Massachusetts Supreme Court upholds policy of charging $70 fee to innocent motorists

($20 for appealing the summons to a clerk, then another $50 to get the case in front of a district court judge).

Government overstepping it’s bounds, or reasonable fees for trying to get out of a ticket?

In college I once got a $5 parking ticket after spending 1.5hrs in a 2hr space. It cost $10 to go to court to contest it. I sent the $5.

Paying to get the opportunity to reduce fines or points makes sense to me. In the rare event that the person is found not guilty, all fees should be waived. It seems to me that the ticketing officer should be make a court appearance for the fees to be paid. If the accused appears and the office does not, the accused gets off if the plead not guilty. That’s how it goes down in MD, anyway.

I think the loser should pay court costs, especially in civil cases, which most traffic tickets technically are.

Not fair IMHO. If you go to court and lose, you should pay the additional fee, but if you’re proven innocent, you’re still being robbed, which leaves you as victimized by the system that’s supposed to protect you as if some scumbag stole your wallet. Not that life is fair.

What better way to discourage anyone trying to buck the revenue system than to punish them in advance for even considering it.

If the loser pays then it’s a sure thing that the citizen will be wrong all the time. Seems like the gov is nothing more more than a legal thief.

Being “innocent” and “beating the rap” are two separate things…If you want to play “Beat The Rap” it will cost you $70 to sit at the table…

This stinks.

This way tickets can be issued to the innocent as well as to violaters and they both end up paying. This proves beyond a doubt that tickets are used in Massachusetts as a way of generating revenue rather than fines for violating traffic laws. Massachusetts whould be ashamed of itself. As should those that passed the ordinances and the member of the Mass Supreme Court.

It’s no less corrupt than the time Mass tried to force NH tire stores operating and installing tires in NH to collect Mass sales taxes on all tires sold to Mass residents. And Mass revenue agents were forcing the NH stores to open their sales records to them under threat of criminal charges,in Mass.

I agree with the premise that if found guilty the fee is legitimate…but of found innocent it’s just a revenue generating penalty for having fought an unjust violation.

Maybe I’d just “forget” about the ticket; I seriously doubt that the state of Massachusetts would expend the manpower and money to send someone all the way to Florida just to try to collect on a parking ticket or minor traffic ticket from me. Now, if I was a fugitive who committed a crime in Massachusetts, that’d be different. There’s a major difference between being an actual criminal and a mere “scofflaw”.

A little off topic but this guy was far from innocent. I have personal experience with the area and his violation as I regularly use the route he took and he does too. He raced down on the left to beat traffic and merged in to the right from a left turn only lane. He crossed a solid white line to force his way into the lane going straight. There are numerous signs indicating what’s coming up so plenty of time to merge but there are lots of people who feel they are above waiting. When the cops finally started policing, this guy got busted. He’s a lawyer and argued insufficient signage. What a joke. He got off and then went on this crusade.

FYI, here is the actual decision if you want to see the issues raised and the reasons for the court’s decision.

A lawyer? It figures.

Um, its called court costs. If you want to make use of the courts, you need to pay for it. Same thing if you are unjustly accused of a crime, you still have to pay court costs and lawyers fees. If you don’t want funds coming out of the general fund to pay for things like this, then the only alternative is user fees. Get used to it in the age of the Tea Party.

Must you spin everything into a political statement???

@the same mountainbike

Everyone has a point of view, even folks we disagree with. At least you aren’t confused about who Bing is. And who is it that has made saving money in government as important as it seems to be today? Tea Party is shorthand for the gang that thinks that way.