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Old 12-12-2008, 01:01 PM   #1
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Default scottsdale-arizona-lies-to-drivers-to-get-money/


Here's one way to get people to pay their photo enforcement tickets or waive their right to proper service: Lie.

That's what the Scottsdale City Court does in tickets generated from its municipal system, which operates speed and red light cameras.

As savvy readers know, especially if they've read our work on the subject, the tickets carry little legal weight until they are hand-delivered or you waive your right to proper service under Arizona Supreme Court rules.
The evidence that Scottsdale is telling a whopper to scare violators into compliance came to us recently on a red light camera ticket obtained from a fellow New Times employee. (Don't be so judgmental -- the photo clearly shows this wasn't some suicidal plunge through an intersection. Rather, our intrepid employee tried and failed to beat the light on a left-turn arrow).

At the top of the ticket, the summons reads:
If you fail to appear or respond as directed in this complaint, you will be subject to personal service of this Complaint and Summons and the cost of personal service will be assessed to you.
So far so good. But don't worry about the "cost of personal service," because it's only about $25 if they catch you. If the servers don't find you, and if you don't waive your rights, the ticket will be dismissed from the court system and you'll pay nothing. But not according to Scottsdale. The summons continues with:
In addition, you will be subject to a default judgment, the assessment of a fine, surcharge and fees, and the suspension of your driver's license.
That, dear readers, is a bald-faced lie.

The "in addition" part not-so-slyly tries to connect the part about suspended driver's license to the "if you fail to appear or respond" verbiage. Don't fall for it.

Your driver's license will be suspended only if you ignore the ticket after it is hand-delivered, (or if you pull a real boner by signing the waiver, mailing it back to the authorities and then blowing it off).

Sure, we know it's in the best interest of the photo enforcement system to keep people confused about the consequences of trashing the tickets. That confusion has even extended to veteran newspaper columnists who should know better.

But when the government attempts to deceive, it weakens its legitimacy. Plus, it's darned unethical.
Now, we know some of the folks down at Scottsdale City Court from our research for last year's photo enforcement article, "Gotcha." They're fine people.

The court's presiding judge, B. Monte Morgan (above), is a pillar of the community. We assume he didn't come up with the wording. But now that the mistake has been pointed out, let's hope he won't mind fixing these tickets -- to make them truthful. -


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Old 12-12-2008, 01:03 PM   #2
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Just got off the phone with Scottsdale Presiding Judge B. Monte Morgan about the wording of his court's photo-enforcement tickets, which we took issue with yesterday in this blog.

As we discussed previously, we think the wording on the summons makes it seem like ignoring the ticket will definitely result in a default judgment and suspension of your driver's license:

In addition, you will be subject to a default judgment, the assessment of a fine, surcharge and fees, and the suspension of your driver's license.

However, those drastic results can happen only once the ticket is deemed properly served under Arizona Supreme Court rules -- which Morgan freely acknowledges.
However, "you and I differ on the interpretation of the sentence," he explains.

In particular, the part where the ticket says "subject to" should be taken as an absolute, he says. In Morgan's view, the ticket does not imply the default judgment and other harsh penalties will be "automatic" if the ticket is ignored.
We quibbled with him on this, pointing out that the ticket was brought to our attention by someone who believed just that -- that ignoring the ticket means a default judgment.

Proving that nothing in the legal field is simple, Morgan responds by saying "proper service" under the law could mean something other than a process server hand-delivering you the ticket. And that's where the wording of the summons can get tricky, he explains.

Take the example of someone who registers for a defensive driving class upon receiving the speed-camera ticket. That would be considered "service," Morgan says, and ignoring the ticket at that point would result in the default judgment. The court could mail the ticket in a registered letter, he adds, and signing in receipt of the letter could also constitute service.

Morgan asked New Times how we would word the ticket to take into account the range of possible consequences that could happen if the ticket is ignored.

We suggested changing the wording to, "In addition, you could be subject to..."

Morgan says he'll bring up the question with other court staff members and at least consider a change.
And then the judge hits us with a sobering fact -- a Scottsdale motorcycle rider died last week after crashing into a car at more than 100 miles per hour.

"Speed is not something you play with," Morgan says. "You don't have to be concerned with photo enforcement if you follow the speed limit."

True words.
Unlike those on Scottsdale's tickets. --
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Old 12-12-2008, 02:41 PM   #3
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what a joke.
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Old 12-12-2008, 07:25 PM   #4
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I hate those ****ing cameras, I wish someone would mow all of them down.

I am pretty sure I got flashed couple of times once by that stupid ass mobile camera VAN - but over month has passed and no ticket, maybe the high gloss on the plates works?

This is all BIG BROTHER ****, something like hundred cameras and 20 mobile camera vans.

Safety my ass, when people see those they slam on their brakes.

Napolitano you can suck my dick you Le*****
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:41 AM   #5
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Reverend Wright was right!!!

Government LIED!!!
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Old 12-15-2008, 06:55 AM   #6
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Thank God old Nappy is gone ! She stole and stole from the people of AZ and only torwards the end did they see the light .
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:54 AM   #7
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why dont ppl just buy this and be done with it??
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Old 12-15-2008, 11:06 PM   #8
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There seems to be a very distinct shift from serving and protecting the people to becoming a revenue making machine.
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by JuggernautTCW View Post
why dont ppl just buy this and be done with it??
Because it doesn't work. Those plastic covers that blur your plate do work though.
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:19 PM   #10
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Just take off your plates.
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Old 12-17-2008, 10:34 AM   #11
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Sucks i just got one in the mail yesterday. $181 fine, i hate these cameras.

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Old 12-17-2008, 11:20 AM   #12
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This just in...

Phoenix government to install red light cameras at every intersection within 5 miles of Phoenix New Times headquarters.
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Old 12-17-2008, 11:55 AM   #13
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The Long Island Expressway is in Arizona?
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:38 PM   #14
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all those products dont work. ignoring the ticket works better, just make sure they dont serve you with it. another thing you can do (this is really easy on bikes) is install an actuator that flips or otherwise covers your plate when you push a button. if you wanted to get really fancy you could have it be activated by a bright flash on the front side of your car but i wouldn't trust a system like that unless you really know what youre doing. the absolute best thing ive heard of doing is registering your car in cottonwood or even another state if you can get away with it. even to another person. that way if they send the mail there they wont spend the money to certified mail it, and if they do, the person it goes to can honestly say they weren't the ones in the picture. they'll have to lie and say they don't recognize you though. just have them say the car is for sale and the person in the photo was test driving it.
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