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Man Arrested for Writing Obscenities on Speeding Ticket Gets the Last Laugh

Man Arrested for Writing Obscenities on Speeding Ticket Gets the Last Laugh: New York Civil Liberties Union

New York Civil Liberties Union

In a town called Liberty, one man took it upon himself to exercise his First Amendment rights by expressing his frustration on a speeding ticket.

Willian Barboza’s fighting words, written on the ticket he sent back with payment, were: “Fuck your shitty town bitches.”

The town in question, Liberty, New York, soon proved it was indeed shitty by rejecting his payment, requiring him to appear in court, and then arresting him on the spot on a charge of aggravated harassment.

That was back in 2012, and Barboza has since been engaged in a lengthy legal battle to restore justice. On Thursday, Federal judge Cathy Seibel ruled that the arrest “violated his clearly established constitutional right to engage in and be free from arrests because of protected speech,” and that Barboza had “suffered a deprivation of his First Amendment rights when he was arrested under color of law.” A victory for us all.

So, if this means what we think it means, we’ll definitely be writing “Fuck your shitty town bitches"—or some variation of those words—on every traffic violation we ever receive.

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