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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    4

    Default Speeding Ticket in Snohomish County, South District

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Washington

    Continuing my previous thread which was closed, now that I have a court date and have requested and received discovery materials from the district prosecutor. (I followed Barry's standard advice of going in person with three copies and getting stamps on everything.) My infraction is assigned to the south district, my hearing date is April 5 (in about a week).

    The copy of the citation received from the prosecutor does not have a court filing date. I've tried to contact the court clerk, but Snohomish County makes it impossible, as far as I can tell, to actually talk to a human being on the phone. The phone numbers on the Washington State Courts website are all automated lines and no combination of pounds, stars, and zeroes put me through to a human. I'd like to find out the filing date of my infraction (hoping maybe IRLJ 2.2(d) can be used) without going back to the courthouse -- if anyone has information on how to contact a human, that would be much appreciated. I'm also curious if the lack of ability to contact the court could be used to demonstrate prejudice as grounds for dismissal of my infraction? The clerk at the Everett District court actually laughed in my face when I mentioned the difficulty I had in locating a phone number -- "yeah, we don't answer phones here."

    Attached are the three pages of discovery I received from the prosecutor. I've read many of Barry's responses to WA infractions and all I can immediately see is perhaps the hearsay argument on the lack of specifying who the tester of the radar device was. Otherwise the report seems thorough and carefully written -- please help me find any holes I might have missed

    Citation
    Affidavit
    Trooper's Report

    Finally, does anyone know if deferrals are tracked on a per-county basis, or is it for the whole state? (i.e. can one receive only one deferral every seven years in all of WA, or in each county/jurisdiction?)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    1,284

    Default Re: Wa, Snohomish County, South District: Any Holes in This Citation Report

    If you were to go for a deferred finding in this case the judge would simply dismiss the ticket and wouldn't monitor you record for the "one year probation period." Snohomish County does not have the resources to monitor all of the deferred findings, so they don't worry about the probation. It's pay the fee, and dismissed. However, the 7 year rule still applies.

    I have actually never seen anyone argue anything in South Division. The prosecutor normally doesn't respond to discovery, so it's a simple lack of discovery motion. Hmmm... you could try the hearsay argument... I don't think you'd get too far though. Maybe Goodwin would dismiss? Speedy might know more.
    "A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer." ~Robert Frost

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Wa, Snohomish County, South District: Any Holes in This Citation Report

    I'm trying to avoid the deferral route -- seems like a waste for a simple "80 in a 60" ticket. I'm thinking about reaching out to the prosecutor directly to ask for an "in-house" deferral or for a non-moving violation with an equal fine. I'm concerned only about keeping my driving record clean (it's been spotless for 10 years).

    The Judge for April is some substitute, clerk said the usual one is out for the month.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    1,284

    Default Re: Wa, Snohomish County, South District: Any Holes in This Citation Report

    Okay... let me rephrase... I have seen people argue in South Division, I just haven't seen this particular argument.

    Goodwin does seem like the kind of guy that would dismiss on a hearsay argument, but I can't say for certain.

    Most of the time the prosecutor will ask you at the hearing if you want to settle for a "Cell Phone Violation." I would spring for that in this case. But you can try giving her a call and asking if "we can settle this before the hearing."
    "A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer." ~Robert Frost

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Snohomish, WA
    Posts
    1,203

    Default Re: Wa, Snohomish County, South District: Any Holes in This Citation Report

    Here are my personal observations about the Snohomish County South Division court.

    1. If you requested discovery and the prosecutor responded, which they have, EXPECT HIM TO BE PRESENT. On my last case there, he had some other case to prosecute, so he actually requested that Judge Goodwin WAIT until he came back to call my case, which Goodwin agreed to do.

    2. Snohomish County has been nearly bankrupt for about 4 years. The phone thing is nothing new. You won't get anywhere with that argument. Let it go, and get your butt back to the court and ask for proof of when the ticket was filed. If it was beyond 5 business days, THEN you can use IRLJ 2.2(d), and Goodwin WILL dismiss it with prejudice, as any reputable judge would. If if was less than or equal to 5 business days, then you will HAVE to argue the hearsay argument, because that looks like your only angle at this juncture.

    3. The prosecutor will NOT step up and offer you the get out of jail free card "cell phone ticket" if you contest, go pro-se, and request discovery. All bets are off, there. They figure you're serious about it at this point, and they almost always hold all the cards, so they call your bluff. I didn't ASK them about it, and they didn't OFFER it.

    4. Goodwin will probably go for the hearsay argument, IF you get his court room. There are two rooms. One is Goodwin, the other may as well be Judge Gladys Dykes (Cheech and Chong reference). She was a real hard-nosed lady who didn't seem to care WHAT people said. Goodwin actually has a head on his shoulders; He used to be the prosecutor from what I understand. There is one other Pro-Tem there, an older gentleman who seems to have his head screwed on straight.

    That said, I would argue the hearsay argument. The officer does NOT say he performed the calibration himself. There is no evidence to suggest that he did. Period.

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