IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
OF THE STATE OF
MARY KATHERINE DAY-PETRANO
Appeal No. CRC 03-13 APANO
Opinion filed ____________________.
Appeal from a judgment and sentence
entered by the Pinellas County Court
County Judge Paul Levine
Mary K. Day-Petrano, Pro Se
Tammi Bach, Esq.
Attorney for appellee
THIS MATTER is before the Court on the appellant’s appeal from a judgment and sentence entered by the Pinellas County Court. After reviewing the briefs and record, this Court affirms the judgment and sentence.
The appellant was found guilty of careless driving. She was sentenced to pay $80 in fines and costs and ordered to attend defensive driving school. She has appealed that judgment and sentence. This Court has thoroughly reviewed the record, including actually listening to the tape recording of the trial proceedings. The appellant was charged with violating §316.1925, Fla.Stat. (2003) -- careless driving. That statute provides that:
Any person operating a vehicle upon the streets or highways within
the state shall drive the same in a careful and prudent manner, having
regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and all other
attendant circumstances, so as not to endanger the life, limb, or property
of any person. Failure to drive in such manner shall constitute careless
driving and a violation of this section.
There was sufficient evidence brought out at the hearing to support the finding that the appellant was guilty of careless driving. Three witnesses, including a disinterested witness not involved in the accident, all testified that it was the appellant who caused the accident. The witnesses testified that the appellant was stopped at a red light while in the left-hand turn lane. There was one car stopped in front of her. The appellant then apparently changed her mind about turning left, and attempted to move into the lane immediately to her right in order to go straight. Another car, however, was traveling in that lane. The resulting collision pushed the appellant’s car into the car that was stopped in the left-turn lane. The damage showed that the passenger side of the appellant’s car and the front corner of the driver’s side of the vehicle that had been traveling straight had collided. All of the witnesses testified essentially that the appellant had pulled in front of the other vehicle. The appellant herself admitted that, because of a spinal cord injury, she had difficulty looking to her right. Based upon this evidence, the trial judge adjudicated the appellant guilty of careless driving. That adjudication was supported by the evidence. The record is clear that by moving into the path of an approaching motor vehicle the appellant failed to drive in a careful and prudent manner taking into consideration the other traffic; thereby endangering the life, limb, or property of another person. Such a failure constituted careless driving.
appellant’s defense is that her alleged disabilities prevented her from being
able to mount an adequate defense. She also claims that the trial court, in
violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“
the appellant failed to adequately establish that her alleged disabilities
prevented her from participating in the traffic court proceedings. The
appellant made assertions that she had symptoms consistent with Down Syndrome
and needed the accommodation of dictation equipment with editing capability or
a qualified interpreter for a person with Down Syndrome. None of the medical
documentation that the appellant presented, however, supported her assertion.
The medical notes just stated that she couldn’t type or write. As the trial
judge explained, traffic court does not require any writing. All she needed to
do was orally state her case, listen to the witnesses, and ask questions. None
of the medical documentation demonstrated that she was unable to adequately
participate in the traffic court proceedings. The appellant made it known to
the trial judge that she had graduated from law school and had taken the
a review of the proceedings demonstrates that the appellant was able to
adequately participate in the proceedings. The appellant had no difficulty
responding to the trial judge and engaging him in a dialogue when he questioned
her, and she had no difficulty in responding to the police officer when he made
a motion to which she objected. In fact, the trial judge, who had the
opportunity to observe the appellant, specifically found that she understood
and could hear the proceedings, and that she could respond to the proceedings.
The record supports that finding. The appellant was able to explain to the
trial judge her belief that the
As for the alleged improper amendment of the citation, that matter was never presented to the trial court. The appellant, therefore, has not preserved the issue for appellate review.
summary, a review of the record indicates that the evidence supported the
finding of guilt for the charge of careless driving. The appellant did not
adequately establish any defense that the trial court prevented her from
participating in the trial by somehow violating the
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the judgment and sentence are affirmed.
AND ORDERED in Chambers at
Robert J. Morris, Jr.
cc: Judge Levine
Mary K. Day-Petrano
Tammi Bach, Esq.
 The Court notes that the appellant submitted her own transcript of the proceedings. It was not, however, compiled by an official court reporter. The Court has obtained a transcript prepared by an official court reporter. That transcript, not the one filed by the appellant, shall serve as the official transcript. There are discrepancies.