Ticket complaint against Dover Police dismissed

DOVER — A man’s attempt to appeal a stop sign violation conviction reached the Delaware Supreme Court, which found no merit in the claim last Friday.

Matthew Jones contested a Justice of the Peace Court guilty finding rendered on Sept. 6, and alleged that his attempts to file in the Court of Common Pleas and Superior Court were improperly refused.

In a three-page order, Justice Karen L. Valihura dismissed the action because Delaware’s highest court had no jurisdiction to consider an appeal directly from the JP Court.

The Supreme Court evaluated Mr. Jones’ actions in the lower courts and found “there is no documentation substantiating Jones’ claims that his appeals were denied.”

Delaware Code mandates that a traffic ticket must involve a prison sentence or fine exceeding $100 before it can be appealed to the Court of Common Pleas.

While Mr. Jones claimed he was forced to pay $119,50 in JP Court before being allowed to leave, the order pointed to compensatory assessments and costs paid to the state that aren’t figured into eligibility a possible appeal.

“Thus, although we cannot determine it from this record, it seems likely that Jones failed to meet the jurisdictional threshold to appeal to the Court of Common Pleas to the Justice of the Peace Court,” wrote Justice Valihura, who was joined by Chief Justice Leo E. Strine Jr. and Justice James T. Vaughn Jr. in the conclusion.

Supreme Court was not moved by several documents it received from Mr. Jones finding, “At most, Jones’ various attachments show that he drafted documents purporting to appeal from the Justice of the Peace judgment.”

The stop sign citation was issued by the Dover Police.

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