California's chief justice calls for an emergency rule to prevent courts from requiring drivers to pay traffic tickets before they can go to court to contest them.
Maura Dolan, Lee Romney
Los Angeles Times (LA Times)
May 21, 2015
Link to story
Organizations mentioned/involved: Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCR)
California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye this week asked the Judicial Council, the policy-making body of the courts, to write an emergency rule “that makes it clear that Californians do not have to pay for a traffic infraction before being able to appear in court.”
Her directive, issued Monday, comes as legislators and Gov. Jerry Brown tackle the issue of escalating traffic fines, fees, and penalties that have led to driver’s license suspensions for 4.8 million Californians.
In addition to seeking the emergency rule, the Chief Justice has asked a state commission on the future of the court system to “take a broader look at effective public access to California’s courts, including traffic proceedings and the impact of mandatory and discretionary fines, fees and penalties on court users.”
A report issued last month by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights (LCCR) of the San Francisco Bay Area and other civil legal aid groups revealed that one in six California drivers have had their licenses suspended for not paying the steadily escalating fees.Tags: Access to Justice, Courts, Disaster, Driver's license suspension