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Can the police write a ticket if...?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by divorced, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. divorced

    divorced 3/4 ton status

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    Suppose a cop is driving by a parking lot, maybe a Target or Wal-Mart or other similar type store, and sees someone on the parking lot doing something wrong, maybe something like doing a burn out. Or maybe doing doughnuts in the snow after hours. The parking lot is private property owned by the store (not like public roads), but open to the public. Can the cop enter the parking lot and write a ticket?



    There is a cop at the entrance to most large retailers in my area during the Christmas shopping season. What allows a cop to remain on private propery 24/7? Does that store pay his/her wages?





    When it snows, what is the limit on how much a vehicle is allowed to slide around? Everyone slides around some, but it's also fairly obvious when someone is sliding on purpose.




    Just wondering...
     
  2. guido666

    guido666 1/2 ton status

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    Those cops usually are paid by the stores to stick around.

    As for the tickets, I don't think they could write you a ticket for the doughnuts, just like they couldn't in your own driveway. They could probably get you for trespassing or something. Laws are so open these days that they can always stop/ticket you for something.
     
  3. Inu-Hanyou1776

    Inu-Hanyou1776 1/2 ton status

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    Yes, I'd say you'd get busted. Local Wal-Mart Supercenter has a few parking spaces specially reserved for police cruisers, and I'm glad too. Besides, you can't use this particular Wal-Mart's parking lot after-hours because it's open 24/7.
     
  4. MTMike

    MTMike 1/2 ton status

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    I got stopped by a cop while I was doing donuts in my Camaro in a grocery store parking lot. He threatened me with a wreckless driving ticket but he couldn't acutally give it (or if he did it wouldn't hold up in court) because I was not on the public streets...... I was on private property. Worst case scenerio is he could have asked the store manager what he wanted to do, whether it be clean up the tracks (it was pouring rain and there was 1/2" of standing water) or ask me to leave the premesis.

    You don't see cops out on the private drag strips pulling people over for speeding and racing for this very reason :haha:

    Anyone who's ever been in an accident on private propery such as a parking lot knows that the cops can't and usually won't come out to investigate.

    Mike
     
  5. justhorsinaround

    justhorsinaround 3/4 ton status

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    Not me personally but a buddy of mine was. Some chick was flying through the lot and pretty much ripped the front end off his lowered down Nissan p'up off. He called the cops and they came and basically said he could try and sue her in small claims court but that was it.

    He wrote it off to bad luck and the fact that she destroyed her car in the process and didn't look like she could afford to fix her car much less his truck.
     
  6. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    In most cases yes. It's all about the "plain view" doctorine.:D

    In all cases that I know, yes, the store pays the wages of that officer to be there. And in all cases that I know of, those officers are there on their off duty time, so it's extra money for them.

    Here's a good example. Last Christmas Eve (I'm sure someone will immediately label an a**hole for this, but wait and read:D ), most of the city streets, along with some less traveled roads around here was snowpacked. I was working day shift. I was sitting at a stop sign, waiting to cross over. I was traveling southbound. I was waiting on a Jeep Cherokee that was traveling eastbound. Due to the road conditions, I was giving him extra room since I didn't have the snow tires on the patrol car. Well, he decided he was going to turn northbound on the street I was on. At his rate of speed, he lost control during the turn. He almost collided with me, coming all of about 2-3 feet from my driver's door. So here I have a 4wd vehicle, driving on road conditions that were less than suitable and at a speed that caused the driver to lose control. I initiated the stop by pointing my finger towards the parking lot. I contact him, he has no driver's license. He gets hooked for speed not reasonable and prudent (it's a slightly lesser charge than reckless) and no driver's license. He should have been traveling at least 10 mph slower than what he was, and should have been in 4wd. That's an extreme example.

    A little sliding is okay in my book. But the driver has to be able to control and recover in conditions like that. Something like my example above was way above and beyond.
     
  7. Seventy4Blazer

    Seventy4Blazer 3/4 ton status

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    as bubba said line of sight can get you, most of the time they are off duty officers being paid by the place in question. also one thing to take into count is some times city laws state that with certian forms filled and whatnot a store can give authority to the PD over the lot. another thing that cna do it for ya is the fact that some lots may seem like private property, but the city owns them....

    honestly, talk to the cop and see where a good place for you to screw around at is. most the time they will tell you where you can play and not be bothered.
    Grant
     
  8. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I am always in control of my donuts - would I be able to argue the point :D:D:D

    (I think I know the answer...... :rolleyes:)
     
  9. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    If you have permission from the property owner you should be fine. Otherwise it's a bad idea. There i sthat whole "protecting the public" thing and courts (around here anyway) rarely find against the cop if there is any concievable way that he could be right.
     
  10. divorced

    divorced 3/4 ton status

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    Thanks guys. I haven't actually had any problems or gotten any tickets, I just spend a lot of time wondering "what if...?"
     
  11. outlawtorn

    outlawtorn 1/2 ton status

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    I dunno about that brother... ask a cop where to screw around? So your basically telling him your gonna be breaking the law and where you will be:crazy: Doesnt seem to be a good idea lol.
     
  12. mikey_d05

    mikey_d05 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Ok, Bubba, I have a stupid question.

    You mentioned that police officers are able to be paid by stores to watch over their lots....do you mean the store is paying the officer directly and he can still use his ordinary law enforcing powers or the stores hire the department as a whole and offer the hours to any takers?
     
  13. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Out here in Ca Officers that do part time security are encouraged to go in uniform - the visible deterent adds to the situation and keeps things under control.
     
  14. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    I'm a road dawg, not some admin paper pushing REMF:D

    I really can't answer how that works.........................
     
  15. shewheeler

    shewheeler 1/2 ton status

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    When I was much younger, I got a ticket for doing a burnout in the McDonalds drive thru - cop wrote me up for disturbing the peace since it was after 10pm. As it turns out, disturbing the peace is a penal code violation not a traffic violation which requires a court appearance :doah:
     
  16. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    got one once for unsafe start in a Wendy's parking lot. it was right after i broke my throttle cable. i was using a piece of speaker wire fished through the choke cable hole, with one end tied to the carb, the other tied around a bottle of cologne for a handle (it was all i had! :D ). came around the store, and attempted to accelerate, and pulled too far. both rear tires lit up, and the truck went sideways. just so happens Johnny Law pulls in, talking about how he was going to impound my truck, and take my DL. explained to him the situation, and proved to him that that is actually what was going on. asshole still wrote me a ticket. took pics of it broken, and pics of it fixed, along with the reciept for the new cable for proof that it was fixed. took them to court with me and got it wiped clean.
     
  17. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    There are several issues here. One by one:

    1. Many states have vehicle code laws that allow certain sections of that code to be enforced in public parking lots such as reckless driving, registration requirements, equipment violations, etc.. Here is just one example from Ca. regarding reckless driving:

    23103. (a) Any person who drives any vehicle upon a highway in
    willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is
    guilty of reckless driving.
    (b) Any person who drives any vehicle in any offstreet parking
    facility, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 12500, in willful
    or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty
    of reckless driving.

    12500(c) A person may not drive a motor vehicle in or upon any
    offstreet parking facility, unless the person then holds a valid
    driver's license of the appropriate class or certification to operate
    the vehicle. As used in this subdivision, "offstreet parking
    facility" means any offstreet facility held open for use by the
    public for parking vehicles and includes any publicly owned
    facilities for offstreet parking, and privately owned facilities for
    offstreet parking where no fee is charged for the privilege to park
    and which are held open for the common public use of retail
    customers.

    These sections define parking lots open to the public as being different from private property not open to the public. Your driveway is not open to the general public and to use it requires permission from the owner. A parking lot for a mall or business is considered open to the general public and therefor subject to many different laws. As a side note, this is also why in many states it is hard for malls to prohibit certain free speech activities even though technically it is private property.

    2. When it comes to cops in malls, parking lots, etc., every state differs. However, many states, including Ca., allow officers to work side jobs or "moonlighting" in uniform for private employers. This is done for a few reasons. Many times it provides a few extra visible uniformed officers out in public but without tax payers paying for it. It comes with a price though when an officer is confronted with enforcing a law against the employer, or somebody friendly to the employer.

    3. When an officer is moonlighting, many times they are considered to be no different than a private person. This means that they cannot enforce the "rules" of an establishment using peace officer powers. However, when somebody violates the law, the officer is immediately transformed into a sworn officer who can then enforce the law no different than being on duty. This also usually applies to when they are simply off duty doing their own business. Some states, and some departments, restrict off duty activities, but generally cops are sworn 24/7/365. Here is an example; an officer is working a moonlighting job at a hotel. The front desk gets a call from a room that the next room over is making too much noise. The off duty cop, in uniform, goes to the room to tell them to pipe down. The officer can ask them to be quiet and tell them that the hotel will kick them out if they do not. However, the officer usually can't tell them he will arrest them if they don't shut up. Why? Because the officer is enforcing the hotel rules, not the law. Now, the same thing happens but when the guests open the door, pot smoke billows out and he sees a 13 yr. old passed out on the floor inside, or some other obviously illegal activity. In an instant, the officer goes from private security guard to peace officer and he can investigate with all the powers that come with being on duty.

    3. Can on duty officers cruise through parking lots and enforce the law? Absolutely. They do not have to have permission to be in a lot open to the general public. However, they do have to have permission on private property not open to the general public such as a condo complex surrounded by a gate with a pass code to enter. Usually though the home owners assoc. encourages them to come in. An officer in uniform in a lot doesn't need permission from the owner to enforce the law. They do need permission to enforce private property rules where applicable though. The property owner also cannot prohibit them from coming into private property open to the public like mall lots, mall interiors, theaters, stores, etc. Also, most municipal and state codes allow an officer to conduct inspections of businesses open to the public to check for business and other licenses, and for compliance with local ordinances.

    4. Can an officer take an accident report in a parking lot? Yes they can. Do most agencies do it? No they do not. Since not every vehicle code section is enforcable in a parking lot, most of the time an officer isn't going to come and take the report since establishing the primary collision factor, or fault, is going to be problematic. It is usually some fender bender with people arguing over who caused it. Some agencies allow a courtesy report to be filled out simply providing each party with the other parties information without establishing fault. Busy agencies usually tell the people it is a civil matter and do not come out.
     
  18. BranndonC

    BranndonC 3/4 ton status

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    Thanks! :bow: I love learning all this stuff, so burn outs on private property are totally OK then.
     
  19. 2Dogs

    2Dogs 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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  20. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    Only if it is not open to the public such as a few acres, or even your driveway. However, you might want to know your neighbors first. All it takes is one neighbor who doesn't like you to call and want to be a victim of disturbing the peace to ruin your day. Or, a more likely scenario is that you get on the radar screen of the local cops and one day you aren't on private property any more and the focus has settled on you.
     

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