News Stories

October 1, 2015

By Dennis Romero

The unjust system of paying for failure to appear tickets before you have a chance to contest them is officially over.


Gov. Jerry Brown this week signed a bill by state Sen. Bob Hertzberg of Van Nuys that says, in most cases, you can contest a "failure to appear" or "failure to pay" ticket without paying the usual bail, fines, penalties, and assessments that make this such a racket.

October 1, 2015

Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill Wednesday allowing drivers with traffic violations that were due to be paid before January 1, 2013, to schedule a court appearance even without paying the attendant fines and traffic penalties.

Eligible motorists can get fines and penalties reduced by 50 or 80 percent, depending on income, on past-due tickets.

October 1, 2015

Under an amnesty program that begins Thursday, Oct. 1, people with unpaid traffic tickets may be eligible to have the amount of money they owe reduced.

Gov. Jerry Brown pushed the program as a way to help those can’t afford to pay off spiraling traffic fines and have had their licenses suspended as a result. It will be in effect for 18 months, ending March 31, 2017.

September 30, 2015

By Patrick McGreevy

Californians will be allowed to challenge most routine traffic tickets without having to first pay the contested fines under a bill signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The measure, which takes effect immediately, was one of 37 bills signed by the governor Wednesday. Others help homeless youths get high school degrees and allow early release for some terminally ill jail inmates.

SB 405 Sen. Bob Hertzberg is cited

September 30, 2015
BY TONY BIZJAK California courts will give drivers with unpaid traffic tickets a financial break under a limited state amnesty program launched this week. Motorists with outstanding tickets originally due on or before Jan. 1, 2013 will be allowed to pay them off at a reduced amount, either 50 or 80 percent of the citation amount, depending on the driver’s income, state officials said. All assessed penalties will be waived, and payments can be made in installments.

By Dana Bartholomew

September 28, 2015

When voters across Los Angeles County approved a half-cent sales tax seven years ago to ease traffic gridlock, the San Fernando Valley lost out to a lion’s share of new rail stops.

Score: Greater Los Angeles south and east of the Santa Monica Mountains, 78. The San Fernando Valley, 2.

By David Brunori,

September 24, 2015

We know the story very well. Most services aren’t subject to sales tax in most states. From a tax policy perspective, that’s no good. The sales tax should fall on all final consumption — preferably at a very low rate. So everything we buy should be subject to tax.

There are several reasons for this. First, there is no economic or tax policy reason to tax the purchase of a toaster oven but exempt the purchase of a haircut or accounting service. They’re both consumption.

SB 405 by Sen. Bob Hertzberg is cited

September 23, 2015

SB 405 (Sen. Bob Hertzberg, D-Los Angeles): Localities would not be able to require that traffic fines be paid before a driver is able to schedule a court appearance to contest the citation. Analysis: SB 405 originally created an amnesty program for Californians who had lost their driver’s licenses for failing to pay a traffic ticket. When Brown incorporated that proposal into the budget, Hertzberg switched gears with legislation aimed at preventing the types of failure-to-appear fees that can increase the cost of a fine by hundreds of dollars.

SB 405 by Sen. Bob Hertzberg is cited.

September 23, 2015

Fighting a traffic ticket in California might soon be less of a pain.

Senate Bill 405, a bill on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk, would prohibit courts from charging drivers a fine or fee before they contest their citation.

In some counties, people must pay the full citation, which can be several hundred dollars, before they can schedule a hearing to contest the ticket.

By Bob Hertzberg

September 23, 2015

Andrew, a 22-year-old single father, was working as a mechanic and making regular installment payments to the court on a couple of traffic tickets.

A few months into the payments, his 2-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia. As his son's sole caretaker, Andrew had to leave his job to care for his son. His sudden loss of income meant that he could not meet the terms of his payment plan, and the court suspended his driver's license. His fines were handed off to a collections agency, with an extra $300 "civil assessment" tacked on for his "failure to pay" as planned.

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