Quigley v. CHP California Helmet Regulation Trial

The Quigley v. CHP injunction/declaratory aid circumstance went to demo in Could, resulting in a judgment for the CHP. The Plaintiff’s demo legal professional, Wendy Lascher, Esq., is at this time thinking about whether or not to enchantment the judgment.
The presentation of a great deal of the Plaintiff’s evidence was prevented by the Judge’s rulings on a few of very last minute protection motions in liming. The Courtroom issued a ruling prohibiting testimony with regards to helmet law citations that had been illegally issued to the named Plaintiffs and other California bikers prior to 2005. This was problematic, as arrived out in the testimony of Mark Temple, because the California Freeway Patrol adopted a policy a number of yrs back not to ticket numerous of the BOLT members, together with Plaintiffs Steve Bianco and Don Blanscet, so that notwithstanding that they trip with two inch huge helmets or sun shades with DOT scratched into the aspect, their very last CHP ticketswere all pre-2005. The Decide also rejected testimony with regard to helmet law tickets illegally issued by other law California law enforcement businesses which we had sought to confess on the basis that these other law enforcement businesses take their direct from the CHP on site visitors law enforcement policy. For a a lot more complete discussion of the legal concerns from the motorcycle legal professionals viewpoint,
But notwithstanding the demo Judge’s adverse rulings, there had been important steps forward reached at the demo that will serve us on enchantment or in the next demo we convey to overturn California’s helmet law. For one particular, we acquired the unrehearsed and evidently unprepared testimony of Sergeant Valdez, whom the CHP designated as its staff “most experienced” about CHP helmet law enforcement policy. Appallingly, Sergeant Valdez testified that he was unaware of the published California appellate selections which seriously limited the CHP’s constitutional leeway to situation helmet law citations. Sergeant Valdez also stated that he was unaware of the federal injunction restraining the CHP from issuing helmet tickets in violation of these California constitutional constraints.
As talked about in former BIKER magazine BOLT columns, the two published California constitutional situations and federal injunction held that the CHP should not think about helmet fabrication and should have “probable cause” to imagine that the rider has “actual knowledge” that his helmet has been recalled or identified by NHTSA to be noncompliant with FMVSS 218. Sergeant Valdez testimony that he was unaware of the foregoing circumstance law is an insult to the Courts which issued people selections, and can make plain that the CHP has no intention to comply with the constitutional constraints on its authority to enforce the helmet law. Sergeant Valdez also made this plain when he testified that the officers make your mind up to ticket a biker entirely on basis of their subjective dedication whether or not distinct headgear “seems to be like a helmet” or not. This “if it seems to be like a duck, waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck” testimony plainly violates the prohibition on thought of traits of helmet fabrication. The CHP policy also plainly violates the federal court docket injunction, below which a rider can only be ticketed the officer has possible bring about to imagine that the rider has true information that his headgear has been recalled or identified noncompliant with FMVSS 218.
The Plaintiffs demo legal professional, Ms. Lascher, is thinking about, among the other matters, whether or not the Valdez testimony is enough evidence on which to mount an enchantment from the protection judgment, weighing also the point that the Decide prevented the Plaintiffs from presenting the biker testimony which would have established in point, just as we did in the Easyriders circumstance, that the CHP had issued hundreds of illegal helmet tickets in the dozen yrs pursuing the earlier mentioned referenced California and federal selections.
Though we “dropped” the demo, we have taken a big step forward in acquiring this testimony of Sergeant Valdez, and there is nothing at all in this result that dissuades us from our convictions about the validity of the constitutional positions central to BOLT’s attack on the California helmet law. The Plaintffs could or could not enchantment the result in this circumstance provided the judicial constraints on our introduction of our strongest evidence. But there is one particular matter about which all could be specific, and that is that BOLT will never ever give up the fight. We will not cease till we prevail. We will not cease till all California riders are accorded the common dignity to make their very own selections about what to put on when they trip.
Ray Henke is a California motorcycle incident law firm, former Governor of the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Association and LATLA’s nominee for the “Trial Attorney of the Calendar year” Award. Mr. Henke also co-moderates Bruce & Ray’s Biker Discussion board.