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  1. #1

    Default Appeals Process in Traffic Court

    My question involves traffic court in the State of: Georgia

    Hello all, I don't have much time to go in depth on my particular situation right now, so I'll get straight to the point.



    I need assistance on filing an appeal in the state of Georgia. I figure it's probably all the same in each state, but maybe relevent. I'm not very 'legal' savy so please bear with me. I don't end up in traffic court but the recent accident is forcing me there.

    A few quick questions to get it all started off.

    When filing an appeal is there a time frame after the court date that the appeal has to be filed?

    Where do I go to file an appeal?

    What do I need to know before filing an appeal?

    Do I need a lawyer to file an appeal?




    Thanks in advance!

    -Matt

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Appeals Process in Traffic Court

    Quote Quoting metalmonkey47
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    Hello all, I don't have much time to go in depth on my particular situation right now
    Then you probably won't have time to go through an appeal as they are very time consuming especially for those who aren't legally savvy!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Appeals Process in Traffic Court

    Sorry, I was falling asleep researching state laws and had to be at work in the morning. I'm much more legal savy then I think, I just don't like to pretend like I know things that i really don't know. I learn a little more everyday though.

    Long story short:

    My particular situation is an odd one. I was involved in an accident about 4 months ago where I was in the turn lane slowing for traffic when a driver in the left lane pulled in front of me about 1/2 a car length ahead over a solid white line and braked agressivly after realizing she wouldn't beat cross traffic turning into her lane.

    I was charged with following too closely, and the officer who investigated did a terrible job. My damages were on the left front corner, and hers on the right rear, consistent with her having moved into my lane and braking between the lanes. The officer didn't note any of this in the police report and simply listed that I was responsible for following too closely.

    In the police report, he has us listed as traveling two different directions, me west, and her east. Not possible right? He also has me listed as "Totally Ejected From Vehicle" in the report and also has my truck listed with "Airbags Not Deployed" and "Shoulder belt only" rather then not equipped with air bags and lap and shoulder belt. Obviously these aren't relevent to the accident, but only shows the extent he went through to investigate the accident. In fact, the accident report indicates the accident occurs at the end of the apex in the turn lane, which isn't possible with the damages that I have.

    I tried contacting the officer twice at the precinct about the report, however I was never able to get ahold of him. I went to court and had a non-jury trial, and despite my having shattered the prosecutors case to the point that he was stuttering and having trouble finding any more questions, I was still ultimately charged with following too closely.

    My biggest issue is that I've lost money out of my pocket repairing my truck (VERY uncommon and parts are rare/expensive) and can't collect through her insurance company because I'm listed at fault. My insurance refuses to pay out to her because they don't believe I'm at fault, so I'm facing a lawsuit unless I can file an appeal and convince a judge that she was in violation of the law when the accident occurred. in particular, 40-6-123.




    Just so you can understand what really happened in the accident, here's a few pictures of the vehicles.


    Mine BEFORE:


    Edit-1 by metalmonkey47, on Flickr

    And AFTER:




    And the crazy lying ladies car.







    Obviously, it wasn't possible for the accident to happen in the apex of the turn, because the damage would have been opposite on my truck. I would have been damaged on the passenger side.



    So back to the original questions. What advice can you give me on filing an appeal?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Appeals Process in Traffic Court

    Quote Quoting metalmonkey47
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    Long story short:

    My particular situation is an odd one. I was involved in an accident about 4 months ago where I was in the turn lane slowing for traffic when a driver in the left lane pulled in front of me about 1/2 a car length ahead over a solid white line and braked agressivly after realizing she wouldn't beat cross traffic turning into her lane.
    I am not following...

    You were in the left turn lane creeping forward , she forced her way in front of you & shortly thereafter, slammed on her brakes. You rear ended her & the rest is history!

    Am I close?


    Quote Quoting metalmonkey47
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    v My damages were on the left front corner, and hers on the right rear, consistent with her having moved into my lane and braking between the lanes.
    Sorry but I disagree. I am not an accident re-construction-ist or whatever they're called, but damages on the right rear of her bumper are not consistent with her having changed lanes to the left and then braking between the lanes.

    Instead, if she's still in the process of entering the lane to her left, and you were fully situated in the turn lane, then her left rear bumper would be the point of impact on her vehicle.

    As for the point of impact on your vehicle, well, it depends on how far into the lane she's in. More likely than not, and assuming you were traveling parallel to the lane, then your bumper would be perpendicular to the lane and with her vehicle skewed as I described above, the damage on your vehicle would be in the same area as it is now. i.e. on the left side of your front bumper, maybe even slightly towards the center.

    Quote Quoting metalmonkey47
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    In the police report, he has us listed as traveling two different directions, me west, and her east. Not possible right? He also has me listed as "Totally Ejected From Vehicle" in the report and also has my truck listed with "Airbags Not Deployed" and "Shoulder belt only" rather then not equipped with air bags and lap and shoulder belt. Obviously these aren't relevent to the accident, but only shows the extent he went through to investigate the accident. In fact, the accident report indicates the accident occurs at the end of the apex in the turn lane, which isn't possible with the damages that I have.
    OK, so now we know what the report contained that ISN'T relevant. Can we get to the part describing the damages on both vehicles and the witness statements, the driver's statements...... There is plenty to be reviewed before anyone can decide on way or the other.

    Quote Quoting metalmonkey47
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    I tried contacting the officer twice at the precinct about the report, however I was never able to get ahold of him. I went to court and had a non-jury trial, and despite my having shattered the prosecutors case to the point that he was stuttering and having trouble finding any more questions, I was still ultimately charged with following too closely.
    Sorry, but the part about you shattering the prosecutor's case is likely to be a subjective analysis on your part. Either way, the judge obviously did not think so. And just because the judge disagreed with you, that isn't grounds to appeal the sentence. You can appeal if there was insufficient evidence, you can appeal if there was judicial misconduct; but to appeal simply because you were found guilty.

    Quote Quoting metalmonkey47
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    My biggest issue is that I've lost money out of my pocket repairing my truck (VERY uncommon and parts are rare/expensive) and can't collect through her insurance company because I'm listed at fault. My insurance refuses to pay out to her because they don't believe I'm at fault, so I'm facing a lawsuit unless I can file an appeal and convince a judge that she was in violation of the law when the accident occurred. in particular, 40-6-123.
    Wait.. Hold on... Your insurer is refusing to pay for your damages because they think you are not are fault? Unless things work differently in Georgia, your insurer would typically pay out any and all repair cost on your claim (at least for your vehicle) and especially in cases where they think the other party is at fault, they would then go chase after the other party or their insurer. Furthermore, insurers very rarely accept the police report as the final deciding factor on who's fault it is. Instead, they will conduct their own investigation, request both parties statements, any witness statements, each will make their own conclusion and then they will negotiate and meet somewhere in the middle. Id they don't then one sues the other, the go to court and the matter is adjudicated there. In the meantime, you and the other party have both been long reimbursed by your own insurer. So again, something is no jiving here!

    And the same thing usually applies to the court case regarding the citation. The police report cannot be admitted into evidence against you in adjudicating your case (simply because it would be considered "hearsay". The officer would have to appear and testify as to what he was told by either or both party and what conclusions he arrived at in the end.

    So I'm not sure what your court case and you being convicted of following too close, has to do with your insurer not paying you on your claim or how that ties into what the police report stated.

    Quote Quoting metalmonkey47
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    So back to the original questions. What advice can you give me on filing an appeal?
    The maiun thing I can tell yhou is that simplyu because you are not satisfied with the outcome, that is not sufficient reason to appeal.

    I ghuess this would be a good place to start:

    TITLE 40 - MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC
    CHAPTER 13 - PROSECUTION OF TRAFFIC OFFENSES
    ARTICLE 2 - ARRESTS, TRIALS, AND APPEALS
    40-13-28 - Appeal to superior court; bond



    And this is the General Appeals Chapter:


    2010 Georgia Code
    TITLE 5 - APPEAL AND ERROR
    CHAPTER 3 - APPEALS TO SUPERIOR OR STATE COURT


    Good luck!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Appeals Process in Traffic Court

    Sorry, I should have been more specific on the details.

    The accident occurred in a right turn lane. I was in the turn lane, and she was in the lane directly left of me. She moved to the right, into my lane over the solid white line with barely any room to move, and when cross traffic (that she was trying to beat to the turn) proceeded from the light onto the road we were entering, she slammed on her brakes in between the lanes. That is why the damages are her right rear, and my left front. We were traveling straight in the turn lane, prior to the apex to the right when the accident occurred. The officer has us listed in the apex turning right when the accident occurred and the damages aren't consistent with that.

    Insurance won't pay out her claim, so I'm facing a lawsuit. Of course, Nationwide would be responsible for providing the lawyer, but I don't want to have to go through that if I don't have to.


    Her statement on the report is simply that she was stopped at the light in the turn lane when i hit her.

    My statement is that she wandered into my lane and braked suddenly and aggressivly between our lanes.

    Directly behind me in traffic, an off duty officer was rear ended at the same time by a girl that wasn't paying attention. The officer just flew through the accident report and didn't take any time to investigate or go over details, and the multiple incorrect sections in the report just show how much of a rush he was in when he filled out the report. I have a feeling he was in a rush to help his buddy.


    Her claim is being denied by insurance because they find her at fault. My brother has a friend that works for Atlanta PD that's a trained accident reconstruction expert that sided with me and is willing to testify that what the police officer filed in the report is inconsistent with the damages. I also have a witness that saw where the cars were after the accident occurred, that would prove that the other drivers story is incorrect. I just need to get back into court again, through an appeal.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Appeals Process in Traffic Court

    Your insurer will cover any law suit she brings. Direct all correspondence from the other party (and any legal papers) to them.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Appeals Process in Traffic Court

    Quote Quoting metalmonkey47
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    Insurance won't pay out her claim, so I'm facing a lawsuit. Of course, Nationwide would be responsible for providing the lawyer, but I don't want to have to go through that if I don't have to.
    its their dime... Why do you care!



    Quote Quoting metalmonkey47
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    Her statement on the report is simply that she was stopped at the light in the turn lane when i hit her.
    her statement is hearsay unless she was in court to testify, then nothing she said to the officer was admissible. if she was in court, you had the opportunity to cross examine her and try to get her to admit her "lies"!


    Quote Quoting metalmonkey47
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    Directly behind me in traffic, an off duty officer was rear ended at the same time by a girl that wasn't paying attention. The officer just flew through the accident report and didn't take any time to investigate or go over details, and the multiple incorrect sections in the report just show how much of a rush he was in when he filled out the report. I have a feeling he was in a rush to help his buddy.
    Once again, the police report is hearsay and therefore it has zero effect on your conviction. You claim to have "shattered the district attorney's case" and yet you're still complaining about a police report that had no impact at all! Similarly, the police report has zero value as far as your insurer or her insurer are concerned. Simply because they like to conduct their own investigation. So again, the police report has had zero impact about which claim is getting paid, which claim isn't and why!

    the only possible purpose for the police report is for the GA DMV when it comes time to decide who was at fault for the accident and if that driver gets assigned any additional points for being at fault. That is the purpose of the police report!

    Quote Quoting metalmonkey47
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    My brother has a friend that works for Atlanta PD that's a trained accident reconstruction expert that sided with me and is willing to testify that what the police officer filed in the report is inconsistent with the damages. I also have a witness that saw where the cars were after the accident occurred, that would prove that the other drivers story is incorrect.
    Expert witnesses... You pay them, they testify to whatever your little heart desires.

    As for the officer's report, there is a presumption that he has no vested interest in the outcome, so there is a belief that the conclusions were fair and impartial.

    Of course, you are free to think otherwise!

    Quote Quoting metalmonkey47
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    I just need to get back into court again, through an appeal.
    I posted two links for you to read through informsation about appeals as you requeste. Did you read any of them?
    Obviously you didn't... Simply because in the first link:

    TITLE 40 - MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC
    CHAPTER 13 - PROSECUTION OF TRAFFIC OFFENSES
    ARTICLE 2 - ARRESTS, TRIALS, AND APPEALS
    40-13-28 - Appeal to superior court; bond
    Any defendant convicted under this article shall have the right of appeal to the superior court. The provisions of Code Sections 5-3-29 and 5-3-30 shall not apply to appeals under this Code section. Otherwise, the appeal shall be entered as appeals are entered from the probate court to the superior court, provided that the defendant shall be entitled to bail and shall be released from custody upon giving the bond as is provided for appearances in criminal cases in the courts of this state. Such bond shall have the same conditions as appearance bonds in criminal cases. The appeal to the superior court shall not be a de novo investigation before a jury but shall be on the record of the hearing as certified by the judge of that court who presided at the hearing below.


    The bolded/underlined sentences mean that an appeal is NOT a "do over".
    Meaning it is simply a review of the proceedings you went through already.
    You cannot present new evidence, you cannot present new testimony, you cannot make new arguments.

    Sorry... And good luck!

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