Friday, September 23, 2011

Mass. Says: "One way or another, we'll get your money."

Rather depressing court decision:

Basically this Massachussetts motorist felt the speeding ticket was unfairly issued, and was charged court fees close to the cost of the ticket.  He challenged the ticket (and won) and proceeded to contest the fees, took it to his states highest court, and was ruled against.

Incredibly, the Massachussetts Supreme Court reasoned that it was perfectly acceptable to charge people to challenge tickets.  In fairness, it also said that it was *improper* to start making people accused of more serious law-breaking court fees to, but this could easily be the beginning of a slippery slope.  After all, the courts are a "government service" to both society at large and the accused.  Nothing wrong with charging user fees for the services they use... right? right??? (Sarcasm off)

It's an open secret that traffic law enforcement is about 80% revenue and 20% safety driven.
This ruling affirms this overwhelmingly.

So right now Massachussetts traffic law is a rigged casino.  They win no matter what.  I suspect ticket issuance will now skyrocket.

I thought our Constitution protected us against the arbitrary taking of anyone's life, liberty or property.  This ruling basically tosses away the due process that we've been given, by renaming this unfair confiscation as mere "court fees."

Unfair civil forfeitures of boats, cars, homes and bank accounts has been happening for decades, and hardly arouses any outcry. 

So I'm not too optimistic that we'll be seeing any mobs of torch and pitchfork wielders over this one, either.

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