The Law and US: Things We Can Change Now.
Published for http://NOCHERRY.COM
If one goes to traffic court early in the morning, all one sees is working and middle class people milling about as cattle, lining up and when the Judge or commissioner shows up an hour later, obediently pay ridiculous amounts of money for in most cases a harmless error.
One of the biggest ripoffs being imposed on us is involuntary, arbitrary taxes disguised as fees and fines. These City, County and State level taxation can benefit the bureaucracy and “outside contractors” read Companies contributing to elections with special privileges, such as parking collections, jail telephone service, traffic camera operators and private jails.
There are ways to combat this. One with city/county / state wide proposition and the other is lobbying. Corporations have the money but we got the votes!
Here is a list I put together for your consideration.
Municipal and statewide corruption proven in court lifts any protection of tort by a civil servant and punctures the corporate veil, making individuals civilly and criminally liable for their actions.
Traffic fines are to be in consideration of your income. Someone making minimum wage versus someone making millions should not have to pay the same fine. Singles making under 60 thousand and couples making under 100 thousand should not have to pay “administrative fees”.
Any “outside service” such as red light cameras, jail phones, prisoner packages or ticket collection is taxed at 150% over the original amount payable immediately to the city, the county or the state. For example a jail phone costing over one dollar which is the fair amount, would be taxed at a dollar fifty cents for every dollar collected over that.
If the place or municipality is over 30 miles from your residence, the court must provide trial by video conferencing if the defendent so chooses without any extra fines or fees. If no one arrested you when you got the ticket or you were released on OR, the court can not ask you for bail if you plead not guilty and can not fine you more if found guilty then the regular fine. The Court must also provide free parking withing 300 feet of the court house.
Since the city / county / state is here to serve us and not vice versa, they must provide for late night court until 10PM one day a week and one day of weekend court on Saturday.
Driving is a necessity and not a privilege. Your license can not be suspended if you use your car for work, or if you work in areas where public transport is more then 30 minutes. License can not be suspended for other then driving infraction. Exception is drunk or impaired drivers. If the entity wants to impound your car for any length, other then the minimum time on can collect car, the municipal entity, and the employees acting on behalf are liable for treble damages personally, including the officer, city county or state officials issuing the order and any rental car, taxis or other expenses occured.
Parking meters, or city lots must be administered by the municipal entity and can not be subcontracted.
The elected official must disclose any donations or political contributions emanating from outside services and must excuse him/her self from voting on any matter concerning from them. If not complying, a jail term of not less then 2 years and a fine treble the contribution is the minimum punishment. Same if the individual is trying to lobby on behalf of outside interests for 5 years after leaving employment.
Traffic court judges or commissioners can not have any financial interest with the municipality they represent. Their salary must be paid by the state or another independent entity. Every court must have a prosecutor and an ombudsman representing the defendant with legal advice. traffic fines shall go to the state who distributes the money as needed not according to the amount collected by the municipal entity. Speed traps and malicious persecution are treble liable offenses. Fix-it tickets can carry no fees of any kind.
Private companies operating jails or prisons are not allowed to house prisoners.
These are some of the ideas I would like to get on ballots as soon as possible in as many states as possible. I don't think any political group would disagree with it unless they operate jail phones, in which case we don't want you as you rip off people.
Search and seizures: A lot of municipalities have held on to money illegally seized from individuals arrested on trumped up charges. It will take months and years to reclaim the money including proving that it is actually yours. Cars and other properties are also seized the same way. We seem to have an amendment restricting the rights of search and seizures. Any properties or moneys seized in a police action must be returned within 72 hours if the entity can not prove in front of a federal judge that those funds are proceeds of a crime, such as embezzlement, drug sale or robbery. If the funds are not returned, and the verdict is not guilty or the charges are dropped,the individual has rights to sue anyone who signed the seizure order for treble damages. These funds can not be seized by any tax authority.
We would welcome any of your ideas and input. We need some legal minds to help us word it and make it into one or more proposition so we can get this on a ballot in states. We also need to share and discuss this document, and solicit donations.