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Sunshine Law As A Lever??

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Junior Member
Follow Up

The officer finally responded to the above 15 items addressed to the prosecutor on 8-22-06. Here's what she produced:

Dear Sir-

I have listed the following information to the best of my knowledge per your request, regarding MUCS# 050710720 (Which is the citation #).

1. Officer *********
2. STALKER Radar Unit
3. Cone- KA3546 Head Unit- DC 1936
4. Western Missouri Public Safety Training Institute, Class 21-855, Doppler RADAR effect and laser monitoring, practical and training, August, 2004.
5. RADAR Log, Report # 06-0834
6. RADAR Log, Report # 06-0834
7. Ford, Crown Victoria, License # 113.
8.Completed RADAR or LIDAR operational log, approved by supervisor.
9. General Order 1996-08. Field Training Program.
10. 18.431
12. N/A
13. No secondary Officer on scene
14. N/A
15. Light traffic
I had been doing research into how radar works and had even found a couple of Missouri Appeals Court decisions, City of Jackson, MO v. Robert Langford & City of St. Louis, MO v. Forrest Boecker.

I decided that I would focus on the radar unit's calibration and the tuning fork calibrations. I determined to demand original copies of the equipment maintenence records & calibration records for the radar used in order to see if it had been tested for accuracy with its or specific tuning forks prior to my arrest and immediately after, and to see if it had any mechanical or false reading issues or damage prior to my arrest. I determined to demand the officer's arrest log to determine when the unit was tested. I determined to demand the vehicle maintenance records for the patrol car to see what radar unit was installed in it at the time of my arrest. I determined to demand the tuning forks calibration records to ensure that they had been inspected for damage and certified as accurate by an FCC licensed technician within six months prior to my arrest.

Yesterday evening my case was called. The officer gave her testimony. I presented copies of the two cases to the judge and prosecutor. The judge looked them over briefly and thew them back at me stating "overuled." I then began by requesting the calibration records for the radar to determine when it was tested for accuracy. The officer stated that she didn't know they were required. The prosecutor asked the officer if she tested the radar with the tuning forks prior to using it that day. She stated that she always did so at the start of every shift. I asked her if she tested the unit after my arrest and she stated that she did not. I requested the calibration records again. The officer indicated a copy of my above letter to the prosecutor which was lying on a table next to the prosecutor and stated to the effect that the charachters RADAR Log, Report # 06-0834 were the calibration records. I stated that they were not the calibration records. The judge then stated that the calibration records for the radar unit were not required evidence!!

I then requested the calibration records for the tuning forks. The officer stated that she did not have them because she didn't know that they were required. The prosecutor the stated to me that if I wanted them I should have requested them. I stated to the judge that I am not an attorney but that the prosecutor knows very well that she is required to present the foundation of any eveidence she presents if I request it. At this point an officer wearing Sergeant's Stripes interjected that those records are not required. I don't know if he was a bailiff, prosecutor, witness or bystander, but I do know that he did not take the oath. Either way, he seemed to be the final authority on what evidence was to be admissible in Sugar Creek, MO Municipal Court because when he said that the judge pronounced me Guilty and informed me that I could appeal the verdict if I wanted. I asked him if I was free to go and he said "Yes." I then asked him how much the appeal bond would be and he stated "$100." The court clerk later informed me that I had ten days in which to appeal or pay the fine and court costs which total $113.

So, now I have a decision to make. I haven't contacted my insurance company yet to see what it will do to my rates. I am pissed that there is a judge in a kangaroo court who has no qualms at completely disregarding applicable Appeals Court decisions and the prosecution's duty to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. He's all too willing to sell the principles of American justice for $113. I'm pissed that there's a twenty-something police girl out there with a radar who doesn't mind lying and inflating numbers in order to raise revenue for the city. What if I had been doing 52 in the 55 zone? Would she feel free to write me a ticket for 63 to do her part in helping the city council not have to raise the sales tax?



Junior Member
Here's the second case that the judge wasn't interested in. The first was the City of Jackson, MO posted on page one by Cepe10.

CITY OF ST. LOUIS, Plaintiff-Respondent,
Forrest BOECKER, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 31278.

St. Louis Court of Appeals, Missouri.

Sept. 17, 1963.

Forrest Boecker, St. Louis, for defendant-appellant.

Thomas J. Neenan, City Counselor, H. J. Dodson, Asst. City
Counselor, St. Louis, for plaintiff-respondent.

DOERNER, Commissioner.

Defendant was arrested and charged with violating an ordinance
of the City of St. Louis which limited the maximum speed of automobiles
to 30 miles per hour. He was tried and found guilty in the City Court,

Page 732

and thereafter appealed to the St. Louis Court of Criminal Correction.
A trial by jury in that court resulted in a verdict and judgment
finding defendant guilty and assessing as penalty a fine of $25. From that
judgment defendant prosecutes this appeal.

Defendant was arrested by Officer John Hoffman of the St. Louis
Metropolitan Police Department on June 1, 1961, about 11:35 A.M., on
Lindell Boulevard, an east-west street in the City of St. Louis. The only
evidence tending to prove that defendant was exceeding the lawful speed
limit was that given by Hoffman, over the timely and proper objections
of defendant. The officer testified that he was operating a radar
speedmeter mounted in the trunk of his police car, and that as defendant's
automobile, proceeding westwardly, passed through the beam projected
from the radar machine the dial of the radar speedmeter indicated
defendant's speed as 40 miles per hour. On cross-examination the officer
admitted that defendant's car was 'lagging behind' other automobiles which
were proceeding westwardly on Lindell ahead of defendant.

It has been said that normally there are four basic issues
involved in the conviction of an accused for a speed violation detected by
radar: (1) the accuracy of the device as a scientific instrument; (2)
the proper functioning of the particular machine used; (3) the
identification of the accused as the speed violator; and (4) hearsay evidence as
it may relate to the testing and setting up of the unit, to
identification, and to the arrest of the accused. 1 To those we suggest the
addition of a fifth, that of the training and experience of the operator.
However, in this appeal defendant has raised only one of the foregoing
issues, and accordingly our review will be confined to that question. In
brief, what the defendant here contends is that Officer Hoffman's
testimony as to the speed registered on the radar speedmeter was not
admissible, and that without it no submissible case was made, because there was
no evidence that the radar device had been adequately tested or
that it was functioning properly at the time defendant was arrested.
The City, of course, contends to the contrary.

The only evidence of any test made of the radar device was that
given by Officer Hoffman. Asked by the City's counsel whether on the
day of the arrest he had tested the radar machine in any way before he
took out the police car in which it was installed, he stated:

'Well, there is a tuning fork, as they call it, used specifically for
checking this instrument, this unit. And this fork is used in a manner
that you can turn it on, then you flip this fork and you touch it
lightly, cause a virbration in it. And you hold it to the rear where the box
would be that is picking up this--shooting out this beam, and that
makes a reading on your visual meter of thirty miles an hour. And when it
holds that reading for several seconds, then we are told that the
machine is in perfect operating condition.'

Defendant objected to the hearsay involved in the latter part
of the officer's answer and moved that it be stricken, but the record
fails to show any ruling by the court.

Sergeant Herbert Bosch, supervisor of the Communications
Technical Section of the Police Department, who was licensed by the Federal
Communications Commission to service radar units and was in charge of
the maintenance and repair of the Police Department's machines, testified
that the tuning fork used to test the radar devices was very similar to
a tuning fork used by a piano tuner; that it is cut to a certain audial
frequency; that when held in front of the radar instrument and
vibrated, it has the same effect on the radar as a car going through the beam
at 30 miles per hour; that if the dial registers 30 miles per hour it is
considered a test of the accuracy of the machine; and that it is an
accepted test, recommended by radar engineers. On cross-examination

Page 733

the Sergeant stated that the Police Department had two tuning forks,
one calibrated for 30 miles per hour and the other for 60. He also stated
that he had no personal knowledge of when, either before or after
defendant's arrest, the unit used by Officer Hoffman had been tested.

Both the defendant and the City cite and rely on the only
reported Missouri case involving radar, State v. Graham, Mo.App., 322 S.W.2d
188, decided by the Springfield Court of Appeals in 1959. In that case
the state troopers had tested their radar machine shortly before
defendant's arrest, and at the point where the arrest occurred, by what is
called the run-through test, in which a car was driven through the beam
at speeds of 50 and 70 miles per hour (as indicated on the automobile
speedometer) to determine whether corresponding speeds were registered on
the dial of the radar speedmeter; and also by the use of two tuning
forks calibrated to register 50 and 70 miles per hour on the radar
speedmeter. The defendant, who was charged with going 65 miles per hour in a
50 mile per hour zone, raised among others the same points as does the
defendant here, namely, that there was no proof that the radar had been
properly tested or that it was functioning properly at the time
of his arrest. The court stated that it was a matter of common
knowledge that an automobile speedometer reflects only approximate speed and
that there is considerable variance in the speedometers of different
cars. It noted that there was no evidence that the speedometer in the
patrol car used to check the accuracy of the radar device was itself
accurate, or had ever been checked. But it held (l. c. 197 of 322 S.W.2d):

'* * * If such a situation existed in a close case, where there was a
slight difference between the allowed and actual speed, we might
question the admissibility of such speedometer evidence; but here there was an
excess of 15 miles per hour. In addition, there was the confirmation of
the tuning fork test. These tests we think were sufficient to make the
evidence of the radar speedmeter admissible.'

The court further held that (l. c. 197 of 322 S.W.2d), '* * *
the dual tests made almost immediately before the occasion * * *' was
prima facie proof that the machine was functioning properly at the time
of defendant's arrest.

Defendant argues that it was held in effect in that case that a
run-through test by a moving vehicle is absolutely essential to
establish the accuracy and proper functioning of a radar speedmeter, and that
the court relied entirely on such a test. On the other hand, the City
asserts that the court in State v. Graham, supra, recognized the
sufficiency of the tuning fork test, standing alone, as prima facie proof of
the accuracy and proper operating condition of the radar unit. In our
opinion neither view is correct. As the foregoing quotations illustrate,
the court based its decision on the duality of the tests made. We think
that the important principles to be deduced from State v. Graham,
supra, are three-fold: First, the acceptance as a matter of judicial
knowledge, '* * * that a radar speedmeter is a device which, within a
reasonable engineering tolerance, and when properly functioning and properly
operated, accurately measures speed in terms of miles per hour.'
(l. c. 195 of 322 S.W.2d); Second, the recognition as a matter of
judicial knowledge that the device may not operate properly upon occasions
and for various reasons, and that it is therefore, '* * * the obligation
of the proponent who uses it to establish prima facie that the machine
was properly functioning * * *' (l. c. 197 of 322 S.W.2d); and Third,
that '* * * the value of such tests (of a radar speedmeter) would depend
upon the accuracy of the measuring device against which it is checked.
* * *' (l. c. 197 of 322 S.W.2d).

Unlike the situation which existed in State v. Graham, supra,
dual tests were not

Last edited:


Junior Member
Page 734

made in the present case; in fact, Officer Hoffman testified that the
Police Department ceased making the run-through tests some years before,
when the use of the tuning fork began. The only test made of the
accuracy of the radar unit here involved was the tuning fork test made by
Hoffman 'on the morning' of the day of the arrest, before he took the
police car 'out,' presumably at the start of his tour of duty on that day.
The record is totally devoid of any evidence of the time when, and the
place where, such test was made. No evidence was introduced as to the
nature and extent of the movements of the car during the period of
unknown length which intervened between the making of the test and the
arrest of defendant. Nor is there any testimony as to the manner in which
Hoffman set up the unit at the site on Lindell Boulevard, the procedure
he followed when he activated the device, or the length of time the set
had been in operation before the arrest was made. In fact, when
his testimony regarding the test (heretofore quoted in full) is read
carefully it will be noted that he did not even state that the radar
speedmeter read 30 miles per hour when he tested it with the tuning fork;
all that he actually did was to describe in the abstract the nature of
and the principle underlying the tuning fork test. For the purposes of
this case, however, we will infer from his testimony that the radar
device read 30 miles per hour at the time he tested it with the tuning

Bearing in mind the principle stated in State v. Graham, supra,
that it is the obligation of the proponent who uses the radar
speedmeter to establish prima facie that the machine was accurate and
functioning properly at the time the accused's speed was checked, the ultimate
question presented is whether by the foregoing evidence the City
sustained its burden of proof. We are constrained to hold that it did not. The
reasons which impel us to reach that conclusion are based upon the
nature and characteristics of the radar speedmeter.

The courts customarily adopt a conservative attitude toward
accepting scientific advances or developments, 2 an inherent disposition
which has been referred to as a 'cultural lag.' 3 While some reluctance
to accord judicial recognition to the radar speedmeter was at first
exhibited, 4 within the relatively short time since its use began numerous
courts have taken judicial knowledge that a radar speedmeter is a
device operating on scientifically sound principles, which when properly
functioning and operated will accurately measure the speed of a moving
vehicle within a recognized and relatively small tolerance. 5 It has been
suggested that the important role played by radar during World War II
greatly accelerated the judicial acceptance of the radar speedmeter:
'The war-time reputation of radar has created an impression, through name
alone, of such perfection in design or performance integrity, that
psychologically everyone is impressed.' 6 What is perhaps not
generally recognized, however, is that the radar used by the military
during the war is a completely different type instrument, operating on a
totally dissimilar scientific principle, than the device called a radar
speedmeter. 7 The military unit is a pulse type radar which transmits
microwaves at

Page 735

controlled intervals. A wave, coming in contact with a target, is
reflected back to the receiver. Since the wave travels in both directions at
the speed of light, approximately 186,000 miles per second, by
computing the elapsed time the distance of the target can be ascertained. Also,
since the beam projected is a relatively narrow one, the bearing of the
target from the transmitter may be determined. The military unit does
not indicate the speed of the target; that fact, as well as the target's
direction of travel, must be computed by tracking and plotting the
changes in distance and bearing over a period of time.

In contrast, the radar speedmeter does not send out microwaves
at intervals or as short disconnected pulses. Instead, a continuous
flow of microwaves is transmitted at a theoretical frequency of 2455
megacycles, or 2,455,000,000 cycles per second. When the beam of waves
strike a target, part of the beam is reflected back to the receiver.
According to what is called the Doppler effect, if the object is moving then
the frequency of the reflected or echo wave will be different from the
frequency of the outgoing wave; greater in frequency if the target is
moving towards the transmitter, diminished in frequency if the target is
receding. Because it would be extremely difficult to measure the
difference in frequencies between one which already amounts to 2,455,000,000
cycles per second and another of an even greater number (if the target
is advancing), a second phenomenon is invoked. This is the phenomenon
of 'beats,' used in tuning stringed musical instruments. Thus, if
two adjacent notes on a piano are struck simultaneously, the
combination of the two tones will have alternate increases and decreases of
intensity, the throbbing of the sound being called 'beats'; the number of
beats per second being equal to the difference of the frequencies of the
two vibrating sources. In the same way that beats occur with sound
waves of different frequencies so can they also occur with radio waves of
different frequencies. In the case of the radar speedmeter, the antenna
receives the outgoing wave transmitted at the theoretical frequency of
2,455,000,000 cycles per second, as well as the echo wave, which has
been modulated to a still higher frequency (if the target is advancing),
and by measuring the number of beats set up by the two frequencies,
transposes such beats into the miles per hour speed of the target; the
result being indicated on a dial. Dr. John M. Kopper, who has testified as
an expert on behalf of police departments in a number of the
reported cases, states that a radar speedmeter '* * * is in essence a
beat frequency meter, whose readings are given in miles per hour instead
of in beats per second. 8 * * *'

We have used the phrase 'theoretical frequency' of
2,455,000,000 cycles per second because of the controversy which appears to exist
as to the precision and accuracy to which the transmitter in a radar
speedmeter may be tuned. 9 Dr. Kopper states that the frequency of the
transmitter can be set to within plus or minus 0.05 per cent of
2,455,000,000 cycles per second. Carosell and Coombs, who are highly critical of
the radar speedmeter as an accurate device, point out in effect that
such a margin of error would amount to 1,227,500 cycles more or less than
2,455 megacycles, which they consider excessive. Variations in the
frequency would, of course, affect the accuracy of the radar unit as a
speed measuring device. We have been unable to learn from the literature we
have examined what increase of frequency of the echo wave is necessary,
when measured against the transmitter's frequency, in order to produce
one beat. We do learn, and both authorities agree, that despite
the astronomical number of cycles with which a radar speedmeter deals,
there are only 7.31 beats for each mile of speed which it records.
Hence, a car traveling at 30 miles per hour would generate

Page 736

219.3 beats, while one going 40 miles per hour would produce 292.4; or
a difference of only 73.1 beats.

An exhaustive research of the authorities has failed to
disclose any case, and none has been called to our attention, in which it has
been held that a test of a radar speedmeter made solely with a tuning
fork is sufficient to establish the accuracy of the radar device. In his
comprehensive article to which we have referred Dr. Kopper does not
even mention such a test. Carosell and Coombs in their paper refer to it
only in connection with their criticism that a radar speedmeter is
susceptible to microphonic error from outside sources, such as a diathermy
machine, an automobile radio, or the closing of the door of a car. The
expert witness who appeared on behalf of the city in the instant case,
David F. Winter, former professor of electrical engineering at
Washington University and the holder of patents in radar circuitry, testified
only as to the scientific principles and merits of the radar speedmeter,
and was not asked a single question about the reliability or
accuracy of the tuning fork test.



Junior Member
We share the opinion expressed in State v. Graham, supra, that
the value of any test of a radar speedmeter depends upon the accuracy
of the measuring device against which it is checked. That is true
whether the measuring device used is an automobile speedometer, a stop watch,
or, as in the instant case, a tuning fork. All are the products of
human endeavor and therefore subject to error in manufacture, or to
subsequent impairment and damage. We do not question the use of a tuning fork
to test a radar speedmeter as a matter of principle. We accept the
testimony of Sergeant Bosch that such a means is an accepted test,
recommended by radar engineers. The same statement would undoubtedly apply to a
test by an automobile speedometer, or a stop watch. But the value of
such a test would obviously depend upon the accuracy of the particular
tuning fork used. In the light of the number of cycles per second
involved and the precise measurement which must be made, it is apparent
that any imperfection in the tuning fork would materially affect the
speed registered on the radar dial. Because of the absence of any
evidence that the tuning fork used in the instant case was itself accurate, we
entertain grave doubts that the City's evidence was sufficient to
establish prima facie that the radar speedmeter was functioning properly,
even at the time such test was made.

We prefer, however, to rest our decision upon another aspect of
the case, one about which there cannot be the slightest doubt. As
stated in State v. Graham, 1. c. 196 of 322 S.W.2d in the colorful but
wholly accurate language used by the writer of that opinion, a radar
speedmeter is '* * * an instrument constructed by human hands, dealing with
delicate measurements, and having a rather feminine need for primping * *
*.' Some indication of the amount of 'primping' required may be
gathered from Sergeant Bosch's testimony that although the Police Department
owned only four machines it employed eleven radio technicians who spent
at least part of their time '* * * fixing these units, calibrating
them, testing them, keep it in service.' That the accuracy and proper
functioning of a radar speedmeter may easily be affected by its movements
from place to place is acknowledged by Dr. Kopper, who states that, 'It
is important to check the meter for accuracy each time it is set
up for use; if the meter is to be used at two sites in one morning then
it should be checked at each site to avoid the contention that the
meter was thrown out of adjustment during transit. 10 * * *' The necessity
for proving that the radar device was properly set up and tested for
accuracy at the place where, and immediately prior to, the defendant's
arrest was recognized by the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia in
Royals v. Commonwealth, 198 Va. 876, 96 S.E.2d 812. A

Page 737

statute had been enacted in that state making the rate of speed as
shown on a radar machine admissible in evidence without the necessity of
proving by expert testimony the theory and scientific principles on which
the device operates to measure speed. Nevertheless, that court held
that the statute, '* * * does not eliminate the necessity for the
Commonwealth to prove that the machine used for measuring speed had been
properly set up and recently tested for accuracy * * *' (l. c. 816 of 96
S.E.2d), and it reversed a conviction where such evidence was not adduced.

Here, as in that case, no test of the radar speedmeter used to
determine defendant's speed was made at the site of or immediately
preceding his arrest. The only test made was at some unknown time and at
some undisclosed place. Even if it is assumed that the radar unit was
operating properly at that time, such evidence would have no probative
force to establish that it was accurate and functioning properly after
what may have been (for all the evidence shows) a great number of
individual movements, to a far distant site, over a substantial period of time.

Our views in this respect are strengthened by a comparison
between the apparent operational procedures employed in the instant case
and those recommended by Dr. Kopper. All that appears from the evidence
here is that Officer Hoffman parked his police car, flipped the switch
which activated the unit, and immediately began to check the speed of
approaching motor vehicles. Dr. Kopper recommends: (1) That the set be
allowed to warm up for a period of five to ten minutes before being put
to work; (2) That the dial then be checked to be certain that it reads
zero; and that the set be adjusted accordingly if it does not; (3) that
since diathermy machines, swinging signs, swaying trees, and other
outside sources can give false readings, that the meter be examined and
watched for such indications; (4) that the accuracy be checked by the
run-through test, both before and after the period of observation of
traffic, by having a car with a calibrated speedometer run through the
zone twice, once at the maximum legal rate of speed, and once at a
speed 10 or 15 miles per hour greater; and (5), that if the difference
between the speedometer reading and the radar meter reading is greater than
2 miles per hour, (due to the engineering tolerance inherent in the
radar set) that a further check and any necessary adjustment be made. One
court has gone so far as to adopt the substance of Dr. Kopper's
recommendations as a requirement for conviction. People v. Sachs, 1 Misc.2d
148, 147 N.Y.S.2d 801, 809. It would appear from State v. Graham, supra,
that the state highway patrol makes both the run-through test and the
tuning fork test at the site where traffic is to be checked.

We are not unmindful that excessive speed is a dominant factor
in the appalling amount of injury and death which occurs daily on our
streets and highways. Nor are we unaware of the difficulties encountered
by the authorities in the enforcement of the traffic laws and
ordinances. Such efforts are to be encouraged, and not hampered. But the
requirement that proof be adduced that a radar speedmeter was tested and found
to be operating properly at the site of and reasonably close to the
time of an arrest should not place an undue burden on the prosecution, and
should at the same time protect the rights of motorists against the
possibility of error in this device which makes 'delicate measurements.'
State v. Graham, supra.

It is unnecessary to discuss other points raised by defendant.
For the reasons stated it is apparent that the judgment must be
reversed. If the record indicated that other evidence as to defendant's speed
could be produced, we would remand the case for a new trial. Here,
however, it is clear from the record that no other evidence of the speed of
defendant's automobile would be available to the City. Officer Hoffman,
a traffic officer with years of experience, testified

Page 738

on cross-examination that in the long block he followed defendant
before he apprehended him he never once looked at the speedometer of his own
car; and when invited on cross-examination to estimate the speed at
which his own or the defendant's car was traveling, steadfastly maintained
that he could not do so. The judgment should therefore be reversed. The
Commissioner so recommends.


The foregoing opinion by DOERNER, Commissioner, is adopted as
the opinion of this court. Accordingly, judgment is reversed.

Special Judge, concur.


1 Hough, 24 Mo.L.R. 197 (1959).

2 For example, although the use of fingerprints as a means of
identification was known long before the birth of Christ, it was not until 1905
that fingerprint evidence was first introduced in an English court.
Baer, Radar Goes to Court, 33 N.C.L.R. 355, 356 (1955); Stacy v. State, 49
Okl.Cr. 154, 292 P. 885.

3 Baer, 33 N.C.L.R. 336; Britt, 21 Minn.L.R. 671 (1937).

4 State v. Moffitt, 9 Terry 210, 48 Del. 210, 100 A.2d 778; People v.
Offermann, 204 Misc. 769, 125 N.Y.S.2d 179.

5 See the wealth of cases cited in State v. Graham, supra, including
the parent case of State v. Dantonio, 18 N.J. 570, 115 A.2d 35, 49
A.L.R.2d 460.

6 Carosell and Coombs, Radar Evidence in the Courts, 32 Dicta (Colo.)
323, 324 (1955).

7 49 A.L.R.2d 470.

8 Kopper, The Scientific Reliability of Radar Speemeters, 33 N.C.L.R.
352 (1955).

9 Compare Carosell and Coombs, 32 Dicta (Colo.) 329 (1955) with Dr.
Kopper's article, 33 N.C.L.R. 343.

10 33 N.C.L.R. 353.

The End


Senior Member
The problem with relying on randomly selected case law is that if not properly shepherded, it may not be the most current and applicable case law. I suspect there are more recent decisions that than the 60s that would either affirm or countermand the almost 40 year old case you cite here.

This is one of the reasons why these matters are best left to the attorneys.

Not being familiar with MO law, I couldn't tell you what might actually be needed and what would not be required.

- Carl


Junior Member
According to everything I've read, traffic cases that make it all the way to a state's supreme appeals court are extremely rare. Also, according to what I've read, St. Louis v. Boecker is one of the most notable Missouri cases dealing with radar. Even if it's dated, I doubt seriously that a newer case will disregard the principles stated in Boecker:

the obligation of the proponent who uses it to establish prima facie that the machine was properly functioning
the value of such tests (of a radar speedmeter) would depend upon the accuracy of the measuring device against which it is checked.
the value of any test of a radar speedmeter depends upon the accuracy of the measuring device against which it is checked.
But the value of such a test would obviously depend upon the accuracy of the particular tuning fork used. In the light of the number of cycles per second involved and the precise measurement which must be made, it is apparent that any imperfection in the tuning fork would materially affect the speed registered on the radar dial. Because of the absence of any evidence that the tuning fork used in the instant case was itself accurate, we entertain grave doubts that the City's evidence was sufficient to establish prima facie that the radar speedmeter was functioning properly, even at the time such test was made.
But the requirement that proof be adduced that a radar speedmeter was tested and found to be operating properly at the site of and reasonably close to the time of an arrest should not place an undue burden on the prosecution, and should at the same time protect the rights of motorists against the possibility of error in this device which makes 'delicate measurements.' State v. Graham, supra.
But, I could surely be wrong. The judge thinks so and the cops and prosecutor have no idea what I'm talking about!;)


The fact is that is the case law for MO. despite what Karl wants badly to believe - yes according to the high court case law decisions the police do have to provide foundation for their evidience if they want to use it -just like everyone else. You should not even have to ask for it if they are professional LEO's - it specifically part of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration course on admissibility of evidence for speed enforcement programs and they are required to support their own evidence - it is not the job of the defense to do so.

The judge errored majorly and he knows it - it is a kangeroo kourt and he is one unethical SOB to ignore the case law, rules of evidence, let a non lawyer make an objections. let the non-lawyer, non-witness insist their is no requirement without presenting case law, almost everything sounds to be in direct distain of the US constituion and the rules of the court.

Sadly, LEO's and the powers that be simply choose on their own not to follow the laws of the land simply for their own convenience.

You do have the right to appeal but these SOB's know you have to deplete your own time and resources because they do not have the ethics to follow the laws.

I'd challege the LEO apologists to find any newer case law that suggests that showing that the tuning forks are accurate is not required:) or that foundation for evidence is not required.:)


Junior Member
Hypothetically, say someone would have gotten their own recording of the proceedings in this court of no record? I wonder about ethics complaints to the state Bar, the AG?

An interesting thought anyway.

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