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  1. #1

    Default Can You Be Required to Go to Court for a Red Light Ticket from a Different State

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: New York.

    I was thinking about redlight Cameras today, I live in Suffolk County, close to Nassau County and we have a real problem with both of them here on Long Island. Studies over the years have shown these intersections have become more dangerous simply because some idiots now slam on their brakes as soon as they see a yellow t avoid a red light ticket.

    All of that is a discussion that has already been had.

    Here is what I am curious and hopefully the legal experts can help me out. How can an out of state private company tell you that you owe this amount, if you don't reply not guilty by a certain date or you owe the fine?

    See a company in Maryland or Virginia (I forget which) owns the equipment, anyone who is over the stop line even a fraction of a second gets sent to an "expert" who works for Suffolk County who says yep, they were over the line. The private company then sends a letter from another state saying a car registered to you violated whatever and being the registered owner you are responsible, "failure to pay by XX/XX/2018 is admission of liability."

    If I get a traffic ticket or parking ticket, an official person doing an official duty, is issuing me an official ticket to appear in a local court where the alleged infraction took place.

    How does a private company in another state have the same power as a cop, answer by this date or it's a default guilty plea. Because they changed the wording?

    Not to mention the fact that they take all presumption of innocence away from you. I could have murdered someone in broad daylight on camera and I'd still be innocent until proven guilty. If you get one of these letters in the mail "Please take notice that, as the owner of the vehicle appearing in the photo below, you are liable to pay a fine in the amount indicated above. Pursuant to Section........"

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Red Light, How Can 3rd Party Out of State Company Make You Go to Court

    Quote Quoting wingman
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    How does a private company in another state have the same power as a cop, answer by this date or it's a default guilty plea. Because they changed the wording?
    Because the NY statute that provides for red light cameras does not require that the company be in state or bar a private company from handling the technical aspects of the program. The law does require a city official be the one to examine the photos and determine liability; that is analogous to the city cop issuing you the citation.

    Quote Quoting wingman
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    Not to mention the fact that they take all presumption of innocence away from you. I could have murdered someone in broad daylight on camera and I'd still be innocent until proven guilty. If you get one of these letters in the mail "Please take notice that, as the owner of the vehicle appearing in the photo below, you are liable to pay a fine in the amount indicated above. Pursuant to Section........"
    That's because in NY red light camera tickets are not criminal violations, and the presumption of innocence applies only to criminal matters. Indeed, in NY a red light camera violation is charged against the owner of the car in all cases, regardless of who was driving it at the time, unless the car had been reported stolen prior to the offense, and there are special rules for leased cars. For that reason the law provides that "[an] imposition of liability under a local law or ordinance adopted pursuant to this section shall not be deemed a conviction as an operator and shall not be made part of the operating record of the person upon whom such liability is imposed nor shall it be used for insurance purposes in the provision of motor vehicle insurance coverage." The owner gets hit with what amounts to a civil fine, not to exceed $50, unless the extra $25 surcharge applies, in which case the fine may end up being $75. That's it. No hit to the driving record. No increase to insurance. It's more like a parking ticket than a moving violation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Red Light, How Can 3rd Party Out of State Company Make You Go to Court

    You can still contest it when you get it.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Red Light, How Can 3rd Party Out of State Company Make You Go to Court

    Quote Quoting RJR
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    You can still contest it when you get it.
    My question is more of what gives a private company the right to send me something in the saying I got a "notice of liability"and if I want to fight it I have to go to court. Seems very shady. At least if an officer or other official gives you a ticket, there is an official ticket by an accredited agency, city or town. The officer can swear in a court of law they gave you ticket.

    I'm no lawyer but this just seems to go against everything I was taught about why you must answer in court if you are arrested or get a ticket. This is a private company. Can debt collectors start mailing me notices of liability saying I must pay or go to court to otherwise I acknowledge the debt. Of course not, the entire thing is absurd, if a private party wants to me to go to court they must serve me.

    If you don't pay this company also sends you a letter saying you now have a judgement in Suffolk County. Don't you have to be summoned to court for a private company to send you a summons? Well they do a lot they are not supposed so I guess you are just supposed to look the other way and pay. Just like how the fine of $50 and fee of $30 for a total of $80 in Suffolk ($105 if not paid by due date) Nassau has a fine of $50, plus "driver responsibility fee" of $45, an public safety fee of $55 for a total of $150 ($225 with a "default conviction" if not paid by the due date).

    The Nassau County one is funny because they cannot issue points because they cannot legally prove who was driving, so how can they charge "driver responsibility fee" if they cannot prove who was driving? Should've called it an "owner responsibility fee" oops, they chose the wording. I have a problem with the term default conviction, I don't understand how a company can not accuse me of a violating the V&TL but then say I'll be convicted by default if I don't answer the letter not ticket or summons they gave me.

    This company also sends you a letter saying what can happen to you if you don't pay. One of consequences being the suspension of your license. They see it is a collection notice, it is a big no no in NY to threaten something while attempting to collect a debt if you do not intent to go through with it. A scare tactic if you will. No points can be issued on your license because they cannot prove who was . So, this private company attempting to collect debt on behalf of themselves and the County certainly cannot suspend someones license. So, why is it on there that one of the consequences listed to not sending payment to them is having your license suspended.

    FYI, this company used to report the debt to ones credit report if not paid, they cannot do this anymore.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Red Light, How Can 3rd Party Out of State Company Make You Go to Court

    Quote Quoting wingman
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    My question is more of what gives a private company the right to send me something in the saying I got a "notice of liability"and if I want to fight it I have to go to court. Seems very shady. At least if an officer or other official gives you a ticket, there is an official ticket by an accredited agency, city or town. The officer can swear in a court of law they gave you ticket.
    The reason is that the municipality contracts for that from the private company. The authority for the ticket still comes from the municipality, and it is an official from the municipality that examines the photos and determines liability, not the company. It's not the company making that decision. It provides the photographs and may provide the service of sending out letters to collect and process the payments. None of that is illegal.

    Quote Quoting wingman
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    Can debt collectors start mailing me notices of liability saying I must pay or go to court to otherwise I acknowledge the debt. Of course not, the entire thing is absurd, if a private party wants to me to go to court they must serve me.
    A private company can do that if they collecting on behalf of the government. It might surprise you to learn that the IRS and many state and local tax agencies use private debt collectors to collect some of the delinquent taxes that are owed, for example, and since they are collecting taxes for the government they don't have to take you to court first to prove you owe the debt.

    Quote Quoting wingman
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    If you don't pay this company also sends you a letter saying you now have a judgement in Suffolk County. Don't you have to be summoned to court for a private company to send you a summons?
    Again, this is all done pursuant to the state statutes and local ordinances that authorize them. There is nothing in the constitution that says governments can't contract out to private companies for things like taking the pictures, spitting out collection letters, etc. The municipality is still the one that makes the determination of liability and it is the municipality that handles any contest you make to the citation, so you have due process rights there.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Ohio
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    Default Re: Red Light, How Can 3rd Party Out of State Company Make You Go to Court

    Wingman, these case decisions may shed some legal light. Ohio's camera enforcement system is detailed. Originally filed in State court (Common Pleas), it was removed to U.S. District Court. They in turn requested a "Certified question" evaluation to the Ohio Supreme Court.

    This is the Order of Certification to the OSC:

    https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/...cv-00139-1.pdf

    OSC response:

    http://www.supremecourtofohio.gov/ro...8-ohio-270.pdf

    A motion to Remand was filed but the District Court ruled that Removal was proper.

    The U.S. District Court upheld the Akron Ordinance. This was appealed to the U.S. 6TH Circuit Court of Appeals, and the District Court's opinion was upheld.

    https://www.casemine.com/judgement/u...d7b04934279156


    As you can read an outside firm was hired just as was your NY law statute.

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