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Blake

Crazy Permit Fines

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Earlier this summer i was cited for not having a permit after spending a couple nights out in the North Cascades. I mentioned to the ranger where we had come from, and because it was quite a ways away, he assumed (correctly) we had not done our trip in one day, so he fined us $75 for having not had a permit for prior nights.

 

This evening I went to contest the fine in Bellingham Court. Eventually they called my name, and I pleaded "guilty". The NPS attorney present recomended a fine of $60 and told the judge it was a serious offence because the permits are what Search and rescue people use in the case of an overdue party. I explained that we had left careful instructions, itinerary, route plans, etc with a trusted climber/friend in town who was going to meet up with us at the end of the trip. I also said that this plan was more detailed than merely the listing of what backcountry zones we would be in, which is all that a permit would have included. I said that my partner is a volunteer Search and Rescue guy and we weren't wandering off irresponsibly. I mentioned that I spoke with Kelly Bush who is in law enforcement in the National Park, and I understand that they use permits to remote backcountry areas for scientific studies, so I told the judge I would always be getting one, even if I am in an area with no people.

 

The judge then decided to RAISE the fine, from the recommended $60 to $250! I couldn't believe it. At that point I was so confused and amazed and angry I was not thinking straight so I didn't even catch how long I have to pay it off. Anyways... does anyone have any kind of legal knowledge or advice regarding a possible appeal or something of that nature? I can't believe they are going to charge two 20 year old students $250 for having spent nights in the park without a permit... that just blows me away and doesn't seem just at all.

 

Anyways, I'm guessing I am totally screwed here, but i honestly cannot believe this just happen and I suppose I am looking to rant a little. Thanks for any useful suggestions, if they exist.

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Did the judge know about the prior tickets for same offence? That might not have helped. Also I wonder if having full knowledge (no ignorance) of the permit system helped or hurt your case.

 

That's a steep fine. Makes me glad I didn't appear in traffic court in Twisp last week.

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you got fucked bro.

 

its your karmic fine for assuring me you had some ropes that were "all good" for goode.

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Damned activist judges!

 

Did he give a reason for quadrupling the fine? Was it perhaps $60/night?

 

 

 

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Sorry to hear this story, but not surprised. Suggestion: Learn to quit when you're behind. Judges do not seem to like college students for some reason. Logic has little to do with the law. Trying to talk sense to someone who does not give a rats ass about you is not going to help. However, I'm sure if you had $2500 to spend on a lawyer he/she could fix it. Not trying to be funny, just my take on this.

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yeah from what you describe, I'd say cut your loss now. But hey, I'll contribute to the 'Free Blake' fund... that's the least I could do, my friend. I'll send ya an email.

 

Look on the bright side. Think how bad it would have been if you had taken up Mike on his offer to be your "attorney"!!! We'd be looking at your pic on the sides of milk cartons. 'Have you seen this man?'

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That is totally bogus. That is the friggin' American so-called legal system for you.....Lucky they did not send you to Gitmo.

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That's a steep fine. Ask me some time off the record about the fine me and a buddy got down on the Narrows bridge. I've never gotten a ticket from the forest service, but I've been given written warnings for being uncooperative. :lmao:

 

The parks and the forest service do some good stuff, but they sure can behave like pricks. I think their bosses yell at them too boost the revenue coming in more than just do their job.

 

As NWA would say, "Fuck da police....."

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just for the record, the agencies don't see a nickel of the bail money for these permit violations. there is no "money-making" incentive whatsoever.

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Well, he ran my name through the WA drivers license database via radio at the time of the incident, so if I had given a fake name, he'd have found out.

 

If I mysteriously stop posting, mount a search party. Use shovels as paddles if they take me to cuba.

paddle.JPG

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Sorry to hear it Blake!

I've spent many off permit days and nights in the north cascades due to one screw up or another. I guess I've been lucky so far.

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Blake that sucks. Don't take this wrong but heres my observation going (of coarse) just off what you posted.

 

Having gone before judges in my kids custody case a few times, I can say that the ones Ive experienced are pretty much arrogant cynical pricks who rather enjoy fucking with people that rub them the wrong way for some trivial reason. They have the power of life and death in some cases and they know it and love it. They revel in their "God-like" role.

 

Should one decide to contest, one should realize that your already basically taking the role of antagonist and you'd better be clear about what and why your doing it and the sound and legal reasoning behind it. Short of that, just pay the fine.

 

From what you stated it sounded for awhile like you were going to get to the point. But if thats how it went down it ended up sounding like you were trying to come off as smarter than the law and were just searching for an excuse to get out of it. Especially this part:

I explained that we had left careful instructions, itinerary, route plans, etc with a trusted climber/friend in town who was going to meet up with us at the end of the trip. I also said that this plan was more detailed than merely the listing of what backcountry zones we would be in, which is all that a permit would have included. I said that my partner is a volunteer Search and Rescue guy and we weren't wandering off irresponsibly.

 

It might have went better if you simply apologized a few times, sounded sad (maybe even shed a few tears) and briefly explained that you were in dire straights financially, but then he may have took you as a whiner anyway.

 

As dumb and obvious as it may sound, its generally advised to put on your humble best in court (which is a really tough thing to do when you also have to believe you are right). If you come off as though you are expecting something or deserving of something or that you know something that they don't , well my experience is that things well not go as you expect. If you even hint that you think the law is stupid or that you have little respect for the law etc, you will feel a big thump. As the judge mentioned several times in our case "You don't want me making this desision". He was right, the fucking prick.

 

Just be glad your not poor and being tried for something really serious. Be glad your not one of the innocent people doing time right now who happened to have a bad lawyer and a judge who woke up on the wrong side of the bed that day!

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BBBAaaaaaHH!!! I am the guy paying the other half of this. Just got Blakes email and I'm kinda in shock. Terrible news. I just spent my remaining money on skis today, and only have time to work a couple days a week because of school. Horrible horrible stuff. Blake you gotta find out about delaying the payment. Glad my roommate gets food stamps.

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I know that it sucks Blake, at this point it may be best to move on...but maybe it would help think of it like this, I dunno, maybe not, but whatever...

 

....how much are the experiences you had this summer in the moutains worth...if you had to assign a dollar amount?

 

I know a lot of people that would pay 250$ for your summer.

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....how much are the experiences you had this summer in the moutains worth...if you had to assign a dollar amount?

 

David, there's absolutely no way one could assign a dollar amount to spending a day with you. :grin:

 

If my face wasn't so red and puffy from crying over this mess I'd go back to modeling to earn a cheap buck.

Blake_Vogue.jpg

 

Thanks for letting me rant though.

It's tough to see the guy driving drunk on a suspended license get off more easily than a renegade camper with no criminal history.

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David, there's absolutely no way one could assign a dollar amount to spending a day with you. :grin:

 

thanks Blake, they've tried to...but dammit, they just don't make chocolate bunnies that big.

 

 

well...I hope I didn't come across the wrong way... the judge is obviously a cock-sucker....but just try to think of it in the grand scheme of so many good times and its really a trifle...

 

anyway, if it happened to me...I'd be raging against the machine too.....so it's easy for me to dole out the advice.....

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Thanks for letting me rant though.

It's tough to see the guy driving drunk on a suspended license get off more easily than a renegade camper with no criminal history.

 

Thanks for the reminder to hide, run, lie.

 

On the other hand, authorities use the heavy hand because it works. When such a thing happens to me, by the time there is a chance to re-offend the anger has faded and it can be seen that mistakes were made on both sides and I don't want to go through THAT again.

 

In my experience appeals only lead to more anger and frustration. At least give it a week or 2 to decide.

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Never give your correct name, license number or place of residence to the Tool.

 

No offense man, but this is the worst advice I have heard!! The "Tool" definetly has communication to dispatchers who will look up the information you give them and instantly realize that you are lying... the law allows the "Tool" to detain you until you give accurate information - yes, that's true... arrest you if need be...

 

Just suck it up, be a man, and accept the consequences of your actions!! Don't lie, they'll know it... just get your stupid permit next time around!! Last time I checked, backcountry permits were free at North Cascades... if you feel the need to make some big political statement, there are plenty more effective ways I assure you...

 

Oh yeah, I realize that I am about to get ripped a new one for these opinions!! :)

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Duchess is right. Don't ever lie to get out of a lousy $50 fine. That puts you down the refusing to comply with a lawful order path--far worse.

 

The magistrate sees these rangers and other federal officers as an extension of their authority. When they sense contempt for that authority, they will do stuff like--imposing stiff fines. If you choose to do something that is unlawful, be prepared to pay up when you get caught. Just mail in the bail and be done with it. Better yet, do what the rest of us do and take part in the permit program (yes, FREE at North Cascades).

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