Thursday, August 13, 2009

Unrelated to Nautical Matters but...It Still Pisses Me Off

I feel strongly enough about this (having had recent dealings with this Town for this very reason) to write about it. I hope the alleged offender wins his case.

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 12, 2009

JUNO BEACH — A lawsuit alleging the white van used to issue citations is illegal has been filed on behalf of a motorist who was cited for speeding on U.S. 1.
The suit, filed in Palm Beach Circuit Civil Court on Tuesday, alleges the citations are illegal because they are issued to the owner of the vehicle. The town is presuming the owner of the vehicle is guilty before proving the owner was driving, according to the lawsuit.

"They are finding you guilty before you have a chance to prove you are innocent," said Attorney Jason Weisser, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of William Zoeller, who July 11 received a $125 citation in the mail.

The lawsuit seeks a refund of the $125 and damages in excess of $15,000. The suit also asks that the town stop using the van to issue more citations.
The lawsuit is also filed against LaserCraft, the Georgia-based firm that supplied and maintains the van, and other companies involved in the process.
Councilman Jim Lyons said the town's defense will be that the citation is a civil penalty and does not go against the driver's record.

Since the van was first used in March, about 4,000 citations have been issued. Motorists moving at least 9 mph faster than the posted speed limit are mailed a $125 citation for the first offense. Second offenders - there have been about 120 - are issued a $250 penalty.
The citations are sent to the owner of the vehicle when the van takes a photograph of the license plate.

Motorists can pay a $50 fee and file an appeal.

The driver's license is not suspended if the driver does not pay after 60 days, and a collection agency is notified to collect the fine.

This is a picture I took of the van parked along the road in Juno Beach the day after I got my notice, which I paid with little consideration of the legal implications. This article leads me to believe that I could have possibly avoided my pocket getting $125 lighter that day. I could use that extra buck and a quarter on our vacation.