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Saginaw asks federal court to hear parking ticket case

A federal appeals court found Monday that chalking for parking enforcement is unconstitutional.

DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan city on Monday asked a federal appeals court to set aside a recent decision and reopen a dispute over whether marking tires to keep track of illegally parked cars violates the U.S. Constitution.

An attorney for Saginaw called it a case of “exceptional importance.”

“Cities across the United States have ceased parking enforcement,” Gregory Mair said in a court filing. “The question as to whether chalking tires constitutes a Fourth Amendment violation has a significant impact on law enforcement and order in municipalities.”

In April, a three-judge panel at the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said marking tires qualifies as a search of property under the Fourth Amendment and could be illegal without a warrant. The case was sent back to a federal judge in Michigan for more work.

But Saginaw now wants the full appeals court to vote to throw out the decision and rehear the case. Opinions from the 6th Circuit set law in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky.

“Even assuming chalking a tire was a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, the search was reasonable. … The chalking process is limited in scope, necessary only to enforce” a two-hour parking limit, Mair said.

Philip Ellison, a lawyer for a woman who sued after receiving more than a dozen tickets in Saginaw, said it’s rare for the appeals court to set aside the work of one of its panels.

He recently filed similar lawsuits against the cities of Ann Arbor and Bay City.

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7 comments

  • steve

    Lack of pragmatic thinking, born of liberalism, is and has been one of the greatest faults in America today. Very often, common sense isn’t only uncommon, it doesn’t even exist. Glad to see that this decision is being reexamined as it never should have been debatable in the first place.

    • Matt

      Here we have a bootlicker who swallowed the boot so far down it came out the opposite end. Don’t be this guy. Fight for your rights and freedom. Never give up and support your local libertarian party.

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