CALIFORNIA COURTS – COUNCIL APPROVES NEW RULES TO BETTER INFORM DEFENDANTS OF THEIR RIGHTS IN I NFRACTION CASES
At its public meeting on December 16 in Sacramento, the Judicial Council approved changes to the California Rules of Court to standardize and improve court procedures―and notice of those procedures―to defendants in infraction cases.
Among other changes, the new rules specify that court websites include a link to traffic self-help information and send reminder notices to traffic defendants before their initial appearance. In addition, when a defendant fails to pay a fine or installment of bail, a court must provide notice and an opportunity to be heard on ability to pay and must inform the defendant of his or her right to petition the assessment or request modification of the payment terms.
“With this proposal, the committees have attempted to strike a balance by providing due process without overburdening the courts,” said Judge Gail Dekreon, chair of the council’s Traffic Advisory Committee, which presented the proposed changes along with the council’s Criminal Law Advisory Committee. “The committees developed these proposals in response to the Judicial Council’s directive to consider recommendations to promote access to justice in all infraction cases.”
Categorized in: Legal Procedures