In case you missed it, I got a speeding ticket last summer and ever since I have been trying my respectful best to get an explanation for the itemized charges listed on my courtesy notice. With the size of the fine and the fact that nearly 50 percent of those still holding jobs in California work for the government, you would think that there would be somebody that knows the answer to my questions.
So far I have discovered that it isn’t the courts and so I am taking the question to my assembly member. I’m pretty sour on elected officials these days. Last year letters to my Senators were not answered. But I remain an incurable optimist, wanting to believe that the system works and that in Blue California, even Democrats feel some responsibility to their constituents since I live in a district where Republicans have won in the past.
I feel just like Charlie Brown with the football, but here I go again looking for an answer from the government.
Dear Assembly Member:
A citation for speeding on I-80 last summer left me confused about the components of the penalty assessed by the Solano County Superior Court. While not disputing the violation, I could find no explanation for the services itemized in the Courtesy Letter from the Court (attached copy) or the actual monetary amount for these unrelated services.
I wrote a letter to the Court (attached copy) requested details about these items and an explanation for why I should be paying for services not required or related to my citation. Specifically, I question the medical airlift which I did not require and the charge for court security which, by paying my fine and not appearing in Court, I should actually be saving the Court’s time and relieving the burdens of Court security. Additionally , it seems unreasonable to assess me for the officer’s efforts to determine that I did in fact violate the speed limit which is in my opinion is part of his normal duties whether he is assessing my behavior or any of the other drivers on I-80. I do not dispute the responsibility for the fine but it seems wrong to add unrelated costs and the regular working duties of the offices on top of the specified fine.
Marilyn, deputy clear at the Solano County superior Court, replied to my letter (attached copy) but unfortunately none of the check boxes in the pre-printed form applied to my questions and she provided no further help.
I feel that as a taxpayer, I am entitled to full disclosure of the cost responsibilities assigned to me as part of the Court assessed charges on the Courtesy Letter including the actual amount for each, separate from the violation itself and the justification for adding them onto the fines for a speeding violation.
If I can’t expect an explanation from the Court regarding this matter, then I would like to know who in the vast bureaucracy of California government has that responsibility. Perhaps I am clinging to naive and old-fashioned notions but back when they used to teach civics in the schools, I learned that the government worked for me and not the other way around.
In the hope that somewhere in the vast California government payroll, there is somebody who first of all knows the answers to my questions and second of all, can find the time in their busy schedules to answer the question of a taxpayer, I am sending this question to you. hoping that you will either pass my request on to the right people or let me know where to send the request.
So now I’m watching my mailbox again with eager anticipation. I really hope that someone knows the answer to my questions and feels responsible to sit down and write me a letter. With the amount of money I paid for the speeding ticket surely I am entitled to that. Don’t you think? Or am I really Charlie Brown?