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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    1

    Default Can a Property Owner's Association Issue Speeding Tickets

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

    1) I live in a California POA (HOA) community.
    2)The association was granted the authority to implement the California Vehicle Code (CVC) on private roads via county resolution in 1980. This resolution specifically states the request from the POA for this resolution was to place speed limit signs and also clearly states "BE IT RESOLVED that upon enactment of this resolution, the provisions of the Vehicle Code shall apply to the privately owned and maintained roads in the <name of POA> Subdivision.
    3) Each entrance to the community have prominent signs advising that the California Vehicle Code applies and citing the County Resolution number.
    4) The current POA Rules & Regulations document state, under the Roads and Parking section, "California Vehicle Code requirements apply and are supplemented by the following rules and regulations:" followed by a list of the speed limits, and some special rules around parking, RVs, etc. A second paragraph states "Roads owned by the Association are subject to the provisions of the California Vehicle Code."

    The Vehicle Code, under the Rules of the Road section, includes includes a paragraph stating that "When radar is used, the arresting officer has successfully completed a radar operator course of not less than 24 hours on the use of police traffic radar, and the course was approved and certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training."

    The POA claims this Vehicle Code requirement does not apply to them and thus none of our POA officers that use the radar have received any approved and certified training. There is minimal training conducted by "senior" officers to new officers ("senior" being undefined, turnover of officers is pretty high).

    Let me make clear I understand and completely support the POA's authority to set and enforce speed limits in the community. This benefits us all in improved safety. And being somewhat of a "Techy" myself, I believe in the accuracy of radar guns IF the operators have been properly trained and the radar properly calibrated. So my question: Does the POA, which very clearly makes the point that the Vehicle Code applies, have the right to use radar to issue speeding citations when the officers have not undergone the certified training required by the Vehicle Code?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    193

    Default Re: Can a Property Owner's Association Issue Speeding Tickets

    I suspect that as private property the association got the county to authorize them to enforce all of the CVC so that the POA would not have to duplicate sections like stop signs, pedestrian crossings, speeding, passing, etc. inside their Rules & Regulations document. If traffic issues are enforced by POA security officers, these are not Police or "Peace Officers" and have no right to arrest you and are not covered by the regulations governing Police. If they stop you and write you a ticket, it should go to a POA hearing determining guilt and fine. As such, it is a civil matter between you and the POA and they are free to use any standards they choose as long as they are reasonable (including preponderance of evidence, not reasonable doubt to determine guilt). If you don't like it you can sue in court but the courts tend to defer to the POA's since these are civil matters concerning your voluntary agreement to follow the POA's rules. You can try to use poor training and lack of recent calibration in your argument at the hearing but I bet unless you can demonstrate the device is way out of functional calibration or the officer has little idea how to use it, it will be admitted and you lose.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    193

    Default Re: Can a Property Owner's Association Issue Speeding Tickets

    Okey, so the POA sues the offender to collect the fine in the event of non-payment. Sorry for getting this part backward.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    832

    Default Re: Can a Property Owner's Association Issue Speeding Tickets

    The HOA would simply put a lien on the offenders residence for non-payment. Stupid as it sounds, the HOA can then foreclose on the residence if the lien remains unpaid.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    7,056

    Default Re: Can a Property Owner's Association Issue Speeding Tickets

    Quote Quoting joef
    View Post
    I suspect that as private property the association got the county to authorize them to enforce all of the CVC so that the POA would not have to duplicate sections like stop signs, pedestrian crossings, speeding, passing, etc. inside their Rules & Regulations document. If traffic issues are enforced by POA security officers, these are not Police or "Peace Officers" and have no right to arrest you and are not covered by the regulations governing Police. If they stop you and write you a ticket, it should go to a POA hearing determining guilt and fine. As such, it is a civil matter between you and the POA and they are free to use any standards they choose as long as they are reasonable (including preponderance of evidence, not reasonable doubt to determine guilt). If you don't like it you can sue in court but the courts tend to defer to the POA's since these are civil matters concerning your voluntary agreement to follow the POA's rules. You can try to use poor training and lack of recent calibration in your argument at the hearing but I bet unless you can demonstrate the device is way out of functional calibration or the officer has little idea how to use it, it will be admitted and you lose.
    The ticket would be heard in a court of local jurisdiction. The same rules of evidence would apply as if a police officer issued the ticket. This would not be a civil matter.

    The County accepted jurisdiction.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    8,006

    Default Re: Can a Property Owner's Association Issue Speeding Tickets

    Quote Quoting budwad
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    The ticket would be heard in a court of local jurisdiction. The same rules of evidence would apply as if a police officer issued the ticket. This would not be a civil matter.
    IF they are issuing actual citations and not kangaroo court citations.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    7,056

    Default Re: Can a Property Owner's Association Issue Speeding Tickets

    As I posted, the County accepted jurisdiction to enforce the vehicle code. I doubt that means kangaroo court citations.

    It's really no different than the police issuing citations on private property like a shopping mall.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    8,006

    Default Re: Can a Property Owner's Association Issue Speeding Tickets

    Quote Quoting budwad
    View Post
    As I posted, the County accepted jurisdiction to enforce the vehicle code. I doubt that means kangaroo court citations.

    It's really no different than the police issuing citations on private property like a shopping mall.
    It does not appear, although OP could further clarify, that actual police officers are issuing the citations. It sounds like people hired by the POA who may or may not be actual police officers. If not, then they could have their own citation system set up.

    I would hope an actual officer would decline to issue citations if asked if they have not had the correct training course required by the state. That sets them up for issues down the road.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    7,056

    Default Re: Can a Property Owner's Association Issue Speeding Tickets

    I doubt police officers on duty are going to patrol the community. It's more likely that the HOA is using their own security personal. They may be retired officers, they may hire off duty officers, or their security personal may get/be trained. Either way, the rules of evidence in court will apply. So if they are not trained personal, that is grounds to fight the ticket.

    If the POA wanted to set up their own system of the vehicle code enforcement, they didn't need a resolution from the County accepting jurisdiction.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Posts
    236

    Default Re: Can a Property Owner's Association Issue Speeding Tickets

    Quote Quoting budwad
    View Post
    I doubt police officers on duty are going to patrol the community. It's more likely that the HOA is using their own security personal. They may be retired officers, they may hire off duty officers, or their security personal may get/be trained. Either way, the rules of evidence in court will apply. So if they are not trained personal, that is grounds to fight the ticket.

    If the POA wanted to set up their own system of the vehicle code enforcement, they didn't need a resolution from the County accepting jurisdiction.
    I have not read this long thread but what happens if the cited person just threw the ticket in the trash? Not what will happen but what has happened?

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