Skip to comments.Legal Question About Census...
Posted on 01/09/2014 11:13:43 AM PST by Cyber Liberty
I have a question for the Legal Eagles out there...
The Census people are pi$$ing me off. First, I got a post card telling me a questionnaire is coming, then another post card. After that, a VERY thick envelope with a very long and intrusive list of questions about things from who lives here, how long, incomes, professions.
Then there are questions like renting/owning, do I have a toilet, a refrigerator and the like.
I wrote on the form there are two people of the human race living here and dropped it in the mail.
Then I got a post card reminding me to fill it out.
A couple weeks ago some nice guy in his 50's or 60's shows up with a laptop wanting to ask me questions, so I told him I already sent the form in. He was here again just now, saying the form hadn't been processed yet, so could I answer the questions now? I told him no, I'm busy, so he said he's coming back in a week.
My question is, do I have to answer anything? All the mail I've received so far says I have to, it's the law, but I don't believe it. They lie a lot these days.
What do I have to tell these a-holes to just leave us the Hell alone? He left a card and a paper with contact information so I can call him if I need to.
everyone we know says they just throw out junque mail?
You are not legally required to fill out this survey, but the Census worker will hound you to the point to where you wished you were locked up in a solitary confinement cell in a federal prison.
Apparently intruding on peoples’ privacy is a full-time gig.
Maybe I can find a way to make a fun gig out of it. I’m sure the government drone is well paid, so maybe it’ll be fun for him too.
We called the sheriff and filed a complaint, including the guy's license plate #.
The f’er didn't return.
It occurs to me hounding someone for an non-required form is grounds for a Restraining Order?
Don’t know if that will work for me. Locals are corrupt to the core and are just as likely to arrest me.
You are not legally obligated to answer personally identifiable information in a census form. The only purpose of the census per the USC is to enumerate the physical residents of a domicile. You tell them there are 2 adults in the residence, and you’re done.
I took a black Sharpie to my form a few years ago and blacked out everything in the form except the number of people in the home. This was to prevent them from trying to fill out any information that I left blank, which they’ve done in some highly publicized incidents. When the drone came to my door, I told them there are 2 adults in the residence, and they never came back again.
I never received any of the mailings. :-)
If they ever contact me I’ll just play dumb. (Which won’t be too difficult)
If they can’t prove I received them how can I fill them out?
I wouldn’t have, but they took to calling me too. I forgot that when I did the original post.
I have a quarter mile long “dense pack” driveway with a gate at the bottom of the hill by the road. It will inconvenience them more than me. I like it that way. ;-)
HAHAHA! I was thinking of that very video when I was reading the OP!
Sounds like you have the community survey thing they do mid-decade. About 300 questions. Things like “how far do you drive to work” and “when do you leave”.
They claim there is a fine for not responding, and they will send someone over a few times, and call you a few times. But I understand that nobody has ever been fined for refusing to fill it out. Just bothered by the follow-up.
When I researched this in the past, I understood that they made three visits, then stopped.
If you ignore it long enough, they will go away.
I went through the same thing in 2010. I threw the form in the trash and eventually a worker came to the door. After much discussion, she finally told me I was only required to “respond” - which would have meant signing a blank form and sending it in (although I’m willing to answer the one question the Constitution requires - how many people live there).
Once the worker appears however, you must “respond” by verbally refusing to answer every question (except the one above).
When I worked in the phone area of the Census Bureau we did follow-ups on the forms that were sent back in. Even if one only filled out their name or number of people living in that particular dwelling. I would advise not mail your form back. (You did not receive one)
My experience. (Imagine being threatened with having a note put in my file saying I was “uncooperative.”)
Lots of good advice offered in the thread.
I found just not answering works.
I moved from the address when I first posted the thread, and upon arrival I found the Long Form (American Community Survey) waiting in the mailbox - addressed to the previous homeowner ( or current resident).
I trashed it.
Trashed the next one.
I am prepared to tell them to come back with a lawyer to explain in person to me the relevant case law saying I am required to answer.
Never got bothered in person and I suspect those that throw it away will never be prosecuted. . .imagine the bad press if the Census jailed people in federal prison for refusing to talk to them.
Yes, there are ‘threats’ of legal action but there has NEVER been a case where they prosecuted in federal court someone that refused to answer.
It is the law (though it is nother example of govt overreach, IMO). I had the problem in the Bush years. Wanted to sk me health questions, I finally told the woman on the phone I was terminal and would not do it. They finally stopped, after calls, letters, and visits to my home.
Yeah, I did receive one. I probably should have tossed it but I answered the first question and returned it when they started calling. Probably shouldn’t have done that.
I’ll check back later. I’m being glared at by Mrs. Liberty and we have an appointment....
Don’t you want your share of the federal loot? How is Congress going to know which districts need specific targeted help if you won’t answer? If you say you have a very long commute, maybe your city gets more highway funds.
Yes, I’m being facetious, but that is what they want the answers for.
I went through that crap five years ago. The Census Department was making a “household survey” of spending. They wanted to know how I spent all of my money. They wanted utility bills, amounts spent on EVERYTHING, and they wanted to see my ATM records. If you are spending money on anything compromising they demand to know all about. I ignored the letters. The Census Department sent people from their office (150 miles away) to bang on my door several times.
If you don’t have a dog maybe you should borrow a Rottweiler or a Doberman.
Call all your government representatives and complain.
It is a law, but they don’t usually process.
However those who like to tout the statistics received by them will tell you to ignore it.
P.S. You can give a fake name and refuse certain questions.
For instance, if you don’t want to give income info, just “line refuse” that answer.
How do you know what survey it is. There is one (American Community Survey) that does have a law on it.
HA! These are the least paid and most required for production than any other. Don’t lump them all in together.
It’s the “American Community Survey.”
Never got bothered in person and I suspect those that throw it away will never be prosecuted. . .imagine the bad press if the Census jailed people in federal prison for refusing to talk to them.
With the Obastard crew in charge, I think they would consider the press they got from shaking down a middle-class white guy to be great, to serve as an example to the others.
Yeah, that’s the one that Congress deemed required. It used to be called the “long form” 10 year census but now they just do it throughout the decade.
Answer truthfully, NOYFB (None Of Your F’n Business).
Send it back saying, “Ask the NSA. They can probably give you more accurate answers.”
I’ve only filed once- the last census because we’ve got so many vindictive democrats. The were told the number of people. In 2000, a census worker came to my door in Hawaii. “Oh, I’m just here on vacation.” Kind of technically true, being married to a pilot and moving so often.
If it’s not “Return Receipt Requested” then I didn’t get it. If someone comes to my door, I’ll put up a “No Trespassing” sign. Second time I go to the door with my gun holstered. Then I’d threaten to let my German Shepherd out if they continued to ignore the sign. He scares most people nearly to death hearing his barking and trying to bust down the door near the front door. Normally I have a 2 door rule between him and strangers (plumbers, electricians, etc.) except when I answer the door. The dog would probably be enough the first time. I would never threaten to call the police, but I would threaten a restraining order for harassment. The other good answer is- “I’m terminal.” Sister-in-law used that on a telemarketer about 30 years ago.
I learned in a college sociology class that with some obnoxious people you have to act just crazy enough that they decide they’ll leave you alone- like catching and eating imaginary flies and maybe saying, “the voices...the voices are starting again....”
One option is to tell him the truth: you are a member of the human race, and if he guesses about Hispanic/Asian/black based on physical appearance he will guess wrong, and you will file a formal complaint about his fraudulent Census data (write his name down, even if you won’t keep that note). You should tell him the number and ages of residents. You should also tell him that none of the rest is any of his business.
I took a different approach and filled out that long form completely, following the Clinton stance of being “truthful but not helpful”. This can be a lot of fun (at least from my perspective as a statistician and a pollster - I like messing with people who ask questions that are none of their business).
Name, sex, and age I answer.
Race: OTHER - HUMAN;
When house first built? Houses were built in 1939 or earlier, so I check that box.
When did person 1 move in? This month, since I just moved from outside the home to inside the home that day.
The home is on the North American continent, so 10 or more acres.
I count closets as rooms, since they don’t specifically exclude them.
I don’t have any bedrooms, since if the house was for rent, I wouldn’t want it rented out, so I would list no bedrooms.
The house does not have hot or cold running water if all faucets are turned off (thus not running).
The house does not have a bathtub or a shower because it has more than 1, so I answer “no” on do we have “a” bathtub or shower (and similarly for a refrigerator, etc.).
I don’t have any portable electronic devices in the house, because I take all phones and other listed items to the car before answering that question.
No, we do not access the Internet from this home. We did, but that was in the past, and we may again 5 minutes in the future, but not at that exact moment. “Do you” depends on what the meaning of “do” is.
We already subscribed to Internet in the past, but we are not in the process of subscribing now, so we say no on “do you subscribe”.
No automobiles are kept at home - zero. All automobiles are taken for drives away from home.
Which heating fuel is used the most? SOLAR. That’s our heat source except in the winter.
Highest level of school? Kindergarten (that was in Colorado, and the rest were at lower levels of elevation).
Language other than English spoken at home? FORTRAN.
I just retired, but when working, I didn’t consider my job “work for pay”. I considered it work for joy and to contribute, so I had zero work for pay.
For whom did you work? Probably for yourself, your wife, and your kids.
I could go on, but the point is that you can have a lot of fun. The rule is that, since they will harass you if you leave anything blank, you answer anything where you can create a story that makes your answer “true” or at least arguably true, and skip the rest. Then go through again and see if your creativity has been boosted. You can make a game out of misreading as much as possible from the form.
“What do I have to tell these a-holes to just leave us the Hell alone?”
Well the third time somebody showed up at our door. Mr. GG2 put up 2 fingers meaning 2 people live in the residence. End of informational session. When that didn’t suffice he told the census taker to get off our effing property before we called the cops. That seemed to get through.
OK. I feel like Diogenes fulfilled! That’s getting saved.
Yes, Im being facetious, but that is what they want the answers for.
There have been several threads on the Am. Community Survey here at FR over the past few years. The vast majority of comments recommended to just toss the survey in the trash.
The data collected is sold or furnished to the business world as a market research tool, so they can target the communities on the basis of incomes, # of people, autos, house amenities/sizes, etc.
The ACS is a separate thing from the official census.
Persons entering this property must hold contract or
license with owner or tenant granting ingress with
indemnity, and carry proper identification to verify such contract or license.
You are hereby notified, that the owner or tenant of this
property requires all public officials, agents, or person(s) to abide by The Supreme Law Of The Land the
constitution of the United States of America, and the ratified amendments thereto.
Owner or tenant will refuse to permit any access, search,
audit, assessment, or inspection whatsoever of this
property without the presentation of a warrant,
prepared as prescribed by constitutional amendment IV
and XIV, and Particularly describing the place to be
searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Alleged Real Estate non-compliances do not establish
constitutional reasons, for entering this property. Violators will be treated as intruders.
Any official, agent, or person(s) entering this property
without consent of the owner or tenant, without proper
warrant as described above, will be treated as an
intruder attempting to trespass, extort, injure,
threaten, harass, intimidate, or otherwise jeopardize
the life of the owner or tenant of this property.
Violators may be fined not more than $10,000.00, imprisoned
not more than ten years, or both (U.S.C. Title 18, Sec.
241 and 242).
A person is guilty of criminal trespass if he/she knowingly
enters unlawfully upon this property.(Wash. State Code)
John Q. Citizen..................................(000) 555 - 1234
Best material is a white plastic like cardboard, holds up to weather very good over the long term (like 10 years or more)
Had them made at a local sign shop is best.
Size(s) I would suggest is a minimum of 12" in wide X 17" in. tall.
Best 17"in wide X 24" in tall approx.
ENFORCING PROPERTY RIGHTS The last defense to despotism(1) is an armed citizenry. If the people be disarmed, what shall be their fate? They have lost their liberty teeth(2) and they shall be like defenseless sheep before ravening wolves.(3) A document guaranteeing rights is only valid as the resolve to enforce its provisions. without the ability to own and control property, there are no rights! Constitution for the United States of America (Amendments): Amendment II A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.(4) Amendment IV The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.(5) Amendment XIV ...No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property(6), without due
process of law; nor deny to any person within its
jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. Constitution of the State of Washington, Article I - Declaration of Rights (excerpts) : Section 2. Supreme Law of the Land. The Constitution of the United States is the law of the land. Section 7. Invasion of private Affairs or Home Prohibited. No person shall be disturbed in his private affairs, or his home invaded, without authority of law.(11) Revised Code of Washington, R.C.W 9A.52.010 (excerpts) : Definitions Premises includes any building, dwelling, structure used for commercial aquaculture, or any real property; Enters or remains unlawfully - a person enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises when he is not then licensed(7), invited, or otherwise privileged to so enter or remain. .... A person who enters or remains upon unimproved and apparently unused land, which is neither fenced nor otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders, does so with license and privilege unless notice against trespass is personally communicated to him by the owner of the land or other authorized person, or unless notice is given by posting in a conspicuous manner(8). United States Code, U.S.C. Title 18, Sec. 241 and 242 (Conspiracy against rights, secured by the Constitution): If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any inhabitant of any state, territory, or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured....they shall be fined not more than $10,000.00 or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both; ... Note: There are certain Defenses to Criminal Trespass: The Courts have permitted Trespass when there is eminent danger to property or to life (such as fire), and to a person attempting to serve legal process, such as a court order, warrant. This Court defense applies only if... the entry onto the premises was reasonable and necessary for service of the legal process.(9) Rights of Entry: Persons who hold contracts, or license with the Owner or tenant, have legal access to enter property, in accordance with their contractual agreements, such as utility companies or others who have been granted easements, or rights of way. For those of you living in Snohomish County, Washington State, what the County wont tell you, is found in Title 28, 28.08.040: SCC = Snohomish County Code. Snohomish pronounced "Snow-Home-ish." SCC Title 28.080.040 (5): Unless entry is consented to by the owner or person in control of any building, structure, property or portion thereof or conditions are believed to exist which create an immediate and irreparable land use or safety hazard, the inspector, prior to entry, shall obtain a search warrant as authorized by applicable law. (10) (11) Notations: 1. Despotism; absolute power of government; tyranny. 2. George Washington. 3. Pinus Contorta. 4. This right is absolute; without arms, there is no defense against tyranny. 5. Warrants must have probable cause, be supported by Oath or affirmation, must state the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. (Real estate non-compliances cannot be defined as a thing to be seized and such warrant cannot be considered lawful under Amendment IV, that is, if one can understand plain English.) 6. States must comply with due process procedures and with the Constitution. The Supreme law of the land of the United States. 7. License - permission or legal permit. Utilities may have legal permits to read meters, etc. Others may have easements or rights of way to enter property. 8. Your property is open to trespass unless fenced, enclosed to exclude intruders or unless posted in a conspicuous manner. 9. To prevent the use of reasonable and necessary for Trespass, put your name, mailing location and phone number on your No Trespassing sign! 10. County inspectors, when refused entry to a property, must obtain a legal search warrant prior to entry. 11. In Seattle vs. McCready, 123 Wn 2nd 260, Feb. 29, 1994 The Washington State Supreme Court held that Courts do not have the authority to issue search warrants on less than probable cause to enforce building safety codes.
The census is sending out 250k of the American Community Survey each month or about 3 million per year. Who knows where information returned really ends up. Other government agencies, corporations, ? They have addresses and phone numbers. Anybody really think all this personal information is confidential?
We got one. I refuse to answer the questions. We’re receiving additional mailings and phone calls. They’re acting like a collection agency going after delinquent debts.
This is kind of a good thing. The more people they piss off, the more people will understand the nature of our federal government.