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If you get a parking ticket, don't make a big show of ripping it up in front of the cop and tossing it out the window as you drive away - there's a law against that

Cambridge Police report a Lynn man who got a ticket for blocking the bike lane on Cambridge Street Saturday night made a show of ripping up the ticket and sprinkling it on the road as he drove away.

And now he also faces charges of littering from a motor vehicle and mutilating a parking ticket, police say.

Littering is obvious, but mutilating a parking ticket? It's all right there in Massachusetts General Law 90, Section 20D:

Whoever unlawfully tampers with or removes from a motor vehicle, or unlawfully changes, mutilates or destroys any notice affixed to such motor vehicle in accordance with section twenty A or twenty A1/2 shall be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars, or by imprisonment in jail for not more than one month, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

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Comments

I don't see this sticking. The purpose of that law is to prevent me from going around and throwing your parking ticket on the ground, not to punish someone for contempt of cop.

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Voting closed 38

Where did it land, dear?

But do you really want such entitled asshats going without consequences now?

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Voting closed 33

The key word is "your", not "ground".

It's obvious what the intent was. If this law applied to your own ticket, it would be illegal to take the ticket out from the windshield wiper, and you'd have to leave it there forever.

If I were on the jury, I'd keep the littering charge, but toss the mutilating a parking ticket.

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Voting closed 20

If this law applied to your own ticket, it would be illegal to take the ticket out from the windshield wiper, and you'd have to leave it there forever.

Our brilliant drafters of legislation foresaw this edge case, and responded by making it clear that it’s only illegal to remove a ticket from a car when you do it unlawfully.

Whoever unlawfully tampers with or removes from a motor vehicle, or unlawfully changes, mutilates or destroys any notice affixed ...

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Voting closed 11

Well, the point of this law seems to be defining the penalty. Maybe other laws already cover messing with someone else's stuff.

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Voting closed 8

The littering charge will obviously stick. The "mutilating a parking ticket" offense obviously won't. This was obvious from context. You're usually good at this. What's wrong, friend?

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Voting closed 31

The real news here is that someone was actually cited for blocking the bike lane.

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Voting closed 188

N/t

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Voting closed 9

turned out to be a douchebag, is not, however, news at all.

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Voting closed 31

Although the ensuing police encounter probably resulted it in being blocked for 10-15 minutes, whereas a verbal warning would've had it clear in 15 seconds.

Don't get me wrong - I think it should be enforced, but Cambridge Police have a tendency to stop in places/ways that are unsafe, create a traffic jam, or both.

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Voting closed 10

Yes, blocked it for 15 minutes...and he'll be much more likely to think twice before blocking another one again (regardless as to his tantrum).

But a verbal warning? There's no way they don't just block another bike lane the next day without thinking twice.

Play the long game.

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Voting closed 2

I feel like a creative lawyer could make a strong First Amendment argument that tearing up a ticket is protected speech. It doesn't affect the validity of the ticket, or its enforceability, and, in this case, the ticketed individual had received actual notice of the violation (it's not like he was walking down the street and destroying tickets from others' windshields). It seems silly that setting fire to the American flag is protected speech but ripping up a ticket isn't.

Of course, all else fails, one can always exercise other forms of protected speech and flip a bird (wonderful footnote 9 from late Chief Justice Gants).

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Voting closed 24

That is the problem here.

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Voting closed 17

Rick Monday isn't going to run up on this guy and take the ticket from him to prevent him from setting it on fire.

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Voting closed 13

n/t

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Voting closed 12

Ripping up the ticket is not the problem though is it? Throwing the remnants on the ground is. If he put it in the trash it would be hard to charge him with littering.

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Voting closed 11

It would make just as much sense.

Nice to see someone, especially a doofus, ticketed finally for blocking the bike lane.

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Voting closed 31

As a cyclist, I find these bike lanes to be so dangerous as to be unusable. They encourage right-hook and left-cross crashes by hiding the bikes out of sight on the wrong side of parked cars. And pulling out of side streets is terrifying since the parked cars are so far out in the street.

I also feel bad for the small commercial districts that lost 75% of their street parking. If people with cars give up on them and go to bigger stores with parking lots, the stores could go under, and people without cars will be out of luck. Much of Cambridge doesn't have food stores and pharmacies in residential areas, so it's not unreasonable for it to happen here.

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Voting closed 6

75% parking? I think your claim is false. I don't have a car and live in a residential area, and yet, I can get to CVS, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Star Market, Target, etc. all within a 8-15 minute WALK. Imagine that. If you have a car, you can DRIVE to Alewife, Porter Square, etc. where there are free and large parking lots. Sounds like you don't belong in a CITY, and would rather drive your [email protected]@ass around in the suburbs.

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Voting closed 2

You're progressive enough to embrace urban post-car centric living, but not progressive enough to not body shame people.

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Voting closed 3

Interesting, I didn't know of this law. One fine morning I noticed a parking ticket in a stranger's windshield, and decided to pass on my good cheer by taking it and paying it online. I thought I'd save them the aggravation and they'd never even know. Turns out this was illegal?

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Voting closed 15

How dare you impede the state's oppression of a citizen. And don't you (expletive) dare hand water to queued voters!

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Voting closed 7