Free Speech

Lovely Rita, That B***h of a Meter Maid

Michigan's high court tossed a law that had criminalized yelling at meter maids and other university officials


A former Michigan State University (MSU) law student last week beat the system after taking a case arising out of a parking ticket before the state's highest court. Jared Rapp, arguing on his own behalf, convinced the justices that the ordinance used to convict him was unconstitutional.

A district court judge slapped Rapp with an $873 fine, a mandatory anger management course, 80 hours of community service and two years of probation because Rapp yelled at MSU meter maid Ricardo Rego who had issued a ticket to Rapp on September 16, 2008. Rapp pulled up to Rego and demanded to know whether he was responsible for the citation. Rego called campus police who arrived 15 minutes later, eventually charging Rapp with violating MSU Ordinance 15.05.

"No person shall disrupt the normal activity or molest the property of any person, firm, or agency while that person, firm, or agency is carrying out service, activity or agreement for or with the university," the ordinance states.