Parking Ticket Tossed Over Missing Comma in Citation
Our Palm Beach and Broward County traffic ticket defense lawyers represent individuals cited for a wide range of traffic violations. In representing our clients, we know how important it is to analyze with intense scrutiny the citations issued to the individuals.
As one woman recently learned, in a case that is sure to make your elementary school grammar teacher smile, a traffic citation/ticket can be tossed out if it contains a grammatical mistake which obscures or changes the meaning of the rule allegedly being broken.
Recently, an appeals court judge in the State of Ohio tossed a woman’s parking citation because it was missing a comma.
Back in early 2015, according to official court documents, Andra Cammelleri, after finishing her third job shift, discovered that her 1993 Ford pickup truck was missing. As she later found out, it had been towed pursuant to a certain city ordinance which blocked certain vehicles from being parked on the streets of the Village of West Jefferson for more than 24 hours.
The citation which she was issued, as our Palm Beach and Broward County traffic ticket defense lawyers know, declared that “motor vehicle campers” were among the vehicles prohibited from being parked on the streets for more than 24 hours. Here’s the problem: Ms. Cammelleri was not driving, nor did she park on the street, a “motor vehicle camper.” It’s possible that the city administrators, when writing the ordinance, meant to include both “motor vehicles” and “campers” on the list of prohibited vehicles, but the comma, or theoretically the word “and,” never made its way between the two. As such, Ms. Cammelleri, as she claimed, was not in violation.
The Village of West Jefferson, of course, argued that the ordinance still should have applied, but representatives from the village were told by the judge that if they want the law to prohibit “motor vehicles” from parking on the streets for 24+ hours, they should fix the law by inserting a comma.
As a result of the judge’s ruling, as our Palm Beach and Broward County traffic ticket defense lawyers know, the Village of West Jefferson will have to reimburse the woman roughly $1,500.00 for the towing cost as well as legal fees.
This case, in addition to being a perfect example of how even the most basic grammatical rules play an important role in everyday life, goes to show the power of the legal system. Just because you’ve been issued a citation or ticket doesn’t mean that you have to pay; sometimes, as was the situation here, if a solid case can be made on your behalf, you can end up being the victor.
If you’ve received a traffic ticket or citation of any kind in Palm Beach, Broward and/or Miami-Dade County, please contact our traffic ticket defense lawyers at Leifert & Leifert by calling 1-888-5-DEFEND (1-888-533-3363) to schedule a free consultation. We look forward to assisting you!