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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Court Failed to Notify Me of Hearing Date. License/Registration Suspension

    My question involves traffic court in the State of: Maine

    I was ticketed for 86 in a 65, failure to provide insurance and failure to display inspection sticker. I decided to contest all charges, since the MSP officer that bagged me said that if I show up in court with my insurance card and inspection sticker (I have both, but they weren't with me on the bike at the time) those charges will most likely be dropped.

    I was careful to put my correct address on the back of the summons, and mailed it back within the 20 day time period. Low and behold I got a letter Saturday from Bureau of Motor Vehicles titled: Suspension.

    Drivers license, privilege to operate, privilege to register a motor vehicle will be suspended on the 20th. Reason is due to an adjudication on Feb 7, 2011. The kicker is that I <never> received any notice of the hearing. Since the violations bureau failed to notify me of the hearing, I presume at the least I can have the pending suspension lifted. I would love to have the whole thing dismissed on the grounds that the court failed to properly serve the hearing notice first time around. My guess is the court will simply want to reschedule at their convience (again). Thoughts???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,276

    Default Re: Court Failed to Notify Me of Hearing Date. License/Registration Suspension

    Is your address on you license different than that you wrote on the summons?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    377

    Default Re: Court Failed to Notify Me of Hearing Date. License/Registration Suspension

    Call the court clerk's office and ask them what the procedure is for situations such as yours.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    74,906

    Default Re: Court Failed to Notify Me of Hearing Date. License/Registration Suspension

    Go to the courthouse and have the clerk check your address of record, and check the court file to see how you were served (assuming that your address was correct). If they had the wrong address, you can try pointing out to the clerk that you had submitted your correct address with the citation; odds are the clerk will tell you that you need to bring a motion for relief with the trial court. If the problem is that you failed to follow the law requiring you to keep the address on your license current, the court may have less sympathy for you if the cause of the problem was that notice was sent to your address of record as stated on your driver's license. The fact that you seem to be referring to two different failures to receive notice - first from the court and second from the DMV - suggests that you failed to follow that law.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Court Failed to Notify Me of Hearing Date. License/Registration Suspension

    Thank you for the comments. I have called the clerk of the traffic court and this is what they are saying:

    A notice of hearing was sent to me and was returned as "undeliverable". The address they sent it to was the correct street address, but to the wrong town due to an improper zip code (??). The clerk told be she would pull the original summons and see what address I had written on the back.

    She called me back and said that it "appears" as though the MSP officer wrote the wrong zip code on the summons. That makes no sense to me, since she also said that I indeed had written the correct address on the back of summons as to where the notice of hearing was to be sent. She apologized profusely, and said that for some reason the wrong address (zip code) was entered despite three different checks by three different people (sure!).

    As of today, the traffic court is faxing an "amended abstract" to the Secretary of State that will recind the impending suspensions. She said that the court will send me a new notice of hearing within a few weeks.

    What would be my next step if the goal is a dismissal? Obviously the notice of hearing was tainted (sent to wrong address). How should I proceed? TIA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    9,914

    Default Re: Court Failed to Notify Me of Hearing Date. License/Registration Suspension

    The lack of notice has been remedied. That's no longer an issue. You'll have to address your case on merits. The time limits seem not to have any bearing on this sort of error.

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