At the risk of sounding melodramatic, and like a bit of a crank, I will now make a simple declaration: The New Orleans Administrative Hearing Center is the bane of my existence.
For those of you who have never had the opportunity to visit the Administrative Hearing Center, this is the place where the City of New Orleans holds hearings on parking tickets and “safety” camera violations. In theory, you appear before a neutral judge, a hearing officer, who accepts the evidence submitted by the city, takes evidence from the accused (i.e., you) and then determines whether the city has proven its case by a preponderance of the evidence.
If the Administrative Hearing Center actually functioned in this fashion, I would have little problem with it. It would be compliant with due process under the U.S. Constitution as it is understood by the courts.
However, the Administrative Hearing Center doesn’t function according to theory. In practice, it is a kangaroo court that ignores proper legal procedure and acts as a rubber stamp on behalf of the city. Continue reading »