Saturday, September 24, 2011

Wow.....Massachusetts Supreme Court upholds policy of charging $70 fee to innocent motorists

Massachusetts Supreme Court upholds policy of charging $70 fee to innocent motorists

So you would think that outside of lawyer's fees, if you beat a case you don't have to 'pay' the State any money right?

WRONG! - (Charlie Murphy voice) Or at least in Massachusetts you would be.....Read on....

In Massachusetts, however, a new state Supreme Court ruling means drivers have to pay, win or lose. The Newspaper details the case of Ralph Sullivan, who was charged $70 in non-refundable fees even after he successfully fought a lane violation ticket ($20 for appealing the summons to a clerk, then another $50 to get the case in front of a district court judge). Sullivan argued to the Massachusetts Supreme Court that the policy violates the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution, as motorists are saddled with fees that offenders in more serious cases are not required to pay. The court disagreed and ruled against Sullivan.

In the ruling, Justice Ralph D. Gants writes, "Where the legislature provides greater process that imposes greater demands on the resources of the District Court, it is rational for the legislature to impose filing fees, waivable where a litigant is indigent, to offset part of the additional cost of these judicial proceedings."

Yeah....I might go AROUND MASSACHUSETTS at this rate.....Although I am never really driving up there...