Up until now, the rule was you have to send the full bail amount of your ticket when contesting either by mail or in person; they won’t talk to you unless you FIRST pay the full amount.
On June 8, 2015, the California Judicial Council (the people who make the rules for the courts) ruled unanimously that courts can no longer require full bail when people submit their not-guilty plea. So, they are no longer allowed to make that requirement:
“The system is broken,” said Christine Sun, associate director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. “It has become clear that we are funding our judicial system through unfair fines and fees that act as a hidden tax on poor people — who may not be able to afford contesting their citation — and people of color, who are disproportionately pulled over and cited. This has to stop, and we’re pleased that the Judicial Council is taking action.”
Interestingly, some Ticket Assassin members have been told by court clerks that the ruling doesn’t take effect until September 15.
As is often the case, the court clerks are full of shit. From the Mercury News:
“The new ban on this practice takes effect immediately, though courts have until Sept. 15 to ensure their forms, written instructions and websites comply with notification requirements.”
From the Napa Valley Register:
The Judicial Council’s decision takes effect immediately, and also requires courts to notify traffic defendants that they don’t have to make the payments to appear in court in any instructions or other materials they provide to the public.
Courts are facing a deadline to update their forms. But court clerks are telling ticketed motorists members is that until the form is updated, the requirement is still there. Horseapples. The requirement is no longer there, as of June 8 2015, per the California Judicial Council.
You can pay the full bail if you want to avoid a fight. You’ll get the money back if you are found not guilty. Or, you can stand up for yourself and insist the court follow their own god damn rules. It’s up to you.
This goes away on September 15 – just five weeks from now. As such, the Ticket Assassin doesn’t want to die on this particular hill – he believes in picking his battles.
Good luck. Let us know what you do and how it turns out.