Anyone who has the misfortune of having to drive in Scottsdale, Arizona should read this story from the Phoenix New Times. Here’s an excerpt:
Here’s one way to get people to pay their photo enforcement tickets or waive their right to proper service: Lie.
That’s what the Scottsdale City Court does in tickets generated from its municipal system, which operates speed and red light cameras.
The evidence that Scottsdale is telling a whopper to scare violators into compliance came to us recently on a red light camera ticket obtained from a fellow New Times employee. [...]
At the top of the ticket, the summons reads:
If you fail to appear or respond as directed in this complaint, you will be subject to personal service of this Complaint and Summons and the cost of personal service will be assessed to you.
So far so good. But don’t worry about the “cost of personal service,” because it’s only about $25 if they catch you. If the servers don’t find you, and if you don’t waive your rights, the ticket will be dismissed from the court system and you’ll pay nothing. But not according to Scottsdale. The summons continues with:
In addition, you will be subject to a default judgment, the assessment of a fine, surcharge and fees, and the suspension of your driver’s license.
That, dear readers, is a bald-faced lie.
The “in addition” part not-so-slyly tries to connect the part about suspended driver’s license to the “if you fail to appear or respond” verbiage. Don’t fall for it.
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