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Thread: Salt Lake City Justice Court

  1. #1
    Regular Member Utah_Patriot's Avatar
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    Here is my dilemma I have to attend Court in Salt lake City over a speeding ticket. I am being told they will not secure my firearm and I can't bring it into the building.

    I have spoken with several officials who state the court does not have to provide a locker for my firearm. I don't feel safe leaving it in my Motorcycle while in court also is not very responsible to leave it where it can be stolen.

    My options are very slim to none I can pay the ticket and not step foot inside. Or leave my firearm home which is not a option.

    Or fight the city of Salt Lake on the issue I know the Law very well and it states in order to be a secure area for court must have a locker for my firearm.

    Any Ideas or contacts I only have fourteen days to dispute my ticket in person

    Thanks

    Zach

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    Zach
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    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity"

  2. #2
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    gunsfreak4791 wrote:
    Here is my dilemma I have to attend Court in Salt lake City over a speeding ticket. I am being told they will not secure my firearm and I can't bring it into the building.

    ...

    Any Ideas or contacts I only have fourteen days to dispute my ticket in person

    Thanks

    Courts in Utah can be secure areas if they provide storage and notice and follow some other rules. I don't know of any that do. Rather they rely on judicial power to hold in contempt anyone who breaks their rules.

    I wish you good luck in fighting this, but I don't hold out much hope. Who is going to overturn a court rule? The very judges who demand the rule exist in the first place?

    Do you actually have any specific defense against the speeding ticket anyway? Beating a speeding ticket in justice court is pretty tough to do. Best bet is to show up, see if you can get traffic school so as to keep the points off your insurance, and you'll still be paying the fine. I know one guy who was very good at convincing judges (or prosecutors) to let him plead guilty to a non-moving violation with equal fine so as to avoid the points and the time wasted in traffic school. Probably not a good move to piss off the judge by questioning his authority to ban guns from "his" courtroom though.

    As for suggestions? I'd suggest you should have some way to secure your gun in or to your vehicle anyway. So get a lock box attached to your motorcycle and disarm before going into the courtroom. (Or get a friend to drive you in his car with a proper lock box.) Put on your Sunday best (or business formal if you like) attire, and try to minimize the damage to your driving record. That and slow down so as to avoid speeding tickets in the future. :P

    And most court rooms ban hand cuffs and hand cuff keys just like they ban guns, knives, pepper spray, and other weapons. So take the cuff key off your key chain and leave it and cuffs with the pocketknife, pepper spray, and other utility items you may have.

    Sorry. The courtroom situation kind of sucks. But I haven't figured out how to materially improve it yet.

    Charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    Regular Member Utah_Patriot's Avatar
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    I understand I have spoken with several people in SLC. I have a great chance of fighting the ticket but feel I have lost the firearms battle.

    I hope through voting the Anti Gun judges out of the bench and working with my legislature I can win the battle in the long run. I have several avenues to choose from just will take a few years to win the battle.


    Zach
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    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity"

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    gunsfreak4791 wrote:
    I understand I have spoken with several people in SLC.Ā* I have a great chance of fighting the ticket but feel I have lost the firearms battle.
    Yes, the firearms battle is lost. A state district court judge has issued a formal finding that under a variety of precedents (some going clear back to the founding of the state), the fact that the legislative and judicial branches are co-equal means that there are "core functions" of the judiciary which the legislature has NO AUTHORITY to regulate, and that securing the courthouses and courtrooms is one of those core functions.

    Basically, the stance of the Utah courts is that the legislature has no authority to tell them that they may not ban firearms. This isn't a "nyah, nyah, you can't make us!" kind of "no authority" statement, it's a considered opinion based on careful analysis of the constitutionally-established relationship between the three branches of government. Now, it's possible that if this opinion were challenged in court, another judge might find some flaw in it and overturn it. But I don't think that's likely, and not just because I think the judges will stick together.

    I think the courts are actually *right* that the legislature does not have the authority to tell the courts what to do, any more than the judges have the authority to tell the legislature what bills to pass.

    So the only way to change this is to convince the judges on the Utah Judicial Council, who make these rules, that they want to change them. Or get the voters to boot the anti-gun judges out, and keep booting them until you get a crop that is at least willing to provide lockers.

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    I am more interested in what happened when you were pulled over for speeding? Were you OCing on your Bike, or were you driving a car?

    Did you inform the LEO that you were carrying if you were CCing, if you were OCing did he say anything?

    Details please

    I had a friendwho got pulled over for speeding and he felt he got out of the ticket for having a CFP. This happen in Southern Utah, the LEO asked him if he had his "weapon" on him, which he did not. The Cop didn't even have his DL yet when he asked him about his weapon. So do they know if you have a CFP by your License Plate?
    Utah Certified Concealed Firearms Permit Instructor
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    I would imagine that the LEO's can pull up who the owner of the vehicle is by the license plate. I don't know how their systems work, but it may show if the owner of the vehicle has a CFP or not.

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    swillden wrote:
    I think the courts are actually *right* that the legislature does not have the authority to tell the courts what to do, any more than the judges have the authority to tell the legislature what bills to pass.
    Which is where we agree to disagree. All courts lower than the State Supreme Court are created by the Legislature and therefor are under the legislature's authority. The constitutional duty of the courts is to uphold the law. How can they claim any moral authority to do so when they themselves refuse to obey the law?

    So the only way to change this is to convince the judges on the Utah Judicial Council, who make these rules, that they want to change them. Or get the voters to boot the anti-gun judges out, and keep booting them until you get a crop that is at least willing to provide lockers.
    That, or elect a legislature with enough guts to actually use their power to remove the judges who refuse to follow the law.

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    rpyne wrote:
    swillden wrote:
    I think the courts are actually *right* that the legislature does not have the authority to tell the courts what to do, any more than the judges have the authority to tell the legislature what bills to pass.
    Which is where we agree to disagree. All courts lower than the State Supreme Court are created by the Legislature
    See the Utah State Constitution, Article VIII, sections 5 through 15.

    EDIT: Actually, Article VIII section 1 is enough to counter your claim.

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    swillden wrote:
    rpyne wrote:
    swillden wrote:
    I think the courts are actually *right* that the legislature does not have the authority to tell the courts what to do, any more than the judges have the authority to tell the legislature what bills to pass.
    Which is where we agree to disagree. All courts lower than the State Supreme Court are created by the Legislature
    See the Utah State Constitution, Article VIII, sections 5 through 15.

    EDIT: Actually, Article VIII section 1 is enough to counter your claim.
    The Legislature has one major check against the Judicial branch... Funding. If our Legislature really wanted to force the issue, they could just reduce funding. That is the great thing about checks and balances.

  10. #10
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    Utah Code Ā§ 78A-2-203(2)(b)(i) requires the provision of a secure firearms storage area at any court secure area where carrying is prohibited. Utah CodeĀ§ 53-5a-102 fully preempts any local authority or state entity regulation of firearms other than what the Legislature has enacted as a matter of state law.
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    WVCDL wrote:
    Utah Code Ā§ 78A-2-203(2)(b)(i) requires the provision of a secure firearms storage area at any court secure area where carrying is prohibited. Utah CodeĀ§ 53-5a-102 fully preempts any local authority or state entity regulation of firearms other than what the Legislature has enacted as a matter of state law.
    Wrong

    Actually, you're right, but you're still wrong.

    The legislature has made provisions for courts of record to establish secure areas in which guns are banned, and you're right that those legislatively-defined secure areas must have firearms storage. Carrying a gun into such a secure area is a third degree felony.

    But the courts have not created any secure areas pursuant to 78A-2-203. Since there are no secure areas, there are no required firearms lockers, and it is not a felony to carry in a courtroom.

    Instead, the courts have decided that firearms are not allowed in courtrooms on pain of contempt of court. If you carry in a Utah courtroom, you haven't committed a crime, but you'll be put in jail for contempt of court. In practice, the police officers with their metal detectors make sure that you can't even try.

    As for the legislature's Uniform Firearms Law act, which restricts any state or local government entity from prohibiting firearms, please read my previous posts in this thread for an explanation of why that doesn't matter.

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    gunsfreak4791 wrote:
    Here is my dilemma I have to attend Court in Salt lake City over a speeding ticket. I am being told they will not secure my firearm and I can't bring it into the building.
    I've paid a minor traffic ticket at the Davis county courthouse and not only did they have no problem holding onto my gun, they actually thanked me for not leaving it in my car because they apparently routinely have convicts doing service cleaning the parking lot.

    I unloaded in the car and locked the action back and reholstered. When I hit their checkpoint at the door I told the officer I needed their help storing my firearm while I paid a ticket. He thanked me for unloading and asked me to hand him the firearm. I handed over that plus the loaded magazine and was on my way.

    On the way out, another officer at the door jokingly tried to convince me to trade him guns because he had decided he liked mine better...

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    leeland wrote:
    I've paid a minor traffic ticket at the Davis county courthouse and not only did they have no problem holding onto my gun, they actually thanked me for not leaving it in my car because they apparently routinely have convicts doing service cleaning the parking lot.

    I unloaded in the car and locked the action back and reholstered. When I hit their checkpoint at the door I told the officer I needed their help storing my firearm while I paid a ticket. He thanked me for unloading and asked me to hand him the firearm. I handed over that plus the loaded magazine and was on my way.

    On the way out, another officer at the door jokingly tried to convince me to trade him guns because he had decided he liked mine better...
    Well if you have to go to court to pay a ticket, at least there are worse places to go.

    Oh that all the court houses in Utah were so sensible about this kind of thing.

    charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    At the risk of taking crap for having to pay a second ticket, I'll post this to provide another data point regarding OC and paying a ticket....

    This morning I had to stop by Woods Cross Justice Court to pay a speeding fine (9mph over on Legacy highway while headed to the airport to catch my flight). I figured I'd just be writing a check and that was it, but apparently there the procedure is that everyone enters the court and stands before the judge and his staff. In spite of the helpful front desk person urging me to just "go right in" (I was a few feet from the open court door and could seen the judge and staff), I indicated I had a weapon to check and wisely asked that the bailiff meet me in the lobby where I was.

    The bailiff (Officer Lundquist) was very professional, but insisted that they didn't have the means to secure my weapon and that I must leave it locked in the car. I explained that I preferred not to leave a gun unattended in the car for security reasons but at his assurance that the process would take only a few minutes at most I relented. It felt a little weird standing in the court room with an empty Serpa on my hip, but the judge and his staff were very nice folks and I was quickly on my way. When leaving, the officer asked why I didn't conceal and told me I was making myself more of a target. I mailed a short letter to the court with the following letter enclosed for him:

    "Officer Lundquist,

    As I expressed in my letter to the court, I very much appreciated the professional way in which you handled my appearance in your lobby with my weapon. When I was leaving, you expressed what seemed like very genuine concern for my well being. Although I can't remember your exact wording, you also asked me if I had many confrontations due to my carrying a weapon, and why I didn't conceal carry. Because of my nervousness of being in court, and my desire not to take up too much of the court staff's time, I didn't really feel like I gave an adequate answer.

    My decision to carry a weapon stems from my strong belief that it is my personal responsibility to protect myself and my loved ones. It is a pain to carry a gun and I truly hope that I am never forced into a position where I must use it. However, I take seriously the responsibility that comes with carrying a weapon and continually invest in the best training available (and put in the practice necessary) to ensure that in the unlikely event that I have to use my weapon I can do so safely and effectively to stop the attacker.

    You asked if I had a lot of confrontation or if anyone had placed a ā€œman with gunā€ call. You also said that you had seen an increase in that type of event. Even though it is perfectly legal, it is still certainly unusual to see civilians open carrying. Especially given the fact that some people are very uncomfortable around guns, it makes sense that some number of people might call the police. I would assume that if/when someone does call saying they see someone with a gun that dispatch would explain to them that OC was perfectly legal in our state and then follow up to determine if the individual was behaving is a way that indicated an officer might need to be dispatched. Given the growing popularity to open carry, I certainly hope that the default response is not to just dispatch an office without gathering further information. I'd hate to see an officer's valuable time wasted responding to those sorts of calls.

    Finally, in answer to your question about why I often choose to open carry verses conceal. After many years of concealed carry, I started open carrying for the following reasons: it is more comfortable, more convenient, and tactically efficient. In short, I think I do so for much the same reasons that police officers open carry. Especially as we head into the warmer months, I find it much nicer to not worry about additional concealment garments. I do sometimes get looks from people not used to seeing that, but the added comfort and convenience far out way the social pressure (which at least for me is very small) to conceal.

    Regarding tactical efficiency, I've seen that depending on the nature of the cover garment used and the holster position, I am anywhere from .2 to .5 seconds slower in drawing and firing my weapon from concealment. Given your training, I'm sure you would agree that half a second is significant in a typical close quarters violent encounter where a weapon might be used.

    The final reasons I've moved to frequently open carrying is that first, I believe it acts as a deterrent to the typical criminal. In opposition to your comment that I would be more likely to be targeted by a criminal because they see my weapon, I've instead seen a growing body of evidence that suggests that precisely the opposite is true. Most criminals are cowards and select victims they perceive to be defenseless. I believe that I am in fact less likely to have to use my weapon (my ultimate goal) precisely because it is visible. Second, I feel some responsibility to make others aware of our individual right to bear arms, and OC is a great way to do that. I right not exercised is, all too often, a right soon lost!

    I have the greatest respect for law enforcement, and thank you for being willing to put yourself in harm's way to serve and protect our community. May God bless you for your efforts and keep you and your loved ones safe!
    "

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    Regular Member Utah_Patriot's Avatar
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    Well stated
    Zach
    8014487574
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity"

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    Nicely written.
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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    utbagpiper wrote:
    Nicely written.
    Thank you. I don't get many opportunities to interact with law enforcement officers, but my plan is to leave a positive impression of the OC crowd when I do get the chance. The officer really did strike me as a very decent guy that was well informed regarding the laws. With any luck, the court will give him kudos for handling things as well as he did. I'd be quick to report an officer who behaved badly, so I figure it's only fair that the reverse be true as well. Reinforce the good behavior, discourage the bad bevavior (Carrot / Stick approach) never hurts.

    gunfreak4791 wrote:
    Well stated.
    I never did hear how your court appointment turned out. Hopefully things worked out for you.

  18. #18
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    I have a time set up in June to appear to fight my ticket. I have been in contact with my legislators and district attorneys office.

    If all else fails I will show up in June Armed and demand a storage facility and have my lawyer present or request that the date be moved until my legal challenge to get storage lockers in the Justice court is finished. (It could take years to do so)

    Or I have a option to request a change of venue or a trial de novalis. I hope to hear back soon or file my legal papers at the first of June. This would delay my current legal proceeding until the whole secure area problem was solved.

    Granted this is just a speeding ticket but I am choosing to make it a point.
    Zach
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    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity"

  19. #19
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    gunsfreak4791 wrote:
    Or I have a option to request a change of venue or a trial de novalis. I hope to hear back soon or file my legal papers at the first of June. This would delay my current legal proceeding until the whole secure area problem was solved.

    Granted this is just a speeding ticket but I am choosing to make it a point.
    Not sure how a trial de nova helps with the gun. Most of the district courts are every bit as hostile as justice courts.

    Plus, listening to the prosecutor's arguments in the justice court let's you know how to craft your defense for district court if you lose and decide to invoke your right to trial de nova.

    Charles
    All experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. Thank heaven we do not permit a few to impose anarchy.

    "With Anarchy as an aim and as a means, Communism becomes possible."
    --Marxist.org

    "Communism and Anarchy [are], a necessary complement to one another. "
    --PETER KROPOTKIN, "Anarchism: its philosophy and ideal." 1898.

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