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Old 10-29-2009, 07:40 AM
ilbegone's Avatar
ilbegone ilbegone is offline
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Default Handle minor violations outside of courts

San Bernardino County to handle minor violations outside of courts
October 27, 2009

The Press-Enterprise

San Bernardino County will no longer be taking suspected code violators to court.

The Board of Supervisors approved a policy change Tuesday that allows it to handle the collection of fines for minor violations through an in-house administrative process instead of through the criminal and civil court process.

The policy applies to citations issued by the county's code enforcement, building and safety, animal care and control and environmental health services departments.

Under the current process, citations are considered misdemeanors and must be heard in criminal court. Those found guilty can be punished by a fine or imprisonment or both.

The county plans to use a debt collection company to collect fines under the new system.

Dena Smith, director of the county's land use services department, said the change will save time and result in an increase in fees collected. Other government agencies have made a similar change and seen those benefits, she said.

The court process takes about four months to schedule an arraignment or set a trial for a typical case. Enforcement staff spend 1.5 hours per citation in court, she said.

The change frees up time for the enforcement staff and ensures that the fines go directly to the county, Smith said.

The process still will allow for appeal hearings that will be handled by an outside third-party contractor. Decisions can be appealed to the courts.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:11 AM
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Ayatollahgondola Ayatollahgondola is offline
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This is a Bullsh!t program aimed at making money instead of enforcing laws. Collection agencies concentrate on those debts that are collectable, and place zero emphasis on any other aspect. So it's like this:
Citizen with home and bank account gets a notice of code violation for parking his RV alongside the house, or having his fence over 4 fet high in the front yard. He gets fined 385.00 and is offered a payment plan, or his accounts will be levied.
Illegal alien gets cited for illegal vending, and ignores the process. Having an apartment or less, they resume the same activity and thumb their nose at the process. The collection agency back burners that, and moves on to those they can collect from.

This system was in use for collecting traffic fines here in Sac, and that's precisely the outcome. It's a business; not law or code enforcement. If you live in SB, you should be challenging this, because it's just going to be another form of tax on those that have to pay, while benefitting the underground.
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