Considering there appears to be much public confusion on parts of the Mineral County Nuisance Abatement Ordinance, I feel the need to publicly clarify one important issue.
Concerning section 8.40.150. (E) When it is necessary to inspect the building, property or premises, the County Building Official or his designee, may enter the building, structure or premises at reasonable times to inspect or to perform the duties imposed by this chapter, provided that if such building, property or premises be occupied that credentials be presented to the occupant and entry requested. If entry is refused, the County Building Official, or his designee, shall have recourse to the remedies provided by the Nevada Revised Statutes to secure entry.
When entry is refused many people falsely believe that the Building Official has to obtain a search warrant based on the same probable cause as would be required for a criminal search warrant. Although the courts do uphold that the Building Official must obtain a warrant, Section 8.40.150 plus your refusal fulfills the probable cause requirement for an Administrative Inspection Warrant. This is validated by numerous lower court rulings along with one supreme Court ruling.
U.S. Supreme Court
Camara v. Municipal Court, 387 U.S. 523 (1967)
Camara v. Municipal Court of the City and County of San Francisco
Argued February 15, 1967
Decided June 5, 1967
387 U.S. 523
2. Probable cause upon the basis of which warrants are to be issued for area code enforcement inspections is not dependent on the inspector›s belief that a particular dwelling violates the code, but on the reasonableness of the enforcement agency›s appraisal of conditions in the area as a whole. The standards to guide the magistrate in the issuance of such search warrants will necessarily vary with the municipal program being enforced. Pp.387 U. S. 534-539.
So long as this law remains in effect in Mineral County the Building Official can knock on your door and request entry during reasonable hours and your refusal is the probable cause to obtain a warrant. But then even though the ;aw states this and a Supreme Court Ruling states this, this is still an opinion. What do you think?
Glen H. Inlow