Chalking Tires Ruled Unconstitutional In Michigan
Chalking is when a parking enforcement officer marks your car's tire to measure how long you've been parked in a given spot. If you've been there for longer than the allotted time, you get a ticket.
And because of a woman in Saginaw and her feud with a parking officer, chalking has been ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL by a federal court.
A three-judge panel took up the case of Alison Taylor, a Michigan woman who received 15 parking tickets during a three-year feud with a single parking officer, Tabitha Hoskins of the City of Saginaw.
Taylor's lawyer argued that the city's physical marking with chalk, done to note how long a vehicle is parked, amounted to searching without a warrant — a violation of the Fourth Amendment. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel unanimously agreed. (USA Today)
Even though it was ruled on in Federal Court, the court's decision affects Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.
"Trespassing upon a privately-owned vehicle parked on a public street to place a chalk mark to begin gathering information to ultimately impose a government sanction is unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment," Taylor's lawyer, Philip Ellison, said in a court filing reported by NPR.
Ellison said that covertly marking a tire with chalk is not unlike police secretly putting a GPS on a car without a warrant, according to the Associated Press.