The Postal Service believes it is above local law.
I am astonished at the unmitigated gall of these people, the brazen attempt to side-step justice, and the idiocy of it all. To wit:
“In providing mail service across the country, the Postal Service attempts to work within local and state laws and regulations, when feasible. However, as you are probably aware, the Postal Service enjoys federal immunity from state and local regulation.”
While it is humorous to watch their own ox being gored, the way they attempt to buffalo the City of East Cleveland into not prosecuting a violation is childish.
Before you get too wrapped up in their hilarious response, let me point to one sentence that is key:
“Here, the East Cleveland ordinance establishing its photo enforcement program imposes liability for red-light violations on the owner of the vehicle.”
(Nice touch sending it Fed-Ex, heh)
Many towns and villages have turned away from courts to settle matters in favor of “Hearing Officers”. You can tell when you are in front of a “Hearing Officer” when the “judge” tells you “here, you don’t plead guilty or not guilty, but rather liable or not liable.”
What they attempting to do is take the infraction out of the realm of quasi-criminal and place it into the realm of a civil matter- they are suing you for payment of an assumed debt. Your Rights are different in a case like this.
Rest assured the Hearing officer is paid by the town, as is the photo-enforcement corporation.
When I noticed this sort of hearing going on in my village, I took proactive measures. I whistled off a letter, return receipt requested, informing the photo-enforcing company of the CopyRight of the photograph of the back of my vehicle. I told them “due diligence” requires that I protect the CopyRight and that if they ever use it for commercial purposes, I would be forced to charge them. I then gave them a list of exorbitant expenses. Two can play this game.
Now, if I ever get a “Fine” from the village I will pay it with a HUGE smile. Because the same “court” will be forced to enforce my CopyRight.
Sure, they will get their $200.00 for me going three inches over the stop line, but I’ll get $10,000 from the company- the commercial enterprise-that violated my CopyRight.
Needless to say, other than the signed receipt that they received my claim, I’ve not heard a word from them. They have not denied my claim to be real, thus, it still stands.
If the Postal Service, with all its legal beagals, ever figures out that avoiding $700.00 in fines is not worth showing the public how it’s done- that will be the day the Service figures out how to save enough money so as not to go bankrupt. I guarantee you, it’s not by litigating a $700.00 traffic fine with Harvard lawyers.
In the meantime, I’m just going to sit back and watch this one play out. Pass the popcorn.