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landmark
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A lone Marin driver’s naughty sneak into the carpool lane could spell the end of corporate personhood as we know it—or at least that’s San Rafael resident Jonathan Frieman’s plan, as he heads to Marin Superior Court next week to challenge a traffic violation and, ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.

Frieman was heading south on Highway 101 through Novato on Oct. 2 when he was cited for violating California vehicle code 21655.5, which prohibits drivers from entering unauthorized vehicle lanes—in Frieman’s case, being a solo occupant in a lane requiring two or more persons. But Frieman plans to contest the $478 violation in court on Jan. 7, arguing that he had corporate incorporation papers in his car at the time and, he says, the state vehicle code views corporations as persons—therefore he and his corporation constituted a two-person carpool.


http://www.pacificsun.com/news/local/art......878.html
Woland
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Very cute. But the idea that a corporation is a person under the law antedates the Citizens United decision.

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Corporate personhood is the legal concept that a corporation may sue and be sued in court in the same way as natural persons or unincorporated associations of persons. This doctrine in turn forms the basis for legal recognition that corporations, as groups of people, may hold and exercise certain rights under the common law and the U.S. Constitution. The doctrine does not hold that corporations are "people" in the most common usage of the word, nor does it grant to corporations all of the rights of citizens.

Since at least Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward – 17 U.S. 518 (1819), the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized corporations as having the same rights as natural persons to contract and to enforce contracts. In Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad - 118 U.S. 394 (1886), the reporter noted in the headnote to the opinion that the Chief Justice began oral argument by stating, "The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of the opinion that it does."[1] While the headnote is not part of the Court's opinion and thus not precedent, two years later, in Pembina Consolidated Silver Mining Co. v. Pennsylvania - 125 U.S. 181 (1888), the Court clearly affirmed the doctrine, holding, "Under the designation of 'person' there is no doubt that a private corporation is included [in the Fourteenth Amendment]. Such corporations are merely associations of individuals united for a special purpose and permitted to do business under a particular name and have a succession of members without dissolution." [2] This doctrine has been reaffirmed by the Court many times since.
landmark
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Anybody willing to take the case? Smile
balducci
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"Judge Rejects Jonathan Frieman’s Corporate Personhood Carpool Lane Argument; Appeal Vowed"

http://morallowground.com/2013/01/07/jud......l-vowed/

See link above for full story, just a little bit of it is cut and pasted below:

Ford Greene, Frieman’s attorney, presented his client’s case before Marin County Superior Court Judge Frank J. Drago in San Rafael on Monday afternoon.

“What we’re talking about here is a pretty simple case,” Greene said, citing California Vehicle Code Section 470, which states that “‘Person’ includes a natural person, firm, copartnership, association, limited liability company or corporation.”

Greene, who is also a San Anselmo town councilman, asserted that the charge against Frieman should be dismissed, “since a corporation is a person and Mr. Frieman was traveling with a corporation.”

“The evidence is undisputed, the signs say carpool is 2 or more persons,” Greene pressed, arguing that the carpool law is “unconstitutionally vague.”

“A citizen should not be left to guess when he is in violation of a statute,” Greene argued.

Judge Drago disagreed, citing the “intent of the legislation,” which is “to relieve traffic congestion on highways” and to encourage people to carpool.

“The goal is to reduce the volume of traffic on the highway,” Drago said before finding Frieman guilty and imposing a $489 fine.
Make America Great Again! - Trump in 2020 ... "We're a capitalistic society. I go into business, I don't make it, I go bankrupt. They're not going to bail me out. I've been on welfare and food stamps. Did anyone help me? No." - Craig T. Nelson, actor.
LobowolfXXX
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Odds of winning: Slim to none, and Slim just left.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
landmark
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Killjoy. I'm looking forward to the appeals.
Magnus Eisengrim
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Was the corporation in the car? How could we define such matters?
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
Tom Cutts
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He didn't have a corporation with him. He only had papers of incorporation. Send him a bill for the courts time and the 489$ fine.

What a jerk! There is a far simpler loophole in the carpool lane laws to exploit. If getting out of the ticket was his intent, a simple lawyer could make a point of it... And cause CA to replace most signage up and down the state's carpool lanes.
stoneunhinged
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If I have my marriage license in the car, does that also mean there's another person there? I don't understand why corporations papers are supposed to constitute a corporation.
balducci
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Much more at the link below, I only cut and pasted a small bit. But note the very last paragraph I cut and pasted. Isn't that weird?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/07......971.html

Frieman, who has a history of snarkily causing trouble in local politics, had more on his mind than just trying to worm his way out of paying a ticket. The 59-year old San Rafael resident is hoping to use this case a way to challenge the whole idea of corporate personhood.

According to a blog post he wrote in mid-2011 for San Rafael Patch, Frieman had been driving around with his corporate imaginary friend hoping to get pulled for over a decade before it finally happened late last year--making him probably the first person in existence actively trying to get a traffic ticket.

University of San Francisco law professor Robert Talbot seemed unconvinced that Frieman's strategy would ultimately prove successful because its too far away from the spirit in which the carpool laws were conceived. "A court might say, 'Well, it says person, and a corporation is a person, so that'll work for the carpool lane,'" Talbot told NBC Bay Area. "It's possible, but I doubt it."

Section 470 of the California Vehicle Code defines a person as "natural person, firm, copartnership, association, limited liability company, or corporation."
Make America Great Again! - Trump in 2020 ... "We're a capitalistic society. I go into business, I don't make it, I go bankrupt. They're not going to bail me out. I've been on welfare and food stamps. Did anyone help me? No." - Craig T. Nelson, actor.
Woland
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I think that's with respect to who owns a vehicle, balducci. Not weird at all in that light.
landmark
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On 2013-01-08 13:17, Tom Cutts wrote:
He didn't have a corporation with him. He only had papers of incorporation. Send him a bill for the courts time and the 489$ fine.

What a jerk! There is a far simpler loophole in the carpool lane laws to exploit. If getting out of the ticket was his intent, a simple lawyer could make a point of it... And cause CA to replace most signage up and down the state's carpool lanes.

As balducci mentions, he was not trying to get out of a ticket--he was hoping to make a larger point about corporations and personhood. The car pool lane was simply his...ahem...vehicle for making it.
mastermindreader
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Fortunately Judge Drago simply did what judges are supposed to do- he looked at the intent and purposes of the law and applied it accordingly. This is the same way the law would be interepreted if, say, Wash DC charged David Gregory for allegedly violating the law prohibiting the "possession" of a high capacity magazine.

Both are equally spurious cases.
LobowolfXXX
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Good for him...he wanted a ticket; he got one!
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
balducci
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On 2013-01-08 13:58, Woland wrote:

I think that's with respect to who owns a vehicle, balducci. Not weird at all in that light.

Well, no, it doesn't say that - there is no such qualification in Section 470. It simply says:

470. "Person" includes a natural person, firm, copartnership, association, limited liability company, or corporation.

Later in the code, it says things like:

505. A "registered owner" is a person registered by the department as the owner of a vehicle.

508. A "renter" is a person who is engaged in the business of renting, leasing or bailing vehicles for a term not exceeding four months and for a fixed rate or price.

522. "Ridesharing" means two or more persons traveling by any mode, including, but not limited to, carpooling, vanpooling, buspooling, taxipooling, jitney, and public transit.

Shouldn't the meaning of "person" be the same (as defined in 470) in every instances? Why should the meaning of "person" in 522 suddenly change from its meaning in 470, 505, 508, and everywhere else in the code?

That is a serious question I address to any lawyer out there.

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displa......=100-680
Make America Great Again! - Trump in 2020 ... "We're a capitalistic society. I go into business, I don't make it, I go bankrupt. They're not going to bail me out. I've been on welfare and food stamps. Did anyone help me? No." - Craig T. Nelson, actor.
LobowolfXXX
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On 2013-01-08 15:32, balducci wrote:
Quote:
On 2013-01-08 13:58, Woland wrote:

I think that's with respect to who owns a vehicle, balducci. Not weird at all in that light.

Well, no, it doesn't say that - there is no such qualification in Section 470. It simply says:

470. "Person" includes a natural person, firm, copartnership, association, limited liability company, or corporation.

Later in the code, it says things like:

505. A "registered owner" is a person registered by the department as the owner of a vehicle.

508. A "renter" is a person who is engaged in the business of renting, leasing or bailing vehicles for a term not exceeding four months and for a fixed rate or price.

522. "Ridesharing" means two or more persons traveling by any mode, including, but not limited to, carpooling, vanpooling, buspooling, taxipooling, jitney, and public transit.

Shouldn't the meaning of "person" be the same (as defined in 470) in every instances? Why should the meaning of "person" in 522 suddenly change from its meaning in 470, 505, 508, and everywhere else in the code?

That is a serious question I address to any lawyer out there.

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displa......=100-680



When you ask why it "should" change in different places, I'm not sure whether you mean in principle, or in this particular instance, so I'll try to address your question to cover both possibilities.

As a general matter of legal principle, words can be and often are given different definitions for different purposes. A corporation can be sued in federal court because for the purposes of determining jurisdiction (which is a key hurdle for federal lawsuits), a corporation is a "person"; however, you can intentionally dissolve a corporation and not stand trial for murder, because for the purposes of criminal law, a corporation is not a "person" that you have killed. The law is very vast, and even within a particular branch of law (that is, without relying on the extreme example I provided), it can be helpful and logical to define terms differently for different purposes.

In this particular case, I think the distinction is adequately covered by the preface to section 100, "Unless the provision or context otherwise requires." I think that the context is fairly clear that a corporation is not intended to be considered a person for the purpose of letting someone drive in a carpool lane. Similarly, I wouldn't expect that if he walked with those same papers into a movie theater he would be required to purchase two tickets.

All of which is incidental, because even under the most law-school-ridiculous-for-the-sake-argument-sophistry, it's a corporation that is a person, in some senses. It's not the articles of incorporation. So even if a corporation WERE a person for carpool lane purposes (and I think that the caveat in section 100 certainly provides enough wiggle room to throw out that argument), articles of incorporation are not a corporation. They're a written record of some of the fundamental facts about the corporation.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
balducci
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Thanks, Lobo. I always accepted that the corporation could not be riding in the car. And I missed Section 100 before - I certainly see how that clearly allows for different interpretations of the word "person" within the same code.
Make America Great Again! - Trump in 2020 ... "We're a capitalistic society. I go into business, I don't make it, I go bankrupt. They're not going to bail me out. I've been on welfare and food stamps. Did anyone help me? No." - Craig T. Nelson, actor.
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