Lovely Rita, meter maid, where would I be without you? Certainly not in front of the Michigan Supreme Court:
A former Michigan State University student who shouted at an MSU parking enforcement officer after he got a ticket cannot be criminally prosecuted because the university ordinance prohibiting such behavior is overly broad, a divided [5-2] Michigan Supreme Court has ruled.
The court, in an opinion released [Friday] afternoon, said the ordinance unconstitutionally impaired free speech rights because it could be applied “against anyone who disrupts in any way anyone carrying out any activity for or with MSU.”
Jared Rapp, now 29, was charged with a misdemeanor after he reacted to a parking ticket in Sept. 2008 by assailing the parking officer. According to court records, the officer retreated to his vehicle, called for help, then sat in his vehicle until police arrived.
This is apparently standard procedure for MSU parking officers faced with recalcitrant malparkers, though I suspect this is what annoyed him most:
While he was waiting, Rapp stood outside the vehicle and photographed him with his mobile phone.
They hate that.
This is the MSU ordinance in question:
No person shall disrupt the normal activity or molest the property of any person, firm, or agency while that person, firm, or agency is carrying out service, activity or agreement for or with the University.
Geez. If disrupting my normal activity were a civil offense… but no, never mind, let’s not go there.
Here’s the entire opinion in PDF format, should you be curious.