12/21/2006Sacramento Requires Admission of Guilt Before Red Light Camera Challenge
Sacramento, California denies the right of a trial by written declaration to anyone misidentified by a red light camera.
The Sacramento, California Superior Court now requires anyone seeking to challenge a red light camera ticket in writing to essentially admit a main component of guilt -- and pay the fine -- before that challenge will even be heard. California law allows defendants to file a Trial by Written Declaration using a series of standard forms established by the Judicial Council of California. Such trials allow motorists visiting from out-of-state or distant cities to have a chance at defending their driving record.
Sacramento has, on its own initiative, began requiring the use of an unapproved form (view form) before any challenge can be heard. The "Statement of Identification Re: Automated Enforcement Citations" states the following:
"Without admitting guilt, I stipulate that I was the driver of the vehicle pictured in the automated enforcement photograph."
Drivers who are misidentified by the machine would be unable to sign the form and consequently denied their right under California law to a trial by written declaration.
The editor of Highwayrobbery.net discovered the form and contacted the Sacramento court. He was told the written challenge, "Would not even reach the courtroom if the TRL/I-16 form was not signed."