On December 23rd, 2004, I received two non-moving violations in Redondo Beach, CA, one for windows being tinted too dark, and one for failure to notifiy the DMV of my change of address within the aloted time period. The officer wrote on the ticket that I was due to appear in court on 1/4/04. I didn't notice his error until I got home later that day.
On January 3rd, after having corrected both fix-it violations and having the DMV and a police officer sign off on them (This is two days before the 5th, my court date), I appeared in the L.A. Superior Court house to pay my fix-it ticket fine. The ticket itself did not say what the fine would be. It said to contact the courthouse, and they would let me know what was owed. So as it directed, I went to the court house to pay up, TWO DAYS before my court date deadline.
The courthouse told me the ticket was not in the system, that it had been returned to the Redondo Beach Police Department because the officer had written the wrong court date (1/5/04) on the original ticket. So, I was told they COULD NOT process my ticket since they didn't have it in the system. I told them the ticket was due to be paid in two days, on the 5th of January, and they told me not to worry about it. I almost begged for them to accept payment from me so I could tale care of the ticket once and for all, but they would not process the payment because they said they did not know what it would cost since it WAS NOT IN THE SYSTEM.
So, each day for a week after my visit to the courthouse, I called to find out if my ticket was in the system. Each time I was told NO. On the 15th of January, 10 days after my set court date, I received an invoice in the mail from the court telling me to pay $20 before the 5th of January. Now, how in the heck could I have paid $20 before January 5th if it wasn't in the system until around the 15th of the month? So, like a GOOD citizen, I sent in my $20.
Then, yesterday, on Feb. 3rd, I received a notice in the mail. My driver's license has been suspended and I owe the L.A. Superior Court $750 for failure to appear.
I went down to the court house today, and they have set a trial for me on the 22nd. Now I have to somehow prove that I was at the court house on the 3rd of January trying to pay. Isn't there a way they can find out when the ticket was returned to the court house and entered into their system. If they did this, I'm certain they would see it was entered after my 1/5/05 court date. I'm at a loss, and really don't know what to do. I do, however, feel as though I am paying for L.A. County's mistake. Any help would be very much appreciated.