Robert Eberth appealed and won his battle against Prince William County, in Virginia, and its practice of ticketing parked cars for expired state inspection stickers. I’m slightly deflated because Fairfax County ticketed my car under this same scenario a few years back, and I paid it without a fight¹. Regardless, good for Mr. Eberth for forcing counties in Virginia to abide by the law. It’s a miraculous concept. We should all aspire to win such an appeal in our lifetimes.
Naturally, Prince William County is responding as any libertarian would expect.
In the meantime, county attorneys in Prince William are scrambling to draft legislation for the General Assembly that would authorize ticketing of parked cars with expired stickers.
The county can’t simply stop ticketing parked cars. That would
decrease revenue permit potentially unsafe vehicles from being on the road. I’m sure there will also be an update of the provision that Mr. Eberth fought, which is that the county went onto the lot of his apartment complex to ticket his vehicle. Under the court’s ruling, the county can’t do that. Want to bet its proposed legislation will include such a feature? I’ll take yes, you can have no.
Finally, I don’t know if this just comes off poorly in print, but this quote is not a ringing endorsement for leadership oriented to considering citizens.
Corey A. Stewart (R-Occoquan), chairman of the Board of County Supervisors, said: “We thank him for pointing out this error. I’ve got to hand it to him — he’s got determination. I hope he’ll get on with his life now.”
Mr. Eberth wins a victory indicating that Prince William county steals more than $150,000 per year from its citizens, and that’s what the county chairman has to say? He pointed out the error for six years. Prince William only listened when the Appeals Court told them the same thing. And the Stewart’s last line, why not just tack on an explicit “Go eff yourself” for good measure?
¹ I might file an appeal with Fairfax County requesting a refund. I know it would be fruitless because I did not contest the ticket at the time, but it might be fun to waste their time. And any response letter would no doubt create much amusement.