Posted Aug 1st 2012 10:14AM
Have you ever left your car at a metered parking spot, for just a few minutes too long, only to come back to a parking ticket? Have you ever wanted to yell at the parking enforcement officer? Well, as Jared Rapp found out, the practice is protected by the American Constitution.
Rapp, 29, was a student at Michigan State University in 2008 when a parking officer ticked his vehicle. Rapp proceeded to vent his frustrations by yelling at the officer who administered his ticket. He must've been quite intimidating – according to a Detroit Free Press report, the officer "retreated to his vehicle, called for help, then sat in his vehicle until police arrived."
Apparently, the tirade that followed resulted in charges against Rapp, which triggered a court case that went all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court. The court has ruled that Rapp cannot be charged with a crime for such an act. Rapp was to be prosecuted under an MSU ordinance regarding "anyone who disrupts in any way anyone carrying out any activity for or with MSU."
That sounded a bit vague to Rapp's attorneys, and it apparently did to the court, as well. In a divided decision, they have ruled that prosecuting Rapp would infringe upon his right to free speech. Looks like it's time to brush up on the Constitution of Canada to see if this also applies to us too!