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View Diary: Songs In the Key of Defiance: Basement Tapes and Jean Jackets. (72 comments)

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  •  Come and listen, young fellers, so young and so (11+ / 0-)

    fine...

    How many tickets do you have now?

    •  Four since Nov. 2011, fewer than many people n/t (14+ / 0-)

      I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night, alive as you and me.

      by plankbob on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 08:00:38 PM PDT

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      •  What's the routine re: tickets? (8+ / 0-)

        I'm a bit confused by some contradictory reports-- I've heard that most are dismissed, and yet there is an appeal for legal defense funds to help folks deal with the tickets.

        In my imagining, I guess it goes like this: One gets pulled aside and asked/demanded to cease singing. Upon refusal, the officer restrains the perp and leads him or her down to the bowels of the capitol for "processing"-- what does that entail? How long does it take? At some point a ticket is issued-- I suppose a summons is the more appropriate legal term-- and the perp is released (how does that work? They cut the zip ties and say "have a nice day"? They escort you back upstairs and kick you out the back door?

        At that point I presume there is a court date and you appear before a magistrate to either confess to the "crime" of singing without a permit or contest the charge(s), claiming that the arrest/citation is/was an unconstitutional infringement on free speech rights. I give credence to frequent reports noting that such citations are routinely dismissed, a rare instance of sanity in a system of state governance that has otherwise seemingly gone off the rails, but I'm curious about the basis offered by the magistrate/judge for dismissal. I presume that by now there is a boilerplate admonition and statement of the legal basis for dismissal? If so, I'd like to know how that goes.

        I'm genuinely curious about the details associated with items in italics above. Getting arrested for anything can be a major problem in many people's lives, not least the time involved with detention, court appearances, etc. It would be helpful to know from the experience of those who have been through the routine how it usually goes.

        "It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important." Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Arabiflora on Tue Jul 30, 2013 at 09:40:07 PM PDT

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        •  Good questions (11+ / 0-)

          I probably shouldn't try to address all this when I'm about to go to bed, but I'll give it a shot.

          Processing involves establishing your identity (this goes more quickly if you have ID), having your picture taken, being searched, having your info entered into the system (I guess to verify your ID and to see if you have anything on your record they can use against you), and being given your ticket. This can take anywhere from about 15 minutes to an hour, depending on how quickly they're working (other days, they were cycling people through quickly enough that some would come back to the Rotunda and get arrested again; today they kept everyone until after 1). They keep you in cuffs the entire time until they release you, and it pretty much is just "have a nice day." They suggest that you leave the building, but they haven't been escorting people out lately.

          The charges have been getting dismissed for various reasons. I've only just had my first citation, so I can't speak from experience. Sometimes in preliminary hearings the judge makes a ruling that this or that argument by the prosecution isn't going to fly, so the prosecution decides to drop the charges, and that sometimes creates a domino effect in which charges against other people for the same thing get dropped. Sometimes the prosecutor drops the ball and forgets to show up in court. There may have been a few times when the judge just threw out charges because they were ludicrous. Sometimes the DOJ comes to its senses and drops the charges. I'm not sure that there's a normal yet, since they've been spending the past year digging into the administrative code to try to find things that we're violating (e.g., a section of code that's designed to keep people from blocking hallways with large pieces of equipment gets used to go after someone holding a banner over a railing). People like plankbob and Giles can speak to the specifics of their cases if they choose.

          The costs involved include the fee for a jury trial ($36 each, but when there are 200 tickets, that's a lot of money), deposition fees, transcripts, other filing fees, all sorts of fees involved in getting disclosure. These fees aren't refundable.

          These cases are petty, and neither the judge nor the lawyers really want to deal with them, so trial dates are constantly being moved, and this is disruptive because you have to keep showing up every time, only to find out it's been pushed back. But if you don't show up, the judgment goes against you.

          •  That's a perfect summary. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            noise of rain, kideni, AnnieJo, JVolvo

            Nothing to add except the citations are not criminal. They are on the level of a traffic ticket.

            In a very few cases, there have been some misdemeanor charges for resisting or obstructing, but those go to the county DA, who is sick of the Capitol Police's bullshit and nearly always declines to prosecute.

            "They are an entire cruise ship of evil clowns, these current Republicans"...concernedamerican

            by Giles Goat Boy on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 05:39:22 AM PDT

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            •  Not that your post implied anything else :) (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kideni, JVolvo

              I'm just adding more.

              "They are an entire cruise ship of evil clowns, these current Republicans"...concernedamerican

              by Giles Goat Boy on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 05:40:45 AM PDT

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              •  Thanks to you both (0+ / 0-)

                For everything you do

                "It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important." Martin Luther King Jr.

                by Arabiflora on Sat Aug 03, 2013 at 01:49:35 AM PDT

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