Jul 23, 2009

Now this is a pretty funny story:
Judge Rules on Boston's EPA Stamp Act "restraining order

Justice Riders who filed suit against the City of Boston's "EPA Stamp Tax"Ordinance received word late Tuesday afternoon the Superior Court denied theirrequest for a temporary restraining order for enforcement of the $300 findOrdinance.

Yet the riders cheered the Court's decision that places the City 'on notice'that it may be held responsible for reimbursing motorcyclists for any finesimposed, and their costs associated with defending the $300 citations, if theirComplaint to strike down the Ordinance is successful.

In her well reasoned five-page decision, Suffolk Superior Court JusticeGeraldine S. Hines, found the five Plaintiffs, Paul W. Cote, William E. Gannon,II, Michael D. Longtin, Vincent A. Silvia, and Lawrence Cahill, although notBoston residents, had "standing" to bring the action that would void theOrdinance. However, the plaintiffs did not meet the standing that "irreparableharm" would be caused to riders if enforcement took place, as none had beencited and fined yet.

Judge Hines, in her ruling, opened the door that the City of Boston, and it'staxpayers, may be responsible to reimburse cited riders for fines imposed and"costs" associated with defending those imposed fines, should the Court laterfind the Ordinance be struck down.

"This is still a partial victory for riders," claimed Plaintiff Cote ofAmesbury. "While we hoped the Judge would temporarily restrain the misguided EPA stampenforcement, this is better than what we hoped for."

The Justice Riders will co-host a EPA (Either Pay or Act) Citizen-Biker RallyMonday night from 7:00 until 9:00 p.m. at the Hard Rock Cafe in Boston tocelebrate their Court Victory, give further legal direction for riders, andraise legal offense funds for the lawsuit by selling stickers reading "Don'tTread on Me - I refuse to be ruled by Boston City Councilors" for $2 each.

"I am glad the Judge gave us legal standing we hoped for in this case," saidPlaintiff Mike Longtin of Easton. "Today is a good day for New England area riders."

"If the City issues 100 repugnant citations that conflict with State Statutesand Regulations, those 100 riders may appeal spending at least $1,000 each inlegal fees contesting those $30,000 worth of citations. Then, should the Courtstrike down Boston's Ordinance, the City and its taxpayers lose that $30,000 andwill have to reimburse the contesting riders $100,000.00 in legal fees."

Plaintiff Vince Silvia of Haverhill was more blunt saying, "The City wants to cite me, I'll contest. I've had my bike sound tested 5 times, I will appeal and they can pay me whatever I spend when they lose."

Plaintiff Bill Gannon explained, "Generally, when you contest a citation, youbear the appeal fees and costs of proving yourself right and not wrong."

Gannon continued, "Judge Hines told the City of Boston in her decision that theyare exposed. If the five Plaintiffs successfully prove that that this Ordinanceis repugnant and in conflict with Federal Codes and State Statutes andRegulations, Boston must reimburse the harm (costs) riders incur."

On July 20, 2009, sets of Interrogatories (questions), admissions of fact, andrequest for documents were served on the 13 City of Councilors and Mayor Meninoto be answered under oath. Copies of those discovery requests can be viewed on www.BostonBiker.com and www.JusticeRider.com.

Stay Tuned to www.massmotorcycle.org for updates and action plans!

Justice Riders encourage riders with EPA stamps on their bike attend Mondaynight's Citizen Biker Rally at the Hard Rock Cafe to get updated information anddirection for further action.

"This matter is not about noise," claimed Cote`, "It is about the City of Boston wrongfully imposing this standard that is improper."

Cote's statement reminds me of all the southerners who claim that the civil war was fought over states' rights, not slavery. Of course, the only "right" the southern states were protecting was the right to own slaves. The only "standard" these characters are concerned with is their right to subject the general population to their unnecessary and excessive noise.


  1. Living in California and dealing with CARB all my life, I know a thing or two about having to deal with smog checks, exhaust laws, etc. I can't speak for anyone in this story but California just tried to get a bill passed into law that would require all motorcycles built after 2000 to be smog checked every year. The result of this law passing would mean no more aftermarket exhaust, etc. Just having put one on my bike, I was upset. Not about the fact that gov't wont let me mod my bike the way I want, but that the law would go back 10 years once passed and people who've already made the mods would not be grandfathered in. I'd have no problem with the law if it stated that all NEW bikes starting in 2010 will need to be smog checked... To me, this has nothing to do with rights, noise, etc...We were allowed to make a choice and now that choice is considered illegal. We must now either find a way to fix it or not ride our motorcycles anymore. We'll see if this ever passes in CA.

  2. CA used to (in the 80s) have smog checks on all vehicles, except motorcycles. When I moved there in 1983, I was amazed at how clear the air was compared to the 1970s when I first visited LA. A decade later, the place was as bad or worse than the 70s.

    It's been illegal to modify your bike's exhaust system since the late 70s. States just didn't enforce it and the feds have been castrated since Reagan. It's not new news, it's just new to bikers who don't investigate the law before they do something silly to their motorcycle.

  3. So often a stacked deck. But in Mass. we have all the Harleyists in their bottlecap "helmets", which my middle son calls "Helmet law protest pots". And we have the hospital helicopters with rotors turning, hoping for radio reports of "fresh young motorcyclists" in accidents somewhere, backed by doctors who call them "organ donors". There is, in sum, enough hatred or reason for hatred to fuel another Bosnia. Not to mention that everybody hates the enduro and off-road people, the tour lot hate the crotch-rocket people, and the baggerites believe they are the only TRUE motorcyclists.

    Like trying to make a united front out of Casey Stoner, Val Rossi, Dani Pedrosa, and Jorge Lorenzo.


  4. I know from my own experience and actions, there is something about a motorcycle that brings out the hooligan. Personally, I don't think motorcycling will get its act together, maybe because we didn't take seriously Honda's promise that we'd meet "the nicest people on a Honda."

    At least where I live, most of us fear/hate the Hell's Angels and their impersonators, but most of the rest of motorcycling gets along pretty well.

  5. The first European motorcycle race I attended was a revelation (the Imola 200 of 1972). I saw old men in flat caps, riding bicycles, coming in to watch the event. Clearly motorcycle racing had been important to them over their lifetimes, as baseball is to some US fans. It wasn't just a new entertainment competing with celebrity golf and naked mud wrestling.

    Here, motorcycles have never become integrated parts of life. John D. McDonald made his character, Travis McGee, dismiss them as symbols of immaturity and male display. Probably this is because bikes were never real transportation here since before WW I.



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