When it comes to the rights of a motorist to reschedule a ticket, Judges have become increasingly stringent. Gone are the days when one can expect an ALJ (to routinely reschedule a ticket. Even getting a first reschedule requires a “valid reason” to be professed. Such acceptable excuses are: to hire an attorney or to gather evidence. However, when the case is on for the second time, the reason for a reschedule must be more extraordinary.
Contrast this now with how the Traffic Violations Bureau can reschedule cases. It used to be that the court can administratively reschedule a case up to 2 times. This would be traditionally done at least 10 days in advance. Now, I have seen 3 or 4 administrative reschedules and 7 days in advance. Moreover, they have added an additional type of reschedule called an “office” reschedule. This can be if the police officer is too busy or will be on vacation. It is not usual for a case to have 3 administrative reschedules plus 3 office reschedules.
A “police non-appearance” of the day of the trial can generate a dismissal for the motorist. However, even here, judges have been given strict parameters of when they can dismiss. In many cases, they have been ruling that a motorist must appear again and only if the police officer misses again will the case be dismissed. Some common reasons for this can be that the alleged reason the police did not appear – such as an injury, an emergency, or testifying in another court. However, no one checks the veracity of the alleged reasons. A motorist's driving record also comes into play when an ALJ is deciding whether to dismiss a case. The actual standard is if the judge feels a dismissal can result in a substantial safety hazard, a new date can be given against the police officer even if there was no reason for the non appearance. Here too, the TVB has created “required appearances” out of specific sections of law (failure to yield to pedestrians) or the status of a motorist's license when he received the ticket (probation, suspended, etc.).
What we see here is: What is good for the goose is NOT good for the gander. The judges claim they need to expedite cases when a motorist is seeking a reschedule. When it comes to their own reschedules or that of the police officer, it seems there is no end to reschedules.
Shame on the legal department of The Department of Motor Vehicles for allowing for this mocking of justice.
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