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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    17

    Default What to Do if a Traffic Court Hearing is Set Too Close to the Notice Date

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

    Hello all,
    I got speeding citation in the city of Raymond, WA. I contested the hearing and the timeline are as follows:
    Cited on 5/28/2017.
    I sent the ticket back with the intention of contesting on 6/9/2017.
    I received the notice of hearing dated 6/13/2017.
    The scheduled hearing date: 6/26/2017.

    As per the rule 2.6 (a) 1,
    Except as provided in sections (1)(i) and (ii), upon receipt of a response submitted pursuant to
    rule 2.4(b)(2), the court shall schedule a hearing to determine whether the defendant committed the infraction.
    The hearing shall be scheduled for not less than 14 days from the date the written notice of hearing is sent
    by the court, nor more than 120 days from the date of the notice of infraction or the date a default judgment
    is set aside.


    So can I file a motion to dismiss my case based on rule 2.6 (d) and 2.6 (f)?
    Thanks a bunch.

    P.S. They scheduled the hearing so fast that I don't even have enough time to request for discovery. Can this also be ground for dismissal?


    FYI, I got 2 tickets in 2016. One for speeding and one for discovery pass violation; I won both.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    8,238

    Default Re: Court Hearing Date Scheduled Less Than 14 Days from the Notice Date

    Quote Quoting lamopuri
    View Post
    So can I file a motion to dismiss my case based on rule 2.6 (d) and 2.6 (f)?
    IRLJ 2.6(a)(1) says that the hearing must be set not less than 14 days from the date the written notice is a sent by the court and not more than 120 days from the date of the infraction. The date of the infraction was 5/28/17 and the hearing date is 6/26/17, so you are well within the 120 maximum time. You received the notice from the court 6/13/17. But what date was it sent? It is the date the court sent it that starts the 14 days, not the date you received it. Typically U.S. mail takes at least 1 day to deliver mail in a local area. If the court sent it 6/12 then it was sent 14 days prior to the hearing date and the rule is satisfied.

    Quote Quoting lamopuri
    View Post
    P.S. They scheduled the hearing so fast that I don't even have enough time to request for discovery. Can this also be ground for dismissal?
    The rule for discovery in IRLJ 3.1(b) states you need to file written demand for discovery not less than 14 days prior to the hearing date. So you are too late to submit the request now. The problem for you is that nothing in the rule says you have to wait for the notice of the hearing to request the discovery. You could have made the request for discovery immediately after sending in your notice that you were contesting the the ticket. And knowing that the rule allows the court to schedule the hearing within 14 days from the date the court sends you the notice of the hearing, you should have sent that request promptly and not waited so you wouldn't get trapped like this. Assuming the court did properly give you the 14 days from the date the notice was sent the court almost certainly wonít dismiss the case based your failure to get the discovery request in on time. Perhaps the court might grant a continuance, however, to allow you the chance to get that discovery.


    Quote Quoting lamopuri
    View Post
    FYI, I got 2 tickets in 2016. One for speeding and one for discovery pass violation; I won both.
    Sounds like maybe you need to slow down. You canít count on winning every speeding ticket.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Court Hearing Date Scheduled Less Than 14 Days from the Notice Date

    Thanks 'Taxing matters' for your prompt response but maybe I didn't make it very clear about my situation. The court in fact sent the notice of hearing on the 13th. The post mark as well as the date on the notice itself is 13th which means they gave only 13 days from the date of notice sent to the date of hearing. I am still banking on getting this ticket dismissed based on this sole rule.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    8,238

    Default Re: Court Hearing Date Scheduled Less Than 14 Days from the Notice Date

    Quote Quoting lamopuri
    View Post
    Thanks 'Taxing matters' for your prompt response but maybe I didn't make it very clear about my situation. The court in fact sent the notice of hearing on the 13th. The post mark as well as the date on the notice itself is 13th which means they gave only 13 days from the date of notice sent to the date of hearing. I am still banking on getting this ticket dismissed based on this sole rule.
    You can try. But I rather think that where the problem is that the court sent it too early it is more likely to grant a continuance to give you the opportunity to get the discovery.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
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    17

    Default Re: Court Hearing Date Scheduled Less Than 14 Days from the Notice Date

    I got my discovery pass violation dismissed based on a similar rule. The court was supposed to send me the notice of hearing within 21 days of my request for mitigation hearing but they sent it late(about 28 days). I made a motion and got my ticket dismissed. Mind you, I had asked for mitigation earlier, not even contested hearing! So I am keeping my finger crossed but just wanted to get some opinions from the experts as well as the experienced ones.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    8,238

    Default Re: Court Hearing Date Scheduled Less Than 14 Days from the Notice Date

    Quote Quoting lamopuri
    View Post
    I got my discovery pass violation dismissed based on a similar rule. The court was supposed to send me the notice of hearing within 21 days of my request for mitigation hearing but they sent it late(about 28 days). I made a motion and got my ticket dismissed. Mind you, I had asked for mitigation earlier, not even contested hearing! So I am keeping my finger crossed but just wanted to get some opinions from the experts as well as the experienced ones.
    If the hearing had been sent late and thus violated your right to a speedy trial you would get a dismissal. The court is not required to dismiss it if the hearing is simply set too early. That’ll be up to the judge.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    1,383

    Default Re: Court Hearing Date Scheduled Less Than 14 Days from the Notice Date

    2.6 (f) Requires the Dismissal With Prejudice. An infraction not brought to hearing within the time period provided by
    this rule shall, upon motion, be dismissed with prejudice.

    But you will only have your case dismissed if you file a written objection to the hearing date. Per 2.6(d):

    A defendant who objects to the hearing date set by the court upon the groundthat it is not within the time limits prescribed by this rule shall file with the court and serve upon the prosecuting authority a written motion for a speedy hearing date within 10 days after the notice of hearing is mailed or otherwise given to the defendant. Failure of a party, for any reason, to make such a motion shall be a waiver of the objection that a hearing commenced on such a date is not within the time limits prescribed by this rule. The written notice of the hearing date shall contain a copy of IRLJ 2.6(d).

    So technically speaking, you must file a written "Motion for a Speedy Hearing," even though in this case, it is too speedy of a hearing. If you are going to play this on a technicality, you need to file this by the end of the 10th day, on Friday the 23rd in your case.

    If I were you, I would call to find out when the court and P.A.'s office closes on Friday and show up within the last 30 minutes to get it stamped.

    It looks like the weekend is going to work out in your favor.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Court Hearing Date Scheduled Less Than 14 Days from the Notice Date

    Yes Brendan,
    That's exactly I did. I mailed them the petition on Wednesday and it reached on Friday the 23rd. I am driving down to the court today. Keeping my fingers crossed! Thanks!!!

    I went to the court and just like I feared, the Judge declined to dismiss and gave me continuance. I guess now the real fight begins. I will be sending the request for discovery but before that, I have noticed few defects in the citation itself.
    1. The year of my vehicle is wrong. I have a 2015 make but the citation mentions 2014.
    2. The citation only mentions RCW 46.61.400. It does not specify any subsection.
    How will these deficiencies hold up in the court?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    1,383

    Default Re: Court Hearing Date Scheduled Less Than 14 Days from the Notice Date

    Well you now have grounds for an appeal, but that will likely cost you a lot of money. So I'd choose my battles on that. Seems to be a small city court that really needs the revenue, so I would say your likelihood of reversal and dismissal are high on the appeal.

    Defects in the ticket are not going to get the case dismissed.

    FWIW, I haven't seen a subsection argument result in a NC or Dismissed since the Hon. LaSalata passed away in the late 2000's. I would gander that it won't work too well for you in a small city court.

    Given that this judge has a blatant disregard for the rules of law, I would highly suggest pleading this out.

    On another note, I can't do it as I was not there but I would file a complaint with the Commission on Judicial Conduct in WA. You never know how many other small time complaints that this judge has (given the size of the court, probably none).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Court Hearing Date Scheduled Less Than 14 Days from the Notice Date

    I totally agree Brendan. By the way he blatantly refused to even consider my motion and said that it is his decision to reschedule rather than dismiss, I have little hopes of getting the ticket dismissed. I told him I had a precedent from a county court on a similar case where the judge had dismissed the ticket but he just shrugged it off. I drove 3 hours two ways to the court and took a day off but he just said that he was sorry for the inconvenience and that it was a minor error of the court clerk. I immediately got the feeling that this small town was desperate for revenue and I also learned that most of these judges are appointed from previous city prosecutors . That makes me believe that they have close affinity with the city and tend to favor the city rather than unsuspecting citizens like us. The only reason I am fighting this ticket is because i was not speeding per se. I was just passing the long caravan of slow moving vehicles on the right lane because I was hold up for too long on a double lane road. At the first opportunity where the 2 lane changed to 4, I passed the vehicles and immediately I moved back to the right lane after passing.(I am not even sure if the officer singled me out in the SMD since there were plenty of cars to my right).

    I don't quite understand your suggestion though.So basically you are suggesting me to plead guilty and give up the fight? Or are you suggesting me to appeal to the higher court after this Judge's verdict on my next hearing?

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