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Thread: WMATA Police Jurisdiction for Traffic Patrol / Stops?

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    Regular Member cirrusly's Avatar
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    WMATA Police Jurisdiction for Traffic Patrol / Stops?

    If you live in Northern Virginia, DC, or Maryland you're familiar with the WMATA (Washington Area Transit Authority) police force. They are the police force who patrols the metro system and Reagan National Airport. While they have some vehicles their patrols seems to be mostly on foot (riding the metro) and strolling around the airport. The vehicles they do have are usually parked outside the various metro stations.

    I was driving north bound on Jefferson Davis Hwy this evening when a WMATA Police SUV pulled in front of me in the left lane. As we were crossing the intersection of Jeff Davis Hwy and East Glebe Rd the officer suddenly jammed on the breaks (yes, laid on them HARD) and swooped a hard left onto South Glebe. I had a good space cushion, laid on the horn for a second and kept on my way.

    But it made me wonder, What is WMATA police doing patrolling the Arlington suburbs away from the metro stops? Do they even have jurisdiction to make a traffic stop? Was the officer just driving his take home squad on personal errands?

    Admins / Grape, feel free to move this to Social Lounge if this thread is too off-topic. I put it in the Virginia forum due to the geography.
    Last edited by cirrusly; 04-18-2014 at 12:54 AM. Reason: Typo
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    According to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washing...Transit_Police they have jurisdiction thoughout the region:

    Transit Police[edit]
    Main article: Metro Transit Police Department
    Congress established the Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) on June 4, 1976. MTPD police officers have jurisdiction and arrest powers for crimes that occur throughout the 1,500 square mile (3,900 km2) Transit Zone that includes Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.[64]
    More specifically http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metro_T...ice_Department

    Uniformed and plainclothes Transit Police officers patrol the Metrorail system and Metrobuses on foot and on bicycles, and using motorcycles and marked and unmarked police cars. Transit Police Detectives provide investigative support. Transit Police officers have jurisdiction and arrest powers throughout the 1,500-square-mile (3,900 km2) Metro service area for crimes that occur on Transit Authority facilities,[2] or within 150 feet (46 m) of a Metrobus stop.[3]
    So - the question is -- was he going between Place A and Place B where he has jurisdiction, or was he going to that great restaurant his buddy told him about and almost missed his turn?

    In any case, if you had a dash-mounted video camera you could have sent proof of his crappy driving skills to the WMATA along with a request to know just what they intend to do about it.

    stay safe.
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    I would bet he was either driving between Metro stops, or he was off-duty with a take home vehicle.

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Or.....he got a whiff of fresh, flaming hot, doughnuts.....kind of a Pavlovian response in that particular situation.
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    Regular Member cirrusly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    According to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washing...Transit_Police they have jurisdiction thoughout the region:



    More specifically http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metro_T...ice_Department



    So - the question is -- was he going between Place A and Place B where he has jurisdiction, or was he going to that great restaurant his buddy told him about and almost missed his turn?

    In any case, if you had a dash-mounted video camera you could have sent proof of his crappy driving skills to the WMATA along with a request to know just what they intend to do about it.

    stay safe.
    Dash mounted camera isn't a bad idea. I'm gonna see how much those systems run. Good for a lot of reasons, that being one.


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    If the OP gets a ticket, he can file a motion to dismiss and find out.

    I got a ticket at the Geo. Wash. bridge in NYC (no attendant on duty ~ 10 people had to pass w/o paying) .... filed a motion to dismiss ... and the case was dismissed !
    Last edited by davidmcbeth; 04-18-2014 at 12:58 PM.

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    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    If the OP gets a ticket, he can file a motion to dismiss and find out.

    I got a ticket at the Geo. Wash. bridge in NYC (no attendant on duty ~ 10 people had to pass w/o paying) .... filed a motion to dismiss ... and the case was dismissed !
    And this post relates to whether or not WMATA police have jurisdiction in Virgina ... how?
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    As with other LEO departments

    Quote Originally Posted by cirrusly View Post
    If you live in Northern Virginia, DC, or Maryland you're familiar with the WMATA (Washington Area Transit Authority) police force. They are the police force who patrols the metro system and Reagan National Airport. While they have some vehicles their patrols seems to be mostly on foot (riding the metro) and strolling around the airport. The vehicles they do have are usually parked outside the various metro stations.

    I was driving north bound on Jefferson Davis Hwy this evening when a WMATA Police SUV pulled in front of me in the left lane. As we were crossing the intersection of Jeff Davis Hwy and East Glebe Rd the officer suddenly jammed on the breaks (yes, laid on them HARD) and swooped a hard left onto South Glebe. I had a good space cushion, laid on the horn for a second and kept on my way.

    But it made me wonder, What is WMATA police doing patrolling the Arlington suburbs away from the metro stops? Do they even have jurisdiction to make a traffic stop? Was the officer just driving his take home squad on personal errands?

    Admins / Grape, feel free to move this to Social Lounge if this thread is too off-topic. I put it in the Virginia forum due to the geography.
    They may have been driving from one station to another.

    When I was with the State Dept, we had 23 buildings between DC, MD, and VA. We used a government Blazer to drive between them and drop off staff or just to check the facilities. I am NOT saying they have any authority, just a possible explanation of why they were on the roads.

    And yes, we did have full police powers as “Feds”.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCanby View Post
    And this post relates to whether or not WMATA police have jurisdiction in Virgina ... how?
    Do you know what a motion to dismiss is ?

    Go back to troll high school.

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    Activist Member JamesCanby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    Do you know what a motion to dismiss is ?

    Go back to troll high school.
    Pot, meet kettle.
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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    Do you know what a motion to dismiss is ?

    Go back to troll high school.
    Interesting David.

    An outtastater on the Va. forum who spends most of his time behaving like two thirds of the three stooges and spouting Connecticut law as if anyone other than Muffy and Buffy care, calling an active member of the gun lobby in Virginia.....a troll.

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    Oddly enough, no one has stated that my advice was sound....just personal attacks.

    If he gets a ticket, file a motion to dismiss and then they have to establish that they had personal jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction as well as the court.

    Good advice in any case where a person wants to bring this up ... I bring it up frequently. With small fry stuff like traffic tickets, the prosecution may not wish to spend resources to even make the argument.

    I have won many cases via a motion to dismiss for jurisdictional issues. It is one motion that the burden is on the other party.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    Oddly enough, no one has stated that my advice was sound....just personal attacks.

    If he gets a ticket, file a motion to dismiss and then they have to establish that they had personal jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction as well as the court.

    Good advice in any case where a person wants to bring this up ... I bring it up frequently. With small fry stuff like traffic tickets, the prosecution may not wish to spend resources to even make the argument.

    I have won many cases via a motion to dismiss for jurisdictional issues. It is one motion that the burden is on the other party.
    Precisely how many, out of how many total cases? Cite, please.

    And how did you manage to file in forma pauperis and get permission to represent yourself? You do know that filing a motion is practicing law, and doing so in Virginia is a rather serious crime, right?

    Yes, you can appear without an attorney and explain yourself and your alibis to the judge. But you start arguing the law with the judge and you better have a license to do so.

    Or is this another case where the laws and procedures in Connecticut are different from those in possibly all the other 56 states?

    stay safe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Precisely how many, out of how many total cases? Cite, please.

    And how did you manage to file in forma pauperis and get permission to represent yourself? You do know that filing a motion is practicing law, and doing so in Virginia is a rather serious crime, right?

    Yes, you can appear without an attorney and explain yourself and your alibis to the judge. But you start arguing the law with the judge and you better have a license to do so.

    Or is this another case where the laws and procedures in Connecticut are different from those in possibly all the other 56 states?

    stay safe.
    A citizen does not need permission to represent oneself. And a natural person can "practice law" in respect to him/herself. I never represented anyone other than myself. You should investigate the differences between a "natural person" as a pro se consul v. a licensed lawyer representing a person. Interesting what a real person can do v. non-real person (business).

    I just got done making a legal argument with a judge a couple of days ago....he seemed confused at to a standard of review in a case, confusing CGS Sec. 1-241 with 1-206 (because the opposing party confused him)...and asked for briefs from both parties on the subject. I filed a 35 page brief and the other party did not file anything as of this date.

    The opposing party in the same case filed a supplement to the administrative record to which I filed a motion to strike, being that the administrative record cannot be supplemented with new records (per FIC regulation 1-21j-41 that outlines exactly what the record can contain) ~ they are trying to avoid the evidential requirements in the case and sneak in totally made up facts contained w/i the supplemental record. They have also not responded to this motion.

    oddly enough, none of these have been noted by the court to require an attorney...attorney's are not as zealous as I am....I find many are not aggressive enough. from experience....

    My motions to dismiss have normally been filed when I am the defendant (not too often) and have had a decent amount of success since the cases are all small time infractions or parking ticket cases or similar civil cases. A motion to dismiss is a very simple pleading filing, anyone can do one.

    Here's what I did with one speeding ticket, several years ago....I filed a request for an information to replace the notice (ie ticket) per Connecticut Practice Book 36-11. In CT, a speeding ticket is a civil offense but it is adjudicated by criminal law procedures. I contacted the DA before any pleading and hand delivered a demand under 36-11. He never saw one (in fact other states have similar provisions where a ticket can demanded to be replaced w/another instrument prior to one pleading innocent or guilty or before trial). He said he was not going to waste his time and agreed to dismiss the case and did.

    I have not paid a speeding or other type of infraction fine in years and years. First, I don't get many tickets and I don't lose too many cases.

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