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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Court lost TBD letter (Certified mail shown delivered). Forfeited Bail DMV Notified

    My question involves traffic court in the State of: CA

    I send in my TBD letter weeks ahead of the due date via USPS certified mail. USPS shows the letter was delivered the next day. I have certified mail receipt and USPS delivery confirmation printout.

    However, I just received letter from the court indicate that the bail was forfeited claiming that I did not send in the TDB paperwork before the due day. Clearly it is a total mistake by the court. The letter also indicated that the case was closed and DMV was notified. Along with the letter, there is a form to file a motion to vacate the forfeiture.

    What should I do? Will calling the court sufficient to sort this out? Whose responsibility is this? Thanks.

    My prior experience showed that the court was extremely slow in processing incoming mails. In fact, when I mailed the original Not Guilty plea with my bail check via USPS certified mail, the check was not cashed for several weeks. I had to call the court at that time to ask them to check their mail to cash the check. They actually file an extension for me at that time for submitting the plea just to accommodate the slow mail processing.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    SF Bay Area

    Default Re: Court lost TBD letter (Certified mail shown delivered). Forfeited Bail DMV Notifi

    there are actually two steps to the TBD process. First, you send in your written request for TBD with the attached bail check. Once the court receives it, the clerk is supposed to send you the actual TBD paperwork containing the instructions to the defendant and a partially filled form TR-205 that you must fill out with your statement of facts and turn in within a month or so.

    Did you send the actual TR-205 form to the court or just the letter asking for TBD?

    see for the actual TBD form.

    I had a similar issue where the clerk didn't send me the TR-205 form and I had to hoof it 200 miles down to the court to file it myself.

    At the end of the day, it's a whole lot less hassle to drive down to the court and file it there and then unless the court is more than an hour away.

    If you failed to file your actual declaration, you could go ahead and file the motion to set aside the bail forfeiture, but you'll probably have to make a trip down to the court for a motion hearing, and it's no guarantee it'll be granted, either. It's still worth a shot, because you've got nothing to lose at this point except time and possibly a small filing fee.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Re: Court lost TBD letter (Certified mail shown delivered). Forfeited Bail DMV Notifi

    I acutally sent the filled out TR-205 form and additional evidences (pictures etc.) via Certified Mail and the court claimed they never received even though I have the Delivery Confirmation from USPS.

    I ended up calling the court today. I argued that it was not my fault that the court lost the paperwork and I should not be held responsible for their mistake. So they agreed to "reverse" this forfeiture and sending the TBD to the judge by asking me to fax them the paperwork. I did fax them a copy of the original paperwork along with copies of the Certified Mail Receipt and Delivery Confirmation. Later, I realized that the evidences are printed in color and the fax will be really inferior to review. So I called the court again. This time they said I have the option to personally hand a copy in at the clert windows.

    So I did that again. I was told that when they send the TBD to the judge, the process wil automatically reverse the bail forfeiture and reverse the notification to the DMV so there should not be any points on my record until the judge makes the decision. I know maybe there is not much else I can do, but I have to say that I can not be re-assured enough to believe the system will work out all flawslessly. I guess I just have to keep checking my insurance rate to see if it goes up, especially if I end up winning the case.

    As a result, I did NOT go through the "motion hearing" path, but by just talking to the clert and explaining the situation. I hope this way is better because going through the "motion" seems to indicate that there was a legitimate reason for the court to forfeit the bail at the first place in which case there was NOT any.

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