City of Passaic is a “Police State” According to a Letter in Today’s Herald

14 08 2007

Herald News Letter to the Editor – Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Some reasons Passaic has a court backlog

One of the reasons for the huge court backlog in Passaic is that the city, and the court, are dealing with cases they have no business handling such as parking tickets for overtime parking that were given to disabled individuals who have a legal right to park overtime at a meter (see N.J.S.A. 39:4-207). Or perhaps prosecuting municipal disorderly person cases, when the New Jersey courts have ruled that municipal disorderly person ordinances are unenforceable. Or giving out tickets to ambulances, as was reported in the Herald News.

The city of Passaic, in my opinion, gives out tickets and prosecutes cases to raise money for the city coffers, not to punish wrongdoers, or obtain justice. The city relies on the fact that a great majority of the people who appear in the court cannot afford an attorney and don’t know what their rights are.

This allows the city to gain an unfair advantage over the uneducated and poor of the community.

And, since under New Jersey law you’re not entitled to have an attorney appointed for free if the fine is less than $750 and doesn’t involve jail time, there is no one to protect the rights of most who come into the Passaic courtroom.

In my opinion, Passaic has become a “police state,” with the court rubber-stamping everything the police do. And there’s no one to protect the rights of the accused.

–Saul Jaffe, Passaic

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3 responses

14 08 2007
disgusted

Guess who appoints the judges? The Mayor! So the judges do whatever the mayor wants. If he wants more money for the city, he tells the judges to come down hard.

14 08 2007
jones

when Sammy and Gary first took over they received 3-yr. federal grants to hire police officers and firefighters. When they are hired their salary is 22K per year. and when the grants run out their salaries are around 40K a year and in 5 yrs. they max out at 70K, before overtime. The grants have run out years ago and all the patronage jobs given to campaign workers under the grants will now burden the taxpayer. the grant money is gone and it’s up to us to pay. it’s time to cut the payroll and defer rank promotions.

the cops must earn their salaries. that’s good if the people deserve to be given a summons; however, at times, I think they are over zealous. What we need to do is weed out the ILLEGAL immigrants, clamp down on the owner-occupied ILLEGAL housing and start holding the landlords accountable for renting out their basements and attics.

If you want evidence of a police state, look at this article where you see dozens of police officers pointing high-powered rifles at an old lady in her home. There is something in the constituion regarding property rights. The print edition had the pictures, the internet article does not. Imagine a SWAT team invading your home do to a simple housing infraction.

http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkzNTcmZmdiZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTY1NTc1NzAmeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkz

16 08 2007
Passaic’s Jewish Community Targeted in Ticket Blitz « Passaic - Clifton Jewish News

[…] letter to the editor printed in the Herald two days ago (click here to view) called The City of Passaic a “Police State,”  and wrote that “The city of […]

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