Simms v. District of Columbia
District of Columbia Court of Appeals
612 A.2d 215 (1992)
One evening, Captain Amady of the Metropolitan Police Department witnessed a group of individuals attempting to load a Volkswagen Jetta onto a tow truck in an area where several stolen cars had previously been recovered. Simms (defendant) was placing boards under the vehicle and also standing close to a jack. After Captain Amady confirmed that the Jetta was a stolen vehicle, he charged Simms with tampering with a vehicle under District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR) § 1105.2(a). Linda Hancock, who was present when Simms was arrested, testified that Simms was helping her locate a replacement grill and fender for her own Jetta. Hancock testified that she thought the vehicle had been abandoned. Simms testified that he told Hancock he had noticed a Jetta with broken windows that had been in the same location for three weeks to a month. Simms told Hancock the vehicle was in bad condition and that, although he did not know whether the vehicle was stolen or abandoned, he suspected it was abandoned. A hearing commissioner found Simms liable for tampering with a vehicle. The commissioner concluded that the mistake-of-fact defense was unavailable to Simms. Further, even if it were available, Simms was still guilty of tampering. The trial judge affirmed. Simms appealed on the ground that the hearing commissioner erred by refusing to consider Simm’s defenses of abandonment and mistake of fact.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Rogers, C.J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 173,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.