Quigley v. CHP California Helmet Law Trial

The Quigley v. CHP injunction/declaratory aid circumstance went to trial in Could, ensuing in a judgment for the CHP. The Plaintiff’s trial legal professional, Wendy Lascher, Esq., is at present thinking about whether to appeal the judgment.
The presentation of significantly of the Plaintiff’s proof was prevented by the Judge’s rulings on a few of very last minute defense motions in liming. The Court issued a ruling prohibiting testimony pertaining to helmet regulation citations that were illegally issued to the named Plaintiffs and other California bikers prior to 2005. This was problematic, as came out in the testimony of Mark Temple, since the California Highway Patrol adopted a policy many years back not to ticket several of the BOLT associates, which include Plaintiffs Steve Bianco and Don Blanscet, so that notwithstanding that they trip with two inch huge helmets or sunglasses with DOT scratched into the facet, their very last CHP ticketswere all pre-2005. The Choose also turned down testimony with regard to helmet regulation tickets illegally issued by other regulation California regulation enforcement agencies which we experienced sought to acknowledge on the basis that these other law enforcement agencies acquire their lead from the CHP on website traffic regulation enforcement policy. For a a lot more entire discussion of the legal troubles from the motorcycle lawyers point of view,
But notwithstanding the trial Judge’s adverse rulings, there were significant measures ahead obtained at the trial that will serve us on appeal or in the up coming trial we deliver to overturn California’s helmet regulation. For a person, we obtained the unrehearsed and seemingly unprepared testimony of Sergeant Valdez, whom the CHP designated as its worker “most proficient” about CHP helmet regulation enforcement policy. Appallingly, Sergeant Valdez testified that he was unaware of the revealed California appellate choices which severely restricted the CHP’s constitutional leeway to challenge helmet regulation citations. Sergeant Valdez also said that he was unaware of the federal injunction restraining the CHP from issuing helmet tickets in violation of these California constitutional limitations.
As talked over in previous BIKER magazine BOLT columns, the two revealed California constitutional situations and federal injunction held that the CHP must not look at helmet fabrication and must have “probable cause” to feel that the rider has “actual knowledge” that his helmet has been recalled or established by NHTSA to be noncompliant with FMVSS 218. Sergeant Valdez testimony that he was unaware of the foregoing circumstance regulation is an insult to the Courts which issued those people choices, and would make basic that the CHP has no intention to comply with the constitutional limitations on its authority to enforce the helmet regulation. Sergeant Valdez also made this basic when he testified that the officers choose to ticket a biker solely on basis of their subjective dedication whether particular headgear “appears to be like like a helmet” or not. This “if it appears to be like like a duck, waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck” testimony plainly violates the prohibition on thing to consider of qualities of helmet fabrication. The CHP policy also plainly violates the federal court injunction, beneath which a rider can only be ticketed the officer has possible induce to feel that the rider has true expertise that his headgear has been recalled or established noncompliant with FMVSS 218.
The Plaintiffs trial legal professional, Ms. Lascher, is thinking about, among other issues, whether the Valdez testimony is ample proof on which to mount an appeal from the defense judgment, weighing also the truth that the Choose prevented the Plaintiffs from presenting the biker testimony which would have founded in truth, just as we did in the Easyriders circumstance, that the CHP experienced issued hundreds of unlawful helmet tickets in the dozen years subsequent the above referenced California and federal choices.
While we “misplaced” the trial, we have taken a significant move ahead in getting this testimony of Sergeant Valdez, and there is absolutely nothing in this consequence that dissuades us from our convictions about the validity of the constitutional positions central to BOLT’s attack on the California helmet regulation. The Plaintffs may or may not appeal the consequence in this circumstance offered the judicial limitations on our introduction of our strongest proof. But there is a person matter about which all may be particular, and that is that BOLT will never ever give up the battle. We will not cease until eventually we prevail. We will not cease until eventually all California riders are accorded the regular dignity to make their personal choices about what to don when they trip.
Ray Henke is a California motorcycle accident lawyer, previous Governor of the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Association and LATLA’s nominee for the “Trial Attorney of the Yr” Award. Mr. Henke also co-moderates Bruce & Ray’s Biker Discussion board.