Quigley v. CHP California Helmet Regulation Trial
The Quigley v. CHP injunction/declaratory reduction situation went to trial in Might, resulting in a judgment for the CHP. The Plaintiff’s trial attorney, Wendy Lascher, Esq., is now looking at no matter if to charm the judgment.
The presentation of a lot of the Plaintiff’s proof was prevented by the Judge’s rulings on a few of past moment protection motions in liming. The Court docket issued a ruling prohibiting testimony concerning helmet regulation citations that had been illegally issued to the named Plaintiffs and other California bikers prior to 2005. This was problematic, as came out in the testimony of Mark Temple, simply because the California Freeway Patrol adopted a plan several yrs in the past not to ticket lots of of the BOLT customers, which includes Plaintiffs Steve Bianco and Don Blanscet, so that notwithstanding that they trip with two inch vast helmets or sunglasses with DOT scratched into the facet, their past CHP ticketswere all pre-2005. The Decide also rejected testimony with regard to helmet regulation tickets illegally issued by other regulation California regulation enforcement agencies which we had sought to confess on the basis that these other police agencies choose their guide from the CHP on site visitors regulation enforcement plan. For a much more comprehensive dialogue of the lawful difficulties from the motorcycle lawyers point of view,
But notwithstanding the trial Judge’s adverse rulings, there had been big actions ahead obtained at the trial that will serve us on charm or in the future trial we carry to overturn California’s helmet regulation. For just one, we attained the unrehearsed and seemingly unprepared testimony of Sergeant Valdez, whom the CHP specified as its employee “most proficient” about CHP helmet regulation enforcement plan. Appallingly, Sergeant Valdez testified that he was unaware of the released California appellate selections which seriously limited the CHP’s constitutional leeway to issue helmet regulation 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 mentioned in previous BIKER magazine BOLT columns, the two released California constitutional instances and federal injunction held that the CHP ought to not think about helmet fabrication and ought to have “probable cause” to feel that the rider has “actual knowledge” that his helmet has been recalled or determined by NHTSA to be noncompliant with FMVSS 218. Sergeant Valdez testimony that he was unaware of the foregoing situation regulation is an insult to the Courts which issued those selections, and would make simple that the CHP has no intention to comply with the constitutional constraints on its authority to implement the helmet regulation. Sergeant Valdez also manufactured this simple when he testified that the officers make your mind up to ticket a biker only on basis of their subjective resolve no matter if certain headgear “appears to be like a helmet” or not. This “if it appears to be like a duck, waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck” testimony plainly violates the prohibition on consideration of qualities of helmet fabrication. The CHP plan also plainly violates the federal courtroom injunction, underneath which a rider can only be ticketed the officer has probable cause to feel that the rider has precise awareness that his headgear has been recalled or determined noncompliant with FMVSS 218.
The Plaintiffs trial attorney, Ms. Lascher, is looking at, amongst other factors, no matter if the Valdez testimony is enough proof on which to mount an charm from the protection judgment, weighing also the truth that the Decide prevented the Plaintiffs from presenting the biker testimony which would have proven in truth, just as we did in the Easyriders situation, that the CHP had issued hundreds of illegal helmet tickets in the dozen yrs pursuing the previously mentioned referenced California and federal selections.
Though we “shed” the trial, we have taken a massive phase ahead in getting this testimony of Sergeant Valdez, and there is nothing in this result that dissuades us from our convictions about the validity of the constitutional positions central to BOLT’s assault on the California helmet regulation. The Plaintffs may perhaps or may perhaps not charm the result in this situation presented the judicial limitations on our introduction of our strongest proof. But there is just one thing about which all may perhaps be sure, and that is that BOLT will hardly ever give up the fight. We will not prevent till we prevail. We will not prevent till all California riders are accorded the regular dignity to make their have selections about what to put on when they trip.
Ray Henke is a California motorcycle accident lawyer, previous Governor of the Los Angeles Trial Attorneys Association and LATLA’s nominee for the “Trial Law firm of the Year” Award. Mr. Henke also co-moderates Bruce & Ray’s Biker Discussion board.