Please Comment by July 8th on Proposed Changes to California State Traffic Court 


Dear NMA California Members,

The state Judicial Council has put forth a proposal to implement and evaluate a civil model for adjudication of minor vehicle infractions. This means, if implemented, any sort of minor traffic ticket or parking ticket will become a matter for civil court and an administrative hearing instead of traffic court. Motorists would then lose some vital due process rights in the process of defending themselves.

Comment by Monday, July 8th at 5:00 pm. Here is the Link to Comment: http://www.courts.ca.gov/invitation-comment-form.htm?proposal=LEG19-04&deadline=July%208,%202019

Or, email: invitations@jud.ca.gov –MAKE SURE YOU INCLUDE LEG19-04 IN THE REGARDS LINE.

The California Traffic Defense Bar Association, opposed to this change, have said that they anticipated that proposed legislation has been worked on secretly. Here is their statement on the matter:

 It is imperative that everyone who handles traffic matters, handles driving related matters, DMV actions, or cares about the protections of the constitution and privacy of the drivers of the state take time out of your busy schedule to formulate and submit a response.   

 We need to bombard the legislature with well-reasoned comments objecting and opposing to this violation of our constitutional protections.

 Please pass this on to anyone who drives and encourages everyone to post comments with your opposition. 

 Here are a few of the important changes that we believe are in the works.

  • Lower burden of proof: proposed preponderance of evidence;
  • The conviction still results in reporting to the DMV and assessments of points;
  • Elimination of Trial by Declaration – Trial De Novo process;
  • Penalty Assessments and Civil Assessments still apply;
  • It appears that Court Clerks will perform the majority of the adjudication process;

To read the proposal for yourself, check out the following information.

LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS (LEG19: 01-05)

Link: http://www.courts.ca.gov/policyadmin-invitationstocomment.htm#category6091B

Item Number: LEG19-04

Judicial Council–Sponsored Legislation: Civil Adjudication of Vehicle Code Infractions

Summary: At the direction of the Chief Justice, the Futures Traffic Working Group was charged with developing a proposal to implement and evaluate a civil model for adjudication of minor vehicle infractions. This proposal includes recommendations for statutory changes as well as appropriate standardized processes to free up court and law enforcement resources and simplify procedures for defendants. The proposal was informed by input from law enforcement, the Department of Motor Vehicles, organizations representing the interests of low-income Californians, and other stakeholders. The working group explored, evaluated, and now recommends options for online processing of all phases for all Vehicle Code infraction violations. This proposal provides an alternative to the current system of criminal adjudication of several million traffic infractions each year.

Remember: Comment by Monday, July 8th at 5:00 pm. Here is the Link to Comment: http://www.courts.ca.gov/invitation-comment-form.htm?proposal=LEG19-04&deadline=July%208,%202019

Or, email: invitations@jud.ca.gov — MAKE SURE YOU INCLUDE LEG19-04 IN THE REGARDS LINE.

Thank you for your attention to this matter!

Not an NMA Member yet?

Join today and get these great benefits!