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Need Law advice/clarification. Am I really wrong here?

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posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 01:22 PM
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Today I, along with every other junior, got a warning for parking in a park parking lot when we were not using the park (parked there and then walked to school).

The problem is, however, the park is PUBLIC land. Not only is it public land, there is not ONE sign saying "this space is reserved for park patrons only."

Heres my exact warning:

Make: Jeep
Body Type: 4dr
State: NJ
Place of violations: (park & area): Thompson - schoolhouse rd
Date: 4/30/04
Time: 11:08 AM
Country Resolution: XII-6

Explain:

Parking areas are limited to use by park patrons

Green Jeep Cherokee

(signature of ranger....badge no)


Without signs and on public land, I feel that the park rangers are in the wrong, not the juniors.

Can any legal people elaborate?




posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 01:24 PM
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Well is there a sign on the park property that states the name of the park and anything else that reveals who owns the property? If there is a sign designating it as a public park it goes under the rule of assumption that if the parking lot is on park land then it exists for park patrons.

I myself have the same problem out here in Illinois, a public park that we are forced to park at and pay a pass for.



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 01:25 PM
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Probably not, all it would need is something in your towns by-laws that says something along those lines. It might not add that there needs to be signage. You should be able to look it up though. They might be trying to pull a swiftie on the young folks and scare them away from the park.



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 01:29 PM
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Its public land. No visible signs about the park near the parking lot (only sign I personally know if is way on the other side, several miles away).



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 01:30 PM
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Is there any thing written on the pavement or parking spots themselves?

Try looking up the NJ regulations for moving violations.

[Edited on 30-4-2004 by Agent47]



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 01:31 PM
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Nothing written on the pavement. Its not even a paved parking lot.

This park is in Middlesex County, NJ.



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 01:32 PM
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Originally posted by Cutwolf
Nothing written on the pavement. Its not even a paved parking lot.


Then what makes it a parking lot? You could be parking on park property.



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 01:36 PM
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It's park (city) property. And they will ticket people who park there for a long time and are not using the park facilities.

I suspect (given your "I and every other junior" statement) that the city's gotten a LOT of complaints by people wanting to use the park who find that there's no parking spaces and that there's nobody in the park.



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 01:38 PM
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How do they know I am not using the park? Just curious.

The park is huge, I could simply be back in the woods. The more I think about it, the more like a scare tactic it seems.



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 01:47 PM
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Originally posted by Cutwolf
The park is huge, I could simply be back in the woods. The more I think about it, the more like a scare tactic it seems.


Probably other park patrons saw you or others leaving your cars on a daily basis and they could also conclude this by the bumper stickers or items left in the car.



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 01:51 PM
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Public land is sadly, not as public as we'd like it to be. I'm not a lawyer, nor do I yada yada yada...but I I'd let it go since there's no money involved - yet. Then your chances would probably be 50- 50 you could beat it, if you had a sympathetic judge and could prove no signs prohibiting parking here.

Question: why didn't you park at the school?

When I was a boy, we didn't have cars. We had to walk uphill to school, for five miles, in both directions. And we were thankful for it! (just kidding,,,).





posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 01:55 PM
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Alright I found the law:


6. No person shall park or store any motorcar, motorcycle, bicycle, wagon or other vehicle within a County Park or Recreation Area except in areas designated and posted for such purposes. Parking areas and thoroughfares are limited to use by park patrons only and for the purpose of driving to park a vehicle.


HOWEVER


At the beginning of the section they define the terms they use.


PARK RANGERS OR OFFICERS - any person employed by the Middlesex County Parks Department as a Park Ranger or Special Officer or any municipal or State Police Officer.

PARKING PLACE - any part of any drive or space designated as a place for the standing of vehicles.

PATH - shall mean any footpath, walk or any path maintained for pedestrians.

PERSON - any person, corporation, company, association, joint stock association, firm or co-partnership.

PERMIT - any written license issued by or under the authority of the Parks Department, permitting the performance of a specified act or acts.

PRIVATE/SERVICE ROAD OR DRIVE - shall mean every road, lane or driveway not open to use of the public in general.



Where is patron? What makes me a patron? If I arrive early, spend 30 minutes in the park with my girlfriend, and then go to school, am I patron? Or does patron designate a specific time limit?



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 01:58 PM
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Originally posted by Cutwolf
Where is patron? What makes me a patron? If I arrive early, spend 30 minutes in the park with my girlfriend, and then go to school, am I patron? Or does patron designate a specific time limit?


If you can prove that you spend time enjoying the parks services daily then I think you could beat the charge.



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 02:05 PM
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JSO, don't foget those danged blizzards while walking up hill to and from school.

My guess is that it is only a warning and no action will be taken if you stop parking there. However, if you want to park there, get info on town laws first. One must remember that there are many laws in towns that are never posted anywhere. Some are even dumb laws that make no sense such as cops having to honk and wait two minutes before approaching a car that they suspect people having sex in. They exist, but people don't know them.

For more dumb laws

While these have not much to do with your situation, it is interesting to note that without checking up on town laws, you could be violating them without even knowing it.



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 02:27 PM
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In my opinion, you should not fight this one. The law states parking is for park patrons only. If you go to the park for 30 minutes and then to school, you are no longer a park patron, you left the park.

Is it really worth the fight, wouldn't it be easier to find another place to park ?



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 02:39 PM
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Same thing happened at my school when I was a junior 7 years ago. They will ticket you. You are a patron of the park as long as you are at the park. As soon as you leave the park, you are no longer a patron, and therefore are parked illegaly. The cops store your liscense plate number when they write the warning. Chances are, anyone who has a first offense after this event will still get a warning, where as any car that has gotten a warning will get a ticket.

At least, that's what happened at my high school.



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 02:48 PM
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They do NOT define patron anywhere in the statue. As we all know, law terms are NOT to be taken for granted.

I called legal aides of 2 state legislators and 1 lawyer and they all said they cannot find an explicit, on the books definition of park patron.



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 02:52 PM
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how much is the fine that you'll have to pay for this ?

Is it really worth the fight ? You're going to lose this one, you can't fight the City or State.... IMHO.



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 02:55 PM
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How would I lose this one? I do not know what a patron is. I spent 30 minutes in the park. I support the park. By dictionary definition, I am a patron. By law definition - wait, there is no law definition. Without a definition of the components of the law you have no law. This is what a legal loophole is.



posted on Apr, 30 2004 @ 02:59 PM
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Originally posted by Cutwolf
How would I lose this one? I do not know what a patron is. I spent 30 minutes in the park. I support the park. By dictionary definition, I am a patron. By law definition - wait, there is no law definition. Without a definition of the components of the law you have no law. This is what a legal loophole is.



Once you left the park you were no longer a patron for that sepcific time frame.

I'll guarantee you that if you fight this, and say, I parked my car and spent time in the park and then went to school and came back to the park later in the day, so I left my car there, they'll say that you should have taken your car out of the park when you went to school and brought it back and parked again when you were ready to be a patron again.





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