Court Sides With Driver Who Flipped Off Officer After Getting Ticketed

Getting ticketed is never fun, but it’s probably not a good idea to give an officer the finger.

However, that’s what happened on June 1st, 2017. According to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Taylor, Michigan Police Officer Matthew Minard pulled Debra Cruise-Gulyas over for speeding. Minard was apparently in a good mood as he wrote Cruise-Gulyas a ticket for impeding traffic which is a “lesser violation, known as a non-moving violation.”

While most drivers would be happy with this, Cruise-Gulyas was upset and flipped Minard off as she drove away. This gesture angered Minard who pulled Cruise-Gulyas over again and changed her ticket to a “moving violation – a speeding offense and what counts as a more serious violation of Michigan law.”

Cruise-Gulyas sued Minard for violating her constitutional rights under the first, fourth and fourteenth amendments. Minard attempted to get the case dismissed, but the United States District Court of Eastern Michigan rejected the motion last year.

Minard appealed and the cased moved to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The court issued their opinion yesterday and Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton noted “Fits of rudeness or lack of gratitude may violate the Golden Rule,” but that doesn’t make them illegal, punishable or “matter grounds for a seizure.”

Sutton went on to note Cruise-Gulyas was pulled over less than 100 yards (91 meters) from the initial stop. Given that she hadn’t broken any laws in that short distance, the court determined Minard violated Cruise-Gulyas’s right to be “free from an unreasonable seizure by stopping her a second time.”

The court also noted “Any reasonable officer would know that a citizen who raises her middle finger engages in speech protected by the first amendment.” As a result, they determined Minard committed a “cognizable, and clear, violation of her speech rights.”

  • LJ

    As much as I hate to say it, I agree with the court’s ruling. An officer can’t punish someone for flipping them off.

    Having said that, this lady seems like a real douche, and I have a feeling this won’t be her last ticket.

    • Stephen G

      No, he didn’t punish her for flipping him off, he corrected the ticket for the original charge. He was being nice and lessened to original charge which he did not have to do. Also, how many tax payer dollars did this *itch waste just because she had a bad attitude.

      • Merc1

        He DID NOT do that. Did you read the article???

        “While most drivers would be happy with this, Cruise-Gulyas was upset and flipped Minard off as she drove away. This gesture angered Minard who pulled Cruise-Gulyas over again and changed her ticket to a “moving violation – a speeding offense and what counts as a more serious violation of Michigan law.”

        This is clearly retaliatory and just plain WRONG.

        M

        • Stephen G

          I read it, how about you? The direct quote is… “changed her ticket to a “moving violation” which is what he pulled her over for in the first place. Duh.

          • Merc1

            Do you just not understand what it says?

            ” a speeding offense and what counts as a more serious violation of Michigan law.”

            He gave her a warning at first and then upped it to a full blown tkt after she flipped him off. Do you seriously not get that?

            Wow you’re slow man.

            M

  • DM

    We can never generalize, but some officers really have a bad attitude when stopping someone. Not saying the woman was not rude, but sometimes officers act as if you are the worst of criminals even when stopping you for minor infractions.

    • Stephen G

      A “minor infraction” is still an infraction. If you’re doing something against the law then you can be punished for it.

    • LJ

      This officer wasn’t rude. He was nice and ticketed her for a lesser offense. It wasn’t until she gave him the finger that he became upset.

      • Merc1

        He should have just gotten over it. He’s the one with the power and he has to learn how to be the bigger person.

        M

        • LJ

          For sure, but that’s easier said than done. Here he’s being nice to her and then she goes and flips him off.

          • Merc1

            Being pulled over is a not being nice, it’s a time wasting annoyance. NO ONE wants to be bothered with being pulled over for BS.

            M

          • LJ

            Pulling someone over for speeding is a police officer’s job. Don’t break the law and you won’t be “bothered”.

          • Merc1

            Yep and getting mad because someone flipped you off is NOT his job which is the court threw his garbage decision out.

            M

          • LJ

            Yes. That’s what I said from the beginning.

          • Merc1

            No you tried to say he was being nice for pulling her over and writing her up for a lesser offense. There is nothing nice about that in the first place. It’s annoying BS doesn’t matter if he gave her a real tkt or not. If it wasn’t serious enough to write a full blown ticket they why bother in the first place? The whole scenario is BS.

            M

          • LJ

            My other comment from an hour ago said I agreed with the court’s decision.

            You’re coming off as douche who disregards the law when it’s inconvenient for you, just like the lady who flipped off the cop.

          • Merc1

            Good, but don’t tell me that being pulled over is something nice, it isn’t. Ticket or not. It’s an annoyance.

            Nope wrong. I actually think she was stupid too, because if you only got a warning she should have left it at that.

            M

          • LJ

            Pulling someone over for speeding isn’t nice or mean, it’s a police officer’s job.

          • S3XY

            There is nothing nice about flipping an officer off after they just pulled you over and issued you a ticket.

            You seem really dull. You deserve a ticket for dimwittedness.

          • Merc1

            Who said there was? I can see you’re pretty stupid to think that a cop should pull you over for flipping him off.

            Maybe you should get a tkt for supidity.

            M

          • LeStori

            bothered has some interesting meanings

      • DM

        Sure, according to the article he was kind enough to lower the offense and the lady still got mad. I mean if you did something wrong, then just accept you are at fault, take the ticket and you and the officer can both go their own way. No need for anyone to be rude.

  • Don’t ever mess with a cop in ‘Murica. They shoot first and ask questions later. Even Russia has more polite and friendly cops.

  • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

    He was a power hungry nazí and she was an entitled cnt. The worst of both worlds clashing together.

    • LJ

      And you’re an idiot.

      • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

        Oh how revealing your post history is. The wonderful irony. You’re not biased in any way are you? If I’m an idiot, then you are merely slug shít.

        • LJ

          It reveals that I’m a big supporter of common sense, and you are not.

          • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

            If reveals that you’re intellectually redundant, ignorant of this particular case and follow a blind allegiance to the boys in blue. You are nothing but a servile lemming. If you were imprisoned, I have no doubt you would be the cell block bítch. Good day.

          • LJ

            I agreed with the court’s ruling. You’d have known that, had you read the first comment I posted.

    • He was nice, she was stupid, he got angry. Someone hits you, you give them the other cheek?

  • brn

    Was speeding. Got pulled over for speeding. Got a ticket (eventually) for speeding.

    Where’s the problem?

    • illogicalPotato

      Problem was that the officer charger her with a moving violation for just giving the finger which is protected under the first amendment. lol I doubt the speeding ticket was ever an issue.

      • brn

        No the officer didn’t not charge her with a moving violation, which she did commit.

  • Dittohead

  • Craig

    I have to say…. this it what I consider a ‘feel good story’! That said though… I don’t think I’d like her as a person very much.

  • Stephen G

    How do we know that Officer Minard was “angered” when Debra flipped him off? He probably just changed his mind about being a nice guy and gave her a ticket for exactly what he pulled her over for in the first place. “Angry” cops don’t give out tickets for lesser charges. If he was angry he could have made her do a sobriety test or searched the car for drugs. To me it sounds like the angry one here is Mrs Debra Cruise-Gulyas.

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