Hogwash Volume 25

May 2014
Welcome to Hogwash!


Rosi and Gardner

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The End for Townhouse Chickens?

That's what could happen if your city, village, or township decides to ban livestock on property that is zoned "residential." But what about the Right to Farm Act, you ask? Michigan's "Right to Farm" Act provides that a covered agricultural operation is immunized from legal actions for nuisance, such as zoning violations and actions to end foul-smelling operations, if the operation follows suggested agricultural practice guidelines. For instance, in 2002, the Michigan Court of appeals decided that because of the protection afforded by the Right to Farm Act, if a farming operation conforms to generally accepted agricultural management processes, it could not be found to be a "nuisance." (Travis v Preston, 249 Mich App 338).

The Michigan Agricultural Commission (the "Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development" technically) though, may have just eliminated the Right to Farm Act protections for small "backyard" beekeepers and owners of "townhouse chickens." On April 28, the Commission created a "Category 4" GAAMP guideline. These are locations that are primarily residential and don't allow agricultural uses by right. Sites with more than 13 non-farm homes within an eighth of a mile of the livestock facility, or a non-farm home within 250 feet of the livestock facility will be in Category 4, and therefore not entitled to Right to Farm Act protections.

Under this regulation, Right to Farm Act protections will, it seems, apply only to large farms, and do not insulate residential bee hives, chickens, goats or other livestock from being banned by a municipality. What's a hen to do?

Issue: 25
In This Issue
The End for Townhouse Chickens?
…silly lawmakers
The Ballad of the "Anchor Baby"
Irate Judge Orders Technology Giants to Get Off The Phone
Cell Phone Use Policies
Is DogeCoin Drafting BitCoin?
Karen's Home Cooking

…silly lawmakers…..

As you've probably read in the past months in Hogwash! there are some interesting, unusual and downright silly laws still on the books around our country. Here are a few more for your reading enjoyment. If some of these apply to you then you've been forewarned, especially if you plan on going to South Bend, Indiana with your smoking monkey….

Monkeys are not allowed to smoke cigarettes in South Bend, Indiana. If they want to smoke a cigar, they have to go outdoors.

It is illegal in San Francisco to wash your car with used underwear.

You cannot drive your car in reverse in Glendale, Arizona.

Don't plan on enjoying your piece of pie at home in Memphis, Tennessee. All pie must be consumed on the premises at a restaurant there.

Make sure you have a doctor's note in Boston, Massachusetts if you want to take a bath because you can only do so if prescribed.

No power naps in Fargo, North Dakota, at least not with your shoes on. It is illegal to sleep with shoes on there.

In Oxford, Ohio, women are prohibited from undressing in front of a man's picture, even if they're otherwise alone.

The Ballad of the "Anchor Baby"

Most news junkies know that the U.S. Congress has been toying around with the notion of "immigration reform" for over a decade. Along with buzz terms like "DREAM Act" and "building a fence," one derogatory expression has been flung from time to time throughout that ongoing debate: "anchor baby."

"Anchor baby" is a pejorative term for a child born in the United States to parents who are not U.S. citizens. That precious, newborn baby (unbeknownst to his or her little baby self) is an American citizen because the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees automatic citizenship for nearly all individuals born in the U.S., regardless of their parents' citizenship or immigration status. The term "anchor baby" thus references the supposed role of the child, who has magically been sewn onto the fabric of U.S. society by virtue of birthright, and may later – much later, indeed – act as a sponsor for the parents and other family members.

Setting aside the questionable practice of comparing a tiny, newborn flesh-and-bones-and-feelings human with a large, heavy device made of emotionless metal, the idea that a U.S. citizen child may one day help his/her parents achieve U.S. citizenship holds some water-but not much. The problem is that U.S. citizen children cannot sponsor their parents for entry into the country until they (the children) are 21 years of age; and if a parent has ever been in the country illegally, that parent would have to show they had left and not returned for at least 10 years in order to qualify for citizenship. And while it is true that parents of citizen children who have been in the country for 10 years or more can also apply for relief from deportation, only 4,000 persons a year can receive that relief status.

All things considered, a parent's "master plan" of having a child in U.S. soil in order to gain U.S. citizenship is an extremely long-term and uncertain process-certainly not how one would like to describe a (hopefully more reliable) anchor.

Irate Judge Orders Technology Giants Off The Phone

After more than two years of pretrial maneuvers, one of the most extensive, and possibly expensive patent suits in history moved to the evidentiary phase before a federal court jury.

To those of is with experience in our local courts, we expect that courtroom would be a quiet place, controlled by a judge and his or her bailiff. No eating, no talking, only a respectful silence by everyone other than the participants and the court staff including the judge.

However, according to the Associated Press the biggest problem for federal judge Lucy Koh, who was overseeing a patent battle between Apple and Samsung the world's largest smartphone makers, was getting the roomful of smartphone users to turn their phones off.

According to the AP, during the first few days of the trial pitting Apple against Samsung, Judge Koh reportedly interrupted testimony with a sharp "Phones off!" She's warned that she might force everyone to hand over their phones and threatened to send everyone, except a select few, into an overflow room. And she shamed those with phones turned on to "Stand up!"- which a few sheepishly did.

On April 29th the matter was given to the jury. No matter how they decise, one may wonder whether the simple courtesy that was once expected by each of us will ever be the same in the world of not so smart Smartphone addicts.

Cell Phone Use Policies

With cell phones increasingly becoming an attachment – much like glasses, keys or a wallet – for many people, a whole industry has arisen seeking to provide guidance to businesses and others regarding their proper use. Just Google "Cell Phone Usage Policy & Guide" from LegalZoom.com or search on cell phone use policies to see a wide variety of boilerplate templates for such policies or treatises on how to have an effective policy on cell phone use.

Courts on the other hand appear to have individually set policies. For instance the California Superior Court of San Bernadino County permits cell phones with cameras in the courthouse but they cannot be used to photograph, record or broadcast from within the courthouse without prior court approval. In fact, use of a cell phone to photograph, record or broadcast from within the courthouse without prior court approval may subject the user to confiscation of the phone, a citation for contempt of court or a fine.

In Connecticut trial court policies are similar, although more detailed , and those of the appellate courts provide for confiscation of a phone if it's improperly used. The policy of the Federal District Courts in Ohio permit court staff to seize and inspect phones used in violation of the rules. And here in Michigan, the Supreme Court has authorized the Chief Judge of each District or Circuit to establish a policy regarding the use of cell phones. Violations may result in a fine, including confiscation of the device, incarceration or both for contempt of court

In short, if tempted to bring a cell phone into any court be certain you know – and obey – the rules to avoid any adverse consequences.

Is DogeCoin Drafting BitCoin?

Some might say so. DogeCoin, a digital currency similar to BitCoin, sponsored a Nascar driver in the 2014 Aaron's 499 Sprint Cup race at Talladega's Superspeedway on Sunday, May 4. The "mascot" for DogeCoin, an inquisitive, stylized canine image (Shiba Inu, actually) was plastered all over Josh Wise''s car for the race.

What was "the Doge" (slang for a dog, especially in those "memes" omnipresent in social media) doing on a race car? Sponsoring it, of course, after word got out, among the online community, that Wise was an up-and-coming driver, but needed a sponsor. Word went out – it went "viral" as they say – and within a week had raised the equivalent of over $55,000 of Dogecoin. Not bad for an underdog . . .

"There are so many dynamics to it that make it special," Wise said. "I guess they chose me because it fit their brand for what Dogecoin is — a new cryptocurrency that's trying to grow. And we're a young race team that's trying to progress. I guess we all have similar objectives."

What's a DogeCoin worth? As of May 7, 2014, the exchange rate was about $1000 to $472 Doge. www.dogepay.com

How did the "doge" do in the race? Josh Wise came in 20th place. Watchers, and racing fans, may want to keep eyes on "the Doge," both the cybercurrency and the race car!

May's Special Offer

Who do you know with questions about immigration?

Free, confidential (attorney-client privileged) consultation, by phone or in person, regarding any immigration issue.

Offer Expires: May 31, 2014

Karen's Home Cooking

Great New Ideas for Weeknight Meals

There is nothing like coming home after a hard day's work and having a great meal. The challenge is keeping it simple and staying creative. My husband and I have adapted the piggyback style of meal preparation. He usually gets home first and will start things, like marinating the fish or meat, preparing rubs, or chopping vegetables. When I get home I open the wine (oops, gotta walk the dog first) and we bring it all together. If all goes well, we eat before 8:00 p.m. These are a few things we came up with this month. Enjoy!

Ginger Asparagus Shrimp Scampi

Melt ½ cup butter, 3/4 cup dry white wine, 4 cloves chopped garlic and 1 tbsp. chopped fresh ginger. Cook on medium heat until the garlic starts to brown slightly. Add a handful of raw shrimp. Cook until shrimp turns pink. Add precooked asparagus (steamed, grilled, or even raw works). Pour over linguini and top with shredded Parmesan and fresh parsley.

Blackened Salmon with Grilled Japanese Sweet Potatoes

Make a rub using chipotle, cayenne, black pepper, dill and sea salt. Pour melted butter over the fish, roll it in the seasoning and grill.

Chop two Japanese sweet potatoes and a couple yellow potatoes, season with salt and pepper, add olive oil, wrap in tin foil and grill. Top with fresh parsley or dill.

Spinach Salad w Strawberry Wine Dressing

Dressing: Puree ½ cup strawberries with two tbsp. olive oil, a little sugar or honey and one tbsp. red wine vinegar, lemon zest and sea salt (adjust to taste). Pour on fresh spinach, shredded carrots, red onion and sunflower seeds. Add chunks of feta if you want (I always want feta!).

Sweet Potato Salmon Chowder

Sautee ½ cup chopped celery, onion (and jalapeno for more fun). Remove from pan. Melt 1/4 cup butter. Add two tbsp. of flour and stir until smooth. Pour in one cup of milk until thickened. Add one cup of vegetable broth, the veggies, leftover blackened salmon and potatoes, heat slowly and season to taste. Top with fresh basil or tarragon. Serve with sharp cheese, warm corn muffins and wildflower honey.

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Rosi & Gardner, P.C.
735 S. Garfield Avenue
Suite 202
Traverse City, Michigan 49686

Philip R. Rosi

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Gary Allen Gardner
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