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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    tennessee
    Posts
    27

    Default Stopped at Non Functioning Light, Ticketed for Obstruction of Traffic

    My question involves a traffic citation from the state of: Tennessee

    I looked up the law and TCA 55-8-108(c) specifically states that motorists must stop at inoperable traffic signals.

    The other day I went to a small town close to where I live. There was a cop running radar near an intersection where the lights had no power (not blinking or on) and the signals were not covered. I made a complete stop and continued. The cop turned on his lights and followed me. he pulled me over. He said I broke the law by obstructing traffic. I told him I had no broken any law and that the law requires motorists to come to a full stop at such intersections. He was very rude and said I had just talked myself into a ticket because he was only going to give me a warning.

    He gave me a ticket for obstruction and for failure to have proof of insurance. I have insurance, but forgot to put the current proof in my car.

    I have pictures of the light. I found the light cover on the ground near the light. The city engineering department knows the light has no covers.

    The cop stopped me for obstruction, and since the stop was not valid is the ticket for not having proof of insurance invalid too? I know about pretextual stops, but this was I think just an illegal stop for which I was charged. Because of that can I move the evidence of the out of date insurance be dropped? It would seem to me that if the reason for which I was stopped is invalid the whole stop is invalid and any evidence of any crime is also invalid.

    Thanks.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Stopped at Non Functioning Light, Ticketed for Obstruction of Traffic

    I am not a lawyer
    Do the citation state you must appear in court?
    In most states you must have current proof of insurance in the vehicle at all times.
    If so you need to bring your proof of insurance to court.
    Did you also take a picture of the cover that was on the ground?
    If so present all pictures.
    Also present a copy of the law to support the claim.
    Like i said i am not a lawyer but this may help your case

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    tennessee
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Stopped at Non Functioning Light, Ticketed for Obstruction of Traffic

    From what I have looked up the TN Supreme Court case No. M2000-01760-SC-R11-CD - Filed October 1, 2003 State of Tennessee v Gonzalez covers this stop. The stop was unlawful so the evidence obtained must be suppressed. The evidence of wrongful act was not having proof of insurance in my possession while operating a motor vehicle.

    Here are a couple of pictures of the traffic light. I plan on representing myself in court later this month.





    I am also considering suing the cop, in federal court, for a violation of my civil rights because he illegally detained me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    LA LA Land
    Posts
    9,170

    Default Re: Stopped at Non Functioning Light, Ticketed for Obstruction of Traffic

    Did you tape record this stop too, or do you only tape record your "open carry" encounters?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    tennessee
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Stopped at Non Functioning Light, Ticketed for Obstruction of Traffic

    I didn't have my recorder handy. The stop was video taped and audio recorded by the police and I have a request for that information pending with the department.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    tennessee
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Stopped at Non Functioning Light, Ticketed for Obstruction of Traffic

    I uploaded the video to youtube

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVry0ByRICI

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    tennessee
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Stopped at Non Functioning Light, Ticketed for Obstruction of Traffic

    The newspaper ran a story about it.

    http://www.tennessean.com/article/20...sectionstories

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