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Dimitry Esquire
Dimitry Esquire, Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  I provide general practice and mediation & arbitration services to my clients.
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Can I be arrested for holding a parking spot by standing in

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Can I be arrested for holding a parking spot by standing in it in Monmouth County, New Jersey? Is it illegal to do this?

Thank you ! D
Thank you for your question.

Hmm, it depends on a few factors--is this a public spot or a private spot?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Public, no fee spot.
Thank you for your follow-up.

If you are not really doing anything wrong, probably not. New Jersey used to have a plethora of vagrancy and loitering statutes that are mostly repealed at this time, providing you with the right to stand or walk where you wish: (See State v. Crawley, 90 N.J. 241, 247 (1982) which defined that the reason why they were repealed was that “...vagrancy and loitering statutes have long suffered from constitutional infirmity and have been criticized as inviting official harassment and discriminatory enforcement.” )

Also see N.J.S.A. 2C:33, which held that controlling the walking of others may violate their 1st amendment rights.

At the same time the police may accuse you of impeding traffic, causing a nuisance, and then when you refuse to leave, failing to abide with a police order, and THEN arrest you for such behavior.

Hope that helps.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 8/2/2010 at 2:32 AM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
So the police and/or hired 'auxiliary' police can make me leave the spot? And is it okay that they only enforced this with me and not 3 other people doing the same thing because "they didn't see them"? !!!
Thank you for your follow-up.

If they claim a different reason then simple loitering, yes, they can make you leave the spot. If they "did not see" but only saw you, they can only enforce it against you--the police are not able to enforce the laws against everyone equally. Otherwise the excuse of "well, he was speeding too" would actually work.

good luck.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 8/2/2010 at 2:46 AM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
What reason could they possibly use (you already said that loitering is not reasonable anymore) that would give them the right to kick me out of the spot? ! I'm sorry to keep bothering you but this whole concept is becoming a problem !!!
Thank you for your patience.

You are talking about New Jersey police--as someone who practices in your state and used to live there, their right to bother citizens is fairly well known. As stated before, if they are claiming that you are engaged in blocking traffic, or causing a public disturbance, or otherwise not following the public safety instructions of the police, they can demand that you leave the spot.

Good luck.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 8/2/2010 at 2:59 AM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Well that just doesn't seem fair ! What is this, a police state???
You are asking about New Jersey--it has been so referred to before.

I do apologize if you are not happy with the information I have provided to you, but unless you can prove that the police are specifically picking on you, the police are free to demand that you move from a spot that you are trying to hold by standing in it.

Good luck.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 8/2/2010 at 3:18 AM EST
Dimitry Esquire and 5 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you very much for the interaction... I enjoyed the exchange... despite the realization that I am paying my taxes towards a police state.... ;( Donna

I am sorry and I wish I had better news--also take a look at this statute which would permit the police to remove you:

N.J.S.A. 2C:33-7 “Obstructing Highways and Other Public Passages.

a. A person, who, having no legal privilege to do so, purposely or recklessly obstructs any highway or other public passage whether alone or with others, commits a petty disorderly persons offense. "Obstructs" means renders impassable without unreasonable inconvenience or hazard. No person shall be deemed guilty of recklessly obstructing in violation of this subsection solely because of a gathering of persons to hear him speak or otherwise communicate, or solely because of being a member of such a gathering.

b. A person in a gathering commits a petty disorderly persons offense if he refuses to obey a reasonable official request or order to move:

(1) To prevent obstruction of a highway or other public passage; or

(2) To maintain public safety by dispersing those gathered in dangerous proximity to a fire or other hazard.

An order to move, addressed to a person whose speech or other lawful behavior attracts an obstructing audience, shall not be deemed reasonable if the obstruction can be readily remedied by police control of the size or location of the gathering.”

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 8/2/2010 at 3:45 AM EST

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