Eileen and Keith Hart are property owners in Newfield, New Jersey. Following an informal meeting at the Gloucester Community Center in Clayton, New Jersey, Mrs. Hart was arrested and booked for making "terroristic threats" and "contempt" following her citation of the Constitution at the meeting. In addition, she was told to turn over two hand guns which she lawfully owned.
The incident happened on March 9, 2013 as she met at the community center to discuss the findings on "revaluations" by Appraisal Systems, Inc., a company which has been contracted by the state of New Jersey, to assess the fair market property values for each county or borough- for the tax assessor's offices.
Apparently there was a lot of derision that had been caused by these "revaluations" by homeowners due to the fact that property values have fallen dramatically. The NJ families claim there is nothing "fair about the market of home values that have been assessed.
Mrs. Hart told the Examiner, ""I tried to express my opinion and tell them that my Constitutional rights had been violated. I began quoting the Constitution, line by line."
She then attempted to explain that the Appraisal Systems, Inc. was attempting to inspect her property without her husband being present. She is a Jew and according to her belief system, her husband needed to be present. It seems the ASI representative took offense at Mrs. Hart's comments and called in the Tax Assessor Robyn Glocke-Hammond, who told Hart that is was her job to enforce the law.
Since when are tax assessors law enforcement?
She recounts, "She also wouldn't let me speak and told me to sit down and shut up and listen as well. That's when the young man came toward me. I knew he was going to put his hands on me. I saw him out of the corner of my eye. I said to him "Don't you dare touch me." Then they threw us out of the auditorium. The young man from Appraisal Systems, Inc. was the one going postal, and I believe if HE HAD A GUN, he would have shot me, Keith and Khloe on the spot. I was calm the entire time."
Upon leaving the center, the same man, Andrew Colavecchio, from ASI followed her and her husband into the parking lot screaming and shouting at her and taking down her license plate number declaring, "See if you are able to pay your property taxes now!"
Upon arriving home, the Harts found five police cars from the Franklinville Police Department waiting on them and informed them that the Clayton Police wanted to speak to them. The officers took her purse and put her in a "paddy wagon" and took her to the police station. This was all done in front of her young daughter.
“I have a 7-year-old daughter, I homeschool her," she told the Blaze. "I would never risk going to prison for the rest of my life and lose everything. I have no criminal history, I have no history of drug abuse, no history of alcohol abuse, I have no history of mental illness, I have never committed a crime a day in my life. And because I used my First Amendment right I was arrested for it.”
She was then arrested and charged for making "terroristic threats" and "contempt."
So what brings such a charge? According to the complaint in the State of New Jersey vs. Eileen B. Hart, "The Defendant was yelling and screaming and making the threatening comment. 'If the door is locked. I'll be back with a gun.'"
Ms. Hart denies making the comment and the report was taken by Clayton County Sergeant J. Dick, who was not at the meeting.
However, when she was brought into the police station and handcuffed to a chair, the police did a background check and discovered that she had to lawfully owned handguns. She was advised to turn them over to the court for "safe keeping" and the police told her that if she failed to do so her bail would be very high, which would mean that if she could not make bail she would remain in the county jail until such time as a trial.
Hart is a daughter of Holocaust survivors and she said she can't help but to recall the “massive gun registration [and] invasion of private property” that happened when Hitler invaded Poland.
“If quoting the Constitution makes me a terrorist, we are in Hitler’s America,” she said.
Under a biblical system of law there would have had to have been at least two witnesses before Mrs. Hart would have had to endure this nonsense. This is only one person's word against another and the police should have dealt appropriately with the matter. Instead, they acted in a dishonorable manner, not a lawful one.
I have a similar feeling to Mrs. Hart. I also believe that Mr. Colavecchio and Appraisal Systems, Inc. may find themselves in a massive libel suit when this is all over. At least one could hope.