My question involves a traffic citation from the state of: Ohio
This is how the story goes, a neighbor complained of an extra car I have which is operable but not plated to date. The title and prior registrations when I used the car are all under my name and the car functions fine. I did some repair work slowly on it to get it running before I brought it to the property and I have plans on moving it into my garage once I get it built.
In the mean time I was originally given a warning for (due to neighbor complaint) having a junk vehicle. After I reviewed the law, I called the Housing inspection official who was on the complaint and I told him this car was operational, and I would be happy to start it up for him which kind of temporarily ended the dispute.
Here is the code I was warned with:
351.18 JUNK MOTOR VEHICLES.
(a) No person shall park or keep any junk motor vehicle on any public property or property open to the public for vehicular travel.
(b) No person shall park or keep any junk motor vehicle in any place other than a lawful private garage or parking garage, as defined in Section 1122.03 of the Planning and Zoning Code.
(c) It shall be an affirmative defense to subsection (b) of this section if:
(1) The junk motor vehicle was improperly kept or parked for less than twenty- four consecutive hours; or
(2) The person was engaged in the lawful operation of an impounding storage area, repair garage, junkyard or scrap metal processing facility.
(d) "Junk motor vehicle" as used herein does not include a collector’s vehicle as defined in Ohio R.C. 4501.01(F) but includes any vehicle that:
(1) Does not have current lawful license plates, has not been moved for forty- eight consecutive hours and is apparently inoperable; or
(2) Is not roadworthy including, but not limited to: missing motor, transmission, headlight, door, hood, windshield, wheel or tires, extensively damaged body, broken axle, wheel, windshield or windows.
(Ord. 70-1991. Passed 5-13-91.)
So the next phase of this, is a direct visit to my house by a local LEO which told me I was now going to be cited under 351.19 if I didn't have the car plated or gone from the city in 1 month. During this time I researched the law on 351.19 which tells me that as long as I don't leave the car parked for 48 contiguous hours I would be in compliance with the law.
351.19 REGULATING UNLICENSED MOTOR VEHICLES.
No person shall park, store or leave or permit the parking or storage of any unlicensed motor vehicle of any kind, for a period in excess of forty-eight hours, whether attended or not, upon any property within the City, unless the vehicle is parked or stored pursuant to court-ordered immobilization, or pursuant to Ohio R.C. 4507.38, 4511.195, 4503.233 or substantially equivalent ordinance, or unless the vehicle is enclosed within a building, garage or carport or further, is connected with and essential to the operation of a business enterprise conducted in a lawful place and manner and properly licensed. For every day such violation shall exist it shall be deemed to constitute a separate offense.
(Ord. 52-1994. Passed 4-11-94.)
I called and spoke with the prosecutor, he said they have no affidavit for this time of zoning infraction and it just kind of comes out in the wash if it goes to court and I contest it. I asked him about the parking defintion and he was unable to answer and instead said that it sounded like a defense if I take it to court. He suggested I speak with the LEO who cited me, and I have to say the prosecutor was very helpful and professional.
When I got in contact with the LEO on the phone, I told him what I found and asked him how he determined I have had it "parked" for 48 hours. He said he saw it before, and it there still which is all he needs. I asked him if he marked the tires to see if it was stationary or took any other kind of evidence and he did not.
He started laughing and mocking me for asking if simply moving the car periodically would put me in compliance in his eyes. He said unless I take it on the road, moving it within the private property would not constitute "moving" or "operating" the vehicle.
So, my understand from legally looking up "parking" is that it is not in motion. Once a car goes into motion, it is no longer parked. Can anyone help me out here? I was willing to be nice and pay the ticket, but after the mockery from the cop on the phone I am quite annoyed and now will fight out of principle.
If I were to move the car 2-3 feet every other day within my own private property, would I be in violation of 351.19?