Skip to content

Corporate Pool

A man in California has been driving in carpool lanes by himself on purpose, hoping to get a ticket. Why? He had with him the incorporation papers for his company and wants to try a novel defense in court: because California motor vehicle law recognizes corporations as people, he claims that he did indeed have enough “people” in the car to qualify as a carpool.

But what makes this ironic is that he actually wants to lose. His real goal is to get the judge to rule that corporations are not people.

Personally, I don’t think it will work. After all, I wouldn’t qualify as a carpool if I carried around the birth certificate for a second person. But still, you gotta hand it to him for an unprecedented defense.

UPDATE: Unfortunately, his defense didn’t work and he was found guilty. Not a big surprise, but a small part of me hoped.



  1. Hassan wrote:

    But how do you carry around a corporation if its not for the papers. I think he is up to something here.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    Well, the reason they ruled that “corporations are people” is because corporations are made up of people. So I guess you could have to have all the people who make up the corporation with you?

    I agree that he is “up” to something, but maybe not “on” to something.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink
  3. David Freeman wrote:

    Maybe it’s just the ill-defined nature of semantics but I think a panel of eminent linguists and philosophers should be appointed by the president to address this problem:
    What is the corporeal manifestation of a corporation?

    There are paradoxes associated with each way of viewing this. If the “body” of the corporation is the people, how can a corporation be sold? Clearly, corporations want to have it both ways depending on which way benefits them at the moment.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink
  4. ThatGuy wrote:

    Lots of good points here. I want to agree with Hassan’s point that the incorporation papers represent a corporation more than a birth certificate represents a person, but I doubt this will work, as interesting as it is.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Permalink
  5. Don wrote:

    Doesn’t it say that it is his corporation? Takes only one person to form an LLC, so all the people from the corporation might have well been inside his vehicle. I love it, personally. It’s a good poke if not a true prod.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Permalink
  6. yossarian wrote:

    I think the papers complaint make sense; however, assuming that it is a single member LLC, and he is the member then he is in the car both as a private citizen, and a corporation, thus 2 persons are in the car. If it is a multi member corporation, then it could be argued that the corporation was not in the vehicle.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink
  7. Ralph wrote:

    The issue has already been resolved on this website some time ago. Corporations are NOT people. People get busted!
    Now if we can only get the Supremes back to reality.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink