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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Escondido May Face Class-Action Lawsuit Over Checkpoints.

    Escondido May Face Class-Action Lawsuit Over Checkpoints

    By Ruxandra Guidi

    January 18, 2011

    SAN DIEGO — In 2009, Rich Dudka went through one of the city's checkpoints, and his truck was impounded. Since he could not afford the impound fees, his truck was eventually sold. Dudka sued the city last August, and now, he's exploring the possibility of a class-action lawsuit, on behalf of all the people whose cars were impounded over the last six years.

    Escondido Police Chief Jim Maher defends the checkpoints. But when asked about them a few months ago, Maher acknowledged that a lawsuit was likely.

    "Every single car that approaches is just asked to show a driver's license," said Maher. "We're modifying that process and we haven't settled on a final process because the ACLU threatened to sue us. So we may have to check for other things besides just a driver's license."

    One of the reasons the checkpoints have been so controversial is because they've led to an increase in deportations of undocumented immigrants who aren't, by law, allowed to get a driver's license.

    Maher says the uproar over the checkpoints is not justified.

    "It's wrong to not try to use every available legal tool to remove criminals," says Maher. "If you lived with a gang member, child molester, drug dealer next door, that the police could go and have deported, and we refused to do that--then I would be more upset."

    Carlos Batara is a lawyer working in Escondido. He says the checkpoints have serious implications for the community, but whether the practice is illegal is something that would need to be decided by the courts.

    "In my mind, so many of these measures violate constitutional concerns, like due process, but I'm not going to be the final judge of that," says Batara. "Ultimately, that issue needs to be taken up by the higher courts."

    There's no telling yet whether Dudka's lawsuit will reach a class-auction status, and what implications, if any, it would have on the six year-old checkpoints practice.

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  2. #2
    Senior Member moptop's Avatar
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    So basicly what I got from this is, its ok to drive with no lincence but if someone asks you for it and you don't have it and your car gets impounded for not having proof your allowed to drive in any of the fifty states. Then the person asking you for your lincence just violated your rights. Oh and by the way those check points have been there for at least 14 yrs so its not like they just put those up over night to get ya!

  3. #3
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Yes, checkpoints have been here for many years. Didn't seem to become much of an issue until we had so many unlicensed drivers.
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  4. #4
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    If state law prohibits driving without a license then yes they can arrest that person. Its standard for every state in the union. Officer has the option to allow another licensed operator to drive the vehicle but generally a ticked for failure to have an operators permit is issued to the offender but he still cannot drive the vehicle from the stop site.

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