Case Dismissed against the Frisco Man Who Warned Drivers about a Speed Trap

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Frisco has some sort of ordinance that prosecutes humans who hold signs. The police know this, because they used that ordinance as an excuse to bust the man who waved a "Police Ahead" sign at passing motorists.

As we told you last month, Ron Martin was arrested by the very same traffic police he had been warning everyone about in the fall. The police vaguely explained in the arrest report that he had violated the human sign ordinance. At a recent hearing, the city decided that Martin's assault on Frisco's sign aesthetics was so serious that it would go ahead and charge Martin with a misdemeanor and spend tax dollars on a jury trial if he did not agree to a plea deal or pay the fine.

But now the city's case against Martin is dismissed. That's because Martin showed up to a court hearing on Wednesday with an attorney, who made a very simple argument: The police report documenting Martin's arrest makes no sense.

"They didn't even specifically accuse him of anything," says Mark Meisenger, the attorney.

Meisinger also wrote up a motion challenging Frisco's vague definitions of human signs under the constitution. A human sign is apparently "a sign held or attached to a human being who stands or walks on the ground, on-site at a business location," according to Frisco city code.

"The statute does not give a person of ordinary intelligence a reasonable opportunity to know what is prohibited, specifically," according to Meisinger's motion.

But Meisinger says he never even got a chance to even argue about all that in court. The Frisco Municipal Court judge tossed the case out based on a more rookie mistake: Police hadn't specified the actual statute number of the ordinance that Martin violated, or even written the ordinance's correct name down. (It's actually just called the Frisco Sign Ordinance, with just a little section in there that talks about human signs and what time and place they're allowed.)

The entire hearing, Meisinger estimates, lasted about 10 seconds. He agreed to represent Martin for free. "What am I really going to charge someone for a $200 ticket?" Though he also questions why Martin was even arrested on such a minor violation in the first place.

"They didn't have to jail him over a fine-only offense," Meisinger says.

The Frisco PD says it's still not commenting on the case.

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32 comments
bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

It was dismissed, not because it was legal, but because the cop and the D.A. screwed up the paperwork.

This doesn't make what he did any less wrong, it just means that government officials in a Republican town like Frisco are incapable of doing their jobs properly.

KStacey
KStacey

"We're here for your safety, to slow people down!!!"


"Oh, that guy is slowing people down before we can extort money with our roadside gang of mobile tax collectors? Throw him in JAIL!!"

Americano
Americano

Yesterday, on the East Coast, a Federal Judge ruled that flashing your lights to warn other motorists about speed traps was ok.  Might have something to do with that.

ConcernedCitizen
ConcernedCitizen

This cop should have an official complaint filed against him.  Arresting someone for a fine-only offence not only wastes law enforcement man-hours, it wastes tax dollars.  Letting him off easy just makes him more confident to "over punish" (extremely) minor offences in the future.

msbcez
msbcez

Lawsuit time!  They wanna act the fools, treat um like fools, maybe they'll start realizing that badge don't make them the royalty of the streets!

jahbrooks
jahbrooks

Notice "Youwish..." only mentions Collin County cities. Collin County sucks so don't go blaming every "suburban cop" around the area for what you perceive as unnecessary enforcement.

Youwishyouknew
Youwishyouknew

McKinney, Frisco, Allen, Plano -- it's everywhere. Cities are concocting ambiguous "laws" while the police are pretty much free to do whatever. Know your rights, people. Suburban cops are scumbags.

Timothy
Timothy

Rockwall repealed the prohibition to "human signs" in direct response to this.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

The Frisco PD says it's still not commenting on the case.


It's a good practice to not comment when anticipating litigation.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

I feel sorry for the next poor loser that runs afoul of that cop.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Remember, we enable tis Nazi bs with our lunatic 'law and order' mantra; passing off injustice with, "Well, it couldn't happen to me."

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Just means next time the cops will fill out the report correctly.

You think they won't go after him again?

Now it's Vendetta time.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@bvckvs  so you think he was wrong for standing in the median warning of the trap?

wcvemail
wcvemail

@meisingerlaw Good job. I'll bet you wish all of them were so clear-cut and easy, but tell the truth: I'll bet you were really looking forward to having your logical, clear-cut way with them.

Youwishyouknew
Youwishyouknew

@jahbrooks  Yeah, because other suburban cities don't have dolt cops. Let's throw Dallas, Montague, Van Zandt, and wherever else in there too if that makes you feel better.  

ruddski
ruddski

The response I would like to see: at the next speed trap Officer Dumbass runs, he finds a few dozen people out there holding those warning signs.

ruddski
ruddski

This is why the left is so outraged at the IRS abuses re conservative groups. Principle!

ruddski
ruddski

All the more reason to get out there again, just stay off the median, or anywhere else that can dilute the case and give the idiot cop a reasonable reason to ticket/arrest.

If the cop doubles down on stupid, fine, then the guy acting within his rights might make a tidy profit.

My hunch is the cop's bosses will tell him to back off, now that it's in the media, making them look like morons.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@ruddski  ... all of them ARMED and willing to "Stand Their Ground" 

wcvemail
wcvemail

@ruddski See?! See how quickly a good idea can go south?

I do like the idea of group warnings. Sequential signs like the old Burma Shave series: Speed Trap Ahead - Best Slow Down - Don't See Red - Frisco Clown.

ruddski
ruddski

If armed, that means most likely conservative gun-nuts and permitted killers in camo.

libs will have no choice but to side with the cop.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@wcvemail ... used the same Wingnut Contortion Machine that ruddski used to bring up IRS abuses.


hth.

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