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Sam, Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  More than 20 years of experience practicing law.
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In the state of TN, if you were not on the public street, road

Customer Question

In the state of TN, if you were not on the public street, road or hwy to begin with. Can you be pulled over in a private parking lot, such as a shopping center, even though it has public access and cited for a non moving violation, specifically Improper placement of license plate? If so, or not, can you provide the TCA Code that covers the answer?

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Sam replied 6 years ago.



The only law that will apply is the law that you were written the citation for, which is improper placement of a tag. This citation can be written even if your car is parked in your driveway - as every vehicle must be properly registered and tags displayed in accordance with the law regardless of where it located


There is not going to be any law that says such citations can be written even if the car is on private property.


If you have further questions, you can post them here and I will continue to assist. Otherwise, please remember to accept as that is how I get credit for my time and information in this matter. Thank you




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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I would have to disagree, You pay for registration/tags, etc in order to use the public road, street or highways. There is no way that I could be cited for not having a license plate or any moving/non moving violation for my vehicle sitting in my driveway, on my private property. When you take your 15 yr old to the closed shopping center or closed school parking lot and teach them how to drive, are they driving without a license? Not unless they enter upon a public street, road or highway. Also, in the state of TN now, if you have an auto accident on private property, such as a shopping center, you can call the Police, but they will tell you that all they can do is make sure both parties exchange information. That they can not file a report or issue a citation on private property. Can you explain that? In certain instances or certain moving violations such as DUI, I have seen this upheld, but not on a non moving violation. For example, TCA Section 55-9-107 which relates to window tint, a non moving violation, states in Section (1) "It is unlawful for any person to operate, upon a public highway, street or road, any motor vehicle, in which any window that has a visible light transmittance equal to, but not less than, that specified in the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 205, has been altered, treated or replaced by the affixing, application or installation of any material that:" and it goes on... but the point is the first line...It doesn't say "on private property, on private property with public access, or in your driveway"....
Expert:  Sam replied 6 years ago.



You know, I believe I will opt out and let another expert debate this with you and explain why it is a proper citation.


I will put in for a request to have your deposit refunded to you. And you also can do so at [email protected]


Once I opt out another expert may then choose to assist you and your deposit will be refunded so if you accept a new answer you are not being charged twice


Good luck with this



Customer: replied 6 years ago.

IV. Issuance of Traffic Tickets: (61.1.2b)

A. Traffic citations should be issued to a violator who jeopardizes the safe and efficient flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, violations including, but are not limited to, hazardous or non- hazardous violations, operating unsafe and improperly equipped vehicles and violating City traffic laws i.e., speeding. (61.1.5c,d,f,h) If multiple infractions occur, check appropriate boxes or write in box provided on citation. (61.1.5 i) WARNINGS, however, may be issued under following circumstances: (61.1.2c)

1. There is a minor traffic infraction committed in those areas where traffic crash occurrences are minimal.

2. When the act may be due to ignorance of local ordinances, which may be a unique violation or a newly enacted law and/or regulation. A 30- day grace period will be established during which time only warnings are issued, unless a specific period is defined by statute.

3. Non-hazardous violations.

4. Or a violation of which the driver may not be aware.

B. Traffic citations and traffic summons are to be issued only on public streets and roadways. Citations and summons are not to be issued on private property or upon public property, which is not a public street or roadway, except in the following circumstances:

1. When the area in question has been designated as a restricted or prohibited parking zone. (Ex: Fire Lanes) In such cases, only a traffic citation covering the specific parking violation should be issued.

2. If an officer has observed an offender to be operating a vehicle on a public street or roadway and then pull onto private property, or onto public property, which is not a street or roadway, then the officer may follow that person onto said property and issue the citation.

3. Leaving the scene of a private property vehicle crash witnessed by the officer.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Please provide the Tennessee Code Annotated that supports your statement. The proof is on the Officer after all , isnt it? When I look at TCA Title 55.. I see "operation of vehicles--rules of the ROAD"... This was on Private Property, not the "road"