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  1. #1
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    Columbus, Ohio traffic court article

    Source:
    http://www.americasvoices.org/archives2004/YoungD/YoungD_062504.htm

    The Fleecing Of America -- I: The Prostitution Of The Courts & Justice
    System
    David A. Young

    [email protected]

    Most parents, psychologists and sociologists know that respect is a quality
    that is learned at a very early age. Respect for parents, teachers and
    persons of authority grows and is transferred to others and to institutions
    as we grow older. The same applies to disrespect. Both are learned and
    taught by others.

    I have observed over the years a growing disrespect for our courts, the
    justice system and law enforcement. Each has been prostituted in the
    interest of their own self-interests. As such, each has amassed power,
    control and financial resources to perpetuate their existence without the
    voters and taxpayers approval.

    A recent example occurred in the Village of New Rome, Ohio. A police chief
    and a small police force literally held the village in captivity while
    illegally arresting thousands of motorists passing through a two block
    stretch of highway (U.S. Route 40) and issuing citations requiring an
    appearance in a bogus Mayor's Court which assessed exorbitant "traffic"
    fines. Vehicles were often impounded for tail light malfunctions and other
    common "equipment failures". Fines were compounded to include towing,
    storage, and points on drivers' records. They got by with it because the
    police and their terrorist-like behavior produced over 90% of the income for
    the village and for the police department. The 60 residents were happy as
    clams not to have to pay any taxes. They were also afraid of personal
    repercussions if they spoke out.

    The outrageous, and now determined to be illegal, conduct of the New Rome
    police force resulted in legislation enacted by the Ohio State Legislature
    dissolving villages of less than 60 and the disbandment of the New Rome
    Police Department. The Franklin County Prosecutor is now working to dismiss
    the charges and expunge the Department of Motor Vehicle records of all
    motorist's whose cases have not been heard; but the poor souls (over 3,100)
    who already have already paid their fines and had their records besmirched
    and insurance rates increased as a result are S.O.L. The New Rome Police
    Chief has not been charged, nor have any legal actions been brought against
    the persons who perpetrated this illegal and un-American disgrace.

    New Rome is not alone, nor is it an anomaly. Perhaps New Rome was more
    blatant, but similar police, court and prosecutorial behavior continues
    every day right in the City of Columbus (the largest city in Ohio and tenth
    largest in the U.S.) and Franklin County, Ohio. I have had occasion to
    observe it recently first hand during six visits to the Franklin County
    Municipal Courts, initially as a subpoenaed witness in a motor vehicle
    accident case and subsequently as a friend accompanying my friend whose
    appearance was required for a minor traffic "misdemeanor".

    The inefficient, discourteous manner of court employees and surly behavior
    of police officers and the apparent illusion of pious status by judges and
    magistrates is obvious. Nearly everything is done to inconvenience the
    taxpayer, defendants, witnesses and others going to the Franklin County Hall
    of Justice and Courts. County bureaucrats, judges, police officers and
    court employees have reserved for themselves parking, while all others are
    forced to pay exorbitant parking fees as high as $12.50 for three hours or
    any part thereof. Parking meters only accept quarters for 12 minutes and
    have a one-hour limit. Navigating the distance from the meters to the Hall
    of Justice, the traffic, and the gauntlet of surly overweight security
    personnel may itself take an hour to accomplish, not to mention an
    additional hour or two for the judge or other court personnel to make their
    regal appearance. Meter maids constantly walk the area like flies, issuing
    exorbitant parking tickets exceeding $70 or more. The police of course, in
    their private vehicles, park without concern. Metal detectors manned by as
    many as eight paid employees at each entrance scan everyone entering the
    Hall of Justice, while beggars panhandle at the doors just outside the
    entrances.

    The Ohio State Legislature in its infinite wisdom has now elevated traffic
    misdemeanors to a level similar to that of criminal and felony procedures.
    Defendants are required to appear in court before a magistrate for an
    "arraignment" to plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. A not guilty plea
    requires a defendant to make a second appearance at a date within 30 days to
    "stand trial". Court costs are assessed at $69 for the initial appearance.
    Defendants are intimidated by the magistrate and prosecutor telling them
    they could be assessed a $150 fine for their infraction, plus additional
    court costs. A second appearance (parking fees again) is conducted by a
    judge also hearing trials in the same courtroom as defendants in Franklin
    County Jail jumpsuits charged with drug, robbery or violent crimes. All
    this can be avoided of course by agreeing to "cop a plea" of guilty at the
    initial hearing, and pay a reduced fine and court costs for a taillight or
    muffler violation!

    I recently accompanied a good friend through this disgraceful maze of
    self-perpetuating bureaucracy, and I am irate, ashamed and determined to
    make these concerns known to the taxpayers and voters. Hopefully they will
    see the real danger of encroaching, self-perpetuating, inefficient and
    dishonest government. It is a threat to our Constitutional freedoms at the
    lowest levels of government.

    My friend, an immigrant permanent resident, a business owner and taxpayer
    was cited more than three months ago for some indecipherable traffic
    infraction while he was driving from one business location to another. The
    alleged violation occurred during a weekend of high police presence because
    of a Black Heritage Festival and many roads and highways were blocked or
    restricted by the police. Because of these traffic routings, my friend was
    shunted away from the highway onto which he wanted to travel and shortly
    thereafter pulled over and accused of driving under the influence of
    alcohol. His denial was ignored and the officer insisted of making him look
    at his finger while he studied the pupils of his eyes. Then determining
    that my friend had indeed not been drinking issued him an indecipherable
    illegible ticket charging "Marked Lanes" as the offense. A charge that the
    prosecutor's office still is unable to explain.

    My friend's first arraignment appearance was not only expensive because of
    the court costs and parking fees, but also because he was forced to take a
    half-day away from his business. The courtroom was a literal zoo, with
    everyone from every walk of life, their families, friends, significant
    others, crying babies, dressed in drag, gang attire, do-rags, etc.
    Defendants were called before the magistrate in groups of 15 to 20 at a time
    and intimidated with the threat of maximum fines, court costs, etc., etc.
    Nearly all pleaded guilty. They simply wanted to pay their fines, get the
    court proceedings completed and get back out on the street. My friend was
    adamant and insisted on pleading Not Guilty, a plea that set another set of
    wheels in motion. His court date was set before a judge 30 days hence.

    His second appearance a month later was no different than the first, except
    that it was in the imperial courtroom on the 13th floor. Criminals, felons,
    prostitutes, drug dealers, all sharing the same court room as my poor friend
    contesting a yet to be deciphered misdemeanor traffic violation. His only
    crime was trying to get from one of his stores to another (a daily routine),
    receiving a minor 2nd degree misdemeanor traffic violation issued
    vindictively in hindsight and having the impertinence to plead not guilty.
    After two hours of waiting and witnessing the theater in the courtroom my
    friend's case was called and he was again asked how he pleaded. He again
    stated Not Guilty, and he asked to present a witnessed affidavit of his
    account of the traffic stop. He was told that because he spoke Chinese he
    would have to return again, a third time, to allow the court to secure a
    Chinese-American translator -- all for a minor traffic misdemeanor. Our
    government tax monies at work!

    On the third visit, another month later, he was forced to wait outside a
    locked courtroom, nearly 30 minutes after the assigned time. Then, after
    entering the courtroom, he was forced to witness the less than professional
    behavior of court employees and police officers as they made snide remarks,
    joked among themselves and discussed their personal lives. An hour and a
    half after the scheduled time, my friend's name was called. He and his
    interpreter were called aside by the assistant prosecutor and arresting
    police officer and offered a plea bargain -- if you agree to plead guilty we
    will change the charge to an equipment violation, such as muffler or tail
    light, and recommend there be no fine, just the court costs. If you decide
    to continue to plead not guilty you risk the chance of having to pay a $150
    fine, additional court costs and having points assessed to your driver's
    license. The police officer and prosecutor said that it was the police
    officer's word against my friend's and that the judge would believe the
    police officer. My friend agreed to plead guilty of a muffler violation and
    was assessed only a $71 court cost fee.

    So, who was the winner here? The police officer was forced to use two days
    of his personal time to dress up in his uniform, guns, handcuffs, and mace,
    to attend the last two court hearings. Franklin County was forced to pay a
    Chinese-American translator. An overweight, surly and arrogant clerk was
    forced to sip coffee in the courtroom and shuffle papers on persons she
    appeared to feel were inferior to her. An assistant prosecutor and support
    staff was required to shuffle files, papers and reports and make data
    entries on the case. A local businessman, taxpayer and property owner is
    very disillusioned and angry by the experience. He has taken three days
    away from his business, rescheduled his out of town travel, paid $71 in
    court costs, and $37.50 in parking fees. The Franklin County assistant
    prosecutor and judge and the Columbus police officer were all complicit in
    urging my friend to commit perjury -- to plead guilty to a muffler
    violation. An outright lie since my friend had a new muffler and exhaust
    system installed on his car just 4 months ago.

    I asked my friend, who is an immigrant from a totalitarian communist
    country, how this would have been handled in his country. His reply was
    "Same-same. It is no different here than at home, except if you are guilty
    there they shoot you." So, how long now will we allow this to go on before
    they begin shooting us?


  2. #2
    Alcards
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    Yes, it is in their interest to keep the system

    clogged. And far too many police officers abuse their authority. At least that fellow didn't get the flashlight treatment. And don't forget the haitian immigrant in New York.

  3. #3
    Ben H
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    Ohio is BAD!!! On my trip up to Detroit from TX,

    I saw maybe one cop on the road until I hit Ohio. Got lasered 3 times before I left the state. I swear I saw more than 15 cops just passing through. There were a bunch running speed traps right before the border of Michigan.

    I feel bad for those of you who have to do business there.

    Ben

  4. #4
    drharper750
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    Re: Columbus, Ohio traffic court article

    it's a shame but it happens every day every where in one form or another.i've felt your pain. life sucks, get a helmet

  5. #5
    drharper750
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    mayors court lake milton

    went to court{cattle call}expecting to pay $65 just like everyone on jobsite and got hit with $900 fine. $500 is max a mayors court is allowed to charge.same mayor sentenced kids who broke in liquor store{federal crime}to mow his yard.mayor was electrician from lordstown's GM plant that had no business judging anyone.POS.feds did catch him on liquor store robbery tho i doubt if he got in much trouble,i don't go there anymore.

  6. #6
    Les
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    I would push my car into Michigan rather than pay

    for gas in Ohio.....

  7. #7
    Woody
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    Re: I would push my car into Michigan rather than pay

    I am guessing you are from Michigan, as you just reversed a direct quote of Ohio State's most famous football coach, Woody Hayes. For those of you who are not aware, the two states have been involved in a minor tiff for some time :)

  8. #8
    Jo
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    Re: Columbus, Ohio traffic court article

    We just went to through the courts today. There is still no change in the attitudes at the courts, and you can't help but feel like the prosecuter is screwing you over.

  9. #9
    Robert Bonter
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    Speeding Ticket Dismissed.

    Discover hidden loopholes in the court system and find out how to beat a speeding ticket in any state.

  10. #10
    novella
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    court hearing


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