My question involves a traffic citation from the state of: CA
My citation number was P010740 and the violation was 4000(A)(1) Unregistered Vehicle This occurred within the City of Menifee.
I had paid my registration and had current and uninterrupted insurance coverage on my vehicle. However, the insurance company and the DMV were not communicating electronically and the DMV was showing I had no insurance coverage, I called in 2 requests to my insurance company to send the info to the DMV, but it never happened, eventually the DMV asked me to manually snail mail them the proof of insurance, which I did and eventually they sent me my renewal tags. In that period that all of this was happening, the tags that were on the vehicle expired. I realized this and was carrying the proof of payment odf the registration and proof of insurance in the vehicle in the event I was stopped so I could show them why the new tags had not arrived yet.
During this period, I visited the local shopping center to run an errand. I was parked in their parking lot on private property. While I was in the store a police officer cited me for expired tags and left the ticket on my windshield, so I was not afforded the opportunity to explain the situation to the officer.
Once the $80 ticket arrived in the mail, I filed an appeal and sent them the copies of proof of insurance, DMV payment of registration and pictures of the vehicle with the now current tags. I explained what had happened. Unfortunately the city of Menifee contracts with a company called Citation Processing Center, who's address is a PO Box in Newport Beach. They do not handle tickets, or appeals with the city, it all must go through this company in Newport Beach, which is about 2 hours away in another county. They sent me back a notice that I had not provided enough info and I needed to have a sworn police officer sign off my new tags and pay a $10 fee like a fix-it ticket. I was a bit upset to have to pay $10 and hassle with getting it signed off, but I did it. First I went to Lowes where the Menifee Police Department was having a community outreach event and asked if one of the 6-8 officers there could please sign off, but they said none of them were sworn officers (even though they had badges and were in police vehicles), so then I went to the Menifee Police Department station, to be told no sworn officers were there at that time and I would need to go to either Perris or Lake Elsinore (both 20 minutes away) to get it signed off.
So I went to Lake Elsinore Police Department, and waited half an hour for an officer to come and sign it off. I sent it in along with my $10.00 check, which was promptly cashed and heard nothing more back for quite a while. I had mailed the check on the 22nd of the month and it was due on the 24th. Recently I received in the mail a Notice of Delinquent Parking Citation(s), showing a balance due to them of $90!! I called the 800 number and the woman explained that the check and paperwork were received on the 25th, and since it was due on the 24th, it was late and that was why I now had to pay the $90 late fee. She confirmed that the postmark on my envelope was dated the 22nd. And also admitted that the due date was a Sunday, a day with no postal delivery to their PO Box, and it was received the following business day (Monday), but was still considered late. I said, that it was mailed before the due date and received the next business day following the Sunday due date and they should please waive the $90 fee, especially since I didn't do anything wrong to begin with as my insurance and registration were both paid when I was cited and I had provided proof of that. But she said she had no authority to waive the charge and I asked to speak with someone else, they gave me the supervisor's voice mail and I left a message with her, she called me back and left me a voice mail that there was nothing she could do. I called her back and left her a voice mail requesting a hearing with a judge, but she has yet to return my call.
-First can they legally cite you for a violation on private property? I know when my daughter had a fender bender there the police refused to write a report because it's private property and they have no jurisdiction.
-Second can they cite me the $10 fix it ticket fee when I provided proof that the car was insured and registration paid?
- Third, can they fine me $90 for late fees when the due date was a Sunday and payment arrived on Monday and the postmark was two days previous? I could have walked it into the City of Menifee offices in person, but they don't accept payment locally. Instead you may only pay through the processing center in Newport Beach. I could not pay online as I had to provide the officer's signature signing off the tags.
I am frustrated beyond belief. What can I do?
Thanks and take care.