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Justin Bieber Case

Judge Rules Paparazzi Law

UNCONSTITUTIONAL

11/14/2012 2:57 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
breaking news

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A judge in the Justin Bieber car chase case just ruled the California paparazzi law -- which prohibits photogs from driving recklessly while trying to shoot pictures of celebs -- is unconstitutional.

The judge was hearing the case of the photog who chased Justin in July on an L.A. freeway.  Witnesses say the cars were traveling at speeds approaching 100 mph. 

The judge tossed out 2 of the 4 criminal counts against photog Paul Raef. The counts that were tossed were based on the new paparazzi law. The judge concluded the law was "problematic" and suppressed legitimate activities by the media.

The ruling will not have an immediate effect because it was handed down by a trial judge. But we're told the L.A. City Attorney will appeal the ruling, and if the appeals court sides with the trial judge it could have a big impact on how paparazzi are prosecuted.

67 COMMENTS

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1.

Jay W.     

Good, just purchased a new camera.

677 days ago
2.

Jen    

How is a law that prevents people from driving recklessly unconstitutional? I don't care what the reason, but protecting reckless driving is stupid.

677 days ago
3.

Majestik    

That's right, and to the trial judge that ruled this "UNCONSTITUTIONAL", let's hope the next pap driving eratically at 100 mph chasing a celeb doesn't slam into an SUV driven by your wife with your children in the backseat. DUMBASS!!!!!

677 days ago
4.

Truth    

Guess Harvey is happy... Oh look - his payroll of paparazzis just doubled. At least we'll get pics of no talent Bieber banging his boyfriend at 110 mph. Dude is gay either way... #TRUTH!!

677 days ago
5.

AlwaysOnTimeB    

I guess this judge will feel kind of bad when someone is killed in a Pap chase. Then again, maybe he won't, because he doesn't see anything wrong with reckless driving. Anything for the sake of a pic huh?

677 days ago
6.

the artist formerly known as hand turkey    

Beibs HAD to run, drive recklessly, and endanger lives, because having your picture taken hurts so bad and it sucks out your soul.

677 days ago
7.

nORRis8    

Cool. Next time I'm in California and get pulled over for speeding, I'll just whip out my Canon and say I though I saw Zsa Zsa Gabor driving her Aston Martin weaving in and out of traffic and I was trying to get a picture for Harvey.

Thanks Harv.

677 days ago
8.

harleyharlett    

how is that law unconstitutional?? isn't any body who drives recklessly breaking the law???? and driving is a privilege and not a constitutional right. so breaking a driving law has nothing to do w/ the paps constitutional rights - this makes no sense!!!

677 days ago
9.

Max Smart    

Paps are the s*** of the earth but let's be honest, if Justin wasn't driving like a maniac the paps wouldn't be following like a maniac. My issue with all of this is that Biebs thinks he can endanger the public just to get away from having his picture taken. It's not okay for the paps and it's not ok for him either.

677 days ago
10.

kitnplayn    

This is an era of technology and amazing quality zoom-lens cameras. It is bullchit that Americans don't pass "distance and purpose" laws. That would say that you cannot photograph a celebrity while they are in transit (driving) or without a purpose (no stalking them waiting for something to happen to snap a picture) only if the celebrities come to where the paparazzi is, not the other way around. Celebrities can be photographed at public events, but leave them the hell alone when they are living their personal lives and running daily errands, especially so for their kids.
*
Americans don't seem to be very capable at putting things in place before a tragedy happens, even when it is forewarned [katrina].
*

677 days ago
11.

lisam    

can the familys of the ppl they kill by speeding and endangering others lifes 'Can they SUE THE JUDGE???

677 days ago
12.

VictoriaGirl    

So why bother having a stalkerazzi law if it's just going to be ruled unconstitutional? Theres no point of having a law if its considered "unconstitutional".

677 days ago
13.

Jannie    

Wow, so doing over 100 on the freeway is a "legitimate activity by the media"???? What the crapping hell is wrong with this stupid judge? People, next time you are pulled over for going at murder-suicide speeds, just whip out your fake paparazzi id's. You'll be good. You are just doing your media related activity.

677 days ago
14.

sevans    

If you hate being recognized when in public then quit driven such a "flashy" ride.

677 days ago
15.

ManiacalZebra    

Looks like celebs are going to have to start driving responsibly rather than risk other's lives to avoid a potentially fatal confrontation with a lethal camera.

677 days ago
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