Help Control Self-Defense Fees in Massachusetts

You may have read about the recent Massachusetts legal cases involving parking and traffic ticket defense costs.  The current system imposes onerous charges simply to defend one’s self in court, and the NMA assisted in two cases to challenge the constitutionality of that system.

In one of those cases, Vincent Gillespie was required to pay $275 to defend a parking ticket. Unfortunately, the Supreme Judicial Court upheld that as constitutional.

Admirably, Gillespie has now taken the next logical step, which is to try to get the legislature to change the laws themselves.

Gillespie has a website, “Massachusetts Drivers Rights,” and its main goal is to promote House Bill H01361, sponsored by Representative Byron Rushing (D-Boston), which moves parking ticket appeals from Superior Court to Small Claims Court, thereby relieving appellants of those onerous fees.

We urge you to support this legislation. As indicated on Gillespie’s site, you can find your legislator on this page to voice support for HO1361.

Parking ticket appeals may seem trivial, and you may never do one yourself, but the principle of the matter is fundamental: motorists should not have to pay to defend themselves against charges by the state.

Charles Walter
National Motorists Association