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Fighting a ticket w/ underage witness?

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Buckimion

Junior Member
State of Ohio…

Tuesday I came home from work and found my neighbor had parked a van and trailer in the designated handicap space in front of my house. (I'm an amputee.) He also had a second trailer backed up toward his front door, partially blocking the street. The van did have a HC parking permit that was registered to the neighbor's father..

As there were no other convenient parking spaces at that time, I managed to wedge myself between the front of his van and the second trailer in front of his house. He came out to argue that I was blocking his trailer and the police were called. The police insisted I move to another space that had just opened and when I did move, the police and neighbor noted a dime-sized spot of paint from the neighbor's trailer on the corner of my front bumper. The neighbor insisted that I get a ticket for causing an 'accident' and the police issued one for 'Backing w/out safety', 'resulting in an accident'…despite the fact that no one had actually seen me strike the neighbor's trailer. No accident report was taken at the neighbor's insistence. I suspect he wanted to avoid getting himself in a legal tangle and did not have insurance contrary to state law. I had wanted the police officer to run a check on the neighbor's van and HC permit and he refused saying that this "wasn't about them"

After the police left, I found out that the neighbor's father wasn't using the van…he was 80 miles away at the house they were moving to. Ohio law states that a HC permit can only be used by or while transporting the person it is issued for. I believe I have grounds that the neighbor was fraudulently using his father's permit to park in the space in front of my house. I also believe the officer was negligent for not following up on this.

I had kept my 12 yo daughter from getting involved in the dispute and she had watched most of the proceedings from the front door of our house. (She was waiting for my arrival and had been standing there prior to my arriving home.) Also after the police left, she had stated that she DID NOT see me strike the neighbor's trailer and that their trailer had 'bounced' against my front bumper while there were loading it with furniture during our argument.

I'm also curious, if needed, can she be a witness despite an obvious bias and her age? I hate the idea of taking her out of school for court, but she's better than no witness at all?
 


racer72

Senior Member
If I was the defendant, I would claim your witness was a hostile witness and could not give impartial testimony. And I would bet the judge would agree.
 

Buckimion

Junior Member
I may not have been clear, but the (soon to be former) neighbors have no intention of appearing to press any claim or to testify. The officer wrote the ticket based soley on seeing the paint spot on my bumper...He'd asked if ANYONE had actually seen me strike the trailer and everyone said 'no'. I am not being charged with an accident, only with 'Backing w/out safety'. Can someone explain if (and how) the officer's testimony of 'seeing a spot' will hold up when no one actually saw an accident. (And again, my daughter claims she saw what did happen.)

Racer72: Are you suggesting that my daughter be referred to as a hostile witness? (After grounding her this morning for being late for school, she sure is! :) ) Would this mean I could somehow relay her testimony without an appearance? (Judging by seniorjudge's comments, I may not have that much to lose either.)

Or were you referring to the former neighbors who have managed to get away clean due to the officer's handling of situation? Not that I'd think it would have done much good, but they managed to avoid giving their new address so I couldn't supeona (sp?) them if I'd wanted to.
 
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seniorjudge

Senior Member
Can someone explain if (and how) the officer's testimony of 'seeing a spot' will hold up when no one actually saw an accident.

Yes; because the spot of paint is circumstantial evidence which is the best kind of evidence in the world.

The circumstantial evidence of dog prints in the mud outweigh the testimony of 10,000 angels that no dog passed this way.

"Hostile witness" refers to what you say about a witness you call. If I call you and you are hostile to my case, I can ask the judge to declare you a hostile witness which means I get to ask you leading questions and stuff.
 

Buckimion

Junior Member
seniorjudge said:
The circumstantial evidence of dog prints in the mud outweigh the testimony of 10,000 angels that no dog passed this way.
But what if one little angel says she saw the cat wearing dog boots? :D
 

Buckimion

Junior Member
Let me refocus...

What is my best defense against the charge, based on the evidence and testimony presented above?
 

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