Man Arrested For Writing Obscenities On Speeding Ticket Wins Lawsuit

A 21-year-old man from Connecticut was traveling through a small Upstate, New York town when he was pulled over and given a speeding ticket. That sucks; those small town speed traps will get ya! The driver, Michael Barboza wanted to let the good folks of the ironically named town of Liberty know exactly how he felt. So he returned the ticket with the required payment for the fine and a message. Crossing out the name “Liberty” and replacing it with “Tyranny” Barboza wrote across the ticket: “Fuck your shitty town bitches.”

I would have chosen the phrasing ‘Shitty-ass town.”

He probably thought that he was safe telling the authorities to go fuck themselves from back home in Connecticut. That is out of their jurisdiction, right? And besides, who cares? It’s just a juvenile note to blow off some steam at the annoyance of getting a speeding ticket. He paid the stupid ticket, what is the worst that could happen? However the court was not feeling the LOLs when they received his message.

Barboza says what is on his mind. Barboza 2016!

The town refused to take his payment for the fine and sent him a summons to court. Good guy Barboza drove the two hours from Connecticut, back to Liberty to comply with the court summons, only to be promptly arrested for aggravated harassment. No word on if his giant set of balls were charged separately.

After being lectured by a judge for his use of profanity, a prosecutor from the Sullivan County district attorney’s office, Robert Zangla told police officers to arrest him. He was then booked, fingerprinted and hand cuffed to a bench, spending several hours in jail. He was only released when he agreed to pay $200 bail.

His long-form speeding ticket for you conspiracy buffs.

Luckily a year later a judge dropped the charges citing that although he was crude, what he wrote on the speeding ticket was projected speech under the First Amendment. Therefore in a heroic effort to make sure future mototists can tell the town of Liberty to fuck itself, Barboza with the help of the New York Civil Liberties Union sued the town along with Assistant DA Zangla and the two officers who actually arrested him. The judge in the lawsuit said that Barboza’s words;

“Though crude and offensive to some, did not convey an imminent threat and was made in the context of complaining about government activity.”

Zangla and the town are liable for damages since they clearly violated his First Amendment rights, but the two officers are off the hook since they were just following orders. Freedom fighter Barboza said in a statement;

“Instead of protecting freedom of speech, government officers in Liberty handcuffed me, arrested me for a crime and almost sent me to jail because I harmlessly expressed my frustration with a speeding ticket. The people I trusted to uphold the law violated my most basic rights. I hope that by standing up for myself, other Americans will not be treated like criminals for complaining about their government with a few harmless words.”

Have you ever written anything crazy on a speeding or parking ticket?

Follow Phil Haney on Twitter @PhilHaney

Source: Gawker