I blogged below about a judge in Atlanta that threw our parking citations because they were written by a private contractor and not the cops. Read the blog here A correspondent reacted to my post this way:
I believe that the issue is not one of sworn officers vs. private enforcement. What the district court judges are finding objectionable is that the private company is profiting from the issuance of codified ordinances. Looking at the way the contract was written, the city inappropriately transferred its governmental authority to impose and collect fines. There is a clear conflict of interest when the private issuer of the alleged violation essentially gets to keep 100% of the fine amount.
To clarify. I don’t believe the private contractor receives 100% of the fine amount. I believe they get either a flat rate or a percentage. Nevertheless, so called “transferring” of governmental authority happens every day. We have private prisons for instance, which run for profit, and take governmental authority to do so. What about cities that turn their entire parking operation over to a private company. In many cities private operators install meters, collect the money, enforce the rules, write citations, and even provide administrative judges to rule when there is a dispute. The city merely receives a payment from the private company, who makes a profit.
I see no conflict here, and most courts would agree.