- Post 23 May 2012
- By Copy Editor
That decision is another victory for Ryan Kintner, 25, who sued theSeminole County Sheriff's Officelast year, accusing it of misconstruing a state law and violating his civil rights, principally his right to free speech.
He was ticketed Aug. 10 by a Seminole County deputy, but Kintner alleges the officer misapplied a state law designed to ban motorists from flashing after-market emergency lights.
Circuit Judge Alan Dickey earlier ruled that that state law does not apply to people who did what Kintner did, use his headlights to communicate.
On Tuesday the judge went a step further, saying people who flash their headlights to communicate are engaging in behavior protected by the U.S. Constitution.
"He felt the police specificially went out of their way to silence Mr. Kintner and that it was clearly a violation of his First Amendment free speech rights," said his attorney, J. Marcus Jones of Oviedo.
Jones has filed a similar but much broader suit in Tallahassee against the Florida Highway Patrol.
A hearing in that case is scheduled next month.
"This stuff is fun," Jones said after Tuesday's hearing.
Each suit asked that police agencies be ordered to halt writing those tickets. The highway patrol stopped voluntarily, awaiting the outcome of the suit. So have theSeminole County Sheriff's Officeand other agencies. ... continues...