State Cites, Then Boots Formerly Homeless Man — for Living on Property He Owns

Having spent years without a place to call home besides the streets, Clem Smith experienced what must have been a bittersweet windfall, when his mother bequeathed $214,000 in a will upon her passing — facilitating the purchase of property and stability in the future with the completion of a house he planned to construct.

In the interim, Smith allotted part of that inheritance to stock his new Conifer, Colorado, property with a used car, an older front-end loader, dump truck, shipping container, chicken coop — complete with four hens — and an RV, intended as housing only until construction of the home is complete.

“Of the $214,000 inheritance,” reports local ABC affiliate, Denver7, Smith “spent $125,000 for the property and put the rest into improvements for a power connection, water well, septic drawings, septic engineering and road engineering.”

In her passing, Smith’s mother bestowed the one thing her son hadn’t felt in over six years: security.

This seemingly impossible dream — a physical address at the place where he looked forward to growing old — abruptly metamorphosed into reality.

But it was tragically and avoidably ephemeral.

An irritated neighbor reported the RV, shipping container, and refuse on the property, for which Smith received code violation citations — under the premise those items were being stored on otherwise vacant land, and that others would be allowed to stay and live in the shipping container.

Smith vehemently denies the latter allegation, telling Denver7, “I believe the person that complained came in (the shipping container) and saw a dresser and thought people were going to try to live here.”

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That dresser serves as a storage container and workbench, he asserts, used for construction and other planning.

“Jeanie Rossillon, Jefferson County’s director of development and transportation, said that under existing code, the RV is considered an accessory and cannot be parked on the property without a house. Ditto for the shipping container,” Denver7 notes.

To the property owner, it isn’t the time frame, but the fact he’s actively building the home — himself — as quickly as he’s able, and harbors no designs to live in the camper permanently. But the county insists he move the two items off the property — at his now-limited expense — or be fined $500 to $1,000, with potential additional repercussions down the road.

If he leaves with the RV, Smith would have to avail himself of a Walmart parking lot, making a commute — to the property he owns to work on the house — a gas-guzzling arduous affair.

“I don’t think it’s fair,” he opined. “I’ve been on the homeless circuit for several years and everybody at the campgrounds and at Walmart, is hoping to get a piece of property and build their own home.”

All frugality notwithstanding, the inheritance has already dwindled — Smith worries the nitpicky strictures will ultimately force him back onto the streets, despite the dream being palpable.

Rossillon cited typical bureaucratic rhetoric pertaining to code enforcement — health, safety, and welfare — in coldly affirming the county’s position.

“It’s also about expectations and balancing everyone’s property rights,” she added, alluding to the unnamed neighbor who reported the violations as well as something vague about hippies in schoolbuses camped on nearby mountains in the 1970s — while failing to elaborate on Smith’s unique predicament — much less, the violation of his property rights.

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“I own this property,” Smith, despondent and emotional, told Denver7. “I paid for it in cash. It’s all mine.  I should be able to live on it for a certain amount of time, while I’m surveying, engineering or planning.”

He added, “I shouldn’t have to pay a fine, I’m not a criminal.”

Having his ultimate dream within reach for such a fleeting time — and facing extraordinary callousness from the inflexible State, due only to a neighbor’s upturned nose at the activity Smith undertook on property he owns — has filled the man with anxiety and despair.

Worse, the ludicrous turn of events threatens to rob Smith of the most cherished gift his mother’s estate offered: security.

No state — Colorado, here’s lookin’ at you — can describe itself as compassionate, even one iota, on the issue of homelessness, and then place obstacles this mountainous in the path of those doing their best to overcome the problem.

Claire Bernish is a staff writer and reporter for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up – follow Claire’s work at our Facebook or Twitter.

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21 Responses to State Cites, Then Boots Formerly Homeless Man — for Living on Property He Owns

  1. Cheryl Kilboy says:

    Maybe he should have bought some land in an area where he is allowed to have a modular home. That would be a lot faster and less likely to cause problems with neighbors.

  2. Gregory Alan of Johnson says:
    This story has just proven that the man doesn’t own anything. The STATE OF/COUNTY OF hold the “property” in Trust until the true or assigned owner stands forth, and that won’t happen with all the taxes at stake. The “Deed of Trust” is mere equity holding of the “real-property”, and not lawful title or Lodial Title. Read the above linked pdf for more info.
    Satan thinks this planet is his. Yahweh gave dominion (user authority) to Adam/Eve, and they gave it up to Satan/Serpent. Yeshua set things straight. Christians should be strongly exercising that authority.

  3. magilla gorilla says:

    build a tiny hut, then move the rv back legally, and invite many many homeless to congregate daily and nightly near the trespassing neighbors property line, practicing some loud religious ceremonies..

  4. Emily Elizabeth Windsor-Cragg says:

    People in governance today are socio-pathic who work in privatized civil asset forfeiture jurisdictions. It’s simple as that. They’re heartless, cruel and mercenary. They morally REEK LIKE DEAD CARCASSES.

  5. Tina Vandeweghe says:

    This is injustice to this man. The neighbors need to go to hell! What would they have done if he were muslim or an illegal? You bet, nothing!!

  6. eganstew3 says:

    What ever happened to “common since”. Shouldn’t each situation be judge in different circumstances. To many people have way to much time on their hands, and some will find mischief by breaking windows and destroying property, while others ruin people lives because they do not know them.

  7. Madamegar says:

    What happen to owning your own property,and it being nobodies fucken business as to what they do w/it..I think the asshole that called this in,wants his property…he is one pathetic soul!

  8. clarioncaller says:

    How did this ‘jack wagon’ neighbor get on his property to see the dresser inside the container? Security cameras are cheap enough to install, as well as a length of chain and a lock across his driveway.

  9. DRLJR says:

    Welcome to the “Progressive” mentality. The complainer is probably a typical “Progressive”.

  10. Jimbeau says:

    Targeting good people…

  11. The problem all revolves around the fact that Mr. Smith does not own the property he paid for with his own “money.”

    “…Property implies ownership and ownership entitles the owner to do with his property whatever he wishes, provided it does not damage others:

    ‘…the power of ownership must be absolute. It is black and white; I own a thing or I don’t. I may own a part of it, but there is no such thing as a part of ownership. Christians have a commonplace saying that every man’s home is his castle. He is king in his own residence; he may go to any lengths to stop a trespass; soldiers, in the United States, may not be quartered in his home without his consent; and not even a policeman may enter without a proper warrant issued under careful safeguards. If a man really owns his property, he may refuse to sell it, even to a king, as Naboth refused to sell his vineyard to King Ahab. He may dispose of it at his death by will; he may develop it or not as he sees fit, and within the limits of it there isn’t much he can’t do. The same conditions apply to personal property and money.’15

    “Three attributes distinguish a property owner:

    ‘”A good or an asset is defined to be private property if, and only if, three distinct sets of rights are associated with its ownership. First, the exclusive right to use (or to decide how to use) the good may be viewed as the right to exclude other individuals from its use. Second is the exclusive right to receive income generated by the use of the good. Third, the full right to transfer, or freely ‘alienate,’ its ownership includes the right to enter into contracts and to choose their form.’16….

    “If a property owner does not have total control over his land, he does not own it. No middle ground exists. It is oxymoronic to say you own something when you do not have absolute control over it. Because the government maintains the right and has the power to tax and confiscate property, as well as exercise eminent domain, the property most people think they own is not really theirs at all.

    “That government can and does exercise eminent domain anytime and anywhere it chooses proves it has stolen title to all the land in America. The only difference between King Ahab’s theft of Naboth’s vineyard in 1 Kings 21:1-16 and the Constitutional Republic’s theft under the guise of taxation and eminent domain is that today’s government is more sophisticated and all-inclusive in its methods….”

    For more, see online Chapter 14 “Amendment 5: Constitutional vs. Biblical Judicial Protection” of “Bible Law vs. the United States Constitution: The Christian Perspective” at

    Then find out how much you really know about the Constitution as compared
    to the Bible. Take our 10-question Constitution Survey in the right-hand sidebar and receive a complimentary copy of a book that examines the Constitution by the Bible.

  12. Ann Tenna says:

    this country is NOW what russia was back in the 50″s and 60’s.. this shit is CRAZY… aint that right you STUPID WHITE BOYS?

  13. Ann Tenna says:

    Publish that “so-called” neighbors name and address so it can be Properly “Thanked” for “fucking over” a fellow ammerikkan….

  14. Ken says:

    These city codes can’t really be applied to this man without his consent and a contract with his signature on it. The US Supreme court has ruled more than once that the governments are private corporations and their statutes and codes are for government employees only. They can’t be applied to a living human being without their consent and a contract. I will give you the citations to the case law if anyone wants it. The only real law effective since the sixties is contract law under the UCC. They just wont tell you that, and most of them don’t know their own laws.

    • Charlie Steward says:

      Sure Ken. I’d like to see them. I am almost 55 years old – have never made a “contract” with their “government.” No SSN. No driver’s license. No birth certificate. No tags on the car…on and on. Nothing. I do not claim to be a “citizen.” I have presented the “court” with their own “supreme court” decisions until I’m blue in the face. Their response? Ignore. File more “charges.” The “government” of the U.S. and EVERY SINGLE STATE is ran by nothing but criminals. From the cop, to the prosecutor, to the judge, to even the court clerk – all criminals who do not care about truth, right or justice.

  15. James Higginbotham says:


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