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$281
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7
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Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, July 24 2014 11:19 AM UTC +00:00
$281
pledged of $17,000pledged of $17,000 goal
7
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, July 24 2014 11:19 AM UTC +00:00

About

SCRIPT FROM THE VIDEO

The Philadelphia traffic court has been an embarrassment of our city for generations. Tickets were cancelled and traded for favors. 

The FBI raided traffic court offices and indicted 9 current and former judges on 77 counts. As of February 2014 four judges have pleaded guilty and the court was abolished.

From this same court, another unholy practice is the common "3111". Defendants are given a choice in court: they can plead guilty and pay the full amount of their ticket, or they can plead not-guilty and risk points on their driving record. The points increase their insurance costs, often by ten times the cost of the ticket. If you plead not-guilty you will be found guilty... even if the plantiff does not show up in court. In other words, you're getting jibbed.

I've seen it, you've seen it, the indicted judges have all seen it. But there is no public proof. That changes today.

Under Mayor Nutter's open data policy, I have requested the full court docket since 2005 of Philadelphia Traffic Court including information on the defendant, the original violation, the settled violation and the verdict. The city is requesting $11,000 to collate this data and I want to publish it and work with the community to uncover that the 3111 practice is wrong.

With the demonstrated illegitimacy of the court, federal indictment of its judges and this proof of the 3111, I want everyone in Philadelphia who feels they were wrongly given a ticket or unfairly tried to have the chance for a retrial under the new jurisdiction of the municipal court.

Join us in bringing light to this practice and justice to millions in the area.

THE PROJECT DETAILS

Here is the actual project plan

1. Set up a project wiki and website (using GitHub) to discuss with you and the community how to make the greatest impact with our results analysis.

2. Pay the upfront fees requested by the Philadelphia Public Access Request Department and any supplemental fees to complete the request (their base request is $11,200). Following is their actual estimate and sample of the output data.

3. Take the complete, unabridged data file and publish it to the project website.

4. Calculate and publish statistics on the number and kinds of violations that were changed to a 3111 and the dispositions of cases.

5. Create a press release announcing the completion of the project and our findings.

We are hopeful the press release and completed report will provide strong evidence of misconduct by the court and categorically invalidate a large number of cases tried in the abolished system... opening them up for retrial or other corrective action.

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OVER FUNDING

If we reach the project goal, we will purchase the data and start working on the project website and fulfilling the pledge rewards. Over funding will unlock other items for the benefit for everyone.

$25,000 -- The project will be complete and I will use the extra funds to find the best single or group of lawyers to fight my latest moving violation (from 2012). I will only approach this case on the theory that the court was corrupt when I got the ticket and will work towards an outcome that sets a precedent for others to overturn their past tickets.

$40,000 -- I'll use the extra funds for a request to Pittsburgh (currently working on an open data bill) and start the same process there looking for misuse of the 3111 violation code.

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MORE INFORMATION

See the below for media coverage and other background on indictments and Philadelphia Traffic Court below:

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&id=8975023

9 judges charged with Philadelphia ticket fixing

http://www.courts.phila.gov/traffic/

The Traffic Division of Municipal Court was established by Act 17 of 2013 of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, which abolished the former Philadelphia Traffic Court and transferred its jurisdiction to the Municipal Court.

http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/feature?section=news&id=8975338

Read the full 79-page indictment on alleged ticket fixing at Philadelphia Traffic Court.

The conspirators used the Philadelphia Traffic Court (“Traffic Court”) to

give preferential treatment to certain ticketholders, most commonly by “fixing” tickets for those

with whom they were politically and socially connected. By doing so, the conspirators defrauded

the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia of funds to which the

Commonwealth and the City were entitled

0:00 FBI Raid

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EnDdJ3Yxs-E Philadelphia's newest shady elected officals

0:22 We now have a new  

WILLIE SINGLETARY -- CONVICTED

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2013/06/19/with-gov-corbetts-signature-philadelphia-traffic-court-is-out-of-business/

With Gov. Corbett’s Signature, Philadelphia Traffic Court Is Out Of Business

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/tag/philadelphia-traffic-court/

http://www.fbi.gov/philadelphia/press-releases/2013/philadelphia-traffic-court-judges-indicted-for-fraud

Philadelphia Traffic Court Judges Indicted for Fraud 

http://articles.philly.com/2014-01-28/news/46690561_1_william-hird-philly-traffic-court-ex-traffic-court

Ex-Traffic Court supervisor pleads guilty in ticket-fixing case

http://articles.philly.com/2014-01-29/news/46740469_1_william-hird-judge-fortunato-perri-sr-philadelphia-traffic-court

Fourth guilty plea in Traffic Court scandal

http://articles.philly.com/2014-01-29/news/46740407_1_philly-traffic-court-robert-moy-robert-mulgrew

Like a 'clearinghouse,' William Hird got tickets fixed in Traffic Court

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/cityhall/Indicted-Traffic-Court-judges-seek-dismissal-of-charges.html

Indicted Traffic Court judges seek dismissal of charges

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/cityhall/Indicted-Traffic-Court-judges-seek-dismissal-of-charges.html#FKWd7He8d7mK0KtU.99

Ticket quotas: F. M, J. M. The Philadelphia Traffic Court. University of Pennsylvania Law Review. 1961;109(6):848-.

Risks and challenges

1. The data access cost could be more than originally quoted.
Our project funding target is calculated as follows: $11,200 plus 30% plus $1,000 plus Kickstarter fees. This provides a buffer in case the original cost estimate is exceeded. I have worked in numerous contracting relationships and know that you can never trust an original estimate.

2. The data could be difficult to interpret.
I have a professional background in corporate finance, business, and engineering, please see my resume at phor.net. I have specific experience in analyzing large datasets and am strongly familiar with Excel, Perl and C. And in modesty, I will be happy to learn from and deter to the community if they have better ideas than mine. And by publishing the data in its unabridged form other analysis can be done.

3. The results could be anti-climatic.
Yes, scientific findings are most widely trumpeted when they disprove the null hypothesis. It is possible that popular hate of the traffic court is the result of a vocal minority of people that feel screwed by the system. I can't promise the results will be damning. But still making lemonade, I do promise to make an honest assessment and call it like I see it -- if data suggests the 3111 is not a widespread scam then I will not try to shove the data into some preconceived hypothesis.

4. The results could be damning, but nothing becomes of it.
If we succeed in funding this project, this is a huge vote of confidence. This would represent a significant public interest in reviewing the practices of the Philadelphia Traffic Court. And that's newsworthy. With the noteworthyness of complete funding, as well as your great ideas in the project Wiki, I am confident we will be able to make a splash.

Also, please see my prior data-intensive civic project involving SEPTA with media coverage at:
* http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/tech/Frustrated-Over-Late-SEPTA-Trains-Software-Developer-Creates-App-to-Recommend-Schedule-Changes-241182841.html
* http://www.metro-magazine.com/news/story/2014/01/septa-rider-creates-app-proposing-better-schedules-.aspx

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- (30 days)