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Moore v. City of Louisville

June 23, 1998

EDWARD W. MOORE, APPELLANT
v.
CITY OF LOUISVILLE, MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE



Before McMILLIN, P.j., Diaz, And King, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: McMILLIN, P.j.

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 11/05/96

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. C. E. MORGAN, III

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: WINSTON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CRIMINAL - MISDEMEANOR

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: SPEEDING 70 M.P.H. IN A 55 M.P.H ZONE: SENTENCED TO PAY A FINE & ASSESSMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $50.00 WHICH IS TO BE PAID TO THE MUNICIPAL COURT OF WINSTON COUNTY & TO PAY ALL ASSESSMENTS & COSTS

¶1. Edward W. Moore was convicted of driving his vehicle in excess of the posted speed limit in the City Court of the City of Louisville. He appealed to the Winston County Circuit Court where the case was tried de novo as a bench trial. Moore was once again found guilty. He has now appealed that conviction to this Court. We affirm.

¶2. Moore's vehicle was detected on a radar device operated by a Louisville police officer as traveling at a speed of seventy miles per hour in a zone where the posted speed limit was fifty-five miles per hour. The officer testified that he stopped the vehicle, identified the driver to be Moore, and issued him a uniform traffic citation. The alleged speeding incident occurred within the corporate limits of the city of Louisville on a section of Mississippi Highway 25.

¶3. Moore raises three issues in this appeal, any of which would require this Court to reverse and render the conviction if found to have merit. First, he charges that the police officer was not authorized to use a radar device in his law enforcement activity on a state highway due to the prohibition contained in Section 63-3-519 of the Mississippi Code. This violation of the statute, according to Moore's argument, rendered the evidence inadmissible since it was gathered by illegal means. Second, he claims that the uniform arrest ticket, which serves the purpose of a criminal affidavit, was fatally defective under Section 169 of the Mississippi Constitution for its failure to conclude with the words "against the peace and dignity of the State of Mississippi." Finally, he claims that the prosecution failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was the driver of the vehicle at the time the alleged offense occurred.

I. The Use of Radar Speed Detection Equipment

¶4. Moore correctly states that the only evidence that the vehicle was speeding was the officer's testimony of the read-out of the radar device he was using at the time. Moore claims that this evidence was inadmissible because the device was being used in direct violation of the provisions of Section 63-3-519 of the Mississippi Code, which states, in part:

It shall be unlawful for any person or peace officer or law enforcement agency, except the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol, to purchase or use or allow to be used any type of radar speed detection equipment upon any public street, road or highway of this state. However, such equipment may be used:

1. By municipal law enforcement officers within a municipality having a population of two thousand (2,000) or more upon the public ...


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