Archive for Thursday, March 10, 2011

Eudora speeding ticket dismissed for jurisdiction violation

Overland Park resident Andrew Koepke talks about a speeding ticket he received from the City of Eudora. Koepke fought the ticket in court, arguing that a city police officer could not issue the ticket because the stretch of road where the incident happened is under county jurisdiction. Koepke won his case.

March 10, 2011


Eudora police recently gave Overland Park resident Andrew Koepke a speeding ticket coming into Eudora on old K-10. Koepke later found out he was outside city limits, where city police had no jurisdiction.

Eudora police recently gave Overland Park resident Andrew Koepke a speeding ticket coming into Eudora on old K-10. Koepke later found out he was outside city limits, where city police had no jurisdiction.

On the street

Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket? How fast were you going?

Yeah, 45 on Mass. Street. I was late to work.

More responses

An Overland Park man’s successful fight against a speeding ticket in Eudora Municipal Court has exposed an oddity on the city’s eastern boundary near a new elementary school.

And city and police officials say they are acting to correct an honest mistake that centers on a quarter-mile section of County Road 442 — also East 10th Street — that was never annexed into the city, even though portions of the road to the east were.

Eudora Municipal Court Judge Randy McCalla last month dismissed a speeding ticket against Andrew Koepke because McCalla said municipal court did not have jurisdiction to enforce the ticket. Koepke raised the issue — and several others because he says he wasn’t speeding — at a February trial.

County maps Koepke found show the portion of East 10th Street as it leaves Eudora just east of Ash Street is not in the city limits. But farther to the east, the area from Peach Street all the way to Kansas Highway 10, including the new Eudora Elementary School, is in the city limits.

It’s on the portion of the road that’s in the county where Koepke says he was pulled over Aug. 27.

Koepke was driving west heading into Eudora, was stopped by a police officer and told he was driving 50 mph in a 30 mph zone. Koepke says the stop took place while he was still in the county.

“The officer didn’t know where he was allowed to enforce the law. For how many years have they been collecting money illegally?” Koepke said.

City leaders contend a mistake was made by the previous city administration a few years ago. Police officers had been told the road was within the city. Officials also denied that tickets were issued for monetary gain.

“That is absolutely false. Our police department does not issue tickets for revenue,” said City Administrator John Harrenstein, who was hired in October 2009. “They issue tickets to maintain safety.”

Eudora Police Chief Grady Walker, who was hired a year ago, said the department was operating under information city hall had given it three years ago: That the city’s boundary stopped north of the road and not to the south.

“It was a bubble,” Walker said.

He said Eudora has an agreement in the works with the Douglas County Sheriff’s office to give his officers permission to patrol that section of County Road 442, even though it’s not the city. Tickets would have to be written through Douglas County District Court, though, Walker said.

Koepke said the situation still baffles him, and he wonders how many other people paid their tickets without contesting them, even though the municipal court might not have had jurisdiction. After the dismissal, the city returned Koepke’s $90 fine and $60 court fee.

“If you’d gotten a ticket, wouldn’t you like your money back?” he said.

Jeff Heiman, Eudora’s city prosecutor since 2005, said Koepke’s case was the first he can recall in which the jurisdiction issue was brought up. But he said many cases are handled without a trial, either through dismissals or a no-contest plea. He also said generally there’s a time limit — such as 10 to 14 days — when someone can file an appeal.

Harrenstein said the city wants to ensure the area can be patrolled.

“In one sense, we’d like to thank the individual for bringing forward the issue,” Harrenstein said, “so we can rectify it and ensure that there’s good governance going on.”


local_vocal 7 years, 2 months ago

Speeding is still speeding. Running a red light with a camera is still running a red light. He did "win" or is it "winning" (a la C. Sheen) his court case, but the question remains? Do you want people driving 20MPh over the speed limit in front of your home? Which is almost double the posted limit. Its not a money issue, its following the laws and being safe.

Scott Morgan 7 years, 2 months ago

If you're driving 20 mph over the posted speed limit, and a train leaves St. Louis heading Southwest traveling at an average of 60 mph how many extra feet does it take to stop the train?

Brian Hall 7 years, 2 months ago

"Koepke said the situation still baffles him, and he wonders how many other people paid their tickets without contesting them"

Because most people don't have time to waste sitting in court just to get back $150. Maybe this was worth his money but I feel people in this situation need to pick their battles. I got pulled over in Colorado just 3 miles from the Kansas border and was given a $152 ticket for driving in the left lane on I-70. The sheriff explained to me that it was illegal and that there were signs posted. No there weren't. I checked. But I am not going to drive back to Colorado to go to court in Burlington to fight it.

My friend got pulled over on West 23rd in front of McDonald's for going 50 in a 35 but the officer wrote down the address on the ticket as 1100 Block of East 23rd (which would be near 23rd & Haskell) and the speed limit there is 45. I urged him to go to court to fight it because he can argue he was "only" driving 5 over or that the cop is an idiot but he didn't and ended up paying $200 or something.

Anyway, I'm glad Koepke feels justified that even though he was speeding in front of an elementary school and was probably a huge jerk to the officer who pulled him over (which probably resulted in the ticket, not the actual speeding), he was able to point out a HUGE flaw in the system--the poor annexation of county roads. God bless you, Andrew Koepke.

impska 7 years, 2 months ago

The article says: "...But farther to the east, the area from Peach Street all the way to Kansas Highway 10, including the new Eudora Elementary School, is in the city limits."

Thus, if he were speeding in front of the elementary school, he would have been in the correct jurisdiction for the ticket.

impska 7 years, 2 months ago

I wasn't there, and I haven't read the ruling, but there is nothing in this article that indicates he was in front of the school. In fact, it seems to indicate the opposite. The man argued he was in the county, not the city, the court agreed. The article indicates that the stretch of road is "near" the elementary school.

I don't really want to argue about whether or not this guy was aiming his car at innocent children as they crossed the road, but there really is nothing to substantiate that he was driving 50mph past the elementary school.

1029 7 years, 2 months ago

You're going to look like a fool if you drive back out to Colorado to fight that ticket. Everyone should know that you never, ever drive in the far left lane on the interstate unless you are passing someone. And once you pass, you immediately move back over to the right. That ticket should be $1000 in my opinion.

sr80 7 years, 2 months ago

That fine conissuer goldbud from colorado will make you do more than drive too far in the left lane,why don't you tell us the rest of the story bhall87!

MyName 7 years, 2 months ago

Well then your "opinion" is completely worthless. Unless your interested in using tickets as an alternative revenue source, there's no good reason for the fine to be that on a normal stretch of highway. $1000 fines are reserved for inherently dangerous areas, like workzones or school zones.

CloveK 7 years, 2 months ago

There doesn't have to be signs about driving in the left lane. It is still illegal. I am glad you got that ticket, although I wish there was a zero tacked on to it. One of the most inconsiderate things to do.

As for being the judge of what is worth someone else's time "just to get back $150", you can shove it. That can be a lot of money for people, which is beside the point entirely. The fact is he stood up for his right, and didn't just bend over and take it because that was the easy way out.

Have fun always taking the easy, hassle free way out of things in life. Just do it in the right lane.

ajone 7 years, 2 months ago

The officer was polite and so was I. It was just a speeding ticket.

My reason for fighting the ticket was that, I was NOT SPEEDING. If I were, I simply would have paid the fine. To my memory, my last speeding ticket was in 1991. I try to obey the law. I have a great respect for officers of the law. It is a very dangerous and high stress job. However, an officer, their employer and their equipment can be wrong at times. As the officer brought up in court, multiple things can cause interference with the radar unit when in use.

My disappointment was with the trail itself. Several items were pointed out in which the case should have been dismissed. The officer not having any proof of training for the radar unit(for which I was told I would get for several months and did not), the certificate of accuracy for the radar unit not matching, no certificate of accuracy for the speedometer in the patrol car, just to name a few. All were overruled by the judge. During the discovery process, I was denied a copy a map of the city limits by the prosecution and backed up by the judge. They said it was immaterial to the case and to burdensome to produce. I had to take it upon myself to get a copy and prove it's relevance in the case. It was a simple fluke that I found it.

In my opinion, the only reason the judge made the ruling he did, is because according to a manual for the clerk of the court. It states that a judge who makes a ruling against a case involving "lack of jurisdiction", is subjecting him or herself to a lawsuit. If it were not for that I believe that he would have found me guilty. Even though I was not speeding.

My issue with contacting LJW was not to boast that I was successful. Only to inform those who have been wrongfully convicted and fined. And by a government in which they should have faith, trust for their wellbeing and safety, is WRONG. In that the city is just saying, Oh well, it was just a simple mistake. We were wrong. But we are going to keep any monetary gain for our benefit, is out right dishonest. And by a government we should have trust in. If I were any of those people, I would look hard into a class action lawsuit.

akt2 7 years, 2 months ago

You can bet that the problem will be rectified. They say an agreement is already in the works. Maybe the next time some Jo Co know it all comes thru at 50 in a 30 their ticket will be handed to them on a silver platter.

the_overnighter 7 years, 2 months ago

Seems like to me the system worked. Hope Eudora fixes the problem soon because it's the safety of the children that is importnant here.

Scott Morgan 7 years, 2 months ago

Superior schools, city owns power company, clean, geographically excellent for commuting, population moving upwards, affordable housing, .................... Yes, I would agree Eudora is out of step.

Seriously, a small town which supports a half Chinese half Mexican restaurant is pretty cool. Reminds me, need to take the drive and grab some carryout.

Scott Morgan 7 years, 2 months ago

No, just tired of hearing all the doo doo elitists toss at Eudora. Although I don't hear much about the better school system anymore. I wonder why?

You can see Lawrence from Eudora, it's not that far away. So, you are insinuating groups of people, many of Native American backgrounds,and a healthy Catholic heartbeat plotted to develop a place where they can practice racism.

Is it my imagination but didn't Eudora actually help sponsor a young African American citizen with his race car driving career?

Didn't they recently dedicate a downtown statue of a Native American Women?

If Eudora is racist maybe there are too dumb to realize what being racist is all about.

I can see it now at the local KKK meeting.

Meeting Come To Order.

Hey boys, gotta new directive from HQ.

Final report on the bake sale met our goals for the middle school band uniforms.

All of you who are Latino, Native American or Catholics please turn in your sheets by the end of next week. That means you too Bubba, that Jewish thing you know. No hard feelings Ed, still gonna pick me up for work?

Scott Morgan 7 years, 2 months ago

I can understand. Each of us have had our ox gored.

compmd 7 years, 2 months ago

Maybe the clowns in Eudora should try reading the law. Any agreement to have municipal officers patrol highway outside city limits is invalid and unenforceable if said municipal officers have not been deputized by the sheriff.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 2 months ago

He "won"? Sounds to me like he was inconvenienced at least as much as the ticket would have been.

hootman31 7 years, 2 months ago

Just FYI, this has been going on for at least 2 years. If fact I brought it to the attention of city hall and Grady, the current police chief (he wasn't at the time), that the city cannot be enforcing county code thru the city, as it was out of their jurisdiction.

The incident involved a lady friend, driving alone, supposedly running the stop sign at the end of 10th street coming off 10 Hwy at the east Eudora exit.

At the time I was told by Grady that in no uncertain terms, that all of east 10th street is in the city limits of Eudora.

I can’t be the only one that has brought this to their attention in the past.

My friend did not pursuit this any further fearing repercussions, and paid the ticket under protest.

So not only are they writing tickets, but my friend claims that she actually stopped at the sign.

This makes multiple times the police in Eudora have been caught abusing their authority, bordering on police intimidation.

Will anything be done?

akt2 7 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

sherbert 7 years, 2 months ago

The article states that 'Koepke raised the issue — and several others because he says he wasn’t speeding' I think they the city should have to go back and refund all tickets given illegally in that area.

gccs14r 7 years, 2 months ago

It's getting to the point that we all need to run our own surveillance cameras so that we can prove in court via video documentation that we were not doing what the police said we were doing.

Don Whiteley 7 years, 2 months ago

Koepke weaseled his way out of the ticket because an officer in the wrong jurisdiction stopped him. The limit is clearly posted and he was going 20 mph over the posted speed limit NEAR A SCHOOL!! Our laws are completely worthless when they let jerks like him off the hook! Good thing a city officer didn't arrest some thug for selling drugs to elementary school children, or he would have gotten his "get out of jail " card free, just like this ass.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 2 months ago

Before you go mouthing off to an officer if you were to get stopped in this area; make sure it's not the Douglas County Sheriff, they DO have jurisdiction anywhere in the county. A State Trooper can pull you over just about anywhere. If you gotta have an 'attitude' just be careful who you get it with. (Or, crazy idea...just be polite and compliant; if 'they' are wrong, get it fixed in court.) Being nice to an officer with a gun and/or taser is always a good idea!!

A bit of a black eye for Eudora PD.

jafs 7 years, 2 months ago

It's a strange situation, if closer in towards the city has a higher speed limit than farther from it.

The obvious solution would be to keep the speed limit low in both places.

highfire 7 years, 2 months ago

I live in the city of Eudora, and just got pulled over and the cop was a jerk, it was out by the new Baptist Church, but the officer put it right when you hit the city of eudora speed limit. HE then told me 3 times that he did not radar me but it looked like the way my headlights were shaking coming off the hill that I was going 45 in a 30, okay so it is a gravel road, and the road was wet, I was driving a little ford ranger, cant figure out how someone can determine the speed by the way my headlights shake, but, got a ticket for it, and it stated that I got the ticket right when the gravel hits the pavement, which I know for a fact I was not going 45 there, if I was doing 45 there I probably would have lost control of the truck from switching to gravel to pavement. So, got a 150 dollar ticket for the way my headlights were shaking. HMMM, should I fight it? OH and the officer wrote on the ticket that he radared me, which he told me 3 times that he did not radar me, and it just looked like I was going that fast, okay that was a mile away from where the cop was sitting, he must be MAGIC if he can read my speed by my headlights. SHOULD I FIGHT IT????

ajone 7 years, 2 months ago

If you are guilty pay the fine and have a guilt free conscience. If you feel you are not guilty, it is your right to fight the ticket in court.

In my opinion, if the officer did, as you put it, "told you that he did not radar you", and wrote differently on the ticket. If you questioned him under oath about it and he answered differently, would he not be committing perjury?

Do they have any video to back it up? If not, why? Does the officer have a certificate of training for the radar unit? Can you see it? Is the officer competent to operate the unit? Have you looked at the daily log for the officer? Did he correctly calibrate the radar gun prior to his shift? Did he record it? Which method did he use? Are the tuning forks accurate? Do the certificates of accuracy for the tuning forks match the #'s on the tuning forks? Is the radar gun certified accurate? Does the certificate of accuracy match the radar unit? Manufacture, model, serial #. Are you familiar with how the radar gun works? Have you read the radar manual? Is the speedometer of the patrol car required to be certified accurate? Do they have a certificate of accuracy for the speedometer if one is required? Where did the officer radar you, according to his notes? Did you see his notes? Could he possibly radar you at that point? Where did he pull you over? Can the officer describe the truck and its occupants? Any outstanding characteristics about the truck? Can the officer recall them? Can he recall what happed during the stop? What was the weather like? Could it have caused interference with the radar unit? Is the individual who signed the certificate of accuracy in court to testify to his/her credentials? Do you have questions about the certification test? If he/she is not in court, is the certificate of accuracy admissible as evidence? If it can not be placed as evidence, how can the radar gun be used as evidence if it can not be certified as accurate? Is the certificate of accuracy a copy or the original? Is it authentic? Is it signed by a notary?

I would ask questions. I would probably have a lot of them. If in doubt, you have a right to ask. Do you not have to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt? If you do not agree with the judges ruling, you may have a right to appeal it in district court. I could be wrong.

But I am just Joe Schmoe, don't listen to me.

notyourmom 7 years, 2 months ago

Isn't the speed limit for a highway in the county 55? So he wasn't speeding at all? If this isn't a city road, the city can't change the speed limit. And he wasn't doing anything wrong at all. I'm glad we have guys like this around to keep our government officials honest and within the confindes of law. And I love cops.

Soapbox 7 years, 2 months ago

Yes, brother it is you and me against the man.

purplesage 7 years, 2 months ago

"The city doesn't write tickets for revenue --"

I don't believe that statement. Nothing further.

sr80 7 years, 2 months ago

panties in a bunch or panties in a wad.Which is the proper usage? I don't think anyone is wearing any !!

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