Ever feel condemned because the parking ticket on your windshield calls you a "violator"?
Not to worry: the wording will soon be changed, thanks to none other than pornography publisher Ralph Ginzburg.
Ginzburg got a $40 parking ticket last August while visiting a federal park in Queens, N.Y. He contested the ticket, saying the words "violator's copy" violated his Fifth Amendment right to be presumed innocent until found guilty.
A federal magistrate called the argument a "forensic exercise," but Ginzburg insisted on having a judge hear his case. He also wrote to the New York Civil Liberties Union, which in turn voiced its concerns to John Chastain, general counsel to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.
Chastain said yesterday that the tickets issued for violations on federal property -- such as National Airport, the Mall and George Washington Parkway -- are being revised and the new ones probably will call putative miscreants "alleged violators" so as not to presume guilt before adjudication.
Ginzburg, who has two federal obscenity convictions on his record, was elated yesterday. He said he has yet to hear from the federal court about his ticket and doubts that he will. "You can't lose them all," he said.