NonViolent Action: Macedon Traffic Ticket
In order by date. Start Here. Most recent info posted at top. Last update: December 08, 2008
What do you do when you get ticketed (June 6th, 2008) for driving with a suspended license because of 'child support' and the Court is 20 miles from where you live? How do you get there when you live alone and have no brothers or sisters? I guess I will just drive there -- and send the DA, Judge, and County Sheriff a letter ahead of time so they know!
This has been a decision which wasn't easy. The traffic ticket for unlicensed operation came in June as I was driving my son Domenic home from the airport to start him summer vacation was due to a Child Support suspension. There wasn't even a traffic violation to cause the stop. Dom's plane had been delayed and we were driving home at 2 in the morning -- went through the little town of Macedon, NY, and a local police just ran my plates on his car computer!
This had happened before
three years ago in my hometown, click here for the
details on that. While I certainly believe that "no one is above law";
we should also recognize that "no one's dignity is beneath the law." I
live in Wayne County and it's a rural area; without a car you just can't get
anywhere, and my driving record is excellent (the last offense I had was a minor
speeding ticket back in 1993!).
December 8, 2008 - Bench trial scheduled for 3:30 pm.
December 4, 2008 - After serving two weeks in jail as part of another arrest John was pretty exhausted and without a car didn't want to bother family & friends any more than absolutely necessary.
November 14, 2008 - John was pleased to hear that a ticket for aggravated unlicensed operation from the town of Macedon had been reduced to unlicensed operator (simple traffic ticket). He wrote a letter to the Judge and DA to express his appreciation.
October 7, 2008 - There is a court appearance and I have prepared a motion to have the charges dismissed. A Jury trial is scheduled for Dec 9th. It is exhausting getting this stuff ready and just facing court again. After court I find myself arrested on a 'warrant' issued by the local Judge in Lyons. The state troopers had followed me from Lyons to Macedon. It's quite a surprise and I'm told to return to Court on October 15 -- pay or got to jail! I write a letter to the Judge (recommended reading), and send a list message out to the group.
September, 2008 - Got another letter from DMV regarding an unpaid fine from three years ago in my hometown for the same thing. I wrote a letter to the local Judge and DA, along with some political representives.
August 6th, 2008 - drove to Macedon and there were a lot of people at Town Court. I spoke with an assistant DA and asked for more time in hopes that my financial situation would improve and the suspension could be lifted. She had my letter in the file. Neither she, nor the Judge objected, and the matter was adjourned till October 7th -- it was quite a relief! A lot of folks had sent me supportive emails earlier in the day and they were much appreciated.
August 5th, 2008 - Court is scheduled for 6PM. I hope I don't end up in jail, I have a letter to the Judge and Sheriff ready to send by others (they have NOT been sent yet) -- hope I don't have to use them!
August 2, 2008 - The Court secretary sends me a letter and lets me know that my letter was received, but won't be read by the Judge until Court.
July 30th, 2008 - I send a letter to Town Judge Ronald Reinstein, with copies to County Sheriff Richard Pisciotti, and DA Richard Healey. I ask for an adjournment or change in venue to Lyons. I explain the situation and let them know unless I can get government transport, I will have to drive to court.
July 17, 2008 - My son Domenic is still here for summer
vacation. A friend drives us to the Macedon Town Court. It's
not very busy and I am quickly arraigned for a misdemeanor (AUO 3rd -
Aggravated Unlicensed Operation). Town Judge Ronald Reinstein gives me
time to find an attorney and sets a next appearance of August 5th at 6PM.
June 23, 2008 - I write the local assistant DA to see if something can be done about the ticket and explain the circumstances. He does return a later call from me, but says we won't discuss the matter except in Court.
June 6, 2008 - I was stopped in Macedon by a local officer at about 1:30 AM. My son, Domenic, was suppose to fly into Rochester to begin his summer vacation with me at about 4:30 PM on the 5th – but the flight was delayed & delayed until it arrived in Rochester after midnight.
I was not speeding and their was no other traffic violation. It appears the roads were pretty empty and the officer just ran my plates. He saw that the vehicle was registered to someone who had a suspended license due to child support – and he pulled me over. Domenic and I were fortunate he didn't arrest me, but he wouldn't allow me to drive home – so I had to wake up some people in Lyons to pick us up and drive my car.