Although the City of Keene has been known to drop several activists’ parking tickets when faced with a court date, such did not happen on Monday. Nick Ryder had a “Notice of Violation” placed on his car in October of 2010, and in March 2011, the matter was handled in Keene District Court. (Update 03-30-11) Judge Burke has found Ryder guilty, and enforced the fine of $15.
Most everybody simply pays the low cost of a parking ticket in Keene. But not Ryder, and not many other activists such as Ian Freeman, Johnny Ray, Mark Edge, and Dale Everett, who have all resisted paying the parking fine, and were either found not guilty in court, or had the matter dropped before trial.
Here is the video from Monday’s trial:
During trial, the question came up of whether the owner of a vehicle is legally responsible for parking tickets placed on it, even if the owner was not the operator of the vehicle. According to the Keene City Code, the answer is yes:
Sec. 94-155. Owner responsibilities.
A person shall not allow, permit or suffer a vehicle registered in his name to stop, stand or park in violation of any section of this Code controlling the stopping, standing or parking of vehicles. The owner or person in whose name such vehicle is registered shall be held prima facie responsible for such violations.
(Code 1970, § 2818.0)
In a letter that can be found in this Free Keene Forum thread, Nick Ryder asks the City Council to address multiple legal and moral concerns regarding Keene’s ban on parking on a city street after 1am between November 1 and May 1.
On October 31, parking on a city street past 1am is just fine – but the very next day, whether there is snow on the ground or not, it results in a $15 fine. Ryder asked the City Council to consider a more lenient approach to what seems to be little more than a revenue source for the city and police, at least when no snow removal attempts are in progress.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfBGwY7cgzo(Thanks to Kager for camera operating)
Results: The committee claims that the City is already reviewing this ordinance, and will not take any action outside of the previously scheduled review.
Sovereign Curtis, possibly best known for his arrest in Nashua at a 420 rally, or for being a main organizer of the Porcupine Freedom Festival, was in court today to face a trial on a violation charge. The complaint was based on an allegation that Curtis had started a fire on Hampton Beach without a permit, which would be against the town ordinance.
The State came un-prepared, and asked for a last minute continuance. This same request has been carried out many times by the Nashua Police Department in Nashua District Court. The presiding judge there has, without fail, granted the State’s request. However, today in Hampton District Court, the judge upheld Curtis’ request to have the charges dismissed due to lack of scheduling on the State’s side.
On Wednesday, in addition to a trial on criminal trespass at the county jail, Ian faced charges related to a February citation when a police officer “caught” him with a Shire license plate on his car rather than the “required” State issued one.
Full Video of that trial:
And as previously reported, four of the activists accused of trespassing for walking around the County Jail property had a consolidated trial on Wednesday.
Lauren Canario has already reported to jail to serve time on the trespassing charge. Dale Everett and Ian Freeman have pending appeals to the State Supreme Court before they will be forced to serve time or pay the fine related to that charge.