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Posted by on Apr 5, 2009 in Uncategorized | 6 comments

Citation Dismissed!

The saga of Fred’s Port Orange traffic citations has ended with a dismissal of the charges. Discussion of Fred’s troubles in Port Orange have appeared throughout the comments and on the forum, but here is the summary:

In February, Fred was pulled over in Port Orange for controlling a narrow lane on a multi-lane road. He was informed by 2 officers that he was required to ride on the far right edge of the lane. The officers were not interested in actually reading the WHOLE statute which gives Fred the right to use the full lane. Instead they told him they would ticket him if they saw him controlling the lane again. They made good on the promise. Twice. And basically promised to continue citing him if he continued “testing” them. And it wasn’t just cops in the field, the impetus for this harassment was coming straight from the chief of police.

Fred had no choice but to hire a lawyer to fight the tickets. Losing would essentially deny him the right to travel safely on the public roads in Port Orange. It’s expensive to have to fight for your civil rights. It was worth it, though. The citations were dismissed without Fred having to go to court.

Fred has graciously offered all of the documents related to his ordeal to all other cyclists. The PDF linked below includes all of the official documents: scans of the citations; letters to the court; supporting documentation included in those letters and his dismissal document. This is a terrific reference for anyone experiencing similar problems.

He will be laminating all of them and carrying them in his Velomobile. Hopefully that will end any further discussion with misinformed officers.

Download the document.

Many Thanks to Fred!

6 Comments

  1. Great post!
    Congratulations Fred! This is a monumental achievement. Thank you for letting us have copies of the documents: I already printed them and I’ll always keep them with my bike. The one thing I can do in return is to keep riding safely on the road and take my rightful space on the lane.

  2. The costs of legal representation are expensive and to prove innocence costs time and money. Do you believe that the judge wanted to avoid a financial claim of prosecutorial abuse/misapplication of laws? Thanks…

  3. Jack, that’s an interesting question. Does anyone have any insight on this?

    Among the advocates Fred consulted, it was mentioned that Fred should look into seeing if the city might be obligated to reimburse him for his legal expenses.

  4. Fred, I’m interested in your follow-up plans. Do you have any? Do you plan on talking to anyone (police) in-person, etc.??

  5. I do not intend to pursue any financial compensation in this matter. I understand that I could have filed the Motion to Dismiss on my own and probably would have had the same result, thanks to the information provided by my advocate support group (you, and you know who you are!) but having the assistance of a legal eagle was more comforting. Okay, legal pigeon maybe, since his specialty is bankruptcy, not traffic court. I took someone’s recommendation and it still worked out.

    My personal opinion of the result is that the law reads with an exception and I met the exception and the cops who wrote the citation were ignorant of the exception, or chose to remain ignorant out of ego. The latter is more likely, based on statements made by two of them after the camera was turned off.

    “You like violating the law? You like violating the law?” (stop one of three, no citation)

    “Why do you think you have to keep testing us? Why do you have to keep pushing us?” (stop two of three, first citation)

    The third stop, second citation was with a more rational officer, writing the citation based on an order received over the radio prior to the stop, according to the officer!

    Ego? You decide.

  6. That’s what happens when you let the school bully be a hall monitor… some people shouldn’t have authority.

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  1. The Enforcement of Imaginary Laws | i am traffic - [...] FL. The harassment ended when his lawyer got pretrial dismissals of all of his citations. Fred provided documentation for …