Dear 100 Hour Board,
Last year my wife, who is not a student at BYU, got a parking ticket on BYU campus. She was parked in a "service vehicle only" spot on Sunday. She never paid the ticket and refuses to do so. My questions are as follows: 1) Can BYU force my wife to pay her fine through legal action? 2) Is it morally correct to pay the meter-reading "cops" with tithing funds for working on the Lord's day of rest?
-breakin the Law!
Dear Wanna-Be Criminal's Husband,
I wish I could ask why your wife was parked in that spot to begin with, but I guess I'll dismiss your spouse's initial possible joke-law breaking maneuver (service vehicles only, and she was parking there on a Sunday to give service, right?) for a words' worth (there--WORD), besides her illiteracy for not being able to read most likely heavily posted signs, and stubborness (in that it's gone on already a year?!!), to discuss your question in five parts:
#1- I don't know if BYU would make her go through a court proceeding for the fine. If you ask them about it, they might give you a hearing date. It seems like she has little case on her side to keep her from paying the fine. You're probably her character witness and you confessed before the entire board that she did it with intent to park there, at the very least. Any court fees she'd rack up, not to mention if you want to get a lawyer worth anything- that's going to cost you probably more than the fine and the emotional hassle and court paperwork, etc. is worth. Through your indications, you seemed to say that you ARE a student and as such probably don't make enough yet to support anything worth calling a case, unfortunately enough.
#2- I don't know about ROTC beat-downs. I'm not living in the bubble right now, my Grandma died on the 26th of November (writing this on the 28th to numb some grief by kicking written tail), I watch CNN and Afghanistan instead of KBYU and Teletubbies, and read the Washington Post instead of the Daily Universe, so I haven't had time for (from 2,000 miles away at least) seemingly insignificant hussles between students. (If the ROTC exersized unrighteous dominion over students, they need to be disciplined and made to do community service at the very least. Sorry, but I'm not up to date on that story.)
#3- I don't know if the cops are paid by the church or by Provo. In any case, whoever's paying them needs to give them a congratulatory pat on the back for doing their job since your wife WAS parked illegally, according to what you wrote. I'm grateful that cops, firefighters, and doctors work on Sunday and protect me and my peace of mind when I'm worshiping God. So long as it's done in shifts where they can get to meetings most Sundays out of the month, I find it a high and noble sacrifice that they'd bother taking time out to help those in need and catch the law-breakers on their day of rest. I greatly doubt they ticketed your wife with malicious intent.
They're honorable citizens, doing their job on Sunday because there are people out there parking in service-only spaces when they're not service vehicles-- breaking the law on Sunday. If you have any problems with cops, firefighters, or others like that in general, I recommend you talk with a few of them from NYC and tell them that your wife is justified because they shouldn't be doing their jobs on Sunday.
#4- It doesn't matter whether or not she's a BYU student. She parked in a spot where she wasn't supposed to unless she was actually in a "service" vehicle, and so she got ticketed. On any given Sunday, there are multiple places to prowl, and in the prowling pursuit, eventually find a parking spot. I'd say that she has even more fault than a student, considering that if she was parked in a BYU space on Sunday, she should know that those spaces go by too fast for words and BYU students need to use them every day other than and including the Sabbath. In general, BYU students have to buy little stickers for their cars in order to park in the lots in the first place. See, we already give the school a form of "protection money" for our cars to NOT be ticketed in certain lots and certain times, etc. Even still, a student or a non-student would be ticketed for that type of spot if it wasn't a service vehicle.
#5-According to the evidence brought before this court, I (the judge, jury, and sentencer in my little mental courtroom Judge Judy,) find your wife is guilty and stands to be convicted. Unless the fine is more than you can afford without help, I'd say pay it and stay outta my court room.
Hits her gavel; case dismissed,
Fresh from VA AKA Killer Uno Addict
Dear breakin the Law:
According to my understanding, Yes and Yes. The BYU Police are an extension of the Provo Police. You could always argue that BYU is private property, but then they could press charges for tresspassing which carries steeper penalties. As far as meter reading cops go, I am glad that my reserved parking is always open for me because they always have an eye or two in the bushes.
-Knut the great
According to the university police, citations are given out on Sundays in an effort to keep emergency access to all the buildings available to police and fire departments. The service vehicle spot in which your wife parked was one reserved for them. Since emergencies happen weather it is Sunday or not, emergency services have to work every day of the week also; including Sundays, holidays, conference weekend, finals week, birthdays, and national elections. The university cops are there to make sure in case of emergency, they have access to the buildings, and tickets tend to be an effective deterrent.
In answer to your first question, yes. University police are real police with a limited jurisdiction. Ignoring a ticket issued by the police is not a good thing to have on your record, but if you feel it is unwarranted, you have 14 days to appeal it. Simply refusing to pay it is the least effective way to get your point across.
In response to your second question, in a first presidency message from 1973 president Romney stated "Latter-day Saints should strictly obey the laws of the government in which they live. By our own declaration of faith we are committed to do so, for we declare to the world that 'we believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.' (A of F 1:12.) This we do in harmony with the Lord?s command" Part of sustaining the law is providing representitives to insure that those on byu campus are obeying the law. Unfortunately, that requires people to work on sunday. For further questions, see http://www.byu.edu/stlife/up/ or http://www.lds.org
Dear Breakin' the Law-
I don't know whether or not the BYU ticket office will come after your wife legally because she refuses to pay her ticket, but let me tell you this: I hope they do.
You see, similar to the fact that criminals will committ crimes on Sunday, inanimate objects are also known to NOT keep the Sabaath Day holy. Sometimes, things such as water pipes, gas lines, sinks, toilets, electrical lines, etc who don't understand that its the Lord's day of rest break down on Sunday. When this happens, things need to be fixed right away, seeing as all BYU buildings are in use for church meetings on Sunday. So BYU has parking space available right near each building so trucks carrying the equipment to fix a facilities problem can park as close to the building as possible. Of course, problems don't always happen on Sunday, and often problems may not occur on Sundays except for once or twice a year. But unfortunately, gas lines and sinks don't tell you the exact time and date of when they will break down, so that is why the service parking spaces must be kept open at all times. As for the ticket officers working on Sunday-if your wife (and people like her) would simply follow the rules and park in another space, then they wouldn't have to be working on Sunday. IT IS BECAUSE OF PEOPLE LIKE YOUR WIFE THAT THEY HAVE TO WORK. If everyone followed the laws of the land, like we are supposed to, then they wouldn't have to work on Sundays to enforce the laws. By the way, two wrongs don't make a right. Even if you are convinced its wrong to get a ticket on Sunday, refusing to pay it and breaking the rules of BYU doesn't help your cause and make you right - it just makes you a self-righteous schmuck who thinks he is above the law. So pay up, follow the rules, and stop whining.