Chalk one up for the little guy.
A Michigan appeals court has ruled that a local woman’s constitutional rights were violated when a parking enforcement cop dabbed chalk marks on the tire of her car.
The 6th US District Court of Appeals ruled that Alison Taylor’s Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search were trounced when the cop in the city of Saginaw marked her tire — a tactic used by parking enforcement officers to determine how long someone has been parked in a limited-time spot.
“For nearly as long as automobiles have parked along city streets, municipalities have found ways to enforce parking regulations without implicating the Fourth Amendment,” Judge Richard Griffin wrote in the three-member panel’s unanimous ruling Wednesday.
“Thus, tire chalking is not necessary to meet the ordinary needs of law enforcement, let alone the extraordinary,” the judge wrote.
The ruling overturned a lower court ruling and sends the case back to a state judge.
Taylor initially sued Saginaw after getting 14 parking tickets in the city — including citations for parking in restricted areas where police use the chalk marks.
Lawyers for the city argued that the parking ordinances benefit the city and that those interests “greatly outweigh the minimal intrusion that a chalk mark creates.”
But the three-judge panel disagreed, and Taylor’s lawyers now want to turn her claim into a class-action suit to include other ticked-off Saginaw motorists.
With Post wires
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