Here’s what happened, according to court documents. Back in February 2014, Andrea Cammelleri was cited for a violation when she left her pickup truck parked on a street in West Jefferson, Ohio.
That was because an ordinance in the village stated it was illegal to park “any motor vehicle camper, trailer, farm implement and/or non-motorized vehicle” on a street for more than 24 hours.
At a bench trial, Cammelleri argued that “the ordinance did not apply because the language prohibits a motor vehicle camper from being parked on the street for an extended period of time.”
That’s: Motor vehicle camper.
Not: Motor vehicle, camper.
“The trial court held that when reading the ordinance in context, it unambiguously applied to motor vehicles and ‘anybody reading [the ordinance] would understand that it is just missing a comma,’” court documents state….
“By utilizing rules of grammar and employing the common meaning of terms, ‘motor vehicle camper’ has a clear definition that does not produce an absurd result,” Hendrickson wrote in his ruling. “If the village desires a different reading, it should amend the ordinance and insert a comma between the phrase ‘motor vehicle’ and the word ‘camper.’”
Patheos Explore the world's faith through different perspectives on religion and spirituality! Patheos has the views of the prevalent religions and spiritualities of the world.