Case Dismissed against the Frisco Man Who Warned Drivers about a Speed Trap
Frisco has some sort of ordinance that prosecutes humans who hold signs. The police know this, because they used that ordinance as an excuse to bust the man who waved a "Police Ahead" sign at passing motorists.
As we told you last month, Ron Martin was arrested by the very same traffic police he had been warning everyone about in the fall. The police vaguely explained in the arrest report that he had violated the human sign ordinance. At a recent hearing, the city decided that Martin's assault on Frisco's sign aesthetics was so serious that it would go ahead and charge Martin with a misdemeanor and spend tax dollars on a jury trial if he did not agree to a plea deal or pay the fine.
But now the city's case against Martin is dismissed. That's because Martin showed up to a court hearing on Wednesday with an attorney, who made a very simple argument: The police report documenting Martin's arrest makes no sense.
"They didn't even specifically accuse him of anything," says Mark Meisenger, the attorney.
Meisinger also wrote up a motion challenging Frisco's vague definitions of human signs under the constitution. A human sign is apparently "a sign held or attached to a human being who stands or walks on the ground, on-site at a business location," according to Frisco city code.
"The statute does not give a person of ordinary intelligence a reasonable opportunity to know what is prohibited, specifically," according to Meisinger's motion.
But Meisinger says he never even got a chance to even argue about all that in court. The Frisco Municipal Court judge tossed the case out based on a more rookie mistake: Police hadn't specified the actual statute number of the ordinance that Martin violated, or even written the ordinance's correct name down. (It's actually just called the Frisco Sign Ordinance, with just a little section in there that talks about human signs and what time and place they're allowed.)
The entire hearing, Meisinger estimates, lasted about 10 seconds. He agreed to represent Martin for free. "What am I really going to charge someone for a $200 ticket?" Though he also questions why Martin was even arrested on such a minor violation in the first place.
"They didn't have to jail him over a fine-only offense," Meisinger says.
The Frisco PD says it's still not commenting on the case.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.