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Could You Be Fined For Stacking Firewood Wrong?

Could You Be Fined For Stacking Firewood Wrong?

The amount of government overreach in America is reaching epidemic proportions. It’s gotten to the point where it almost seems that Soviet-era Russia had more freedom in some areas than we do in the U.S. in those same areas. One of those weird areas is… stacking firewood.

Yes, apparently, how you stack your firewood may violate local ordinances and cause you to be fined. As crazy as this sounds, it’s really happening. An article at gives us details of one such incident:

The city of Doraville, Georgia, issued a warrant for Jeff Thornton’s arrest and fined him $1,000. Thornton’s “crime”? He stacked his firewood the wrong way in his backyard.

Thornton eventually went to court and pleaded the fine down to $300. Nevertheless, they still placed him on probation for 12 months, as the Institute for Justice (IOJ) reported. Furthermore, Thornton was one of many Doraville residents that the city hit with fines in their “policing for profit” scheme, the IOJ alleged.

Doraville code requires firewood to be neatly stacked in four by eight piles. In addition, any deviation can lead to a ticket and a fine. The municipality cited Thornton, but he did not realize he had violated the code until the city issued an arrest warrant for him.

Now, as ridiculous as this whole situation sounds (and it is), realize a couple of things here: 1. Doraville is a town in the metro-Atlanta area. Frankly, most people driving through Doraville wouldn’t know that they weren’t in Atlanta proper as only the signs telling you that you are in Doraville would make that clear. So this is a busy area with lots of people and lots of traffic. For government bureaucrats this means lots of opportunity for income.

Which brings us to point # 2: Doraville collected $3.4 million in fines in the twelve month period from August 2016 to August 2017. The IOJ figures that these fines fund between 1/5 to 1/3 of the city’s budget for a year.

Now, keep in mind, this isn’t taxation by the normal methods. These types of ordinances that generate income through fines are often passed by city councils and county governments without any knowledge of the people until the people are slapped with a fine.

This is taxation without representation at its “finest,” and the City of Doraville should be ashamed of themselves.

The question that you need to ask yourself, though, is: Does my local government have a bunch of ordinances to use to extort money from me, and how do I keep from being taken by this kind of “legal” theft?



View Comments (19)
  • This is all part of the NWO that obamanation and clinton, with the help of soros, are pushing for in 2020. It’s just the beginning….

  • So the greedy thieves/politicians have invented a new game known as “Prosecution for Fun and Profit”. BTW, Can someone explain how stacking firewood “improperly” justifies a $1000 fine? Enquiring minds want to know.

  • What can I say – -Atlanta is overrun with and run by a hoard of mentally damaged liberal dimwits; anything that comes out of Atlanta is, generally, -0- good, as far as the city, itself, is concerned.

  • I smell a fool in your post. There is absolutely no possible legitimate reason for that nasty post.

  • This is a way to discourage the use of a fireplace, wood stove or fire pit by making it painful financially. After all, how dare those poor people find a way around using government sanctioned utilities. How dare they think that air pollution is due to smog regulation exempted city and school buses or any number of other protected polluters rather than their fireplace. Those independent minded do it your-selfers must be punished and forced to move away. They just might realize that replacing the bank of batteries every seven years on the mandated home solar systems we are trying to force people to get is what’s expensive about solar energy. If they do they may fight these home cost increasing mandates rather than just go blindly along with anything we say and then who knows if the solar company will support our campaigns. Since we don’t like poor people anyway and don’t think they belong in our city it’s just easier to quietly force them out. It will also drive property tax revenue up as a newly sold house gets reassessed for land tax so there’s that bonus too. More money less poor people it’s a win-win… unless you count the rising homeless population but they’ll crack down on that next week.

  • 4 x 8 a cord of wood so if not stacked as such fine court time jail . So what is the town doing taxing citizens on the number of cords of wood ? What kind of stupid is running the town ?


  • Time for Doraville to elect a new City Council and fire the bureaucrats who brought these fines to the ordinances….

  • Bet if you go to the council’s offices and homes you’ll find even worse violations. Welcome to the DEMON world of the left.

  • I just took a look at Doraville City Hall on Google Maps. What I can’t understand is why someone hasn’t lodged a formal complaint with the city in regard to the fact that their GOVERNMENT building is not ADA accessible from the street. It looks to me if someone wanted to play tit for tat with these bureaucrats they could hit them up for ADA accessibility violations that would cost more to comply than any little fine they could levy. (Their court house and library are also vulnerable.)

  • Challenge the law to a higher authority. Next they will want to fine you, if you go to the bathroom more than once a day. I suppose these morons are against flying the American flag in front of your house. Voters need to wake up and stop electing liberal commie Democrats. Perfect example, why they should never be put into office.

  • You left something out. Did Mr. Thornton actually STACK his firewood? Or was it dumped higgledy-piggledy in a pile where animals could use it for a den and/or it could fall over and injure someone? If the former, then I’d agree the city was out of line! But firewood falling on someone – especially on a small person – could cause serious injury.

  • Sounds as if California Dems have invaded Atlanta. The Dems are getting the reputation of being anti-American and stupid. It may be called brain-rot.

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