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(Springfield Republican)   Massachusetts Supreme Court justices say there's nothing wrong with charging $319.90 in court fees to dispute a parking ticket. After all, somebody has to pay their salaries   (masslive.com) divider line 80
    More: PSA, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, court costs, Maine Supreme Judicial Court, Northampton, Massachusetts, Massachusetts Attorney General, summary judgment, justices  
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6068 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Jul 2011 at 10:09 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2011-07-14 09:08:14 PM  
meh. just make sure that you make the court spend more than $320 bucks to prosecute you. hell, i'm not even a lawyer and even I can arrange that.
 
2011-07-14 10:14:52 PM  
Tickets are just random toll for owning and driving a car. The govt doesn't even hide behind the farce of safety anymore... I don't understand why people are constantly confused on this. The police are expected to generate their "expected revenue" and they're going to do it on your ass. It's wrong but money talks. Deal with it, change the laws or sell your car. God Bless America.
 
2011-07-14 10:16:38 PM  
It might be because he lost one; or it might be that it was Massachusetts.

As IAmNotALawyer understand Virginia rules, if you have multiple charges combined, there's only one set of court costs; if you go for a trial by jury (as is your right under Amendment 6), this increases the court costs (a LOT); however, whether tried by judge or by jury, if you're found not guilty on all charges, you don't owe the courts a dime for the costs. (Your lawyer is a separate matter.)

This guy had two tickets; he chose a hearing, and lost one that he was appealing. Ergo, court costs for it.
 
2011-07-14 10:19:43 PM  
Like North Carolina speeding tickets, the fine for going 15 over is $15, the court costs are $130. They'll reduce the fine easily with no judge present but they still get their court cost.
 
2011-07-14 10:20:45 PM  
So..... If you are found guilty, you have to pay the court fee's? Whats wrong with that? They both parked illegally and challenged the ticket, and lost.

Or is it, any filing to challenge a ticket and you still have to pay court costs, as that would definitely be illegal.
Any ticket that a person gets needs to be able to be challenged in court. Otherwise it is denying a persons Right to a fair trial(disputing the ticket).
Challenge a ticket and pay court costs and then sue the city for the fee's that you need to recover for losing a couple hundred on a bogus 10 buck ticket.
 
2011-07-14 10:20:45 PM  
Well yes, someone does have to pay their salaries.
 
2011-07-14 10:21:18 PM  
welcome to capitalism, you get the justice you pay for.
 
2011-07-14 10:21:23 PM  
God bless these justices for performing their appointed duties instead of legislating from the bench like activist judges. If the people of Massachusetts want lower court fees, they should follow the proper channels, write to their representatives in the state legislature, and ask them to pass a law lowering the fees. And because legislators always protect the best interests of their constituents, it will happen. For all the socialists out there, that's how America is supposed to work.
 
2011-07-14 10:22:51 PM  
So basically if you get a bullshiat ticket, you can't contest it, because the fees to do so will almost definitely be higher than the price of the ticket itself?

GENIUS
 
2011-07-14 10:24:04 PM  
Received a ticket for illegal parking while legally parked in my own driveway. Went to Court to have it dismissed. Judge dismissed ticket. Then I had to pay 3/4 the cost of the Ticket for Cost of Court.

they should just pass the hat once a year, it would save time.
 
2011-07-14 10:25:12 PM  
Molavian:

I'll take four of them. Where do I send the money?

four of each?
 
2011-07-14 10:28:41 PM  

TheirThey'reNow: Tickets are just random toll for owning and driving a car.


I've been driving for ten years and I've never received a ticket
 
2011-07-14 10:29:57 PM  
Court costs $130.
Large caliber bullet. Mere pennies.

You do the math.
 
2011-07-14 10:30:22 PM  

KrispyKritter: Received a ticket for illegal parking while legally parked in my own driveway.


This happened to me, too. We were going to dispute it and bring a bunch of photos and everything, but when we looked into it, our ticket didn't seem to exist. So instead of asking around and probably getting re-ticketed, we just let it lie.

I still worry that we're going to wind up pulled over for an outstanding ticket that didn't exist in their system... I just tell myself that the cop typoed our license plate number or something.

/not so cool story, bro
 
2011-07-14 10:31:58 PM  

moothemagiccow: TheirThey'reNow: Tickets are just random toll for owning and driving a car.

I've been driving for ten years and I've never received a ticket


I think it's calculated by the mile. How many miles do you drive? Also, do you drive a mid-sized sedan... not too old not too new? Oh, and it helps if you're a hot chick. All factors in the toll.
 
2011-07-14 10:32:56 PM  
The fee keeps the riff raff out of the court system.
 
2011-07-14 10:36:51 PM  
The legal system is for revenue generation? The hell you say!
 
2011-07-14 10:45:47 PM  

moothemagiccow: TheirThey'reNow: Tickets are just random toll for owning and driving a car.

I've been driving for ten years and I've never received a ticket


You're just asking for the universe to give you one now.
 
2011-07-14 10:46:47 PM  
If you win, the city should pay all court costs and a per diem for the time you spent proving them wrong.
 
2011-07-14 10:47:18 PM  
FTA ...the court wrote, the fee system serves the purpose of discouraging "the filing of nonmeritorious appeals" by conserving scarce judicial resources.

Anyone else read that as we don't want the peons actually availing themselves of the judicial system?
 
2011-07-14 10:48:36 PM  
Fifteen dollars for a parking ticket? That's a farking bargain, he should have just paid it.


moothemagiccow: TheirThey'reNow: Tickets are just random toll for owning and driving a car.

I've been driving for ten years and I've never received a ticket




Did you remember to knock on wood after you typed that?
 
2011-07-14 10:52:56 PM  

NightOwl2255: FTA ...the court wrote, the fee system serves the purpose of discouraging "the filing of nonmeritorious appeals" by conserving scarce judicial resources.

Anyone else read that as we don't want the peons actually availing themselves of the judicial system?


Everybody paying attention did
 
2011-07-14 10:54:27 PM  

anarchy_x: welcome to capitalism, you get the justice you pay for.


Oh, and this is why, in case you're wondering, people prefer to settle rather than taking otherwise meritorious claims to court. Because it costs much MUCH more to file on more complicated cases.

Farking tort laws, how don't they work.
 
2011-07-14 10:56:55 PM  

abb3w: This guy had two tickets; he chose a hearing, and lost one that he was appealing. Ergo, court costs for it.


Its a two step process. The "administrative" appeal is free but is not really a trial as there is no judge and you do not get to face your accuser.

If you loose the administrative appeal and want to use your right to a trial, have a judge and face your accuser, you have to pay. Up front.

You don't choose a hearing, you get one. Period.
 
2011-07-14 10:58:14 PM  

Weaver95: meh. just make sure that you make the court spend more than $320 bucks to prosecute you. hell, i'm not even a lawyer and even I can arrange that.


Yup. If I ever had to defend myself in a Massachusetts Court, I'd file requests for all sorts of things, like the officer's records, transcripts of zoning hearings for the parking area, and so forth. Win or lose, they would not come out ahead.
 
2011-07-14 11:00:32 PM  

abb3w: This guy had two tickets; he chose a hearing, and lost one that he was appealing. Ergo, court costs for it.


Seems about right.

You're right in most threads... Perhaps that's why I've got you favorited?
 
2011-07-14 11:05:03 PM  
FTA: Furthermore, the court wrote, the fee system serves the purpose of discouraging "the filing of nonmeritorious appeals" by conserving scarce judicial resources.

Yes, god forbid people be allowed their day in court.

I'm not even mad, though. Once you get to the point in your life when you realize that government - and traffic cops especially - only exists to screw you, you can move past any strange delusions about "justice for all" and just focus on not getting caught up in the system.

TheirThey'reNow: Tickets are just random toll for owning and driving a car.


QFT. Just like someone might pay an extra $5,000 when buying a car so they're able to have a good engine or a good satnav system or a TV in the passenger dashboard, I figure on paying an extra $1,000/year roughly in tickets and insurance so I'm able to do 90 on the interstate in the middle of friggin' nowhere when I want to. (as long as I don't rack up enough points to get suspended)
 
2011-07-14 11:13:10 PM  

Sudo_Make_Me_A_Sandwich: Yup. If I ever had to defend myself in a Massachusetts Court, I'd file requests for all sorts of things, like the officer's records, transcripts of zoning hearings for the parking area, and so forth. Win or lose, they would not come out ahead.



I joined the NMA after getting a speeding ticket once and tried to appeal it. The first thing they recommended doing was to send a certified letter to the D.A. and the State PD asking for the records from the traffic stop and the maintenance logs from the radar gun and so on. The D.A. never responded, since I guess he isn't required to in my state, but a week later I got a letter from the State PD saying they couldn't give them to me because they were part of a pending court case (namely, mine). *facepalm*

I wound up just filing a bunch of continuances and stringing the process out as long as I could until the prosecutor got sick of me and called me to offer a plea that cut the fine in half (and more importantly, kept me one point below the number that would've got me suspended for 6 months).
 
2011-07-14 11:21:10 PM  

moothemagiccow: TheirThey'reNow: Tickets are just random toll for owning and driving a car.

I've been driving for ten years and I've never received a ticket


I see the word "random" is new to you.
 
2011-07-14 11:21:24 PM  
This is the kind of "tax" that average voters don't object to.

The legislature is always adding on to court and other fees. Most don't object, because they figure it won't affect them.

In the time I've been practicing law, the cost of recording a deed has gone from $2.50 to $35 dollars. First it was that you can't use 14" paper, then you had to have 2" top and bottom margins. So we went from one page to three; and then the fees kept going up, and you had to file an additional form in the auditor's office and assessors office, etc.

Court costs in the same period have gone from $35 to $157.

The same kinds of increases have happened on the criminal/traffic side.

The lawyers objected, but the clients didn't -- until they had to pay the fees.
 
2011-07-14 11:24:24 PM  

KrispyKritter: Received a ticket for illegal parking while legally parked in my own driveway. Went to Court to have it dismissed. Judge dismissed ticket. Then I had to pay 3/4 the cost of the Ticket for Cost of Court.

they should just pass the hat once a year, it would save time.


This same thing just happened to me. A few people in my family parked in front of our house but since we have a sign that says no parking residents only, and we don't have residence stickers, we got tickets. Despite the fact that we live in our house. I've had to tell people to move when they park in front of my stairs and a few have shot back "But I have a residency sticker". Yeah but you don't live in my house or even on this street so move your farkin car.
 
2011-07-14 11:30:18 PM  
There is not much to biatch about here... he would not have been required to pay if he had won. If it is true that the costs are unusually high, this is not the way to fix that... and it *is* Massachusetts. No big surprise.

The guys on Free Talk Live do this stuff for fun: get a parking ticket, refuse to pay and demand a jury trial, and if found guilty refuse to pay again and go to jail. The authorities never come out ahead monetarily with them, but then again they do wind up in jail a lot. We would have to be talking about a lot of money before I would go to jail.

If only the "loser pays" system were extended to civil lawsuits...
 
2011-07-14 11:38:29 PM  

anarchy_x: welcome to capitalism, you get the justice you pay for.


As opposed to all those wonderful non- capitalist countries in the world where the authorities openly take bribes?

Here in Canada I've only ever been stopped twice for speeding and managed to talk my way out of a fine both times -- does this mean that I don't live in a capitalist country?
 
2011-07-14 11:58:44 PM  
Welcome to the new/old feudal mercantile serf society. You are all slaves.
 
2011-07-15 12:02:23 AM  
SomethingInYourTeeth: Like North Carolina speeding tickets, the fine for going 15 over is $15, the court costs are $130. They'll reduce the fine easily with no judge present but they still get their court cost.

The fines for speeding in NC start at $100. That would be for 1+ miles over the limit. By the time you get to 15 miles over, you are looking at $500 to $1000. There's also a nice little bonus at 15 miles over (or more): mandatory 30 day license suspension. NC ranks in the top ten in the nation for the cost of their speeding tickets.
 
2011-07-15 12:05:42 AM  
I agree with the courts... as long as the court agrees that if I win my case they have to pay me if for my expenses,lost opportunities, and mental anguish that resulted from their filing charges against me.
 
2011-07-15 12:09:58 AM  

alltandubh: Here in Canada I've only ever been stopped twice for speeding and managed to talk my way out of a fine both times -- does this mean that I don't live in a capitalist country?


i104.photobucket.com
 
2011-07-15 12:19:23 AM  
Seems many of you read the article but do not understand, he was challenging the FILING FEEs, not court costs. Filing fees had to be paid IN ADVANCE of his appeal. Not after he lost.

So having high filing fees discourages or prohibits those with limited resources appealing any case they feel that was unjustly ruled against them. Possibly being denied full due process.
 
2011-07-15 12:22:19 AM  

sporkme: There is not much to biatch about here... he would not have been required to pay if he had won. If it is true that the costs are unusually high, this is not the way to fix that... and it *is* Massachusetts. No big surprise.

The guys on Free Talk Live do this stuff for fun: get a parking ticket, refuse to pay and demand a jury trial, and if found guilty refuse to pay again and go to jail. The authorities never come out ahead monetarily with them, but then again they do wind up in jail a lot. We would have to be talking about a lot of money before I would go to jail.

If only the "loser pays" system were extended to civil lawsuits...


I can't get on board with loser pays system simply because that would lead to a system where he with the bigger pockets just has to bleed the other guy enough.

But when the state loses over a charge brought by a state employee, the state shouldn't be able to charge the citizen a dime for the state's screw-up.

Doesn't seem this particular instance is a good example, though. He lost.
 
2011-07-15 12:33:34 AM  

TheR0CK: Seems many of you read the article but do not understand, he was challenging the FILING FEEs, not court costs. Filing fees had to be paid IN ADVANCE of his appeal. Not after he lost.

So having high filing fees discourages or prohibits those with limited resources appealing any case they feel that was unjustly ruled against them. Possibly being denied full due process.


Further, the system as it is has essentially decreed the meter maid or cop a magistrate. Since you have to go to superior court to challenge the maid/cop who is not required to show.

If not, why do you need to file something simply to get a hearing in front of a judge.

Mass law is utterly insane ...
 
2011-07-15 12:43:47 AM  
What else do you expect from a state famous for burning people at the stake?
 
2011-07-15 12:43:55 AM  

Pancoaifo: Further, the system as it is has essentially decreed the meter maid or cop a magistrate. Since you have to go to superior court to challenge the maid/cop who is not required to show.


That damned "innocent until proven guilty" stuff is such a drain on revenues.
 
2011-07-15 12:45:31 AM  

adeist69: Fifteen dollars for a parking ticket? That's a farking bargain, he should have just paid it.


Seriously. The parking tickets for forgetting to move your car on street sweeping day are $65 here. But it's still ridiculous that they're trying to dissuade people from contesting their tickets this way.
 
2011-07-15 01:06:33 AM  

adeist69: Fifteen dollars for a parking ticket? That's a farking bargain, he should have just paid it.


Last time I got a parking ticket, it was $0.00. Seriously, they're only after people who abuse the system. You get a break if you only do it once (within a certain amount of time). I hadn't noticed I was in 2-hour parking and I was parked for about 3-4 hours.
 
2011-07-15 01:13:38 AM  
A friend of mine decided to retire after operating a small store for 28 years. He didn't renew his business license and shut the place down,....you would think this is a no-brainer that he's going out of business. He was hauled into court for failing to notify the city that he was shutting down the store. Like 90% of the other people "on trial" that day, the underlying charges were dropped but each defendant was assessed a $150 court cost fee.
 
2011-07-15 01:31:42 AM  
Reminds me of the parking tickets you get in San Jose, California. "If you get a ticket enforcement officer to sign that this ticket is in error, your ticket will be reduced to ten dollars." On a $15 dollar ticket.

That's right. Even if you can PROVE that the ticket was invalid, you owe them 66% of the ticket cost.
 
2011-07-15 01:43:57 AM  

SomethingInYourTeeth: Like North Carolina speeding tickets, the fine for going 15 over is $15, the court costs are $130. They'll reduce the fine easily with no judge present but they still get their court cost.


In California, the fine for speeding 15 over is about $35, however the additional fees that are added regardless of whether you contest or not puts the ticket up over $200. There's no fees for fighting, though, so Riverside will soon be getting my Trial by Declaration followed by my motions for discovery in case I lose.
 
2011-07-15 01:52:07 AM  
anarchy_x

welcome to capitalism,

Because as we all know massholes are known for being right wing conservative capitalists... right?
 
2011-07-15 01:53:18 AM  

dookdookdook: Pancoaifo: Further, the system as it is has essentially decreed the meter maid or cop a magistrate. Since you have to go to superior court to challenge the maid/cop who is not required to show.

That damned "innocent until proven guilty" stuff is such a drain on revenues.


Massachusetts. I enjoyed my two trips there. Once because I was dating a smoking hot PR girl with family there (Holyoke). The second time because I was a raving alkie and was pretty well boozed up the whole week on an expense account (Hanscombe).

Sobered up and dumped the psycho and now I'm just mortified at the opinions that come out of the 1st circuit. New England seems to want a pound of flesh every time you make a bureaucrat pick up a pencil.

If I ever head back to the northeast, I'm starting the trip with a fifth of high test vodka...
 
2011-07-15 01:56:28 AM  

alltandubh: anarchy_x: welcome to capitalism, you get the justice you pay for.

As opposed to all those wonderful non- capitalist countries in the world where the authorities openly take bribes?

Here in Canada I've only ever been stopped twice for speeding and managed to talk my way out of a fine both times -- does this mean that I don't live in a capitalist country?


My dad got pulled over for speeding on a family trip in Ontario and got out of the ticket. Maybe they were just impressed that he didn't automatically go to the 'I was looking at mph, not kph' excuse. He just wasn't paying attention, no other cars around to pace with really, and in BFE Ontario it does seem weird that you can't go 70 mph like we're used to. Especially since the roads are actually *smooth* for the most part.

/Michigander
 
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