HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Latest Breaking News (Forum) » (California judge rules) ...

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:06 PM

(California judge rules) Corporations aren't people in carpool lanes

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Jonathan Frieman, a 56-year old San Rafael resident and self-described social entrepreneur, failed to persuade a Marin County Superior Court judge Monday after he argued that he was not alone when a California Highway Patrol officer pulled him over in October while driving in the carpool lane.

Instead, Frieman admitted that he had reached onto the passenger's seat and handed the officer papers of incorporation connected to his family's charity foundation.

..."Common sense says carrying a sheath of papers in the front seat does not relieve traffic congestion," Judge Frank Drago said. "And so I'm finding you guilty."

Outside the courtroom, Frieman said he would appeal the ruling within 30 days.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Corporations-aren-t-people-in-carpool-lanes-4173366.php

57 replies, 6886 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 57 replies Author Time Post
Reply (California judge rules) Corporations aren't people in carpool lanes (Original post)
Newsjock Jan 2013 OP
closeupready Jan 2013 #1
jberryhill Jan 2013 #27
jreal Jan 2013 #29
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2013 #34
jberryhill Jan 2013 #50
jreal Jan 2013 #55
freedom fighter jh Jan 2013 #56
closeupready Jan 2013 #35
jberryhill Jan 2013 #48
TeamPooka Jan 2013 #49
closeupready Jan 2013 #53
unblock Jan 2013 #2
democrattotheend Jan 2013 #8
dsc Jan 2013 #13
Voice for Peace Jan 2013 #20
Politicub Jan 2013 #43
NYC Liberal Jan 2013 #15
TalkingDog Jan 2013 #22
unblock Jan 2013 #24
jreal Jan 2013 #31
jreal Jan 2013 #30
intheflow Jan 2013 #39
jreal Jan 2013 #54
leftyohiolib Jan 2013 #41
high density Jan 2013 #3
silvershadow Jan 2013 #11
closeupready Jan 2013 #44
TlalocW Jan 2013 #4
Stonepounder Jan 2013 #14
jreal Jan 2013 #32
samsingh Jan 2013 #5
Baitball Blogger Jan 2013 #6
closeupready Jan 2013 #45
Marie Marie Jan 2013 #7
truebluegreen Jan 2013 #25
freshwest Jan 2013 #9
Bette Noir Jan 2013 #10
davidpdx Jan 2013 #12
Tempest Jan 2013 #16
Voice for Peace Jan 2013 #21
pocoloco Jan 2013 #28
Tempest Jan 2013 #37
LanternWaste Jan 2013 #38
Tempest Jan 2013 #40
jberryhill Jan 2013 #51
Tempest Jan 2013 #36
BlueJazz Jan 2013 #17
xtraxritical Jan 2013 #18
mimi85 Jan 2013 #19
xtraxritical Jan 2013 #42
tclambert Jan 2013 #23
Heywood J Jan 2013 #26
jreal Jan 2013 #33
Tab Jan 2013 #46
stevec7717 Jan 2013 #47
happyslug Jan 2013 #52
tanyev Jan 2013 #57

Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:13 PM

1. Please proceed with your appeal.

With any luck, the 'corporations are people' ruling will be explicitly overturned.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to closeupready (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:10 AM

27. Cool...

...and then you won't be able to sue them!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Reply #27)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:05 AM

29. I'm wondering. Does this mean I can't sue...

Non-profits, Unions, cities, states, countries?

Just wondering.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jreal (Reply #29)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:27 AM

34. Thank you. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jreal (Reply #29)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:50 PM

50. Sure you can....

Non-profits and unions are corporations, and can be sued.

Many cities are municipal corporations, but cities, states and countries are also defined in US law as constituting various types of "person" person.

Chapter 28 of the United States Code deals largely with the structure of the court system and various rules of construction and procedure in US courts.

28 USC 3002 is typical:

(10) “Person” includes a natural person (including an individual Indian), a corporation, a partnership, an unincorporated association, a trust, or an estate, or any other public or private entity, including a State or local government or an Indian tribe.

----

Corporations are just one type of legal "person" other than a natural person.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Reply #50)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 05:28 AM

55. I see.

But I wonder when all the additions of what a person is considered was later added to the rule.

I have some foggy memory that the idea that corporations are people as well was added by accident by some court related assistant and was used by ideological activist Justices of the time to cement it into our law book forever.

I admit obviously that I am foggy on this, I do seem to remember something of the such.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink



Response to jberryhill (Reply #27)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:38 AM

35. Child, you can sue anybody for anything.

A business with a permit to transact business can be sued, even if not incorporated. Even a business WITHOUT a permit can be sued.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to closeupready (Reply #35)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:51 PM

48. First off, I am neither a child nor your child

Secondly, being subject to suit is one of the attributes of personhood.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jberryhill (Reply #48)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:06 PM

49. kids make up the darndest things.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Reply #49)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:22 PM

53. lol, yep, pretty much.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:16 PM

2. stupid is as stupid does. the legal term "person" doesn't mean what lay people think it means.

the law uses the term "natural person" where lay people would use the term "person".

thus freeing the term "person" to include more than just natural persons, e.g., legal entities such as corporations.


so basically, this guy is breaking the law and going to great lengths only to prove that the media hasn't done a good job covering this point.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unblock (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:36 PM

8. I am glad he did

I don't know if this was the guy's motive, but it helps highlight the absurdity of the corporate personhood doctrine as expanded by Citizens United.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to democrattotheend (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:33 PM

13. It was his motive

He has literally been driving in those lanes alone for the past couple of years trying to get the ticket so he could try to get rid of corporations as people. He wrote an op ed about it not too long ago and finally got his ticket.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dsc (Reply #13)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 12:50 AM

20. I hope he takes it all the way to the US Supreme Court

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to democrattotheend (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 01:21 PM

43. Sometimes it takes the absurd to wake people up

I'm glad he's pursuing this, too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unblock (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:38 PM

15. '"person" doesn't mean what lay people think it means'

And therein lies the problem.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unblock (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 06:01 AM

22. Help me out here. What legal rights do corporate persons have in comparison to "natural" persons?

Where specifically is the line drawn?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TalkingDog (Reply #22)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:37 AM

24. well, for instance, they can sue and be sued in civil court; but they can't vote.

corporations and other artificial entities have always had certain protections under the constitution, e.g., the government can't just take a corporation's property without due process.

citizens united should really be seen as just a very slight adjustment in a long line of decisions granting corporations certain rights, in this case, the right to make effectively unlimited campaign contributions.

it was an odious decision, but everyone gets hung up on the word "person". had they used a different word like "entity" we wouldn't have all the jokes and confusion and carpool lane distractions and people would focus on the real problem, which is a right-wing supreme court "legislating from the bench" and inventing rights for artificial entities.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unblock (Reply #24)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:13 AM

31. Well Mitt Romney said corporations are people too you know.

And he should know. 47% of this country believe him to be the smartest person in the country and qualified to be president.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unblock (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:08 AM

30. Also just wondering...

So does the law require that at least 2 natural persons be in the car or just persons.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jreal (Reply #30)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:56 AM

39. What would be an unnatural person?

Aside from corporate personhood, are you suggesting mannequins or dolls could be used in carpool lanes? Because that's been tried.

http://blog.chron.com/newswatch/2012/03/man-tries-to-trick-police-with-dummy-in-the-hov-lane/

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to intheflow (Reply #39)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 05:24 AM

54. God no. That's Stupid. Just stupid.

And even dumber than the debate at hand. A mannequin is a mannequin. A doll is a doll.

I am talking about with regards to the poster before my post. The I assume just requires at least 2 persons in the car. But no mention of whether they must be natural. So in the pretext of the law, the guy may have an argument.

But pieces of plastic that have body resemblances on them is a bit stupid. Gee, why don't I just get some paper and crowns out and draw a circle with to dots in the upper part of the circle and a curved line within the bottom area of the circle and call a person?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to unblock (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:43 AM

41. and this is why lawyers are hated ( unless you need one)

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:18 PM

3. So in other words the idea of "corporations are people" is contrary to "common sense?"

Better tell that to CA lawmakers and the US Supreme Court. Last I knew the laws actually said corporations are people, so what is this "common sense" law that this judge is talking about?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to high density (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:16 PM

11. ^This.nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to high density (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 02:49 PM

44. Yes. Courts should explain it in clear language, or else

the ruling that set the precedent (including Citizen's United) should be struck down as vague and ambiguous.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:19 PM

4. Someone with more tax-knowledge than I have

Needs to look to see if a person did his or her taxes as if they were a corporation, if that would "rob" the government of significant revenue, or if they would receive a lot of government money as a corporation. After all, if corporations are people then people must be corporations.

After all, if there's some loophole that pays me as TlalocW, Inc. to help advertise my brand name in China, I want to take advantage of it.

TlalocW

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TlalocW (Reply #4)


Response to TlalocW (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:15 AM

32. No, I think corporations is an ethnicity of some sorts. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:28 PM

5. 5 of the supreme court judges aren't people either

Last edited Tue Jan 8, 2013, 12:56 AM - Edit history (1)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:35 PM

6. So a corporation is a person, except when it isn't?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Baitball Blogger (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 02:51 PM

45. Right? Why the vagueness and ambiguity of the term

renders it meaningless. The justice system should reflect that, IMO.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:36 PM

7. Hey, may be a stupid argument on his part but I

applaud his making this point - even if it was self serving.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Marie Marie (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:41 AM

25. Wasn't self-serving.

He's been driving around in HOV lanes for a while trying to get a ticket.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:43 PM

9. An invisible hand and a shadow corporation no one can see. What an ego!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:45 PM

10. Californa courts decided a long time ago that fetuses aren't persons for the purpose of carpooling.

But try to tell that to a Right-to_Lifer.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:16 PM

12. It's an interesting and creative idea

but I don't think it will work.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:49 PM

16. This guy's involved with children and mental health issues in the state

I knew I heard this guy's name before so I looked him up.

Sure enough he's a child advocate and deals with mental health issues.

Sounds like he needs some himself.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tempest (Reply #16)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 12:52 AM

21. I believe he's trying to make a point

and making legal precedent for "corporations aren't people".

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Voice for Peace (Reply #21)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:03 AM

28. And it is so sad you have to explain it.

Especially to people here at DU!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to pocoloco (Reply #28)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:52 AM

37. Do you really believe it's an effective strategy?

Because I see it as not helping at all.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tempest (Reply #37)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:55 AM

38. Of course, it's a simple and obvious step from that to

"Because I see it as not helping at all."

Of course, it's a simple and obvious step from that to "needing help..." as cited previously as the qualifier

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LanternWaste (Reply #38)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:58 AM

40. My point is that a piece of paper isn't a person and a corporation isn't just a piece of paper.

I don't agree with CU and I applaud his attempt, but I don't agree with it. Nor do I see it used successfully as a way of undermining CU.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tempest (Reply #40)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:53 PM

51. It's voodoo

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Voice for Peace (Reply #21)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:51 AM

36. He's not helping. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:49 PM

17. It does make the news a little more interesting. I know this guy's cause is dead but...

...he seems to like the journey getting there.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:54 PM

18. Johnathan Frieman is exactly right. Take it to the the Supreme man. Corps. are NOT people!

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:58 PM

19. This reminds me

of the guy who had the blow up doll in the car and tried to get away with that as an excuse. I don't remember if it ever got to court; I seriously doubt it - talk about a waste of taxpayer money.

I'm glad Frieman tried to get away with the argument, even if it was self serving. No doubt there have been more than a few people that have tried to file as a corporation on their taxes as well.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mimi85 (Reply #19)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 12:57 PM

42. "Self serving"? He's doing it for the people of the US at his own expense. You're comment is self

 

serving.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 06:35 AM

23. How dare he take away the rights of our corporate citizens!

Racism, that's what it is.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:58 AM

26. He cited the California Motor Vehicle Code,

which defined a corporation as a person. This would seem to contradict the judge and provide grounds for appeal.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:21 AM

33. Maybe they'll say part of a person doesn't count...

And keep the debate alive.

Although, since the corporation is still considered alive, which I assume it is if it's still a running business, then he could be in even more trouble.

This can get really weird.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:06 PM

46. I give him credit for going for it

Most people (*) wouldn't be so ballsy

(*) Corporations excluded

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:15 PM

52. The Legal Issue is who is a person for Car pool lane Purposes?

Last edited Wed Jan 9, 2013, 09:31 AM - Edit history (1)

In the list of definitions to the California Vehicle Code you have the following:

470. "Person" includes a natural person, firm, copartnership,
association, limited liability company, or corporation.
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d01/vc470.htm

Copy of the Complete California Vehicle code:
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/vc/vctoc.htm

High Occupancy Vehicles is NOT defined but lanes reserved for such High Occupancy Vehicles are in the Vehicle Code at 21655,5:
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=veh&group=21001-22000&file=21650-21664

I did notice, the above law left it up to the California Department of Motor Vehicles to determine how many people can be in a Vehicle for it to be a "High Occupancy Vehicle" in regards to any "High Occupancy Vehicle Lane" in the state. The Department could defined the number as 1 or 10 if it wanted to, and the number selected by the Department can vary from one "High Occupancy Vehicle Lane" to another "High Occupancy Vehicle Lane". Given that it is also stated that the Legislative policy was to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, it becomes clear that the Department can not only defined HOW many people are in a car to make it a "High Occupancy Vehicle" but also who and what is a "person" for that purpose. i.e. The Department could say it includes only licensed drivers, if it wanted to.

Sorry, a quick reading of the underlying statute leave any discretion as to who is a "Person" for purposes of the number of persons in the Vehicle to make it a "High Occupancy Vehicle" up to the the California Department of Motor Vehicles and by that Department's action it has defined persons as real people in the Vehicle.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 08:32 AM

57. Maybe Stephen Colbert will help highlight his cause.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread