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Unconstitutional Chalk Marking

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Sure seems that way to me.

It reminds me of the child (child’s parents) ticketed for drawing chalk pictures on a sidewalk.

That is certainly damage worth making a big stink about.

Seriously, unless you were ticketed, it is really better for you to concentrate on your college studies. And obey parking signs in the future.
Okay i get that. But just for an understanding, do you think I would have an argument theoretically if I was to have been ticketed?


Senior Member
That makes sense. So if I did get a ticket, and appealed it through the city, would I be able to at least reference the ruling in support of an argument of dismissing the ticket?
Sure and the local court is free to ignore it.

I don't remember all of the details of the case but I seem to remember that I thought it would never make it through the SCOTUS if it ever got there.


Senior Member
Chalking is getting passe anyhow. They just use computers to scan your plates these days. I'm not sure I buy the reasoning of the sixth circuit on chalking being a search. Given the pun at the beginning fo the opinion, I thought this might have been a joke.


Senior Member
The first footnote is that decision is interesting. "The City also argued that the search fell within the administrative search exception. However, the City does not raise this on appeal. Therefore, we do not address it here. "

You might be able to find a lawyer to take that case, since it's a civil rights case where fee shifting is involved. If you win, the state actor would end up paying your legal fees.

You should probably read the University Handbook regarding searches. You may have consented when you enrolled. There's a difference between parking on a city street and parking in a university parking lot.

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
My complaint would be over the fact that they physically marked my tires.
You could sue for the alleged trespass to your car and for the claimed violation of your constitutional rights. But under federal law, all you can win is either (1) your actual damages (financial loss from whatever damage was done to your property) or (2) nominal damages of $1. In either case, if you win you may be awarded your attorney's fees. So your lawyer might make out fine if you win, but you'd get nothing but a buck if no damage was done to your car. And even though you may get the attorney's fees paid, there may be other expenses for the litigation that still end up out of your pocket.

That makes sense. So if I did get a ticket, and appealed it through the city, would I be able to at least reference the ruling in support of an argument of dismissing the ticket?
Unless the Ninth Circuit (which is the federal appeals court that covers Washington) or the Supreme Court had already ruled on the same issue then you absolutely could cite the Sixth Circuit opinion in your argument for dismissal or acquittal.

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
No. Because you have absolutely no evidence who made the chalk marking.
The officer who gave the ticket will have to state how he or she determined the time that the vehicle was parked there. If the officer relied on chalking and testifies to that, then there is good evidence to support the chalking by the police.


Senior Member, Non-Attorney
I usually reserve this for the 9th Circuit...but...what were those guys smoking?

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