Everyone has probably wondered about possible loopholes in the law to avoid paying fines for traffic violations. Most people have been found guilty of crimes such as running a red light or speeding at one time or another but definitely have no desire to pay the fine. However, a recent stroke of luck changed that daunting outcome for one Middletown, Ohio, woman. She recently had a parking ticket dismissed due to a small error in the city’s law that went unnoticed. Now, a photo of the debatable parking ticket has gone viral.
According to WIVB-4, Andrea Cammelleri decided to appeal a traffic ticket she received last year. On the morning of February 13, 2014, Cammelleri was met with quite a surprise when she walked out of her home. Apparently, she had no vehicle because her pick-up truck was missing. She immediately called 911 to report the vehicle stolen, but to her shock and dismay, she was informed that her truck had been towed.
It has been reported that the city cited the violation of a 24-hour parking city ordinance. However, the W. Jefferson v. Cammelleri document apparently had one small fall that voided the ticket. Although the city argued that the wording and grammatical structure of the clause was clear, Cammelleri argued otherwise. So, what is causing all of the fuss? Well, the debatable West Jefferson law includes a list of vehicles that included a “motor vehicle camper,” instead of “motor vehicle, camper…,” reports Opposing Views.
She initially appealed the ticket in March of 2014, and a judge ruled in favor of the city, contending, “anybody reading (the ordinance) would understand that it is just missing a comma.” But that didn’t deter Cammelleri from fighting to get her point across. Luckily, she did because the ruling was later thrown out by Judge Robert Hendrickson of the 12th Ohio District Court of Appeals. Apparently, Judge Hendrickson also understood how the grammatical error could be misread.
“By utilizing rules of grammar and employing the common meaning of terms, ‘motor vehicle camper’ has a clear definition that does not produce an absurd result,” his ruling states. “If the village desires a different reading, it should amend the ordinance and insert a comma between the phrase ‘motor vehicle’ and the word ‘camper.'”
Now, the photo of the ticket has gone viral because many are eager to see how the missing comma made such a big difference. Although the error is actually quite obvious, many readers have admitted how the law is arguable on paper.
What do you think about the missing comma in the city’s law? Share your thoughts.
[Image via The Conversation; WIVB-4]