A Man and His Papers Claims Two in Carpool Dispute

North Bay man's beef isn't with traffic, but corporate power

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A North Bay man purposely drove alone in the carpool lane in hopes of getting a ticket. He says he hopes to make the legal point that a corporation is a person. Jean Elle reports.

    If you get caught in a carpool lane, you face a hefty fine.

    We met a Bay Area man who intentionally drove alone in the carpool lanes in hopes of getting a ticket - not to pay the fine, but to prove a point.

    San Rafael's Jonathan Frieman is now fighting a ticket he received for driving alone in the carpool lane, saying that he did have a passenger at the time he was pulled over. That passenger was his corporation papers, which he carried with him in the passengers seat.

    Frieman sees the ticket as a chance to legally comment on the definition of a corporation as being a person.

    He got the ticket back in October, but he claims he wasn't really driving alone because he had his corporation papers with him and a corporation is a person under the law.

    Frieman says his fight isn't about traffic, but about corporate power.

    "I'm just arresting their power and using it for my service to drive in the carpool lane," Frieman said.

    USF law professor Robert Talbot says the point is a little bit of a stretch.

    Talbot said the point of the carpool lane law is to get cars off the road and Frieman is steering away from the intent of the law.

    "A court might say well it says person and a corporation is a person so that'll work for the carpool lane it's possible but I doubt it," Talbot said.
         
    Frieman said he is hoping to take his case well beyond a Marin County traffic hearing, which is scheduled for Monday.

    He wants corporate personhood and the protections corporation have to be debated in a higher court. He says he wants to turn that legal definition on its head.