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  1. #1
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    Nov 2010
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    Default Contesting Speeding Ticket in Pierce County District Court (with Discovery)

    My question involves a speeding ticket from the State of: Washington (Pierce County District Court).

    My court date is in 2 weeks. The officer's statement mentions the Laser SMD but he doesn't say what mode it was in. Is this grounds for dismissal?

    Here are the discovery docs (first few pages - i'll post more in next response). I still need to send in the subpoena..

    Other than that it looks to be complete. Is there any hope for me? I don't see how I could be speeding in morning Tacoma rush hour traffic near the Tacoma Mall....





  2. #2
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    Default Re: Contesting Speeding Ticket in Pierce County District Court (with Discovery)





  3. #3
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    Default Re: Contesting Speeding Ticket in Pierce County District Court (with Discovery)


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Contesting Speeding Ticket in Pierce County District Court (with Discovery)

    What/who are you subpoenaing? I recommend holding off on the subpoena.

    Here's what I can point you to.
    “Your honor, in the officer’s report, he states that the SMD was in working order before and after the stop. However, as you can see, he has made no testament as to an exact period of time before or after the stop. Your honor, without a proper and definitive time, before and after could be 2 months before and 2 months after the stop. If this were the case, the radar reading would be inadmissible. Therefore, I ask the court to dismiss the case as there is an indefinite time stated on the report.”

    And then you've got this...
    Quote Quoting blewis
    View Post
    According to BELLEVUE v. MOCIULSKI, 51 Wn. App. 855, 756 P.2d 1320 (1987):

    Quoting Bellevue v. Mociulski
    Before the machine is deemed reliable, the witness testing the machines or monitoring the testing must first show his/her qualifications to make and/or evaluate the tests. The witness must first qualify as an expert via knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education. ER 702. After the witness has qualified as an expert, he/she must show that the machines passed the requisite tests and checks. Only then can the speed measuring devices be deemed reliable.

    According to Mociulski, the "expert witness" MUST be the one who performs or supervises the testing. However, in the radar certification you have, two different SMD experts -- Steen Nicholson and Anthony Hillock -- both present their qualifications, showing their training and experience. Both seem to be quite qualified.

    However, BOTH certificates then state: "On the date indicated in Exhibit "A" which follows, each SMD was tested under the direction of a certified SMD expert". That means that your device was NOT NECESSARILY TESTED (or supervised) BY THE PERSON WHO SIGNED THE AFFIDAVIT! In fact, the "Certifying Official" for your device, designated in the CO column, has the initials "GWH". Those initials don't seem to correspond to EITHER SMD expert's initials.

    Therefore, the person who did the testing was NOT the person who signed the form as REQUIRED in Molciulski and ER 602 (no personal knowledge).
    Let me know if you need further assistance.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Contesting Speeding Ticket in Pierce County District Court (with Discovery)

    I was going to subpoena the officer and today is the last day to send it to him (10 days required) however after reading some other posts and yours I'm thinking it might not be a good idea. Since he didn't say in the affidavit what mode the Laser was in when he zapped me or when he performed the tests he may show up and testify.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Contesting Speeding Ticket in Pierce County District Court (with Discovery)

    From what I've read- and Washington is of no personal interest- if there is a possible defect in the affidavit, you NEVER subpoena the officer.

    Others closer to WA may give an opinion on how often the officer, on their own volition or on the prosecutors request, will show up to 'correct' their affidavit.

    GL

    A

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Contesting Speeding Ticket in Pierce County District Court (with Discovery)

    Quote Quoting surfjade
    View Post
    he didn't say in the affidavit what mode the Laser was in when he zapped me....
    If I were the judge, I think I'd interpret, "The above mentioned Laser can only be used in a stationary / fixed position and was for the above check" a sufficient indication of what "mode" the LASER was in. But, that's just me.

    Barry

  8. #8
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    Nov 2010
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    SC, USA
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    Default Re: Contesting Speeding Ticket in Pierce County District Court (with Discovery)

    I would go with this answer. Very accurate and to the point. I don't think you don't need any more than this.

    Quote Quoting BrendanjKeegan
    View Post
    What/who are you subpoenaing? I recommend holding off on the subpoena.

    Here's what I can point you to.
    “Your honor, in the officer’s report, he states that the SMD was in working order before and after the stop. However, as you can see, he has made no testament as to an exact period of time before or after the stop. Your honor, without a proper and definitive time, before and after could be 2 months before and 2 months after the stop. If this were the case, the radar reading would be inadmissible. Therefore, I ask the court to dismiss the case as there is an indefinite time stated on the report.”

    And then you've got this...


    Let me know if you need further assistance.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2010
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    Default Re: Contesting Speeding Ticket in Pierce County District Court (with Discovery)

    Cased dismissed based on the fact the officer did give a definitive time for testing the SMD before and after the stop. Judge gave me the benefit of the doubt. Officer was not present.

    Thanks!

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