"So Let it Be Written... So Let it Be Done"

The life and times of a real, down to earth, nice guy. A relocated New Englander formerly living somewhere north of Boston, but now soaking up the bright sun of southwestern central Florida (aka The Gulf Coast). Welcome to my blog world. Please leave it as clean as it was before you came. Thanks for visiting, BTW please leave a relevant comment so I know you were here. No blog spam, please. (c) MMV-MMXV Court Jester Productions & Bamford Communications

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

This time... I win.

I took a vacation day yesterday from work. Got to sleep in and everything. Boy it was nice. But there was another reason for taking a day off in the middle of the week...

Lemme 'splain.

Back on December 30th as I was heading toward the highway to make my way up to Nashua, I got pulled over for speeding by the mighty Burlington Police. I was cited for going 50 MPH in a 35 MPH zone. I had just gotten out of work; it was a few minutes after 4 in the afternoon. The road I was traveling on has many businesses on it, and like me, there were many people just getting out of work for the day and plenty of traffic on the road, making it near to impossible to get up any kind of speed on this four lane (two lanes each direction) road. I was in the lane closest to the double yellow line.

As I was going down a slight hill, the cop - who was stationed in the entrance/exit of a parking lot, saw me and as I approached where he was, started to pull out into the road. Both me and the car in the lane next to me stopped and motioned to the officer to go ahead and pull out into the road, thinking that he was going to go chase someone. Instead he motioned both of us to pass him. As soon as we did, sure enough, he pulled out and the lights came on. But it was me that he wanted!

Shocked, I immediately pulled over and that's when I got the ticket. $150 big ones.

After the cop pulled away and I was back on the road, I began to mutter to myself all the way up to New Hampshire, about how idiotic getting that ticket was.

I now had a deadline of 20 days to either send in money I didn't have or send in the ticket with the box checked asking for a court hearing. I always appeal my speeding tickets because even if I eventually lose, it gives me extra time to save up the cash and I can budget in an extra $10 per week or whatever fits. The last time I appealed a speeding ticket didn't go so well, because I lost.

Then I noticed it. Or should I say I noticed what I didn't see. Definitely going to request an appeal on this one.

What did I not see?

The officer neglected to fill out the part of the ticket that records how it was determined that I was going as fast as I was. Right then I knew an appeal had a chance of being successful.

I waited until just about the 20 days grace period expired before I sent back the ticket. For the longest time I didn't hear anything about my appeal and figured the matter had been dropped.

What I didn't know is that my hearing was originally scheduled for April 7th at 2:30 PM. But when the notice of hearing was returned to the court because of a bad address, they had no choice to reschedule it.

I finally received the hearing notice in the mail about a month ago. Yesterday afternoon at 2:30 was the rescheduled time.

In Nashua, they hold traffic hearings in a real courtroom, with a real judge, and it looks awfully official.

Woburn (MA) District Court, is nothing like I expected, at least as far as traffic hearings go. Quite a let down, actually. On Monday after work, I took a dry-run over to the courthouse and found out where the parking was and which was the main entrance into the building. I didn't want to have another out-of breath experience, like this.

These hearings are held in a bare-bones library-type conference room. I made sure I got there The only people present were the clerk-magistrate, a representative from the Burlington Police and me.

The clerk-magistrate advised me that the officer had been sworn in previously (I was the third hearing that afternoon) and then he asked me to raise my right hand, swear to tell the truth, the whole truth so help me God?

Umm, yeah.

The police officer then was asked to state the charges and he basically read what was written on the ticket, even stating that it was unknown how the officer who pulled me over determined how fast I was driving. Then I was asked if I had anything to add.

I just said that I wanted to point out that the officer failed to fill out the ticket properly by not noting how it was determined how fast I was driving and that at that time of day with all of the traffic from people getting out of work it would be hard to reach a speed of 50 MPH.

It took the clerk-magistrate all of 30 seconds to agree that I was not responsible for the $150.00 fine. In fact, the whole process took less than five minutes, once I actually was actually called into the room.

Personally, I think that the officer who stopped me needed to reach an end of the month quota of tickets issued and didn't really care if the fine was actually paid or not. A speeding ticket isn't really all that difficult to fill out, and I'm sure he's filled out a lot of them.

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At 15 May, 2009 10:50, Blogger ~Autumn said...

Good for you! I'm glad you were able to go to court and not have to pay the fine!

At 16 May, 2009 13:08, Blogger Kayla said...

Score one for the average citizen!
I just got a ticket for "pausing" at a stop sign instead of stopping.
The officer was a real jackass about the whole experience. I saw the cop right in the middle of my turn at the stop. I knew he had me, so when he pulled out an started to follow me, I pulled over. Jackass then procedes to tell me I should not have pulled over because he did not have the flashing lights on. Okay, I said..can I go now? Hell No! He then sarcastically asked me what a stop sign meant. Duh. I felt like returning the smart remark, but held my tongue. End of story, I have to pay up $132.

At 18 May, 2009 14:52, Blogger ca nadeau said...

This story was the feel good experience of my day---I hate cops.


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