UPDATED and BUMPED: Courtesy of Ian Freeman, you can view the full court proceeding at the bottom of the post.
On Thursday,December 19, 2019 the Belknap Superior court issued its ruling in the case of Town of Belmont v. Mike Sylvia. The court ordered an injunction against the use of my property, and awarded attorney’s fees to be paid to the town. They held in abeyance any fines for prior use of my own property.
At the heart of this issue is the people’s right to ownership of property. To own a thing is to have control of that thing. If one owns and controls an object then he has a right to use that property as he sees fit as long as his use harms no other. If one is truly an owner there is no need to ask for permission to use that which is owned. To be required to seek permission to use ones own property, such as applying for a building permit, is contrary to our right of holding property.
The New Hampshire constitution, upon which our government claims authority, is a beloved document which I hold in high esteem. It predates the founding of the united States and is by far a better constitution than the U.S. Constitution. It was made clear prior to the formation of the New Hampshire state government that the construction of a government could not come into being until the inalienable rights of the people were documented. Therefore, before the Republic was established in Part II of the New Hampshire constitution, Part I reserved to the people of the state all the essential rights which were unnecessary to a proper government. Only after our rights were reserved did we then parse out powers that would be necessary to a just government.
We the people of New Hampshire surrendered up only such authority as would be needed to form a society which could work together for the protection of all citizens. This exchange was to protect our rights to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness.
Among the proper roles of our government is to assure against trespasses upon its citizens. If the actions of one person reaches into harming the rights of another citizen the state was empowered with what is know as the police power of the state. All of the reserved rights of Part I were held as private rights which would be protected by the state; lacking that protection the constitution is null.
In the case at hand the court has ruled that I have harmed the Town of Belmont. I did not go to the Town and ask for permission to use my property. The harm alleged is that I have violated a Town ordinance. I posit that the Town’s ordinance is in violation of my Part I protected right to the ownership and peaceful enjoyment of my property. As we all should know, any law made in violation of our constitution is a nullity. The Town has not protected my right to property, it has failed to do so.
As we go onward from here, I want to express my gratitude for friends and neighbors who have supported my efforts along the way. I have stood not only for myself but for the people of Belmont and beyond. So, I ask you; do we accept that our property is not our own?
Send an e-mail with your thoughts; firstname.lastname@example.org
BY MIKE SYLVIA (Mike Sylvia has served Belmont as state representative in Concord for seven years. He is currently the chairman of the Belknap county delegation.)
Updated: the court proceedings, courtesy of Ian Freeman