Here’s a novel twist on the notion that corporations are people: a man in California is arguing in court that corporate papers in his car should count as a human passenger, qualifying him to drive in the carpool lane.

U.S. News / NBC News has the story. Here’s an excerpt:

California man says he can drive in carpool lane with corporation papers

By Isolde Raftery, NBC News

When Jonathan Frieman of San Rafael, Calif., was pulled over for driving alone in the carpool lane, he argued to the officer that, actually, he did have a passenger.

He waved his corporation papers at the officer, he told, saying that corporations are people under California law.

Frieman doesn’t actually support this notion. For more than 10 years, Frieman says he had been trying to get pulled over to get ticketed and to take his argument to court — to challenge a judge to determine that corporations and people are not the same. Mission accomplished in October, when he was slapped with a fine — a minimum of $481….

In an opinion piece posted to the San Rafael Patch site on May 14, 2011, Frieman broke down his argument.

A carpool lane is two or more persons per vehicle, he said. The definition of person in California’s Vehicle Code is “natural person or corporation.”

“Just imagine what THAT courtroom scene’ll be like,” he wrote.

He imagined what he might say to the judge: “Your honor, according to the vehicle code definition and legal sources, I did have a ‘person’ in my car. But Officer so-and-so believes I did NOT have another person in my car. If you rule in his favor, you are saying that corporations are not persons. I hope you do rule in his favor. I hope you do overturn 125 years of settled law.”

For the full story, click here.

Photo by spatuletail /