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Without Building Permits, Amish Face Fines

Legal actions have been brought against more than a dozen Amish residents in Wisconsin and New York for building structures in their traditional style, but without building permits.

"But his home could cost him thousands of dollars in fines. Borntreger, an Amish farmer, built the house himself according to Amish tradition - but without a building permit.

His case is among at least 18 legal actions brought against Amish residents in Wisconsin and New York in the past year and a half for building without proper permits, according to court records, attorneys and advocates for the Amish.

The cases have sparked local debates about where religion ends and government begins. Amish advocates - the Amish religion precludes them from defending themselves physically or legally - argue the Amish belief that they must live apart from the world trumps local regulations."

Full Story: Amish homeowners: Religion trumps building codes

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