The Portland Mercury Blog is reporting that Multnomah County Judge Dale Koch has denied lawyer Mark Ginsberg’s request to have his stack of fixed-gear tickets heard in a real courtroom, instead of in lowly traffic court.
Since the Ayla Holland case, Ginsberg has collected seven more cases of bicyclists being ticketed for not having a braking device on their fixed-gear bicycles.
According to the Mercury, Ginsberg believes the fixed-gear issue deserves a real hearing, not just a hurried run through traffic court. He says Koch’s refusal to hear these fixed-gear cases by an elected, sitting judge (as opposed to a “pro tem” traffic court judge) raises “constitutional issues.”
Here’s what Ginsberg told the Mercury,
“It appears to me that many of the tickets given to cyclists lately are over-reaching the law, and as much as possible we will fight those as hard as we can.”
Ginsberg told me this morning that the problem is that he has no idea which judge will show up in traffic court until he gets there. He’s worried that he could show up with a fixed-gear ticket case and the judge will be the same one that has already ruled against him.
Ginsberg and his clients just can’t seem to get a break. Not only have the courts shown no respect to this issue, but according to many messengers, since the Ayla Holland case they are being unfairly hassled by cops and ticketed at a much higher rate than ever before.