9/20/2007Virginia: Two More Courts Uphold Speeding Ticket Tax
Hanover Circuit Court and Virginia Beach General District Court uphold the speeding ticket tax in Virginia.
A circuit court and general district court judge this month issued rulings upholding Virginia's controversial "civil remedial fees" that add a $1050 mandatory tax, on top of an existing $2500 maximum penalty, for speeding offenses of 15 MPH over the limit in a 65 zone (fee details). The balance of court decisions on the issue now tilt in favor of the tax developed by traffic attorney and state Delegate Dave Albo (R-Springfield) as a method of generating $65 million in new government revenue.
Virginia Beach General District Judge Calvin Depew Jr on Tuesday upheld the $1050 remedial fee imposed on Jason Duckwitz, a motorist who had been convicted of "aggressive driving" in an incident that took place just three days after the new fees were implemented. The decision followed last week's ruling issued from the bench by Westmoreland Circuit Court Judge George Mason III. Mason overturned a Hanover District Court ruling that had found the fees in violation of the equal protection clauses of the state and federal constitutions because they applied only to Virginia residents.
Henrico County Circuit Court Judge L.A. Harris, Jr. in August defended the state's "civil remedial fees". Harris overturned the August 2 ruling of a general district court judge (view ruling) in the same county. A decision by a general district court judge in the city of Richmond that ruled the fees unconstitutional still stands. The Richmond Circuit Court is expected to rule on an appeal to the case soon.