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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, August 10, 2018

Angry Magistrate Imposes Court Costs on Man Who Beat Parking Ticket

Most of you need no law degree to know that it is fundamentally unfair for a judge to punish someone for winning a case. Yet that's exactly what happened on Wednesday in the mini star chamber of mini Judge Roy A. "the Martinet" Manwaring II.  He did so in a case involving, of all things, a parking ticket. At Northern Southern Ohio Law School, or wherever the hell he went, he apparently never learned about the Constitution. Either that or he was asleep.

Now Roy the Martinet is actually a former Ass't District Attorney. He made such a big impression there that I never noticed him. Now he's in his second term on the Judge JV squad, just waiting for an opening. He wears a black robe and everything! Now even if he was watching soaps during law school, as most people from Western-Eastern Southern Ohio Law School are wont to do, you'd think he might have picked up a tidbit or two about the Constitution by now.

Apparently not.

Let me tell you about the big case in front of Magistrate Martinet on Wednesday.

Nazareth residents Ryan and Christine Woodmansee visited Bethlehem for a night of shopping and dinner, but the meter was not accepting credit cards and they had no loose change. They took pictures to show that the screen was blank when they tried to use their card. When they returned to their car, they had a ticket on their windshield.

They intended to dispute the parking violation, but life happened, as it sometimes does. They did respond to the citation they received in the mail, and scheduled a hearing for Wednesday. Ryan took an afternoon off from work and the entire family came down to the Bethlehem Star Chamber,not to be confused with the Moravian Star..

According to the Woodmansees, Manwaring was rude and condescending to them. That's a pretty big mistake on his part. Christine Woodmansee is a slight figure, but she and her husband are both quite forceful people. They organized the opposition in Nazareth to a jail at Gracedale, and are pretty much the reason former executive John Brown is former Executive John Brown. .

During the hearing, a witness for the Bethlehem Parking Authority acknowledged that there had been a glitch in the system on the day they were cited. Basically, he threw in the towel. But Martinet Manwaring was having none of it. He looked at their photographic evidence skeptically and wanted to know why they didn't use coins.

They had none. That's why Bethlehem has credit card slots on their parking meters, Dumbass.

Excuse me, that should be Magistrate Dumbass. I must be respectful.

Martinet Manwaring II reluctantly found the Woodmansees not guilty, but ordered them to pay the court costs. He reasoned that it's no fault of the taxpayer that Woodmansee failed to respond immediately to the ticket. What's more, he told them they had to pay these costs ($57.25) before leaving his office.

There was a time when judges did order acquitted defendants to pay court costs. By 1966, Pennsylvania was the only state in the country still following this practice. In Giaccio v. Pennsylvania, decided that year, the US Supreme Court ruled that the statute authorizing this sanction on innocent people is unconstitutional.

This sanction violates the most fundamental concept of due process. It punishes a defendant who has been found not guilty of any offense charged.

Was Manwaring, a Republican, punishing the Woodmansees for their opposition to former Executive John Brown, a fellow Republican? Does he exercise a different kind of justice against people who live outside his district? Or is he just an unfair person? He woud do well to remember the words of Governour Morris. "This magistrate is not the king. The people are the king."

This money should be refunded to the Woodmansees immediately, and Martinet Manwaring II should personally return the money along with an apology.

The Ballad of Martinet Manwaring II (with apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan)

When I was a lad I served a term
As office boy to Morganelli's firm.
I cleaned the windows and I swept the floor,
And I polished up the handle of the big front door.
I polished up that handle so carefullee
That now I am the Ruler of the Judge Javees!

As office boy I made such a mark
That they gave me the post of a junior clark.
I served the writs with a smile so bland,
And I copied all the letters in a big round hand —
I copied all the letters in a hand so free,
That now I am the Ruler of the Judge Javees!

Updated 11:15 am: The Woodmansees have asked me to note that their card actually worked the first time. It was when they attempted to refresh their card in the middle of dinner that they got a blank screen and photographed it.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did he violate their Constitutional rights?

Anonymous said...

The guy is a poor excuse for a magistrate.

Anonymous said...

So why is the real judge that is in charge of these phony judges not punishing him?

Bernie O'Hare said...

He's not a phony judge. You elected him.This just happened, and I am sure it will be addressed.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if he spent more time studying the law and less time cruising the internet on state time at court this wouldn't have happened.

Anonymous said...

Roy look at Christine as though he was undressing her ?.I was a neighbor of Roy,he made the Ladies uncomfortable and he is a quart low.

Anonymous said...

And now his imbecility will cost taxpayers far more than he illegally attempted to save them. What a sound fiscal conservative. We live in stupid times and are ruled by stupid people elected by stupid people. Elections have stupid consequences.

Anonymous said...

Years ago I parked at a meter in front of my office as I was picking up items to deliver to a client later that morning. After putting several coins in I finally woke up, realized it was broken, and called and reported meter was not working to the Bethlehem Parking Authority. They thanked me, said someone would be there right away, and also said if I did not move my car right away I would be ticketed.

Anonymous said...

Judges and lawyers, often one in the same, are accountable only to themselves. Check and you will see. No wonder nothing ever changes

Anonymous said...

Right, why not just find another parking spot? Another example of people being upset for something they could have easily avoided by making a better decision initially.

And it's a bit of a reach to say they are the cause of John Brown not being elected. Upper Nazareth is 2% of the population of Northampton County, John Brown lost by over 7.5% of the vote. I think Bernie just has a crush on the wife.

Anonymous said...

Agree, find another spot. Sorry to inconvenience them...

Anonymous said...

Well you two have never been to Bethlehem, parking spaces are far and few between because people actually come here... unlike the town you live in

Anonymous said...

He is not the only one. Stop by the Honorable Judge Maura's courtroom in Lehigh County sometime, the norm is imposing "court costssssssssss" regardless of the outcome of the hearing. I never understood the rationalization by these judges that their staff works so hard and the court deserves to be compensated despite the outcome of the hearing. Is this really the way the judicial system is supposed to work? Everyone is worried about cops writing tickets to pad the city's bank account (very untrue by the way, the city gets very little and often must pay officers overtime to attend hearings) while this cash grab is going on in full public view!

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Right, why not just find another parking spot? Another example of people being upset for something they could have easily avoided by making a better decision initially.

And it's a bit of a reach to say they are the cause of John Brown not being elected. Upper Nazareth is 2% of the population of Northampton County, John Brown lost by over 7.5% of the vote. I think Bernie just has a crush on the wife."


Your point about Woodmansees having no impact is wishful thinking. The issue they raised resonated outside the area. But I agree it is just a possibility.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Did he violate their Constitutional rights?"

Absolutely.

Anonymous said...

Another example of New Yorkers feeling entitled. Could not go into a store and get change? Blew off the citation? This is on them. You only jumped don it because it is, 1.against John Brown and 2.you want the hand job you will never get.

Bernie O'Hare said...

So is that what this is about? Applying the law unevenly to people who may not have been from this area originally? But your vulgarity makes clear what kind of people support Brown.

Anonymous said...

First of all you are classless, secondly where do you see they are from NY? I did not see it mentioned in the article. Am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

Bethlehem is a joke when it comes to parking tickets....I was once ticketed for parking on a street. There was no sign around. After getting the ticket I drove around and notice one sign on the end of the block which pointed towards the rest of the street. In other words the sign at the end was to cover the entire block. What kind of scam is that? A few weeks later I was in the area again and notice they put up signs along the street. Now, why didn't they do that to start with? I know, they want to punish honest people for doing business in the city. Its a shame.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see someone get justice from the bureaucratic leviathan. Anyone visiting Bethlehem or Easton should expect to be worked over by their voracious parking monsters. Easton grabs over a 41 million per year to cover irresponsible spending while being legally unable to raise taxes any higher. We all know the rules. That's why avoid those two town like the plague. Everything they offer can be had outside their cities, with plentiful free parking and none of that annoying getting mugged or shot stuff.

Anonymous said...

* $1million .... not 41

Anonymous said...

Why does everything have to be about "big greedy government"? If you park legally and feed the meter, you will not be ticketed. If you don't want to come to the city and follow the rules, stay home in the sticks and watch the grass grow.

Anonymous said...

Why are people not understanding that the meter was fed! The meter had a glitch and did not take the CC. Enough with making these people look like they are entitled.

Anonymous said...

They pushed the fake news about the prison and that is why O'Hare is excusing their breaking the law.

Anonymous said...

You must not have read the article. The meter had a glitch, and they didn’t break a law. And the prison was not fake news. But nice try.

Anonymous said...

I feel like many people, although entitled to their opinions, are missing the point of this. In court, they were found NOT GUILTY and were ordered to pay court costs. That is the issue.

Anonymous said...

I love Hellertown, no fuckin parking meters...

Anonymous said...

The majority of the fees is Constable costs. That is because he let it get to an arrest warrant. Those fees need to be paid for their delay in responding to the court and resolving things.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The docket fails to reflect that a warrant was issued. If one was, so what? Innocent people should never be compelled to pay the costs of a warrant that does not even appear on the docket. Also, there is absolutely no statutory authority for this Marinet Manwaring II was being a pig for his constable, and needs to stick his hand in his own pocket and reimburse the Woodmansees. An apology is appropriate, too.

This is the same MDJ who gossips behind the backs of other MDJs, but apparently thinks he can do what he wants. If this is not resolved quickly, I can guarantee that I myself will start doing research to see who many Woodmansees have been screwed.

Anonymous said...

Bernie - It does...it state's Server fees....$27.50

Anonymous said...

I'm not defending Manwaring, I've heard more then a few things and none of it good...he (Defendant) is wrong however if they failed to respond to a citation in time after being notified of such and a warrant issued, the constable deserves to be paid and that payment shouldn't come from the taxpayers.

Bernie O'Hare said...

How many times do I have to tell you that the docket sheet shows quite clearly that there NEVER WAS A WARRANT.

Anonymous said...

Bernie - The public case docket won't show it, scroll down for the fees and costs... there is CLEARLY....SERVER FEES ATTACHED TO THIS CASE OF $27.50 Those are for CONSTABLE FEES,......Warrant = $25.00 Return of Service $2.50....if you do not believe me go to the court and pull the case file and see for yourself...I would then expect you to come back on here and apologize that you were wrong. Thank you

Anonymous said...

FYI, Hellertown does give parking tickets even though there are no meters. I got one once and had a warrant issued for not responding in time. I appeared for the hearing and explained to then Judge Tidd that I was working third shift and was sleeping when I should have moved my car. Tidd took pity on me saying that he was glad he didn't have to work nights regularly. He threw out the ticket, but I was stopped on my way out by a secretary saying that I had to pay for the warrant. Tidd overheard and instructed the woman to let me go, the case was dismissed. The secretary began to argue with him in front of everybody saying that's not how the old judge did it, or something like that. Tidd said he didn't care what the guy before him did, that when a defendant is found not guilty there is no cost to a defendant. I remember this because Tidd actually sent me a letter apologizing for the confusion and he included a copy of a case that explained how he was right. Manwaring should should take a lesson from the man I hear he is always talking trash about.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Bernie - The public case docket won't show it, scroll down for the fees and costs... there is CLEARLY....SERVER FEES ATTACHED TO THIS CASE OF $27.50 Those are for CONSTABLE FEES,......Warrant = $25.00 Return of Service $2.50....if you do not believe me go to the court and pull the case file and see for yourself...I would then expect you to come back on here and apologize that you were wrong. Thank you"


I saw that. I looked at the docket BEFORE I wrote this story. The Wodmansees were charged a "server fee" even though the docket fails to indicate a warrant was issued. How long do you think I have looked at minor courts. When a warrant is issued, I ALWAYS see it. The reason it does not appear here is because there never was a warrant and you are just taking care of a constable buddy. Also I've got news for you. You may not impose a warrant fee on someone if he is not guilty of the underlying charge. You violated due process. I could see a fee for contempt if someone disobeys the court, but you did not charge contempt, did you? And to think you are one of the biggest gossips about other MDJs.

Anonymous said...

There cannot be a server fee added to the system if there was not a warrant. Can't happen.

Anonymous said...

If for some reason a server fee was charged and the system allowed it and there was no warrant then the court should refund the monies and the court administrator should be made aware. The server fee was referred to county which means the constable billed the county his constable fee and submitted it to fiscal and your buddy Baron for payment. You are correct if the person is found not guilty they are to pay zero fees, in this case it was dismissed they weren't found not guilty.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"There cannot be a server fee added to the system if there was not a warrant. Can't happen."

Let's assume you are correct. If the Defendant is exonerated, the commw should eat the costs. Imposing costs upon an innocent Defendant violates his constitutional rights. Martinet Manwaring II apparently thinks he can thumb his nose at the due process clause. Now i can see some instances where there is a contempt or something of that nature, justifying costs. But we did not have that here. In fact, if this is going on routinely, a class action suit should be filed.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"You are correct if the person is found not guilty they are to pay zero fees, in this case it was dismissed they weren't found not guilty."

To me that makes things worse."Not Guilty" means the Commw failed in its burden."Dismissed" means that the case was tossed by the MDJ as one that should never have been filed. If that is so, then there is no basis for imposing costs. This is the kind of nonsensical thinking I would expect from a lawyer who lacks common sense. You think that by saying you dismissed the case, that means you can impose costs. Wrong. Dismissing the case means that you recognize it should never have been filed. This practice needs to stop immediately. How many innocent Defendants are being penalized when the underlying charges against them have no worth? The more I think about this the more outraged I am by what is happening.

"the constable billed the county his constable fee and submitted it to fiscal and your buddy Baron for payment."

Since the docket fails to show a warrant was issued, I'd insist on seeing it before paying a dime. You have a nice little racket going and are charging constable fees on innocent defendants for constables who do nothing. Steve Barron will not like hearing this at all.

Anonymous said...


"Since the docket fails to show a warrant was issued, I'd insist on seeing it before paying a dime. You have a nice little racket going and are charging constable fees on innocent defendants for constables who do nothing. Steve Barron will not like hearing this at all."

I don't have any racket going on LOL I'm explaining to you how things work...The court is the one and the MDJ signed the server fee sheet that the constable must submit to the county to be paid. There can't be a server fee if a warrant wasn't issued, period, the AOPC computers will not allow it..now if that wasn't included in the documents when you reviewed them or sat outside on a desk IDK but server fees were assessed and referred to the county for payment and a Judge approved and signed a constable's pay sheet. If a warrant get's issued and the constable does his job he is still entitled to be paid it doesn't matter if the defendant wins or the case is dismissed he get's paid for doing a job. I suggest you contact Manwaring's court tomorrow either on the phone and in person and inquire about the warrant costs and who got paid the $27.50 because the docket transcript clearly shows a constable getting paid.

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's the whole point of this story. A constable was paid,and by an exonerated Defendant. That is totally improper. I have no problem with paying a constable, but the county has to bear the cost of it when a Defendant is found not guilty or the charge is "dismissed." That's what the due process clause means. Tell me, what is the statutory basis for imposing costs on a Defendant who is found not guilty? There is none. Where does it say in the MDJ rules that a magistrate can tax an exonerated Defendant with costs? It says that nowhere. This was done without any basis in the law, the rules, or the constitution.

Anonymous said...

Bernie - I agree if that if the defendant is found not guilty or the charge is dismissed there should be zero fees to them. BUT...if a warrant was issued due to non response within the time period and the constable did his job he needs to be paid as well. I'm sure you will look into this and come back with an answer or their resolution to this. My comments weren't made to be disrespectful to anyone I just wanted you to be aware that the online docket transcript absolutely shows server fees of $27.50 (warrant costs) and those fees for that docket were approved by the MDJ and submitted to the county for payment despite what you may have seen in the file.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"if a warrant was issued due to non response within the time period and the constable did his job he needs to be paid as well."

No one disputes that the constable needs to be paid if a warrant was issued. But when a Defendant is acquitted, the source of that payment is the county, not the innocent defendant. There is no basis in the law, the MDJ rules or the constitution, for imposing this payment on a defendant. The MDJ has no authority to compel the defendant to pay anything, absent a separate finding of contempt. This is totally wrong.