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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017

    Default Red Light Camera Ticket Rights When Your Legal Address is Not a Valid Mailing Address

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

    Hello Everyone,

    I am interested in knowing if anyone here has suggestions for recourse regarding action taken by the San Mateo County Traffic Court regarding a red light camera violation.
    I received notification from my employer that they received a notice from DMV that my license would be suspended within the next month. I went to DMV and received information that this originated from an order from the San Mateo County Court for violations in June of 2016 of vehicle codes 21453a, 40508a, and 405095. This was the first I had heard of this. Within a few days I received notification from DMV at my P.O. Box of the same information.

    I called the court clerk and asked what address they sent the citation and notices to and they provided me with my physical address. I am live in a rural county in California and am unable to receive mail at the physical address. My Driver License has my P.O. Box. I receive correspondence from the DMV at my P.O. Box. In rural areas like mine, the post office will not deliver to physical addresses and people are required to have a P.O. Box. I am unsure of how they acquired and why they used my physical address. I believe DMV has my physical address, but as I said, they send mail to my P.O. Box.
    In looking at the failure to appear vehicle code, it clearly includes the word “willful”. Unless there is more to the code that I am not seeing, I do not understand how the court can charge a person with willful failure to appear without some evidence that they have been served or received notification of the charges.

    It has not become a difficult situation. At the suggestion of the court clerk I have written a letter to the Commissioner requesting the charges be reduced to the original violation based on the information above. I have visited the court clerk’s office in person and found that I needed to hand write a second letter as the first letter would take weeks to be processed in their internal mail system. I was told the first available court date should I wish to address this in person is in June of 2017 – AFTER my license is due to be suspended. I am also told that once a decision is made by the commissioner, I will need to come in person to pay the fine as my case is not eligible at this point for online payment.

    This is costing me vacation time, money, frustration and stress – all based on the court sending the citation and subsequent notices to an incorrect address. I am hoping there is some recourse or action to help prevent other people from going through this same experience.

    Thank you for your thoughts and advice.

    Sorry - I meant to say "It HAS become a difficult situation. "

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Red Light Camera Ticket Rights When Your Legal Address is Not a Valid Mailing Add

    A red light camera ticket is likely to be issued based upon your vehicle registration, as it will normally be generated based upon your license plate rather than any greater scrutiny of who is sitting behind the wheel of your car. Thus, even if your driver's license is properly updated with your address of residence and a valid mailing address, unless you have also done so for your vehicle a ticket based on your vehicle's registration (such as a red light camera ticket) is going to be undeliverable. If you provided a valid mailing address for your vehicle registration, then you should try to have the default set aside on the basis that the agency that issued the ticket and the court that processed the ticket used the wrong address.

    So the question is now, did you have a valid mailing address on file as part of your vehicle registration?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Paso Robles, California

    Default Re: Red Light Camera Ticket Rights When Your Legal Address is Not a Valid Mailing Add

    If you want to file a motion to set aside the judgment it will be based on CCP 473.5 which has to do with improper service of the summons and complaint.

    The following link is a sample of what this motion should look like and can be used for informational purposes. Because this is traffic court your actual "Motion" need not be so formal. This will simply give you some idea of what the court will look for in deciding your case.

    Sample Motion to Vacate Judgment Under CCP 473.5

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