The Traffic Court (TC) at Liberty University was created at the request of Liberty University students through the procedure of the Student Government Association. The Traffic Court is not a separate entity from the Liberty University Student Court (LUSC), but is positioned within the LUSC. The Traffic Court is composed of three Justices from the LUSC. Associate Justice Zachary Stirparo is the permanent Justice, from the LUSC, who is tasked with the organization and management of the Traffic Court. The remaining two justice spots are rotating positions filled with two Justices on the LUSC, excluding the Chief Justice for obvious reasons of interest and hierarchy.
The Traffic Court was created to handle only certain moving violations on Liberty University’s campus that are appealed by the student body at large. The Traffic Court’s purpose is to be a mediator between the Liberty University Police Department (LUPD) and the appealing student. Being a mediator, the Traffic Court is a neutral party that is not for or against either side. The appeals process is to be used by a student who believes him or herself to be unjustly (mind you not unfairly) "written up" for a moving violation. In light of this issue, the TC will decide if the appeal is rightly warranted.
Justice Stirparo will begin by selecting two other Justices to serve on that select Traffic Court. The Three Justices, as well as the Clerk of the Court, will schedule an Appeals Review, which is a review by the aforementioned justices of the appeals that have been brought by the student body and dissect them to see if any issue of law (Virginia or Liberty University) is in question or whether a significant question of procedure is raised.
The appeals that are in question for issue of law or procedure will be scheduled for an Appeal Session. The appeals session is scheduled for the reason of ironing out questions or problems and will involve the three Justices, the Clerk, the Police Officer who issued the ticket and the appealing student. The times are scheduled to allow the attendance of all parties, but the justice and clerk schedules take precedent over officer or student. However, keep in mind that the Traffic Court only schedules an appeals session to better understand the parameters surrounding the ticket and appeal. In light of this, please make every effort to attend your appeals session. Subsequently, if the officer does not show up to the session, the student has the ability to argue his case and will only be opposed by the justices on the traffic court. The non-appearance of the either party does not qualify the other to an automatic acceptance of their view, but the Traffic Court will look more favorably on the attending side if no question of law or procedure is prevailingly erroneous.
Therefore, in light of this process, it behooves the student to offer a more substantial issue of fact, procedure or situation than the ticket being the student’s first offense. The student is advised to bring an element before the Court that a “reasonable person” would find as an issue.
In conclusion, the student should be aware that the appeal can either be denied or granted, but if the appeal is granted the ticket fee is not automatically waived. The fee can be lowered or completely removed. If the ticket fee is lowered or removed, the student’s account will be changed accordingly. All TC opinions are binding and final; however, if the appeal is denied, the TC will not look at a previously denied appeal in which a student has raised a different
Justice Zachary Stirparo
Associate Justice Zachary Stirparo is the associate justice for the Traffic Court.