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Tell It To the Judge...

Wilbur

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I've been following, and live in the East Bay too. Thank you for your transparency. I'm a 107 holder, and have much to be aware of/learn.
 
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STUFF2C

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Ha, pretty typical he couldn't tell you why to your face so you put it in a letter with no explanation. More judge I have ultimate power BS. Time for an appeal make him tell you to your face what you did wrong
 

Dave A

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IMO the judge is wrong. I don't know if this is appealable or even if your up to committing more time and money to this but if able I believe you have a case. I'm a Canadian and rules are different here but I've been following this thread with interest.
 
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Eagledrone

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A judge is not much different than the rest of us and will look to take the path of least resistance.
The judge has to continually work with law enforcement and the likeliness of you appealing a $192 fine is so low the outcome was almost pre determined.
Along with the risk of setting a precedence that may open up unrelated incidences as lawful you really had small chance of success.
 
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altaic

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A judge is not much different than the rest of us and will look to take the path of least resistance.
The judge has to continually work with law enforcement and the likeliness of you appealing a $192 fine is so low the outcome was almost pre determined.
Along with the risk of setting a precedence that may open up unrelated incidences as lawful you really had small chance of success.
Unfortunate, but true. It makes me think about bogus speed traps and the like— governmental nickel and diming.

How many fines of this nature are issued by that jurisdiction? Seems to me an enterprising lawyer could file a class action suit against the county on behalf of all those inappropriately fined and set a precedent that way.
 

Norb_DAIS

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IMO the judge is wrong. I don't know if this is appealable or even if your up to committing more time and money to this but if able I believe you have a case. I'm a Canadian and rules are different here but I've been following this thread with interest.
They didn't leave me with the opportunity to appeal. It was like traffic court. My argument was not compelling enough to sway the judge's opinion.

I will however, forward this to the FAA for more feedback. If anything, I think I lost it based on exceptions...in this case for wildlife preservation. I'll need to locate that specific statement on the FAA Dronezone.
 

bluntnose

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Here’s some tidbits and questions, in no particular order:

According to the online sources of Cal. Rules you have 30 days to appeal, by filing a “Notice of Appeal” in the same Superior Court as your trial.

If you want to hold off paying the fine while you appeal, you would file a motion for stay of execution, first in your trial court and if he denies it then you file one in the appellate court. I don’t know if it tubes your appeal if you just pay the fine or not. (Where’s our Cal. lawyers in this group?)

Was your case prosecuted by an attorney or the Ranger/policeman? Did they testify that you took off/landed in the park or just that you were flying over/in the park?

They clearly purport to regulate all aircraft who overfly the park. See regulation 905.1, applies to all aircraft who drop below 500 feet, not just drones.

Judge decided it same day as trial, safe to say his comment to you shows he had decided the case. Hmm, at what point did he make the comment? Was the trial recorded?

Both you and he are 107 pilots. Hmm . . .
 

bluntnose

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Oh, that we had a national drone flyer association or club. I’ve said it before (till I was blue in the face). An association with enuf dough to step in and help out in cases just like this, before we get hammered to the point we can’t fly anymore. Should have had a seat at the table as FAA generates new regs that can treat us fairly, or banish us, 107s and hobbyists alike. We have enough unique issues we shouldn’t/can’t rely on AMA to represent us. Unless they create a drone division we can enthusiastically get behind. And no, it can’t be me, for a host of reasons.
 

Elude

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Norb sorry to hear of your loss against peoples Republic of California.

I had a ranger politely inform me (he saw me getting ready to takeoff) that flying a drone would be a misdemeanor in this country park. I’m pretty sure he misunderstood the law and it’s only a misdemeanor if you interfere with firefighting or dropping contraband in the prison but either way it’s set a nasty precedents for me on 2nd flight.

Thank you for sharing. I thought it would be OK to launch outside of the park and fly in. Oh no.
 
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Norb_DAIS

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Norb sorry to hear of your loss against peoples Republic of California.

I had a ranger politely inform me (he saw me getting ready to takeoff) that flying a drone would be a misdemeanor in this country park. I’m pretty sure he misunderstood the law and it’s only a misdemeanor if you interfere with firefighting or dropping contraband in the prison but either way it’s set a nasty precedents for me on 2nd flight.

Thank you for sharing. I thought it would be OK to launch outside of the park and fly in. Oh no.

Thanks for the comment. The district park rules disallow any flight by model aircraft over their land below 500' AGL.
 

Elude

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Thanks for the comment. The district park rules disallow any flight by model aircraft over their land below 500' AGL.
So is it legal to take off outside of the Parkland and under recreational guidelines fly over 500 feet and then go over the parks airspace ?
 

Spike151

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I suspect that it was a jurisdictional issue. The information and case law from the FAA seemed good, the Judge probably ruled against you because he thinks you failed to prove that you were under FAA jurisdiction. As we are all innocent until proven guilty, the prosecution must have proven jurisdiction for their bylaws to apply.
 
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ac0j

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Bad deal. But we must keep in mind some laws are about what and where YOU are doing things, and not about what your drone is doing. So the FAA probably won’t have much influence on cases like this. Live and learn I guess.
 
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Norb_DAIS

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I suspect that it was a jurisdictional issue. The information and case law from the FAA seemed good, the Judge probably ruled against you because he thinks you failed to prove that you were under FAA jurisdiction. As we are all innocent until proven guilty, the prosecution must have proven jurisdiction for their bylaws to apply.
During the hearing, he did tell me "this is a park issue, not an FAA issue." He pointed out that there are FAA exemptions to jurisdictional authority. At that point, I said that I believed I had done my due diligence by checking sectional charts and pre-planning my trip on AirMap. But I believe this only adds to the confusion about what local/regional agencies are able to do with regard to restricting airspace.
 

Norb_DAIS

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Bad deal. But we must keep in mind some laws are about what and where YOU are doing things, and not about what your drone is doing. So the FAA probably won’t have much influence on cases like this. Live and learn I guess.
Right...and at some point I think the rules and regs will be consistent and easy to access so there is no ambiguity.
 

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