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Mom Given Parking Ticket For Reviving Son 12

Posted by samzenpus
from the that's-some-good-police-work-there-lou dept.
After stopping her car to revive her severely disabled son, Penny Batkin was given a parking ticket for making an illegal stop. Mrs. Batkins was taking her son to a hospice in Hampton when he began gasping for breath and turning blue. The ticket cost $145 and the Richmond Council's parking office was nice enough to refuse to rescind the ticket even after she explained what had happened. Richmond Aid officials say they hope local authorities can find it "in their hearts to rescind a parking fine incurred by a desperate mother who had no choice if she was to save the life of her child." Rules are rules. If the police make an exception in this case for a dying child they'll have to make exceptions for dying parents, or even dying extended family members. Where do you draw the line?

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Mom Given Parking Ticket For Reviving Son

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  • by Rene S. Hollan (1943) on Monday March 23, 2009 @03:29PM (#27303277)
    Most traffic offenses are civil violations, and, as such, a jury trial is not an option. She can either pay the fine, or dispute that she committed the infraction. In some jurisdictions, she can admit that she committed the infraction, but that there were mitigating circumstances and seek the mercy of the judge. (Basically, if you refuse to pay the fine, the city automatically sues you.) For a jury trial she has to be charged with a crime. I suppose she could ignore the fine. In many places failing to pay or respond can result in a revocation of one's driving license, and so, she could find herself charged with driving without a license, and so could eventually escalate the issue until she is charged with a crime, and get the jury trial she wants. The problem here is that if she did that, the question of why she did not challenge the ticket sooner would be raised. What she should do is claim mitigating circumstances, and keep appealing until she gets the fine dismissed. However, note that there are court fees involved, and the cost to file a first level appeal could be $250 or more -- probably more than the amount of the fine. Appealing would therefore be a question of principle, and not money. Now, the interesting thing is this: if she kept driving, and so risked her son's death, simply to comply with a parking ordinance, could she be realistically charged with having depraved indifference to human life? Generally, the law can't be contradictory: complying with one requiring the breaking of another. The scope of the law generally establishes which one has precedence (state law overriding city ordinance, for example.) When both are equal in scope, neither is applicable if they are contradictory.
    • by Nutria (679911)

      However, note that there are court fees involved, and the cost to file a first level appeal could be $250 or more -- probably more than the amount of the fine.

      Yet more proof that England is a suck-ass place to live...

  • then only criminals will save lives!!

  • A "parking office" cannot force someone to pay anything. In any case it is not their job to rescind tickets only to issue them. Only a court can force her to pay the ticket. All she has to do is refuse to pay, and at the time when the law proceeds on the case, simply send a letter of explanation to the public prosecutor. The court will then drop the case because it is a well established principle of law that you can break most traffic rules in case of an emergency. She doesn't have to do anything until she

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