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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    1

    Default Bail Requirement for a Request for Trial by Written Declaration

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

    I recently submitted a request for a Trial by Written Declaration. This is the letter I sent:

    Van Nuys Courthouse West
    14400 Erwin Street Mall, 2nd Floor
    Van Nuys, CA 91401

    re: Case Number B556491; Request For A Trial By Written Declaration

    To Whom It May Concern:

    Per Vehicle Code section 40902(a) and Rule of Court 4.210(b)(2), I am hereby requesting a trial by written declaration.

    Per said rule, I expect to receive from you my appearance date along with forms TR-200 and TR-205. Please mail them to my address found above.

    Please also include a statement as to the amount of bail so that, per Vehicle Code section 40902(b) and Rule of Court 4.210(b)(4), I may enclose it with my TR-205.

    Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

    I was sent a notice back that they must receive bail in order to send the forms, which I've found to NOT be the case. I then sent them the following letter:

    M. Orozco, Traffic Clerk
    Van Nuys Courthouse West
    14400 Erwin Street Mall, 2nd Floor
    Van Nuys, CA 91401

    Dear M. Orozco:

    I am in receipt of your letter dated June 12, 2012 (copy attached).

    Your letter raises one very serious question: By what right and under whose authority are you violating the Rules of Court and state law?

    Per Rule of Court 4.210(b)(2):
    If the clerk receives the defendant's written request for a trial by written declaration by the appearance date indicated on the Notice to Appear, the clerk must, within 15 calendar days after receiving the defendant's written request, extend the appearance date 25 calendar days and must give or mail notice to the defendant of the extended due date on the Request for Trial by Written Declaration (form TR-205) with a copy of the Instructions to Defendant (form TR-200) and any other required forms.

    Since the letter you received on June 12, 2012 was my written request for a trial by written declaration, per the above Rule you “must” extend the appearance date by 25 days and mail me forms TR-200 and TR-205.

    Instead you sent me a letter stating:
    If you wish to contest your citation with a Trial by Declaration, payment of $234 is required. Please submit your payment by 06/29/2012. Once payment is received, your Trial by Declaration form will be sent to you to complete and submit.

    This is most interesting because it conflicts with both:
    Rule of Court 4.210(b)(4):
    The defendant must deposit bail with the clerk by the appearance date indicated on the Notice to Appear or the extended due date as provided in (2).
    and Vehicle Code 40902(b):
    (b) If the defendant elects to have a trial by written declaration, the defendant shall, at the time of submitting that declaration, submit bail in the amount established in the uniform traffic penalty schedule pursuant to Section 40310. If the defendant is found not guilty or if the charges are otherwise dismissed, the amount of the bail shall be promptly refunded to the defendant.

    In other words, my bail is (per the Rules of Court and the Vehicle Code) due at the time I submit my declaration, not before the trial date is set.

    Please note that I cited the above Rule and Vehicle Code section in my letter of June 8, 2012. I ask once again, by what right and under whose authority are you violating the Rules of Court and state law?

    I will repeat my request made in my letter of June 8, 2012:
    Per said rule, I expect to receive from you my appearance date along with forms TR-200 and TR-205. You may mail them to my address found above.

    Please also include a statement as to the amount of bail so that, per Vehicle Code section 40902(b) and Rule of Court 4.210(b)(4), I may enclose it with my TR-205.

    Per Rule 4.210(b)(2) you should have done this by July 3, 2012, so I would appreciate a prompt reply.

    Sincerely,




    Jacob xxx

    Encl:
    letter to Superior Court dated June 8, 2012
    Superior Court response letter dated June 12, 2012

    cc:
    Hon. Lee Smalley Edmon, Presiding Judge
    Superior Court of Los Angeles County
    Stanley Mosk Courthouse on Hill Street
    111 North Hill Street
    Los Angeles, CA 90012

    Commission on Judicial Performance
    455 Golden Gate Avenue, Suite 14400
    San Francisco, CA 94102

    Hon. Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice
    Supreme Court of California
    350 McAllister Street
    San Francisco, CA 94102-4797

    I have already requested an extension online, which is now set for 6/29. I did not receive anything in response, so I called the court to find the status of the case because the bail is due in just three days (6/29). They were insisting that I must pay the bail, despite the reference to the laws.

    Are these court clerks not in violation of the above listed laws? If they are, are there grounds for dismissal because of the refusal to add the additional 25 days upon receipt of the request or the denial of the forms?

    Thank you to everyone, I know that there needs to be a speedy response on this one.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    LA LA Land
    Posts
    9,175

    Default Re: Bail Requirement for a Request for Trial by Written Declaration

    Quote Quoting JakeJJC
    View Post
    By what right and under whose authority are you violating the Rules of Court and state law?
    Nobody is violating the rules of court or state law... This is the way TBDs have been done since the inception of time. And it's not just Van Nuys, it is every court, not only in Los Angeles County, but every court in the entire state! At least they all should be doing it that way!


    Quote Quoting JakeJJC
    View Post
    This is most interesting because it conflicts with both:
    Rule of Court 4.210(b)(4):
    The defendant must deposit bail with the clerk by the appearance date indicated on the Notice to Appear or the extended due date as provided in (2).
    OK, so the courts choose to enforce the former (by the appearance date shown on the notice to appear) , not the latter (the extended date).

    Quote Quoting JakeJJC
    View Post
    and Vehicle Code 40902(b):
    (b) If the defendant elects to have a trial by written declaration, the defendant shall, at the time of submitting that declaration, submit bail in the amount established in the uniform traffic penalty schedule pursuant to Section 40310. If the defendant is found not guilty or if the charges are otherwise dismissed, the amount of the bail shall be promptly refunded to the defendant.
    You'll note that the request as well as your declaration will be completed on the same form. So the when you submit your request, you're also submitting your "declaration".

    Quote Quoting JakeJJC
    View Post
    Per said rule, I expect to receive from you my appearance date along with forms TR-200 and TR-205. You may mail them to my address found above.
    I say you can expect to receive NOTHING until you submit the full bail amount as show on your courtesy notice!

    Quote Quoting JakeJJC
    View Post
    I have already requested an extension online...
    Oh, the irony!!!

    For someone who's pretending to be a stickler for the rules, that is one BIG huge error on your part there...

    Simply because a TBD request, according to the rules...

    4.210(b)
    (2) Extending due date
    If the clerk receives the defendant’s written request for a trial by written declaration by the appearance date indicated on the Notice to Appear, the clerk must, within 15 calendar days after receiving the defendant’s written request, extend the appearance date 25 calendar days and must give or mail notice to the defendant of the extended due date on the Request for Trial by Written Declaration (form TR-205) with a copy of the Instructions to Defendant (form TR-200) and any other required forms.

    So by rule, your request for a TBD and since it was made by the extension date sand NOT by the original appearance date, can and should be rejected. But it probably won't be... Well, you'll have to send them that bail check, otherwise, your request will be rejected and keep in mind that the definintion of "due date" is in 4.210(b)(1):


    (1) Definition of due date
    As used in this subdivision, “due date” means the last date on which the defendant’s appearance is timely.


    In fact, if I were you, I would not mail it to them... I would physically go to court and drop it off, that way, you can also pick up the forms while you're there.

    Also, if I were you, I would keep in mind that if you are doing a TBD, the clerks are likely to see your name quite often over the next couple of months... And I would be concerned that they might make a mistake or two handling some of my paperwork and causing me a huge headache!

    Although it might be safe to say that you have already created a name for yourself at that court!

    Quote Quoting JakeJJC
    View Post
    cc:
    Hon. Lee Smalley Edmon, Presiding Judge
    Superior Court of Los Angeles County
    Stanley Mosk Courthouse on Hill Street
    111 North Hill Street
    Los Angeles, CA 90012

    Commission on Judicial Performance
    455 Golden Gate Avenue, Suite 14400
    San Francisco, CA 94102

    Hon. Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice
    Supreme Court of California
    350 McAllister Street
    San Francisco, CA 94102-4797
    Good thing these people will get confirmation that the rules they set are being enforced as planned!

    Quote Quoting JakeJJC
    View Post
    If they are, are there grounds for dismissal because of the refusal to add the additional 25 days upon receipt of the request or the denial of the forms?
    A dismissal? not even in your dreams... If you won't follow the procedure outlined for you by the court and you end up defaulted as a result, you will have the right to appeal. If you want you can hire a lawyer and try to seek an order from a higher court declaring that the traffic court is not following proper procedure and must modify it procedures to comply with the law, thereby preventing the need to post bail when requesting the TBD forms, but that will cost you a lot of time and (if you hire a lawyer) money.

    There is no rule that mandates a dismissal for you refusing to submit the bail amount.

    And last point about a "dismissal"... I would venture a guess and say that you have little or no defense... And if its a speeding charge, its probably a VC 22349... if it is something else, its going to be tough to fight!
    And again, nobody is refusing anything.... They simply cannot process your request unless it comes with the bail amount.

    Edited To Add: Not sure if you heard but this latest wave of layoffs at LASC will hurt everybody, including you, I and anyone and every one who has any business to conduct with the court.

    431 people

    And all this back and forth is creating unnecessary work for people who are already over worked. So no thanks to you!

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