The Municipal Court rip-off continues

27 Oct

On August 25th I was driving home with my wife when I was stopped by a Fort Lee police officer at 9pm about a half-mile from our apartment.  The officer asked for my license, registration and insurance card.  I had the first two in my wallet and handed them to the officer.  I keep the insurance card in the console but could not find it.  I told the officer it was here because my insurance policy was renewed a month earlier and I put the new insurance card in my car immediately.

The officer took my license and registration and went back to his vehicle to check my driving record.  He returned and told him I was still looking for the insurance card.  He did not wait while my wife and I were looking for the card in the glove compartment as well.  He went back to his vehicle and came back with a ticket for failure to have the insurance card.  By the time he came back we found the insurance card.  He said just show the prosecutor the ID card at the court and the ticket would be dismissed.

I went to the Fort Lee Municipal Court on October 24 at 4:30pm and waited to see the prosecutor who dismissed the ticket but said there would be court costs and was told to wait to see the judge.  I should have protested at that moment but waited for nearly two hours to have the ticket dismissed before the judge.  I was called before the judge and told him that I had ID card but the officer did not wait for me to produce it.  He did not have the courtesy to question me but just made his decision, ticket dismissed, but $39 in court costs.

Needless to say, I made a mistake by not be persisting with the prosecutor but expected the judge to dismiss the ticket and not levy and court costs because I did have the insurance ID but apparently did produce it not fast enough for the police officer.

The moral of the story is to protest politely when you see the prosecutor because there is little justice in municipal court.


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