Skip to comments.Judge throws out 72 traffic tickets
Posted on 03/02/2006 7:57:08 PM PST by elkfersupper
A Metro General Sessions judge summarily retired dozens of traffic tickets scheduled to be heard earlier this month, including one for House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh.
Metro General Sessions Judge Casey Moreland says he doesn't think he did anything wrong when he cleared 72 of the 74 tickets for people that showed up to traffic court on Feb. 16.
The decision to retire the tickets had nothing to do with Naifeh, the judge said. The judge said he was in a buoyant mood after learning he would be running unopposed in this year's election.
"It just happened to be 30 minutes after the qualifying deadline, and he was dealt with like everyone else in there," Moreland said yesterday.
Naifeh, who was cited Dec. 28, for speeding 16 miles above the 70 mph limit on Interstate 40, said he got no special treatment and went to traffic court to pay the fine and arrange to go to traffic school.
"I didn't know the judge and I went through the process just like everybody else," Naifeh told a group of reporters yesterday.
The speaker said the judge announced in court that he had just learned he had no opponent and was going to dismiss all the tickets.
Moreland, however, said he didn't outright dismiss the tickets. He said he retired them instead.
Unlike a dismissal, when a charge or citation is retired, the court has the option of bringing it back up again. In this case, if any of the lucky motorists gets another ticket within a year's time, they'll also have to address the ticket that was retired.
"I guess it was Christmas in February," Moreland said of his decision.
The motorists who got the lucky break were on the 12:30 p.m. traffic court docket. Tickets for two motorists were not retired because the police officers in attendance objected.
In one case, Moreland said, the motorist was cited for the same offense two days in a row, prompting the officer's objection. The judge couldn't remember the details about the other case.
Moreland said he didn't know Naifeh, but knew he was going to be on his docket a few minutes beforehand.
Naifeh said that he had met the judge in the hallway outside traffic court shortly before the judge took the bench.
The state house speaker had been driving into Nashville when he was clocked doing 86 mph per hour just outside of Bellevue.
He said he felt "extremely lucky" that he didn't have to pay the fine or go to traffic school.
The wholesale clearance of traffic tickets on a given docket isn't that unusual, the judge said. For example, many judges will dismiss traffic tickets during the Christmas holidays just because they feel like it. Other times judges dismiss all the tickets on dockets on days when the president or vice president is coming to town because police who are handling security details don't show up for court and judges don't want to ask people to appear again.
"It's just the luck of the draw," Moreland said.
But clearing entire dockets of accused traffic violators seems counter to the Metro Police Department's crackdown on motorists. Police, however, maintain that such actions are up to the judges.
"The judges have full authority to exercise discretion," Metro police spokesman Don Aaron said. "That's why they're there."
Good for the other 71 citizens that just happened to be targeted for that day.
I should have such luck!
I'll keep that in mind. Forever.
I lot of FReepers are gonna complain about this. But I doubt if they would be if they were one of the ones getting their tickets cleared.
We are entitled to presume that when he finds someone guilty, it is similarlly based on how he feels that day, and has nothing to do with the facts.
He is supposed to be a Judge, not Father Christmas or the "Wheel of Fortune".
Activist judges who define when the law will be applied don't have many fans at FR.
The only saving grace is that traffic tickets seem to serve the purpose of revenue, not monitoring public safety.
He's the Judge. The number is 72, and they ain't virgins!
I'd lay odds that half that group will be back in court before the year is up.
If he doesn't sleep well everyone that day gets maximum penalties.
I imagine the
tax collectors law enforcement officials that sat on the side of the roads for all that time collecting extra tax money enforcing public safety weren't too happy about that....
And the other 72 didnt? Be curious to check on this "Judge" a month later and see if he still sit on that bench.
Maybe Speaker Naifeh needs a new driver, and "Judge" Moreland can apply for that job.
The Freedom Law School can show you how to get out of ANY ticket.
If you get a ticket for over $20, look at amendment #7 to the US Constitution.
Well, that's how it works apparently.
Occasionally we've thought it; we've felt it in our gut; we've witnessed it (and thought our eyes were lying).
Now, we've seen it admitted and reported in a news story.
No mention of party affiliation, anywhere. Hmmmm....
Oh yeah, he's a dem.
What happens if he's constipatated or has "other" frustrations?
Katie, bar the door!
Naifeh is a Dem.
That's all we need to know.
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