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THEY DON’T GOTTA:  Police only have DISCRETION to make arrests without a warrant

USE WWW.CATICKETBUSTERS.COM to fight and beat your traffic ticket.

The law professor who wrote the attached law review article hit the nail on the head, cops only have DISCRETION to arrest when they observe CRIME, but they don’t gotta!

CALIFORNIA GOVERNMENT CODE 14. “Shall” is mandatory and “may” is permissive.

As everyone who gets this should know, the so-called “traffic stop” is an arrest. See: Cal. Veh. Code §40300, 40500, 40504. And an arrest without a warrant is a WARRANTLESS ARREST.

The attachment is about technology and the ELIMINATION OF DISCRETION for cops to make warrantless arrests. It will be left to AUTOMATED SYSTEMS (black boxes) referred to in the attached law review article.

I don’t care about the technology aspect of the article, I care that a law professor acknowledged what a few of us know, cops don’t HAVE TO arrest without a warrant for ANY CRIME, it’s OPTIONAL. Don’t believe me, see Penal Code section 836 where the Legislature provided the term “may”, as in “…peace officer may…”. Remember MAY is PERMISSIVE. In fact, I assert they’re BREAKING THE LAW when they make a warrantless arrest for an infraction because infractions are not crimes and police only have DISCRETION to arrest without a warrant for CRIME. So the issue is that cops are ACTING BEYOND THE SCOPE OF THEIR AUTHORIZED DUTY and have NO DISCRETION to arrest without a warrant for NON-CRIMINAL activity.

This is a post from a friend of mine, Rich Iverson, who has mastered the California Vehicle Code and it’s violations of our rights. One of the best motivators he has on his sign-off of his emails is: CALIFORNIA CIVIL CODE 3527. The law helps the vigilant, before those who sleep on their rights.

My highlights begin on p. 4

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Ronald Cupp PhD
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Beating a red light camera ticket without having to go to court!

I had a student who got a red light camera ticket in the mail last week. He went on line to see the video of his ‘infraction’-and lo and behold, it was not available.

Fight & Beat Red Light Camera Ticket with www.caticketbusters.com

He was scouring the www.caticketbusters.com site to see what was the best way to fight this  red light camera ticket, what to do?, what to do?.  He contacted me.

What was the problem? It was from 2009! The statute of limitations for an infraction is one year (from date of infraction).

He had already won, the traffic court was past their jurisdication by statute of limitations, and we did not have to even prepare motions or go to court. We prepared an affidavit to the traffic court and the DA, did a proof of service by fax with the hard copy in the mail. We said if this was within the one year time, we would conditionally accept their offer to respond to their notice to appear, if not, then we would consider the matter closed and dropped from the record.

I don’t believe we will hear back from them!

Ronald Cupp PhD

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How to approach your traffic ticket courtroom defense in California.

Remember it is all the same laws, should all be the same type of steps in the courtroom, but it is not. This process is alive and dynamic, it is constantly moving and changing. Even though the court or the Commissioners or the Jurisdiction should all be following the same traffic infraction ticket processes, they do not. Not by Jurisdiction, not by different court’s within the same Jurisdiction, and not even by the same Commissioners within their own courtroom. What the heck is going on?

The only thing that I can see that follows any outline or substance is the legal steps. First you have your ‘Arraignment’, which is open traffic ticket court where you are read your charges and asked how you plea? This is not confrontational (other than the Commissioner when you ask for your, or stand up for your -RIGHTS), there is no Officer, there is no evidence. The only purpose is to read you your charges and ask how you plea.

From there you will either give in, pay your fine, and walk out; or you will plead not guilty (there are 6 types of pleas-we won’t get into that now), and be scheduled for a ‘contested traffic ticket court calendar’. That will be the time you confront your accuser (the citing Officer)  submit evidence, and argue your case.

I am over simplifying it, as there can be several steps in between each part, like filing motions, challenging several items (like evidence or jurisdiction, etc.), and documenting your position or challenging theirs. I will get into the second court appearance on another post.

You will hear a similar oratory from the Commissioner at the beginning of the Arraignment Calendar (as it is scripted by the Judges Bench Guide), I have included a copy of one of my traffic court appearances Commissioner’s opening statement to the courtroom for you to hear what you will probably be experiencing when you go.

PUT AUDIO BUTTON HERE

Now the question is, if you are going to fight this traffic ticket, do you want to win? Will you listening to experience so you won’t have to learn from your losses, you can learn from other peoples mistakes. I have been helping students for a long time now, and hear their stories (of what worked and what did not work).

Everybody likes to think they will RISE TO THE OCCASION, but that never happens. As people, we fall to the level of our training, experience or practice. So, like the Commissioner, you must understand the processes and what you are up against, and then comes preparation. PREPARATION, PREPARATION, PREPARATION is the key. You must script what you think you can follow (remember the Traffic Ticket Court goes on everyday with hundreds of people, and you are only there once) so you are out of your league. You need to level the playing field. Study, study, study. Go over our blog, learn and understand you will continue to learn forever. If you think you know it all, you will lose. Don’t get your head handed to you.

I have written a script for you below, study it, learn it, question what it means, change it to soot your personality better. But the lesson is ‘to have a script or outline to follow’ when you (David vs Goliath) are up in front of the Commissioner. Since they do this everyday, they know how to trick you or trip you up. They are not all Bad, it is to see if you know what the heck you are doing or talking about. And most importantly, they want to keep you in line so you don’t cause more work or a group movement. If they can put you in your place, the rest of the ’sheep’ will follow to slaughter.

Can you fight the traffic ticket system?

Can you fight the traffic ticket system?

Also, take all of this as a learning step. Want to win, work hard at learning your rights and responsibilities, but don’t take it so personally that you lose sight of your life and what is important in it. I have had students that had veins popping out of their necks as they ‘fight to the death‘. If you lose (and yes, they can trample all over your rights if you don’t know what they are doing or how to defend your self-ever hear of a Kangroo Court?), we have a whole section on Appealing your decision (this also will be on another blog post).

SO HERE YOU GO:

Step 1

First Court Appearance Step by Step instructions

a. Preparation:

First of all, it is intimidating, so take a deep breath. Don’t drink a bunch of coffee and go to the restroom before you go into court. (nothing worse than having to go and waiting for your turn at bat).

Relax, breath, and all you have to do is follow the script. Talk loud enough so they can hear you clearly. Be respectful. Look at the Commissioners title on his desk. Address him/her as the title is.

Print out the script and your motions under the Resources Tab, go through them and then fill them out. Check them over again to make sure you did not forget anything and that you understand them.

The motions you want to print out are:

1.       Request for Verified Complaint

2.       Demur to the NTA

3.       Discovery

You want two copies of each, one for the court and the other for your files. They will stamp them ‘Filed’ and return one set to you. We want 3 copies of the discovery as you will need to serve the 3rd copy to the DA’s office.

b. Open Traffic Court Appearance-everyone.

You will have to check in, usually with clerks before you go to court. This is normally the long lines that you waste your life in waiting to be served by civil servants who don’t seem to care, about you or what you have been thru. They have heard it all and don’t want to hear it from you.

In court, just before court starts, they will do a ‘roll call’ to see who has shown up.

Then the Commissioner comes in and gives his pre-Arraignment talk (5-10 minutes) on how ‘his’ system works, what he does, what he expects from you, how many they call up at one time, how payment on account work or ‘working it off’ is done, how waiving time does not give up any of your rights (DON’T DO IT!!!), what types of plea’s you can enter, etc.

Then they will start calling up people to arraign (that means that you were read your charges and asked how you plea?), this is the actual Open Traffic  Arraignment  Court or Calendar. There is no court trials yet, there are no police witnesses against you yet, they just want to know how you plea, if you want to just pay your fine and have it go away, make payments, work it off, or ‘contest it’ which means you plea Not Guilty (or Nolo-Contendre-another version of not guilty) and ‘set you for trial.

c. Open Traffic Court Appearance-your turn at bat!

The Commissioner will call your name, ask you to step up to the ‘bar’ (it normally is a table or podium), then will read your charges like,

“Mr. So & So, on Date, you were cited for (what your ticket is for), ‘How do you Plea?’”

And your exact remarks will be: This is your script immediately below, print it out so you don’t miss it.

Commissioner I Object to the Notice to Appear.

I have 3 motions to file:

First a request for a verified complaint,

Second a Demur to the Notice to Appear,

and Third a Discovery request.

You will hold up your copies of your motions to the Bailiff (Sheriff) who will take them from you and give to the Commissioner.

During this time, the Commissioner will interrupt you stating things like, ‘this is an infraction – you do not get a verified complaint’ or ‘your notice to appear is your complaint’. Don’t worry about what he says, stay on point. They also rattle you, so keep this written script with you so you can proceed. It is your objective to get these filed and ‘on the record’ to beat them by them making mistakes.

If you were interrupted, be quiet, respectful and patient, then proceed with the script.  YOU MUST GET IT ALL IN!

The Commissioner usually will hand the motions to his clerks who will stamp them ‘Filed or Endorsed’ and have the Bailiff or Sheriff hand you back your copies.

At some point, the Commissioner will ask you again if you will enter a plea at this time (it’s their trick, they do it over and over) or if you will waive time. Your answer:

“Commissioner, I cannot plea at this time” or

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“Commissioner, I do not wish to waive time”

At this point, usually the Commissioner will reschedule you and give you a new appearance date. Keep it slow and simple, we only want to get the motions filed and your Objection on the record. Everything is about getting what we want on the record so we can reference it later and use it against them. Sometimes we get a new Commissioner (so don’t worry about this one) if he does not want to play ball!

If you want to dialog with the Commissioner, here are some good ones to use.  (be careful though, as they do this 8 hours a day and they are asking questions to trip you up for some legal reason)!

Always, Always, Always try and ask the Commissioner a question ‘for the record’, like:

“Can you please state, ‘for the record’, what Penal Code, Vehicle Code or Statute you are using to base your decision on?” I need it for any possible appeal. The more you can get them to commit their answers on the record the better we can get them to dismiss your case. Whoever is asking the questions is in charge, so don’t be afraid to keep asking Commissioner questions (be Colombo).

If Commissioner pushes you on ‘how you Plea?’ to your charge, just read this:

“I cannot plea at this time. I  specifically and  simply do not understand the nature and cause of the accusation with regards to the elements of personal jurisdiction, venue, and the nature of the action until the prosecution properly alleges them and therefore unable to enter a plea against the charge until I have an opportunity to raise a meaningful defense against these elements. I simply cannot rebut an unstated presumption.”

Frame as questions:

“Commissioner, can you quote the statutory intention of 40513 a&b for me?” (see our breakdown-best to save for 2nd court appearance, but if Commissioner pushes you-then shoot him between the eyes, print out and read this to him to get his answers on the record.).

“Exactly – if you don’t know how can you hold anyone to answer to it.”

“Can you prove and state for the record you have Subject Matter Jurisdiction?”

“Did you know, If you violate my rights, you lose Subject Matter Jurisdiction?”

Rev 1-2011

Ronald Cupp PhD

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We always protect your privacy or rights so we block out part of your phone number or email.

Please share this with friend or loved ones who need help and please comment on the blog or youtube channel!

Here we go again, short and sweet.

Every once and awhile we get a reminder that we also help with parking ticket dismissals in California.

This was sent in from a student, and she got her parking ticket dismissed using our system of letters.

Although this said it is a ‘one time warning’, we always take our victories anyway we can get them.

Ronald Cupp PhD

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We always protect your privacy or rights so we block out part of your phone number or email.

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Click on the link below to view her parking ticket dismissal

Kimberly parking ticket dismissed

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How to do an Appeal of your Infraction case. When you are in traffic court, it is about the facts. When you appeal your traffic court loss, it is about the law! Don’t forget that.

You lost your traffic ticket case in court, you were railroaded, the Commissioner did not listen, the court did not follow its own rules of court,  penal  or vehicle codes. They held you to the letter of the law but then broad jumped over all their own rules and procedures.  It was not fair.

Fight & Beat any traffic or speeding ticket in California

So what can you do now? You can appeal; an appeal is a request to a higher court to review a ruling or decision made by a lower court. If you are appealing, you are called the ‘appellant’. In an infraction case, the court hearing the appeal is the appellate division of the superior court, and the lower court-called the ‘trial court’ is the superior court. This means that we can get 3 separate Judges to overlook any procedural error the trial court made against you, if you (or they) were prejudiced against you.

It is not a new trial, you cannot introduce any new evidence or testimony now for this hearing, (that is why we instruct you to always get your information, questions, objections, requests for dismissal, etc, everything in the record, during your regular court hearings). If you did, then we can show the trial court erred and it is our job now to show where.

So it’s a lot of stuff, but easy to do. Let’s bullet point the steps. Only 9 items to do to win.

  1. Decide if you are going to appeal. This is to the Appellate Division of your same superior court.
    1. If so, send notice of appeal within 30 days after trial court renders judgment.
    2. Ask for stay so you do not have to pay fine or complete punishment until appeal is done.
  2. Decide if you want record of Oral proceedings.
    1. Decide Statement on appeal or Electronic Recording (if available)(Court reporter too expensive).
    2. You must serve & file proposed statement within 20 days after you file notice of appeal.
    3. State has 10 days to review and make modifications
    4. Trial judge then review both proposed statements. Judge can make modifications.
    5. You review judge’s modifications and then you can modify again within 10 days.
    6. Trial judge certifies Oral proceedings (settled statement) for Appellate Division.
  3. Court clerk sends statement & transcript to appellate division with other documents & exhibits.
  4. Appellate Division will notify you of when you must serve & file ‘appellant brief’.
  5. Respondent (State) must serve & file ‘respondent brief’ within 30 days.
  6. If respondent file a brief, you will have 20 days to serve & file ‘reply brief’.
  7. Appellant Division will notify you of date for Oral arguments.
  8. After Oral arguments, Appellant division has 90 days to decide appeal.
  9. If you lose appeal, you can do the same thing to the APPELLATE COURT, a new higher court!

Again the cast of characters are (4),

a.       you/defendant/appellant

b.      plaintiff/respondent/People of the state represented by DA or City Attorney (even if they were not at your trial).

c.       The lower court/trial court which you are appealing

d.      The higher court/Appellate Division of the Superior Court

Some say the post office is the 5th party as it can all be done by mail (except settled statement).

Staying on point will help you establish credibility with the Judges. Stating the facts honestly will help when you lay out your case. Keep emotion and storytelling out. This is what you did, this is what the trial court did, this is how they harmed you.  Page and paragraph is proof of what you are saying.

THE KEY: When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When the facts are against you, argue the law. We have found that if you are arguing the facts (it is the cop’s word against yours) you normally lose. That is why we use the legal system against itself; they make mistakes all the time! Arguing the law will involve either paperwork or procedure. A mistake in either can be fatal to the prosecution’s case against you. Again, it is your job to get everything in the record.

Also, I highly recommend spending a couple of hours in Appeals court to see what happens and how things are run. I have done this several times and it was not as formal as I thought it would be. But be prepared for formal and follow their rules so they cannot find against you on technicalities.

Appeals are slightly different for Misdemeanors than they are for Infractions, so we are focusing on the infractions as that is what most ‘traffic tickets’ are. If you have a misdemeanor case, they  will be slightly different procedures on the same links we are providing. (see form CR-131-info)

We start with the basics, the court supplied information packet.

http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms/documents/cr141info.pdf

The appellate division’s job is to review the record of what happened in the trial court and the trial court’s decision to see if certain kinds of legal errors were made in the case:

1.       Prejudicial error: if an error was made about law or court procedures, and it caused you substantial harm, it is prejudicial error. (errors made by the judge). When Appeals Division conducts its review, it presumes that the judgment, order, or other decision was correct. It is our job to show an error and that it was harmful to us.

2.       No Substantial Evidence: You may also ask them to rule there was not substantial evidence supporting the judgment, order, or decision.

The appellant division generally will not overturn the judgment, order, or decision being appealed unless the record clearly shows that one of these legal errors was made.

You DON’T need a lawyer to appeal.

Everything we learned or we show you we got off www.courtinfo.ca.gov, and we link to the specific item when we think you need direction.  Feel free to scan and review what you need to learn.

Who can appeal?

Only a party in the trial court case can appeal a decision in that case. You are called the Appellant. The other party (the People of the State of California) is called the Respondent.

Can I appeal any decision the trial court made?

NO, you may appeal only a final judgment of the trial court-the decision at the end that decides the whole case. Other rulings made by the trial court before final judgment cannot be separately appealed, but can be reviewed only later as part of an appeal of the final judgment.

How do I start my appeal?

First, you must file a notice of appeal. The notice of appeal tells the trial court that you are appealing the trial court’s decision. Use http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms/documents/cr142.pdf

Is there a deadline for filing my notice of appeal?

YES. You must file your notice of appeal within 30 DAYS after the trial court renders its judgment. This deadline cannot be extended. If you are late, you cannot appeal.

How do I file my notice of appeal?

You must bring or mail the original notice of appeal to the clerk of the trial court, it’s a good idea to bring or mail an extra copy and ask the clerk to stamp it to show that the original has been filed. After you file your notice of appeal, the clerk will send a copy of your notice to the office of the prosecuting attorney (DA, county counsel, city attorney, or state Attorney General).

Do I still have to pay my fine or complete other parts of my punishment?

Filing a notice of appeal does NOT postpone  your  fine or sentence. You must first ask the trial court for a ‘stay’ of the judgment. Even if you ask the Appellate Division for a stay, you must show you asked the trial court for a stay first.

What else do I need to do when I file my notice of appeal?

You must tell the trial court whether you want a record of what was said in the trial court (called a record of ‘oral proceedings’) sent to the appellate division, and, if so, what form of record you want to use. In the form  http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms/documents/cr142.pdf it includes boxes to check whether and how you want to provide this record.

You do not have to send the appellate division a record, but if you want to raise any issue that would require them understanding what was ‘said’, you will need a record of these proceedings.  If the appellate division does not receive the record, it will not be able to consider what was said in the trial court in deciding whether a legal error was made.

Remember, the appellate judges were not in your trial and only know from the record of what was done.

What are the different forms of the record?

There are 3, only two viable.

1.       Statement on appeal. This is a summary of the proceedings approved by the trial court judge. You have to prepare it from your records or best of your memory of what was said, by whom, and what happened.

2.       Officially electronically recorded (some Counties do this-Yea!!! If you are in one). They may even want you to have the recording transcribed by a court reporter, by most of them will use the actual recording if you give them the actual spots of the recording to listen to. (you can say that in 12 minutes 10 seconds of the recording is when the Commissioner violated by due process rights).

3.       Court reporter-too expensive.

A Statement on appeal will take some of your time to prepare. It must include a summary of the oral proceedings that you believe necessary. It also must include points you are raising on appeal (see rule 8.916 CRC http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/rules/index.cfm?title=eight&linkid=rule8_916).

You will want to use simple form CR-143 for this http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms/documents/cr143.pdf

How to Serve and File a proposed statement:

You must serve and file your proposed statement within 20 days after you file your notice of appeal. (important-you should calendar this so you don’t miss it!).

1.       Have somebody over 18, serve it to the prosecuting attorney (DA or Commissioner)

2.       Fill out a proof of service-

for info http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms/documents/app009info.pdf

for the actual form http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms/documents/app009.pdf

3.       File the original proposed statement and proof of service with the trial court.

Now the dance. The DA and any other party have 10 days from date you serve your proposed statement to serve and file their proposed changes (called ‘amendments’). The trial judge then reviews both your proposed statements and amendments and makes any corrections himself that are needed to make sure the statement provides a complete and accurate summary of the trial court proceedings.

Here’s where it gets tricky, you must keep impeccable records since the Commissioner will be amending your statements to reflect what he believes happened, and if he has violated your due process rights, his version may be different than yours. You can’t refute it unless you have a record or diary of what happened and what was said, step by step.

If the judge makes any corrections and you disagree with anything in the judge’s statement, you will have 10 days from the date the statement is sent to you to serve and file objections to the statement. You then have to send it back to the judge for another round of reviews and corrections, and then the statement is certified;  a complete and accurate summary of the trial court proceedings.

When the trial judge certifies the statement on appeal, the trial court clerk sends the statement to the appellate division with the clerk’s transcript.

Is there any other part of the record that needs to be sent to the appellate division?

Yes, two other parts of the official record need to be sent.  (Documents and Exhibits).

Documents filed with the court the clerk is responsible for preparing a record of the written documents filed in your case (and this includes the transcript we just talked about). This is the most important-that is why we file motions and documents in court – for the record.  Let your papers do the talking!

Ie: If you only asked orally for a Verified Complaint and the judge just denied your oral request, that is the end of it. The record only shows oral request for Verified Complaint and Commissioner denies your request. But if you filed a written request for the Verified Complaint with all the backup, penal code citations, etc, we have set the stage for several reasons for overturning his decision and showing procedural error and prejudice against you.

Exhibits submitted during trial  (Photos, maps, etc).

You must ask the trial court clerk to send the original exhibit to the appellate division with 10 days after the last respondent’s brief is filed.  http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/rules/index.cfm?title=eight&linkid=rule8_921

So all of the above is just preparing the record for the Appellate Division to review. What happens now that the record is prepared?

As soon as the Appellate Division receives the record(s) from the trial clerk, the Appellate Division will send you a notice telling you when you must file your brief.

What is a brief?

A brief is a party’s written description of the facts in the case, the law that applies, and the party’s argument about the issues being appealed.

You should read rules 8.927 & 8.928 CRC first

http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/rules/index.cfm?title=eight&linkid=rule8_927

http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/rules/index.cfm?title=eight&linkid=rule8_928

If you are appealing, you are the appellant, and your brief is called the ‘appellant’s opening brief’, and must clearly lay out what you believe are legal errors made in your trial. Your brief must refer to the exact places in the clerk’s transcript and the statement on appeal that support your argument. See why the record is so important!

Serve and File your Brief

You must serve and file your brief (the court will tell you when-normally 30 days after the record is filed in Appellate Division), using the same format stated above (page 3). If you do not file your brief by the deadline, the court may dismiss your appeal.

What Happens After I File by Brief?

Within 30 days (after you serve and file your brief), the Prosecuting agency (The People-State) may, but is not required to, respond by serving and filing a ‘respondents brief’. If they do not file, you do not automatically win. The Appellate Court will decide the appeal on the record, the appellant’s brief and any oral argument by the appellant.

If respondent (The People-State) serves and files a brief, within 20 days after you are served, you may, but are not required to, serve and file another brief replying to the respondent’s brief. This is called a ‘reply brief’.

Once all briefs have been served and filed, or time to do so has passed, the court will notify you of the date for oral arguments.

What is oral argument?

This is your chance to explain your arguments to the appellate division judges in person. You do not have to participate if you do not want to, you can ‘waive’ oral arguments. They will rule based on the record submitted, which is the briefs and any oral arguments submitted. If you choose to do oral argument, you will have up to 5 minutes for your argument (unless court wants more).

The judges will have already read the briefs, so you do not need to go over this. It is more helpful to tell the judges what you think is most important or ask the judges if there are any questions they may have concerning your appeal.

After oral argument (or scheduled dates for oral arguments), the judges have up to 90 days to decide what happens in your case and render their decision.

Ronald Cupp PhD

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END

Rev Jan-2011

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