Have you ever left your car at a metered parking spot, for just a few minutes too long, only to come back to a parking ticket? Have you ever wanted to yell at the parking enforcement officer? Well, as Jared Rapp found out, the practice is protected by the Constitution.

Rapp, 29, was a student at Michigan State University in 2008 when a parking officer ticked his vehicle. Rapp proceeded to vent his frustrations by yelling at the officer who administered his ticket. He must've been quite intimidating – according to a Detroit Free Press report, the officer "retreated to his vehicle, called for help, then sat in his vehicle until police arrived."

Apparently, the tirade that followed resulted in charges against Rapp, which triggered a court case that went all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court. The state court has ruled that Rapp cannot be charged with a crime for such an act. Rapp was to be prosecuted under an MSU ordinance regarding "anyone who disrupts in any way anyone carrying out any activity for or with MSU."

That sounded a bit vague to Rapp's attorneys, and it apparently did to the court, as well. In a divided decision, they have ruled that prosecuting Rapp would infringe upon his right to free speech.


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  • 53 Comments
      huisj203
      • 2 Years Ago
      Something that's gone unmentioned here is the penalty that MSU was pushing on him for violating this extremely vague law: "...the court sentenced Rapp to 24 months of probation, 80 hours of community service, $873 in fines, costs, and fees, and mandatory participation in an assaultive behavior program." Seems a bit steep for being mad about a ticket. Also not mentioned in this story is that the kid was a law student. Read this article for a bit more on how much parking fines bring in to the city and to the university: http://statenews.com/index.php/article/2012/02/ticketed
      Ducman69
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm surprised by this ruling, not that I disagree that one should be allowed to yell at meter-maids, but that they are actually considered people.
        Kumar
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ducman69
        I think in this case they may have been officers or something more official than the private-partnership metermaids most of us are familiar with. You're allowed to yell at cops (whatever good that does either), so by extension...
      Smooth Motor
      • 2 Years Ago
      Bad behavior from Michigan St students? I still remember fondly the riots surrounding their basketball teams........
        Jonathan Wayne
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smooth Motor
        I was down there visiting my buddy when they were throwing burning couches out the windows of the Cedar Village apartments and hanging off of street lights. Good times:)
      Gorgenapper
      • 2 Years Ago
      FUS RO DAH
      ibeyour1
      • 2 Years Ago
      In Los Angeles they have some of the most advanced meters in the world. They'll take credit cards, detect when you leave so the next guy doesn't get any free time, empty spots even show on your GPS and I think they'll even shine your shoes. But would they make em so you can use a credit card and it would never expire just charge your card so you don't get a ticket at all? Heck NO, they make big bucks on the meter tickets.
      Richard
      • 2 Years Ago
      If the meter maids don't like their jobs they can trade their fat cushy benefits and pensions that were extorted from taxpayers by their unions and shop their skills to the real world.... Yeah, somehow I don't see a mass exodus... On a related note - how come so many meter maids are morbidly obese? You'd think if your job involved walking around all day you'd be trim....
        Ducman69
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Richard
        Are you implying that meter maids aren't highly skilled professionals and worth more than state minimum wage? No wai!
        Sean Conrad
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Richard
        Meter readers for electrical/water companies are usually pretty fit, as they actually do a lot of walking. Also, while I don't disagree there are overpaid government employees out there, that's an extremely absurd statement about 'extorting taxpayer money' and poor attack on unions. Do you like your 40 hour work week? You can thank unions for that.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Richard
        [blocked]
        Daniel D
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Richard
        Richard, like you these people might want a high enough income so that they can get Fox News. Don't take away their aspirations to be like you.
      Matt Frawley
      • 2 Years Ago
      I blame Liberal Law is piggy greedy ticket.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Matt Frawley
        [blocked]
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hooray. **** the police.
        Ron Ayotte
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick
        Most parking enforcement is handled by civilians. They do not get paid nearly enough for the crap they put with. Put the @#$%^&! quarter in the meter, you won't get a $20 ticket.
      mchlrus1
      • 2 Years Ago
      The officer was just doing his or her's job. I hate it when enforcement officers are ridiculed for his or her's job. Mr. Rapp is the lowest scum who get enjoyment over winning cases that are very minor. I used to work at a place when I was younger where they no longer accepted cash, and people would get furious over something that I, as a younger worker, had no control over. Now I have a sweet spot for enforcement who have no control over their jobs, and I am angered by the people who through spite yell at them and even waste million of dollars in court dates over a very minor parking violation.
        Jonathan Wayne
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mchlrus1
        You have clearly never dealt with MSU parking enforcement, they are scum. East Lansing has some of the worst parking tickets you can get anywhere and they live to fleece people for parking violations. I went to U of M and parking there was 10 times a better experience than any I had at MSU.
        johnbravo6
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mchlrus1
        No, loser douchebags getting fat from extortion money because they have no marketable skills deserve what they get. Especially when they exist solely to... EXTORT MORE MONEY!
        Sean Conrad
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mchlrus1
        The only time I have a problem with meter cops is when they park in a metered space and don't pay for it themselves.
      djpatrick35
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well, I guess a crappy job just got a whole lot crappier! I guess we will be officially changing the term "going postal" to "going meter maid" in a few years... Yeah, it may be free speech, but it doesn't pass the decency test. Getting a ticket flat sucks, but getting yelled at every day at your job? Well that's just awful.
        mcdull
        • 2 Years Ago
        @djpatrick35
        In every job, you have the chance to be yelled at by your boss, colleagues or customers. In one of my previous jobs, the marketing colleagues got yelled by my boss everyday, I'm luck to be the engineer that was doing the real job so they can sell. So, if you don't like it, quit it, there is always a choice.
        Ducman69
        • 2 Years Ago
        @djpatrick35
        Solution don't be a: 1) meter maid 2) telemarketer 3) IRS auditor
      GMan
      • 2 Years Ago
      When you pay for 10 minutes of parking, that's 10 minutes. Not 10 minutes + a few.
      RetrogradE
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't need laws to tell me what I already know internally. Jesus said Love Everyone. I hate getting parking tickets but it's pretty low to yell at someone for doing their job.
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