News Federal Judge Backs Guy Who Wrote Profanity On His Traffic Ticket

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by BethSucks, Sep 16, 2015.

  1. BethSucks

    BethSucks Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Jan 15, 2012
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    Judge rules man's arrest for writing profanity on speeding ticket was unconstitutional
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    Judge backs man who wrote f-word on ticket

    A federal judge has ruled that an upstate New York town violated a Connecticut man's First Amendment rights when he was arrested on a charge of aggravated harassment for writing profanities on a $175 speeding ticket three years ago.

    In ruling issued last week, U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel allowed Willian Barboza's lawsuit against the village of Liberty, N.Y. to proceed on claims the town of approximately 10,000 people 100 miles northwest of New York City failed to properly train police officers about free speech.

    The New York Civil Liberties Union, which represented Barboza, publicized a transcript of the trial Tuesday.

    Barboza, who was 22 at the time of his initial arrest, was stopped for speeding on Route 17 in May 2012, according to The New York Times. On his payment form, Barboza crossed out the name of the town and wrote "Tyranny" in its place. He then wrote the phrase "F--- your s----y town b----es."

    When the form arrived at the Liberty town clerk's office, one of the workers, all of whom are women, told a local judge Barboza's profane phrase upset and alarmed them, according to court records. The judge referred Barboza's speeding payment form to a prosecutor and ordered Barboza to appear in court.

    When Barboza showed up, the local judge reprimanded him for his comments on the form and told him he would be arrested, Seibel said in her ruling. Barboza was handcuffed and taken away before his release on $200 bail.

    Seibel's ruling noted the criminal charge eventually was dismissed in 2013 on First Amendment grounds. She said Barboza's phrase was crude and offensive to some but "did not convey an imminent threat and was made in the context of complaining about government activity."

    "That the court clerks who received plaintiff's message were apparently alarmed by it does not alter the analysis," the judge added.

    In an NYCLU release, Barboza was quoted as saying he was treated as a criminal for a "few harmless words."

    "Instead of protecting freedom of speech, government officers in Liberty handcuffed me, arrested me for a crime and almost sent me to jail because I harmlessly expressed my frustration with a speeding ticket," he said.

    Barboza's case is not unique in Liberty. Seibel said that between 2003 and 2012 as many as 63 arrests by police officers in the village had occurred "because of the use of vulgar words in what may be perceived as a threatening context." She said one arrest occurred when a defendant called someone a slut, another resulted from someone talking about sexual acts on a police department phone line and another came after a defendant threatened to kill someone's dog.

    Seibel added the trial would include a damages phase for a prosecutor who is not protected by immunity because his actions were unreasonable.

    Barboza's lawsuit had sought unspecified damages.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.
    stash likes this.
  2. JRoyle411

    JRoyle411 I want to live in a hamburger bun.

    Mar 26, 2014
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    Sounds like some ladies in Liberty need to calm the fuck down.
  3. Snotty

    Snotty My Snothand be strong!!! VIP Gold

    May 13, 2012
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    I remember about thirty years ago the United States Supreme Court upheld a citizen right to free speech when he flipped a
    Cop the bird and was arrested for it.......Maybe one of our esteemed esquires can back me on that......
  4. SouthernListen

    SouthernListen I don't follow the crowd. Sorry about that. VIP

    Jan 16, 2012
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    I think other than "fighting words" or using it to start a riot or something you can cuss all you want, except if you're employed by the government as that's a condition of employment.
  5. sstressed

    sstressed enhancement toker VIP

    Dec 13, 2011
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    you have to love fuck ups who blame others for their fucking up. writing a nasty note to people who had nothing to do with anything is a real manly move. :sgay:
    Runaway likes this.
  6. Samurai

    Samurai Well-Known Member VIP

    Jan 27, 2012
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    Once upon a time Americans had an unwritten social compact with our public servants: they mostly shut the fuck up and accepted modest salaries in exchange for extreme job security (with incompetence and laziness very tolerated) and a modest guaranteed pensions.

    Today they are every bit the incompetent loafing fuck ups as always, but now they are unionized, overpaid, and view themselves as better than us...we are to be treated like mere subjects of the realm and our wallets are to be raped at every turn.

    (not that I'm saluting this particular young man for being a law breaking vulgarian, but give me a break)
  7. stash

    stash 2017 Kimbra of Forever Gold

    Apr 15, 2014
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    What was he pissed about in the first place? Just getting a ticket?

    Tyranny against my freedom of speed :grad: