Fun With Traffic Court (Intro)

Just. Wow. I had to go to the courthouse to reschedule my traffic citation arraignment, and yes, that is most assuredly the appropriate word. You may not guess, but traffic court is part of the criminal court.

I had previously described the process of revenue generation via speeding ticket citation as a “cookie cutter” operation, meaning, the county runs a very lucrative and veritable bullet proof , cottage industry, but I had no idea exactly how descriptive that was until I paid a visit in person and experienced the wonderful zen of nothingness as practiced by our state’s employees.

Not to denigrate anyone here, but during these days of draconian budget cuts and furlough Fridays , well, let me just state for the record that even during times of plenty, state employees do not condescend to do or know one iota of anything that their collective bargaining agreement does not specifically elaborate upon. And now that said employees are off without pay three Fridays out the month, one could say that their font of knowledge has most definitely run dry.

The folks who man the windows at the courthouse are little more than glorified checkout clerks. They know how to collect money and that’s about it. I’m not saying every single person in every single courthouse fits that description, just the one I dealt with. The clerks at the Civil Lit court in Santa Ana are awesome.

After having stood on line for the better part of an hour -and this was before the court opened at 0730- when it was finally my turn, I asked the woman behind the counter a question that did not involve writing a check to pay the citation.

She gave me a look that screamed why-do-you-have-three-heads. As in:

ME: Can you tell me what the address is of the prosecuting attorney in the matter?

And her response: I have NO IDEA what you’re talking about.

I wasn’t expecting legal advice, or even a how to fight my ticket, but I didn’t know that government employees who work in the criminal law division of the courthouse consider the mailing address of the county D.A. to be esoteric and arcane knowledge. Who woulda thunk it, Pauline!

A self-identified judge’s clerk helpfully popped his head into the window and told me that the citing police agency was prosecuting, but had he not been standing right there to overhear my question, it’s doubtful I would have received an answer that day.

As far as prosecution goes, if you know anything about criminal law or the way prosecution works, then you would know that Government Code Section 26500 states in pertinent part:

The district attorney is the public prosecutor, except as otherwise allowed by law.

But then, what would I know? I’m just a schlub with a traffic citation, not a state employed judge’s clerk.

Sammy can relate.

©2009 Peyton Farquhar and Prattle On, Boyo. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peyton Farquhar and Prattle On, Boyo with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


5 Responses to Fun With Traffic Court (Intro)

  1. wickedmoxie says:

    Sweetie, you’re assuming any of the folks behind the counter can read anything but a picture book, let alone a book with words and no pictures in it, like the Government Code, LMAO. OMG, have you been to the DMV lately? Shit you walk through the door and your IQ level drops 50 points just by virtue of having to be in the same building as some of these folks… hmmm, it’s really rather a sad state of affairs… 🙂 By the way my best advice, do traffic school online, I did it once in a couple hours, while watching TV a few years ago, and unless they’ve changed it, you don’t really have to do anything but sit on each page till the counter counts down and lets you take the test… 🙂

  2. Thx for the commentary, moxie. Nice to know I’m not talking to myself. But I plan on fighting my ticket, which is why I wanted to know what the D.A.’s address was. I’m not just going to cough up $300 bucks to pay an arbitrary imposed tax like 99% of the driving public does.

  3. SexyPolitico says:

    My Dad not to long ago fought his speeding ticket and won. What happened was he took it to court, and the police officer did not show up. Under the state law the judge had to throw the ticket out. I don’t know if you would be that lucky, but it is sad to me that the law has turned into a crapshot of who you talk to, and how much somebody cares.

    • I doubt my case will be that easy. What I predict will happen is the sheriff’s deputy will, in fact, probably make an appearance, however, I think I could make a reasonable wager that the prosecuting atty. representing “the people”, (D.A.’s office) in all likelihood won’t bother to comply with my discovery request. We’ll see how it all pans out. I plan on detailing it all here which is one of the primary reasons I created this blog. Think the experience will generate some traffic, or do I need to start talking about Beyonce and Chris Brown?

  4. […] and until he receives a traffic citation. And we all know that traffic citations only go to those scofflaws who fully deserve it because tickets are all about […]

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