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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    4

    Default Civil Assessment After Ignoring a Red Light Camera Ticket

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

    Hello,

    I just received a "Civil Assessment Notice" from LA Superior Court/Pasadena Courthouse. It is for a ticket from April 2012, so I am receiving this notice over three years later. It says:

    "As a result of your failure to appear on XXXXXX a civil assessment of $300.00 was added to your bail, pursuant to Penal Code Section 1214.1.

    "However, if you pail in full within 10 calendar days of the above date of this letter (05/04/15), you may deduct $300.00 from the bail amount and you do not need to appear in Court. If you choose to appear in Court, you must schedule the appearance within 10 calendar days of the date of this letter to have the assessment waived.

    "Second or subsequent notices are not eligible for a full reduction. If bail is not received, the Court will refer this to a collection agency.

    "To avoid collection activity direct your payment to..."


    At the initial receipt of the original ticket in 2012, I had researched and saw that LA County did not send the information to the DMV. Many websites, including highwayrobbery.net advocated ignoring the ticket, which I did. I have never contacted the court, nor have I even checked the status of the ticket online.

    Not sure how to proceed at this point. Do I continue to ignore it?
    Any help would be much appreciated.

    Thanks

    I tried to post an image of the Civil Assessment Notice, but it did not work. Here is a link to the image.

    https://www.anony.ws/image/DxEi

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    98,846

    Default Re: Civil Assessment After Ignoring a Red Light Camera Ticket

    You can pay the fine, or you can continue to owe it knowing that your fine will be increased, be forwarded to a collection agency, and be reported on your credit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    4

    Default Re: Civil Assessment After Ignoring a Red Light Camera Ticket

    So it doesn't matter that news articles from the LA Times to the Pasadena Star News to the LA Weekly, call these red light tickets optional, as LA Superior Court does not enforce them?

    I have heard that as long as one does not acknowledge the ticket, via online or calling, then you may get a few threatening letters, but it is never actually sent to a collection agency.

    Another senior member actually acknowledged this in another thread about a month ago.

    What could I do if I decided I wanted to fight it?
    Since red light camera tickets are never signed, I read that you can not actually be compelled to appear.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    641

    Default Re: Civil Assessment After Ignoring a Red Light Camera Ticket

    Quote Quoting Misfit2080
    View Post
    So it doesn't matter that news articles from the LA Times to the Pasadena Star News to the LA Weekly, call these red light tickets optional, as LA Superior Court does not enforce them?

    I have heard that as long as one does not acknowledge the ticket, via online or calling, then you may get a few threatening letters, but it is never actually sent to a collection agency.

    Another senior member actually acknowledged this in another thread about a month ago.

    What could I do if I decided I wanted to fight it?
    Since red light camera tickets are never signed, I read that you can not actually be compelled to appear.
    Is the registered owner of the vehicle civilly liable?

    Why not pay the ticket?

    With many governments strapped for cash, you can bet someone will be coming after the money. If they report it to credit agencies is another thing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,319

    Default Re: Civil Assessment After Ignoring a Red Light Camera Ticket

    If they had reported it to the DMV you would be owing the money for the FTA AND your license would be suspended. I suppose if you wish to keep rolling the dice and are okay with this going to collections, you can continue to ignore it.

    The problem with stories such as the one you mention is that the court can change it's mind at most any time and these things could be reported to the DMV. Whether it could be used to effect your license after three years in arrears, I can't say ... but, is this a gamble you are willing to take? YOU chose not to appear in court, and now the penalty is only money. It may be your ability to legally operate a motor vehicle soon ... it's your call as to how lucky you feel.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Civil Assessment After Ignoring a Red Light Camera Ticket

    Well if I pay it now, will it then get reported to the DMV?

    Or if I decide to fight it, what are the possibilities that it could be dismissed.

    Would I be able to say that if I never received the ticket and am now getting the assessment fee 3 years later... I mean, I don't know what legal issues that I could use.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
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    20,319

    Default Re: Civil Assessment After Ignoring a Red Light Camera Ticket

    Quote Quoting Misfit2080
    View Post
    Well if I pay it now, will it then get reported to the DMV?
    I don't see why. They report convictions to the DMV, not the payment of civil penalties. But, you probably decrease any chance of it being reported to the DMV if you resolve it.

    Or if I decide to fight it, what are the possibilities that it could be dismissed.
    Since we do not know the facts of the case, who can say? But, since you failed to appear you may not have the option to fight it ... you chose not to.

    Would I be able to say that if I never received the ticket and am now getting the assessment fee 3 years later... I mean, I don't know what legal issues that I could use.
    You can say a great many things, whether they would pass muster or not would depend on whether you can make the argument convincingly. Notice via first class mail is generally considered good service for most purposes. However, the DMV cannot suspend you for a FTA on a mailed citation ... a civil assessment is another animal entirely subject to a less stringent legal requirements.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    7,605

    Default Re: Civil Assessment After Ignoring a Red Light Camera Ticket

    Quote Quoting Misfit2080
    View Post
    Would I be able to say that if I never received the ticket and am now getting the assessment fee 3 years later...
    Given that you state in your OP that you did receive the ticket, that would be perjury. That would create a NEW legal issue for you.

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