Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1

    Exclamation New Owner Didn't Transfer Title

    My question involves traffic court in the State of: California

    I sold my car to an Auto Company in August 2008 (and still have the transfer of title documents to prove it).

    Just a few months ago, on April 14 2009, I randomly received a nasty letter from the State of California saying that I "failed to appear in court" regarding I citation I've never seen before, and that I needed to pay the bail amount or face the Wrath of God.

    I was on vacation when the letter came to my house. My daughter received the letter, got scared, and paid it online 2 days later (April 16), thinking she was doing something good.

    As it turned out, the Auto Company had sold my old car to someone else, but failed to (I'm guessing) submit the transfer of title paperwork to the DMV. So, whoever bought my old car is the person who actually got the citation, not me!

    But now, as a result of this, I have a point on my driving record. I know I can get that cleared up by submitting form DL 207 to the DMV, however it says I need a document from the court that validates my case.

    My question is, how do I get that document from the court? Do I need to set up an appointment to see a judge? If so, how? Can I do a Trial by Declaration in this case? Since the ticket was paid, does that take away any rights I had before paying?

    I would really appreciate any help you can offer.

    Thank you very much

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    LA LA Land
    Posts
    9,170

    Default Re: New Owner Didn't Transfer Title

    Quote Quoting needadvice12345
    View Post
    Just a few months ago, on April 14 2009, I randomly received a nasty letter from the State of California saying that I "failed to appear in court" regarding I citation I've never seen before, and that I needed to pay the bail amount or face the Wrath of God.

    I was on vacation when the letter came to my house. My daughter received the letter, got scared, and paid it online 2 days later (April 16), thinking she was doing something good.
    What kind of ticket was it? It should show a California Vehicle Code Section ("CVC" followed by a 4 or 5 digit number)

    Quote Quoting needadvice12345
    View Post
    Can I do a Trial by Declaration in this case? Since the ticket was paid, does that take away any rights I had before paying?
    You no longer have a right to a TBD in this case... That is unless you can petition the court to allow you to withdraw your "guilty" plea... Because by paying the ticket, you essentially plead guilty to the charge and paid the fine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1,622

    Default Re: New Owner Didn't Transfer Title

    If it is a ticket you never saw before, how did it get paid??

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    LA LA Land
    Posts
    9,170

    Default Re: New Owner Didn't Transfer Title

    Let me also add that by you being the registered owner prior to the sale, and as far as the DMV is concerned, it is your responsibility to notify them by filing a "Transfer of Ownership & Release of Liability" form. I understand that the dealer you sold the vehicle to may have told you they'll take care of it, that however does not relieve you from the responsibility to notify the DMV of the transfer.

    Point is, this will all play an important role as far as the judge making a decision to allow you to withdraw your plea...

  5. #5

    Default Re: New Owner Didn't Transfer Title

    Thanks very much for responding.

    I never saw the actual citation - I wish I had it though, because that would help! - but it's a double-whami: failure to stop at a stop light, and speeding.

    So, in order for me to get the point erased from my driving record (and get the court abstract to submit with the DMV form DL 207), I have to prove my innocence here to a judge?

    How do I schedule an arraignment anyway? The court's website has been somewhat confusing.

    Thanks again

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    LA LA Land
    Posts
    9,170

    Default Re: New Owner Didn't Transfer Title

    Quote Quoting needadvice12345
    View Post
    I never saw the actual citation - I wish I had it though, because that would help! - but it's a double-whami: failure to stop at a stop light, and speeding.
    I can understand the failure to stop at a stop light part... Could be a red light camera ticket... But speeding? There are no speed cameras in California so I'm not sure how someone could be cited for that on the same red light camera citation!!!!

    Either way, you can request a copy of the actual citation from the court.

    That does however bring up another question... If you have received the failure to appear/pay notice from the court, and knowing that the court mails the FTA/FTP notice to the address on the citation, would confirm that they do in fact have your correct address. That in turn woul suggest that if this was a citation that was initially mailed to you, then you should have received that as well.

    Quote Quoting needadvice12345
    View Post
    So, in order for me to get the point erased from my driving record (and get the court abstract to submit with the DMV form DL 207), I have to prove my innocence here to a judge?
    Yes, you'd have to prove your innocence to a judge.

    But before any of that happens, you'd have to somehow convince the judge of the following:
    • That you did not file the transfer of title and release of liability with the DMV although that is your responsibility;
    • that although the court has your correct mailing address, that you never received the original citation;
    • that even when you received the FTA/FTP notice, someone else paid a $600+ on your behalf without even asking you;
    • AND then, you'd have to convince him/her to allow you to withdraw your plea by re-openning your case.

    Sounds like a steep uphill to climb...

    Quote Quoting needadvice12345
    View Post
    How do I schedule an arraignment anyway? The court's website has been somewhat confusing.
    You are no longer entitled to an arraginment. Not for this citation and at least not until your case is reopened. Your first step, and assuming you do choose to pursue this further, would be to file a motion with the court to have your case re-opened and to allow you to withdraw your plea.

    On a side note, and before you do any of that, I'd contact the DMV to see if the Change of Title has been filed yet... If it hasn't you need to get that done quickly before you subject yourself to any additional liability due to another citation, or even worse yet, an accident. Just keep in mind that you were required to file that within 10 days of the sale date. Failing to comply with that 10 day requirement is also a violation.

    Good luck.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Am I Responsible for a New Owner Who Did Not Transfer a Title
    By vonnnguyen in forum Vehicle Registration and Title
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-20-2010, 07:40 PM
  2. Sold Car 3 Years Ago, but DMV Didn't Transfer the Title
    By tartlettes in forum Vehicle Registration and Title
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-19-2009, 08:23 PM
  3. Transferring Title: New Vehicle Owner Didn't Change Title
    By kevin2008 in forum Vehicle Registration and Title
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-01-2009, 08:24 PM
  4. Buyer Didn't Transfer Title, then Sold Car Again
    By basil in forum Vehicle Registration and Title
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-22-2009, 08:53 PM
  5. Transferring Title: New Car Owner Didn't Transfer Title
    By mami to two in forum Vehicle Registration and Title
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-15-2008, 10:09 AM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources