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Speeding ticket tossed because of invalid Carmel ordinance

December 11, 2015

Indiana’s Home Rule law renders a Carmel city ordinance regarding traffic regulations void because it merely is a duplicate of already existing state law, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

Jason Maraman was pulled over and cited for driving 30 mph when the speed limit was 20 mph because it was a construction zone. Maraman asked for a trial, and then moved to dismiss the speeding ticket because Carmel City Ordinance 8-2 simply incorporates by reference the portion of Indiana Code defining motor vehicle infractions.

The trial court found he did speed under the city code and entered judgment against him.

He appealed pro se and the COA reversed in Jason J. Maraman v. City of Carmel, Indiana, 29A05-1504-OV-145.

“Carmel’s wholesale adoption of chapters of Indiana Code resulted in its ordinance being nothing more than a ‘duplicate’ of already existing State law,” Judge Melissa May wrote.

“While Carmel may incorporate material by reference, it may not incorporate in a way that duplicates the statutes that create statewide traffic infractions. If a city wishes to establish local speed limits, it may do so in accordance with Ind. Code §§ 9-21-5-3(1), 9-21-5-6, and 9-21-1-3(a)(11) which gives the city the authority to adopt ordinances altering speed limits within the city; however, it is nevertheless prohibited from simply duplicating state imposed speed limits as Carmel City Code § 8-2 attempts to do.”
 

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