Miami Parking Officers Repeatedly Ticket Car For Days Without Noticing Dead Man Slumped Over In The Front Seat

fl-lauderdale-dead-man-parking-tickets-2016120-002-1fl-lauderdale-dead-man-parking-tickets-2016120-001There is a truly gruesome controversy in Broward County where parking enforcement officers repeatedly put tickets on the windshield of a SUV three blocks form the Broward County Courthouse without noticing the dead man slumped forward in the front seat. Curious about the stack of tickets on the windshield, Carolyn White walked over to the car and screamed immediately upon seeing the dead body of Jacob Morpeau, 62, in his Isuzu Axiom.

It was determined that Morpeau died from natural causes and died holding a credit card. He had a history of hypertensive cardiovascular disease. The greater mystery is how parking officers could repeatedly put tickets on the windshield without noticing the clearly visible dead man in the front seat. Citations were issued at 7:39 a.m. Saturday, Nov., 12, and again at 9:30 p.m. Morpeau was given a break on Sunday but then on Monday Nov. 14th a parking officer wrote a ticket at 7:03 a.m. Then on Tuesday, Nov. 15th, another ticket was issued at 6:39 a.m. for one meter.

Morpeau was a Haitian immigrant who raised a family here and retired. Notably, two tickets were written within three minutes and only six hours before White bothered to look inside.

It would seem clear negligence of the officers to repeatedly ticket a car with a dead man inside but the family is likely without a cause of action in tort. The notion of their loved one left in the car for so long is understandably painful but the failure to look into the car would not be viewed as actionable for any type of negligent infliction of emotional distress claim in my view. The officers are actually not tasked with inspecting the interior of vehicles in carrying out their daily work . . . even though most of us would like to believe that they would notice the corpse slumped forward on the dashboard.

24 thoughts on “Miami Parking Officers Repeatedly Ticket Car For Days Without Noticing Dead Man Slumped Over In The Front Seat”

  1. After a time, the car would have been covered with hungry flies. Evidently he was still too fresh.

  2. The parking officer certainly needs a course in situational awareness and officer safety practices.

    1. Rubbish. This is what the woman who found the man said

      She said: ‘I can understand why the meter person probably didn’t see him from the driver’s side.’
      White explained to the newspaper: ‘He was underneath the steering wheel, his head was in the middle of the seat, between the two seats. ‘But you could see him on the passenger’s side. That’s how I seen him, from the sidewalk.’

  3. Prof. Turley fails to understand that parking officers are “machines” that serve one purpose, and one purpose only: issuing tickets wherever and whenever they can to maximize the revenues of the jurisdictional authority. They serve absolutely NO other purpose, nor CAN they serve any other purpose.

    Parking officers are, in fact, proof positive that governments CAN be run efficiently and effectively like the best machine available. This is actually one of the very FEW areas where governments do excel, not including, of course, governments’ exceptional effectiveness at practicing corruption, fraud, waste, mismanagement, and abuse. Governments’ do a fantastic job at those things too, but that is a different matter.

    If you dare to disagree with me that parking officers are not the most effective and efficient ticketing machine you have ever experienced, try this experiment. Go to any municipality and deliberately park your car illegally or park where you have not paid the required parking fee. Then, walk a short distance from your car and take a stopwatch with you to measure how long it takes for you to get ticketed. The speed will astonish you.

    Who says governments can’t be effective and efficient?

    1. They serve absolutely NO other purpose, nor CAN they serve any other purpose.

      They serve the purpose of enforcing the congestion charge on the space. The space has value, which is why it is metered. Space in parking garages is also metered as a rule, it’s just a simpler matter to enforce charges as the garage entrance carries a gate. If you don’t want to pay the congestion charge, take the bus downtown or park your car elsewhere and walk the rest of the distance.

  4. Oh, come on, none of them even knocked on the window? Wondered why a guy just sat there collecting tickets? I’m glad someone thought to finally look inside.

    So sorry for this man, and for his family.

  5. Does Miami Parking Enforcement get a bonus for the number of tickets they write? In many cities, they do. In any case, their budget/salary/uniforms/vehicles are derived from parking ticket proceeds. What other incentive would there be to continue ticketing a vehicle … even with some body (literally) sitting inside it? They don’t care. To them, it’s more money out of our pockets and into theirs.

    Instead, a few of The People are fighting back:
    City of Keene vs Robin Hood of Keene

    Dear Mr. Turley and all Turleyites:
    Q. Is it a Constitutional Right to put money into parking meters (and/or video Meter Maids to instill embarrassment and remorse) to minimize the amount of other peoples’ money they can steal?)

    I welcome your thoughtful responses.

    1. What other incentive would there be to continue ticketing a vehicle …

      What incentive is their for your landlord to charge you rent every month, rather than just charge you a lump sum? The space is metered, i.e. rented. Multiple citations scale the fine to the amount of time you bogarted the space.

  6. Personally, I’m wondering why Miami parking officers were issuing tickets at the Broward courthouse (which is in Fort Lauderdale).

    1. Because local geography in greater Miami is not the law professor’s strong suit.

  7. The explanation could be a simple matter of the lighting in the area and window reflections. It looks like the tickets generally were issued at around the same time in the morning. The body would be easily overlooked when the one was issued at night unless there is nearby lighting in the right place.

  8. Did the family report him as missing? If not, why not? Maybe he lived alone and didn’t communicate with others on a regular basis. If they did report him missing, they probably gave information about his vehicle.

    1. See the remarks of the woman who found him. He was visible from the passenger side only. The parking inspector would have had to make a point of looking into the vehicle from that side.

      1. Toads – so if they are running around on those motorized cycles giving tickets from the roadway, the ticketing agent would not have seen him. However, when a vehicle is left that long they usually consider it abandoned, slap a sticker on it and have it towed. Tow truck driver would have noticed.

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