, yes.”
- “It is kind of meaningless to ask them if they will uphold the Constitution, since even if they answer “yes,” whether they are acting within the Constitution is a legal question for a court to ultimately decide if the agent’s conduct becomes an issue. They took an oath of office already, and that oath requires them to support and defend the Constitution. They’re not going to say, “no.” And if they do violate their oath, the signed questionnaire answer will be superfluous.”
- Questions as to whether cooperation is voluntary or mandatory, and consequences for not answering, are good ones. I suspect few agents will give you a direct answer unless they know they can charge you for obstruction of justice, etc. If you really don’t want to talk, it makes sense to ask whether the agent thinks you must talk, or else.”
- “You really can’t require agents to disclose third parties, and information they’ve obtained from them, as a general matter. Think about a criminal investigation. You can’t have a witnesses’ testimony tainted by telling them what another witness saw or heard, for example.”
- Of course, no public servant is going to sign such a questionnaire. But as a general matter, it wouldn’t hurt to have the list handy to ask some of the questions orally. If the agent refuses to answer the important ones, then my attitude could well be less cooperative than if they were forthcoming with me.”
- The following is a basic set of written questions you may ask to a public servant if you sense that they have become arrogant when you have not yourself become arrogant. Just use the questions you deem appropriate. Very few people can afford to hire a lawyer to deal with public servants, unless they have a Pre-Paid Legal Insurance Policy. That is not what the rich folks have but it is what the working folks have because it will certainly help in such matters. A policy like that is about $25-$30 per month. You can check them out on their website by clicking this sentence.
We call the Public Servant Questionnaire the PSQ. Cut and paste the questions you feel appropriate to help you deal with a problem or disagreement with a public service agency or a particular public servant. All PSQ’s, that you custom design using the scripts below need to be addressed to a particular public servant. If you want the power of the press behind you, send us a copy as well. You can also provide us a specific power of attorney to gather information on your behalf if you try to get cooperation and fail. That document is ready to cut and paste below the PSQ.
Above all, it is damaging to your cause for you to become arrogant yourself. Law enforcement officers have been known to charge citizens with disorderly conduct for displaying too much arrogance. Just because a public servant displays too much arrogance does not give you the right to do the same. Our constitution gives us the absolute right to “redress our grievances.” The founders of our great nation were exceptional in their wisdom by listening to the Great Creator and cleaning from Him the inalienable rights God gave us. The PSQ is designed to assist you in redressing your grievances. (They knew we would have them.)
Down-loadable version of the Public Servant’s Questionnaire: Public Servant Questionnaire
THE PUBLIC SERVANT QUESTIONNAIRE
by Daniel J. Schultz. Daniel
Points To Remember:
- An American does not have to speak with a government agent unless the citizen has been arrested.
- Americans have a right to privacy, to be left alone.
- The PRIVACY ACT OF 1974 (Public Law 93-579), empowers citizens to require full, written disclosure from a government official who seeks information.
- You may insist on complete disclosure as a precondition to speaking with any government official.
The Limits On Governmental Powers:
- Agents of the government for no apparent reason sometimes visit law-abiding citizens. It is helpful, at the time of these visits, to recall that unless a citizen has been placed under arrest either because a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe the citizen has committed a crime or because the officer has in his possession an arrest warrant issued by a judge who believes there is probable cause the citizen has committed a crime, a citizen does not have to entertain the company of government agents.
- Citizens also have the right, guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, not to testify against themselves. Thus, when “the government” comes knocking on one’s door, you have the right to simply say, “Please go away.” Unless the government officer places you under arrest (there must be probable cause, or an arrest warrant based on probable cause), the officer must obey your wishes.
Be Helpful…. On Your Terms:
- Of course, citizens also have a vested interest in assisting “the government” in its role of crime-solver. Most of us understand the need to help “the government” to apprehend criminals. But it is also helpful, when “the government” arrives at your place of employment or at your home, to know how to find out why government agents have appeared on YOUR doorstep.
- A handy little questionnaire that I came across years ago will do the trick. It’s called the “Public Servant Questionnaire.” A version accompanies this article. The “PSQ” was developed by Lynn Johnston, author of Who’s Afraid of the IRS? (Libertarian Review Foundation: 1983, ISBN 0-930073-03-7).
- The PSQ is based on the requirements placed upon the government by the Privacy Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-579), an amending law to Title 5, United States Code, Section 552, and is included as Section 552a.
- If a citizen chooses to cooperate with government officials who are seeking information, BEFORE questioning begins, the citizen should politely inform the government agent or agents that a prerequisite for the citizen’s cooperation with “the government” is the agent’s cooperation with the citizen.
Do It Right, The First Time:
- The questions should then be put to each agent, and the citizen should enter the answers onto the questionnaire. Copies should be provided to each agent, either at the time of the questioning or by mail to the agent after the visit. The questionnaire informs the government agent that the citizen knows his rights and knows which limited powers the government agent has been granted by the people.
- Most probably some government agents will not want to fill out or sign the PSQ. That’s fine. They can then be sent on their merry way. They may need to explain to their superiors, and a court of law, and a jury, on another day, why they refused to cooperate with the reasonable questions of the highest officeholder in the land, a citizen.
PUBLIC SERVANT’S QUESTIONNAIRE – (Add more line space where needed)
Public Law 93-579 states in part: “The purpose of this Act is to provide certain safeguards for an individual against invasion of personal privacy requiring Federal agencies… to permit an individual to determine what records pertaining to him are collected, maintained, used or disseminated by such agencies….” Any exemptions in Arkansas, by which a public service agency or public servant claims exemption are limited to those defined in Arkansas Code Annotated 25-19-105.
The following questions are based upon that act and are necessary for this individual to make a reasonable determination concerning divulgence of information to this agency:
- Name of public servant: _______________________________
- Residence address: ___________________________________
- City _________________________________
- State _________
- Zip __________
- Name of department of government, bureau, or agency by which public servant is employed: _______________________________________
- Supervisor’s name: ______________________________
- Office mailing address:_________________________________
- City ___________________________________
- State _________
- Zip __________
- Will public servant uphold the Constitution of the United States of America by keeping his or her oath of office? Yes ______ No ______
- Did public servant furnish proof of identity? Yes ______ No ______
- What was the nature of proof?
- ID No. _____________________
- Badge No. _____________________
- Driver’s License No. _____________________
- Will public servant furnish a copy of the law or regulation which authorizes this investigation? Yes ______ No ______
- Will the public servant read aloud that portion of the law authorizing the questions he will ask? Yes ______ No ______
- Are the citizen’s answers voluntary? ______ Or Mandatory? ______
- Are the questions to be asked based upon a specific law or regulation? ______
- Are they being used as a discovery process? ______
- What other uses may be made of this information? ______________________
- What other agencies may have access to this information? __________
- What will be the effect upon me if I should choose to not answer any part of these questions? ________________________
- Name of person in government requesting that this investigation be made? _____
- Is this investigation “general?” ______ or is it “special?” ______ NOTE: By “general” is meant any kind of blanket investigation in which a number of persons are involved because of geography, type of business, sex, religion, race, schooling, income, etc. By “special” is meant any investigation of an individual nature in which others are not involved.
- Have you consulted, questioned, interviewed, or received information from any third party relative to this investigation? Yes ______ No ______
- If yes, the identity of all such third parties? ____________________
- Do you reasonably anticipate either a civil or criminal action to be initiated or pursued based upon any of the information, which you seek? Yes ______ No ______
- Is there a file of records, information, or correspondence relating to me being maintained by this agency? Yes ______ No ______
- Is this agency using any information pertaining to me which was supplied by another agency or government source? Yes______ No ______
- If yes, which agencies and/or sources? _____________________________
- Will the public servant guarantee that any other department other than the one by whom he is employed will not use the information in these files? Yes ______ No ______
AFFIRMATION BY PUBLIC SERVANT
I, __________________________________________________, swear (or affirm) that the answers I have given to the foregoing questions are complete and correct in every particular.
_________________________________________________ Date: ____/____/____
(Must be signed & dated in ink. Two people should witness this signature, if possible. Citizen may administer an oath if he or she so desires.)
Witness ______________________________________________________ Date: ____/____/____
Witness ______________________________________________________ Date: ____/____/____
Daniel J. Schultz. Daniel is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York and a practicing attorney in Los Angeles, California. He is the President, and a co-founding member of The Lawyer’s Second Amendment Society (LSAS), a nationwide network of pro-right to keep and bear arms attorneys. Inquiries to the LSAS may be made to 818-734-3066 or by writing to the LSAS, 18034 Ventura Blvd, No. 329, Encino, CA 91316. The email address for the LSAS is: LSAS3@aol.com
SPECIFIC LIMITED POWER OF ATTORNEY
Authority to obtain information on behalf of in citizen from a specified public service agency and/or public servant
I, _____________________________________________________, a resident of
STATE: _______________________________, hereby designate
STATE: _______ as my attorney-in-fact (referred to as “the Agent”) on the following terms and conditions:
1. Authority to Act: The Agent is authorized to act for me under this Power of Attorney as described herein.
2. Powers of Agent. The Agent may act and exercise power, authority and control on my behalf, with regard to obtaining the following the following information of my behalf:
Incident or Cause(s) of Concern: _____________________
Description of information I have a need to know: _______________________
History, if any that leads me to require this information: _____________________________
Limited to the following enumerated powers: Arkansas Code Annotated 25-19-105 Exemptions
Durability: This Power of Attorney shall expire ninety (90) days from its date of execution, or at an earlier date if revoked by me in writing, or at such time as the motor vehicle is returned to my possession.
Reliance by Third Parties: Third parties may rely upon the representations of the Agent as to all matters regarding powers granted to the Agent. No person who acts in reliance on the representations of the Agent or the authority granted under this Power of Attorney shall incur any liability to me or to my estate for permitting the Agent to exercise any power prior to actual knowledge that the Power of Attorney has been revoked or terminated by operation of law or otherwise.
Indemnification of Investigative News Agent and/or Agency
No agent named or substituted in this power shall incur any liability to me for acting or refraining from acting under this power, except for such agent’s own misconduct or negligence. I agree to indemnify and hold harmless any agent named or substituted in this power for any court costs, civil judgments, or reasonable attorney fees that are incurred as a result of exercising the powers described herein.
Original Counterparts. Photocopies of this signed Power of Attorney shall be treated as original counterparts.
Signed in the presence of:
Subscribed and sworn to before me on _________.
Notary Public, [COUNTY, STATE]
My commission expires ______________.