The Tampa Bay Times has uncovered an email from an FHP supervisor instructing his troopers to write more tickets. “The patrol wants to see two citations each our…” reads the email from Major Mark Welch. He and FHP deny this is a quota, which would be in violation of state law: but this is a quota. He sets a minimum number of tickets he expects his underlings to write per hour. That’s exactly a quota. The fact that he says “This is not a quota” does not redefine what a quota is.
To make matters worse, there may be benefits tied to the number of tickets officers write. Troopers in Miami-Dade were given additional weekend passes when they met ticket-writing goals earlier this year. FHP ended that policy when it was exposed. It seems this new quota is tied to ‘SOAR’, an overtime program, though that program appears to incentivize them to work more hours, not to inflate their ticket numbers. Big brother is most definitely watching.
The civil rights trial of a jail mistreatment suit from Charlotte County got started in Federal Court in Fort Myers, today. Amy Bennett Williams is covering the case for the News-Press.
I just did an interview with Stacey Deffenbaugh for ABC-7, discussing why the young man charged with causing a death after failing to stop for a school bus is in civil court and not criminal court. The story will likely air at 4 and/or 5 pm on ABC-7, and hopefully my comments are included.
Here’s an earlier story about the court hearing this morning. The family was understandably angry, due to the tragic loss of their son…
The court was certainly not saying the teen’s life was only worth $1000, that was the maximum penalty permitted. This ruling does not preclude the victim’s family from proceeding on a wrongful death claim, which is likely to be worth many thousands of dollars. Nothing can take away the tragedy of the loss of life in these types of cases.
Gold Lamborghini with parking tickets
No matter how rich you are, even if you have a gold fleet of supercars, you still have to obey the rules of the road. A Saudi millionaire who made news when he brought four Gold-Plated cars to London made the news again when they all got tickets where he had parked them on the street. Something tells me the guy who buys multiple cars that cost more than half a million dollars isn’t going to be worried about a couple hundred dollars in tickets.
Also, the cars don’t look that good.
A friend was recently in an accident which was not her fault, and in which she was injured, but thankfully not severely. They just received a letter from the at-fault party’s insurance company saying, sorry, your injuries aren’t covered. Which is perfectly legal in Florida… and perfectly ridiculous.
While Florida requires a minimum of insurance to cover one’s self, there is no requirement for other drivers that might negligently or recklessly injure you or your passengers to get insurance to cover your injuries. Jeff Garvin, another local personal injury attorney, did a great op-ed on it in the News-Press a few weeks ago. I literally had the article sitting on my desk when I heard about my friend’s situation. It is past time to do something about it, and I encourage Florida to join 48 of our 50 states and require personal injury protection. And I will specifically pass on Mr. Garvin’s call to action: 1. Get uninsured motorist coverage for yourself if you don’t have it, and 2. Contact your legislator and encourage them to change the law.
Mr. Garvin’s entire piece can be found here.
Find your representative here.
UPDATE: clarification in wording, as FL requires drivers to get minimum insurance for their own injuries, but not for injuries that you cause to other people.
Erroneous DL of Tammy Lemasters
Sexual Predator is about the worst thing you can be called under the law. The Florida DHSMV erroneously put a sexual predator designation on the license of Tammy LeMasters, from Orlando. The good news is, it is an easy fix (after she gets through the line at the DHSMV. The bad news is mostly embarrassment. She is planning a lawsuit, though it is hard to claim much actual damage. The notoriety of the lawsuit will far exceed any reputational harm she had for the few people who saw the erroneous license!
CNN did a decent story on an issue we have covered several times on Crimcourts. It’s worth checking out, be sure to check the video for the setup, in addition to the text story. The guys featured were legally carrying money for poker, and the cops grabbed it all. The Justice Department has been stepping back from participating in these civil asset forfeitures. There is a private company running seminars teaching cops how to do this… officers are literally planning to come up with ways to seize citizen property: that’s scary.
Thanks for sharing, Michael.