Carpool Guy

Challenging Corporate Personhood

The Legal Argument

The definition of a person under California's State Vehicle Code includes "natural persons" and "corporations." In light of this fact, when a driver is operating his or her vehicle in the carpool lane and sees an official road sign that states "2 or more persons per vehicle" is required to drive in the carpool lane during permitted hours, the driver can’t be expected to define the intent of the legislator. Under California Vehicle Code Section 470, Jonathan Frieman was not the only "person" in the car when he was issued a carpool citation.

CA Vehicle Code 470

 A "'Person' includes a natural person, firm, copartnership, association, limited liability company, or corporation."

(Source: California Vehicle Code Section 470, Amended Ch. 1010, Stats. 1994. Effective January 1, 1995.)

John Frieman Corporate Persoonhood Case

Click here to read the Motion (MPA) that Jon Frieman submitted to the court for his January 7th, 2013 Marin County Superior Court Hearing


Corporations Are Not Persons

On Oct. 2nd, 2012, Jonathan "The Carpool Guy" Frieman was driving in Marin County's carpool lane alongside legal documents that represented his nonprofit corporation, the JoMiJo Foundation, when he was pulled over by California Highway Patrol and was issued a citation for violating California's High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV), aka carpool regulations. Jonathan was the only human passenger in the car; however, California's High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV), aka carpool regulations mandate in Marin County that "2 or more persons per vehicle," is the requirement for driving in the carpool lane during permitted hours. At the time of the citation on Oct acheter kamagra oral jelly pas cher. 2nd, Mr. Frieman had informed the state trooper that he was not in violation of California State Vehicle Code because the nonprofit corporation next to him (represented by its articles of incorporation) qualifies as a "person" under state law. Nonetheless, the state trooper cited Mr. Frieman and instructed him to take it up with the court.


The Appeal

Jonathan Frieman contested his citation in Marin County Superior Court on January 7th, 2013, stating that, because California's Vehicle Code defines a "person" to include "natural persons," and "corporations," he was was legally qualified to drive in the HOV lane-- there were two persons (as defined by state law) in the car at the time!

Nevertheless, Jonathan was still handed a "guilty" verdict and instructed to pay his $478 fine or appeal the Superior Court's decision to Marin's appellate court. Fortunately, this was all a part of Jonathan's plan-- in fact, he has been purposefully driving in the carpool lane with a corporation as a passenger for 10 years

On Tuesday, February 5th, 2013, Jonathan and his attorney Ford Greene filed a notice to appeal his guilty verdict to the Marin County Appellate Court. Should they lose the appeal there, Jonathan plans to appeal once again to the Circuit Court and eventually all the way to the California Supreme Court if he has to.

Stay tuned for more updates about The Carpool Guy's case!


Essentially this is the summary of the case argument.