|This is where you get your answers about the last State legal case that resulted in the
State of California recognizing that helmet violations can be correctable violations, and
resulting in the CHP defining, in their policy manual, what a helmet is.
The No List No Law Factor then began moving east to do the similar legal challenges
to motorcycle helmet laws and enforcement inconsistencies in other states.
There has been a Domino Effect.
The following people were plaintiffs in the previous case:
COMPLAINT FOR INJUNCTIVE AND DECLARATORY RELIEF in California
|RICHARD QUIGLEY d-9-15-07
|Q "It seems like you guys are just trying to be wise guys, riding around with helmets
you made yourselves. How is that going to help your law suit to get rid of the helmet law?
|DON BLANSCET answers:
By illustrating how unclear the law is, we make it easier to understand that the law
is not enforceable unless the helmet law is sufficiently clear enough that a person
understands how to comply with it.
There is an illusion that there are articulable, objective criteria from which a
consumer or a police officer can make a determination as to whether a helmet
complies or not. That is false.
Absent articulable, objective criteria, anything the manufacturer says is a helmet IS,
in fact, a helmet.
|RED BARRON answers:
I am not sure by your question if you support the helmet law. If you believe it is the
government's responsibility to tell you what and what not to wear, and if you
believe safety is more important than freedom and tolerance, you should consider
moving somewhere where individual liberty and freedom are superseded by
government control. And if you choose to stay don't worry, even if we are
successful you will still be able to wear a helmet whenever you choose.
If you oppose the helmet law, I have a question for you. What have you done to
oppose the helmet law? Constructive complaining has value at times. But I believe
you must be active in some fashion, either in support or in opposition of the
helmet law, otherwise why would you make an effort to write? Thank you for caring!
And thank you for your statement that those who manufacture and certify their own
helmets are wise. I personally manufactured a 5 inch diameter coconut shell helmet
that won in court. And my mother manufactured and certified that my skull complies
with all applicable statutes. If you read and understand all applicable helmet law
statutes you will understand that my mother and I, and a handful of like minded
wise men are doing is perfectly legal, even if you might think it is absurd. This
absurdity is real and is obvious to anyone who takes the time to educate
themselves. Are you in law enforcement by chance?
The Department of Transportation does not approve helmets. Yet riders are being
cited for wearing helmets that, in the opinion of law enforcement officers are "not
DOT approved". Do you see the flaw here? Every law must be clear as to what
ordinary citizen and "wise guys" must do to comply with it. The helmet law is not
clear at all. There is no list of approved helmets, so how can you be certain that
your helmet is legal? You can't, and just because "the cops say so" has no legal
foundation. Legal foundations are the responsibility of the legislative and judicial
branches of our government. Unfortunately, most sheeple do whatever they are
told, no matter how absurd it may be. What type of person are you? Do you lead,
follow or just complain about things you don't understand? Any of those are better
than doing nothing, thank you for that.
If you really want to learn how the helmet law works go buy a Vehicle Code book at
your local DMV. Read 27803 and 27802 for starters. Then take a look at 40303.5 and
40522. If you get that far and want to learn more let me know. Knowledge is power
and ignorance is not always bliss. As long as we have free will it is up to each of us
to decide what is important enough to us to get involved and get educated. I am
not a lawyer. I quit high school to join the Navy. It doesn't take a special ability or a
high IQ to educate yourself, it only takes the will to do so.
Everyone has a will . . . the real question is what will you do with it?
I hope this answers your question and helps you on your path to knowledge,
whatever that may be.
|PAT HOLMES answers:
You have to understand this issue has been going on for years.
In the beginning there was an extraordinary amount of harassment from the CHP
and allied police agencies trying to get the point across that they wanted us to
wear some sort of headgear that might please someone, somewhere.
When we received tickets for wearing what appeared to be perfectly good
helmets, it became necessary to address the issue in court. The officers learned
very quickly we would tie them up in court, and decided to leave the recognized
activists alone and harass others less knowledgeable.
It became necessary to "push the envelope" so to speak, by fabricating our own
headgear (which, by law, is perfectly legal) in order to get tickets so we could
address the flaws of the law in court. What resulted is what we have now. An
You may perceive us simply being a bunch of trouble-makers when actually we did
(and still do) have a legitimate agenda, taking out a law that is absolutely flawed.
You've heard the old saying. Get on board, or get outta the way!
Financial help in any amount, no matter how large or small, will help
make the next lawsuit possible, and is appreciated. The benefits of
winning in California will resonate in other states; the state laws are
linked to the same Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
To donate to the Judicial fight to end enforcement of California's
helmet law and the other 8 states in the 9th Circuit, use the PayPal
You can help insure our case is successful by donating money for this
Thank you for your help.
|The Quigley v. CHP Civil Case filed
in Santa Cruz County can be seen
|To donate money to
the next lawsuit that
will be filed for the
removal of the
law, use the PayPal
|Here is the CHP's response.
| On February 13th 2007, the Judge
ruled that we have a good case against
the CHP and the court case will
continue to the next level.
We win, CHP loses the first round.
CHP has been ruled in Contempt of
Court in Santa Cruz County for refusing
to sign off helmet tickets, and the
Appellate Court ruled in January 2008,
that BOLT was right - helmet tickets ARE
Now, it looks as though the CHP has all
but lost everything they have been
fighting for before trial.
The update Quigley wrote on the Santa
Cruz helmet cases can be found HERE.
May 19, 2008 was the trial date.
|Don Blanscet answers:
The answer to this question is multi part:
(a) lack of application
(d) political correctness
(f) Lack of unity
dissect the list above.
(a) because we the riders who are molested are prone to let other forces in our
lives keep us from spending the time and energy to learn our rights and how the
system works, the average victim goes to court to bitch that it should be his
choice, etc, etc, when in reality we need to argue the legal merits of our cases and
we need to know what those merits are, how they come into play and when to
argue them and whom to argue them to, see (g) above.
If in fact this court fighting were being applied across the board in Calif., in some
co-ordinated fashion, lack of application would come off the list.
(b) Plain old fashioned bigotry speaks for it self; it is true that for some reason that
judges and commissioners view motorcycle misdemeanants differently than other
offenders and it is only through continuous application of our cases in a reasoned,
thought-out legal approach, in a language that they understand, that we can hope
to dispel this negative impression.
It is not how we dress but what we say that will carry the most weight before the
Courts, if you dress nice and say uniformed things that are not relevant then you
are in fact the embodiment of his bigoted beliefs. I wear jeans and leather for my
court appearances and when I speak they listen because I have spent the time to
learn their language. It is not how you look, but what you say that matters in court. I
know people will disagree with me but I have won 60 tickets, lost 3, and have one
still pending, all while wearing leather and "helmet this, mother(*<^er" t-shirts, or
some other politically in correct insulting shirt that expresses my anger.
(c) laziness is self evident also, the guy on the bench is lazy and relies on policy to
guide him, the rider is lazy cause he doesn't want to learn (the court's) language
and policy and how to point out the flaws in that policy. If we were a sports team
there would be practices and team meetings so that when the team took the field,
the team would be ready to compete and be competitive. You can't be lazy and
competitive, it takes work and the average rider is too lazy to prepare (practice)
and the average guy on the bench is too busy to learn your language, so to speak.
Why should he, you are in his court room not yours (see (d) below and above.
(d) This aspect is very difficult to address because being correct may not be
connected to being right in their mind, Those guys on the bench usually have a
personal agenda and being on your side even if you are right may jeopardize their
own standing on the ladder of upward mobility (job advancement)
(e) Arrogance is also pretty easy to understand, the courts went to school for this
and you didn't, they get paid to do this and you don't, they speak the language and
you don't and thus they feel vindicated that they know what's right (legal) and you
don't. And we wonder why the courts truly believe that they know what's best for
you and you don't.
(f) Lack of unity falls on us the riders to fix, nobody else. If we are united,
motivated and prepared (practiced) and we speak their language, then lack of unity
is no longer a problem for us and becomes a problem for them! After all they are
united against us, so why shouldn't we be united against them?
(g) Traffic Court. This is where items (b), (c), (d), and (e) come together to present
an obstacle 98% of us will not overcome.
Why? Because first and foremost you don't speak their language, you didn't
prepare and you're not united which equates to laziness. How? Because first and
foremost, most people will talk to traffic commissioners and I refuse to talk to
anybody but a real judge. Why talk to someone whose sole role is to take your
money, regardless if you are right or wrong.
How do I do this? I speak their language! Not as well as they do, of course but well
enough for them to realize that I am applying myself, and I am not going away, and
bull$&!+ answers and rulings are going to be challenged. I practice and prepare
and when I go to court I am ready to compete in their game! And I don't quit, if I get
a set back, I just apply more effort because many of those people will respect
determination motivated by principal; Maybe not the first, second or third or fourth
time, but I have found most courts respect determination and application of quality
effort. They don't welcome you with open arms but when they call your case, they
know you are bringing your "A" game. Most will privately respect you as an
You don't need a law degree (look at me), you don't need to be the best speller
(look at me), nor do you need to be the best dressed (look at me) nor the most
articulate defendant (look at me) what you need to be is a member of a team that
has practiced and prepared for battle, who is willing to apply unrelentingly our
game plan! (look at me) I offer myself as an example, for when the law was passed I
was just a mechanic that fixed cars and rode motorcycles at high rates of speed
with reckless abandon!
In summation, I guess could have answered this question with the following:
We aren't a team and they are, we don't practice and they do, we aren't united and
they are, we don't speak the language and they do.
With all of that being said let me close with this, what I have outlined as the
problems above can be cured with the following:
Unity, practice (preparation) and unrelenting application of effort.
It wouldn't take that many people (300 state wide would be plenty) to implement
what I think the cure is, or could be. Don't misunderstand me; I think that the effort
applied to legislatively seeking relief is very necessary and not to be abandoned,
but it by itself, in my opinion, will not get the job done. The focus is too narrow and
limited. Not withstanding the question was regarding the Courts, not the whole
solution to the problem.
Thank you for the chance to add my two cents to the mix.
I welcome further discussion on my (our) ideas.
|Q "In your opinion, why don't more Judges see the problems with the enforcement of the
helmet law, the correctability issue, understand the self certification process, and as a result, rule
in our favor more often?"
|The most knowledgeable guys on helmet law and court battles - the Plaintiffs in the Civil Suit -
answer your questions. What would you ask them, if you could ask anything? Read how they
answer these questions.
Read this update to be sure you know everything there is to know about the
Civil case against the California Highway Patrol (CHP), and the status of the
Contempt Of Court charge against the CHP which was dismissed by the 6th
Appellate District Court. In that decision, the Judges wrote that the CHP was
wrong, and violations of the helmet law are fix-it tickets. We got 90% of what
we wanted in that decision, even though the court saved the CHP from the
Contempt of Court conviction.
The Civil Case against the CHP was heard in Santa Cruz Municipal Court in
The Judge dismissed our case against the CHP.
Negotiations between the Attorney General, the CHP, and BOLT members
produced an agreement that changed the way police officers treat helmet
tickets and the way the court sees helmet violations.
We convinced the CHP to ask the California Judicial Council (CJC) to change
the Bail and Penalty Schedule to show Judges and court employees that helmet
violations are correctable (fix-it tickets). The CHP Commissioner wrote a
letter in September asking for this change, and on December 9, 2008 the CJC
voted to revise the Bail and Penalty Schedule as we had asked.
As you can read from the bottom of page 2 (starting with Correctable offenses)
and continuing on page 3, the Office of the Courts references our determined
legal battles in Court as the reason for these changes.
This clearly moves the chains toward the goal. How much further will we have
to go for a complete win? I wish I knew how long it will take. I know continuing
the battle is the only way to keep from losing. We are winning every time we
fight because our Cause is right and our strategy is very good.
Keep it here to stay up on the next move.
Make sure you notify us immediately if you, or anyone you know, gets any
|Judicial Q & A
A Direct Link To The Group Who Sued The CHP
|On February 8, 2008 the Judge in the civil case conducted a hearing on the
CHP's Motion for Summary Judgement.
The CHP's lawyer, the Attorney General of California (AG), asked the
judge if they could just win before we got started because their case was so
strong (MSJ). But the judge said our case was strong and he hinted that
there could even be an Injunction to stop enforcement of the helmet law
You can help spread the word that we are gearing up for another law suit.
1.) Tell your friends who want the helmet law in California to go away they
can help make that happen with a few dollars.
If you, or someone you know, got a ticket for a helmet violation in
California within the last 5 years - we need to know your name and how to
contact you. Better yet - scan and e-mail a jpg or pdf copy of your ticket.
If you don't have a copy of the ticket anymore, let us know who wrote it?
When? Did the officer say you needed a "DOT approved" helmet?
Best case scenario, email us a copy of the ticket, a picture of the helmet,
and jot down what the officer said was wrong with your helmet; in other
words, why you got a ticket - why he said your helmet was not legal?
We will need this information for evidence in a trial if we hope to eliminate
the California helmet law.
With enough of you showing the judge there is a lot of improperly written
helmet tickets -
there's good reason to shut down enforcement.
Don't wait; send the helmet ticket info now.
Email it to the webmaster
|Read the 6th Appellate Decision here.
Then click that donation button above
to help us finish the job.