Claremore man files federal lawsuit over his use of a golf cart

Tuesday, December 23rd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A disabled man who got a traffic ticket for driving a golf cart - continues to fight the ticket in court. News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan has an update to his story.

Gene Young walks - but just barely. He relies on a golf cart to get around Claremore - mainly to work and back. But because golf carts aren't legal on city streets - he got a traffic ticket that he's fighting in court.

He lost the first round, so he is appealing and now he's suing the City of Claremore, claiming that a restriction on his golf cart - is a violation of his civil rights.

Attorney Todd Singer: "It relegates him to his apartment and we think that's a violation of federal law." Young's attorney filed suit in federal court on Tuesday, claiming Young could lose his job if he's denied use of the golf cart.

"A wheelchair electric or otherwise, or crutches or canes are really not sufficienct to get him where he needs to go, the distance is just too great in a city like Claremore."

Mr Young's golf cart is clearly not street legal, but if it's considered a "mobility device", like a wheelchair, the City of Claremore would have to let him use it. That's what Young and his attorney hope to accomplish with a lawsuit filed in federal court.

Young still has the outstanding ticket, because the case is on appeal in Rogers County. The outcome of the federal lawsuit would trump whatever happens in the state court.

Young's $140 traffic ticket remains unpaid while he continues his appeal.