In my research on ViolationInfo.com Notices, I stumbled onto a number of AVVO discussions (from 2013-2015) initiated by notice recipients. None of the information on AVVO is considered legal advice as they were made in the spirit and context of open discussion. But I got small nuggets of legal insights through these open AVVO discussions.
This is not a complete list of the AVVO discussions I found but these were the ones with legal “nuggets” I found most useful, valuable, and consistent with my own research. There were responses from other lawyers I found less useful or inconsistent with my research.
- Georgia Attorney Patricia G. Abbott wrote in February 2015, “It sounds like you were caught by a camera, not a police officer. And, while a police officer will review the video, no “real” ticket will be issued. The penalty is civil and is a fine only. No points will be on your license. If you choose to go to court, often the fine is significantly reduced.”
- Georgia Attorney James L. Yeargan, Jr. wrote in February 2015, “These tickets are civil in nature, and do not go on your driving history. You merely pay a fine, and that’s it.”
- Georgia Attorney John A. Steakley wrote in February 2015, “Don’t pay it and don’t worry. Nothing goes on your license and there’s no enforcement mechanism to make you pay.”
- Georgia Attorney John A. Steakley wrote in November 2013, “Several Georgia cities and counties have allowed a private Arizona company to install cameras on the side of school busses and mail “tickets” to drivers. In exchange, the cities and counties get a small share of the revenue. As best I can tell, this company is no more a Georgia law enforcement agency than is your local Wal-Mart. It is offensive that our elected leaders would conspire to engage in such as scam as this against the citizens who elected them, but that appears to be the case. If I got one of those “tickets”, I’d throw it in the trash.”
- Georgia Attorney James L. Yeargan, Jr. wrote in November 2013, “Many local municipalities use this service to enforce school bus stop sign violations. If you do not pay they forward the ticket to a collection agency. The charge does not go on your record or impact your license. They also cannot issue a warrant if you do not respond to it.”
- Georgia Attorney James L. Yeargan, Jr. wrote in September 2014, “It is a civil penalty. The ticket dies not go on your driving history. If you do not pay the ticket they will forward it to a collection agency.”
- Georgia Attorney Michael David Barber, Jr. wrote in September 2014, “Unless the ticket says city of _____ or county of ______ at the top of the ticket along with a report date for court and specifically says “Uniform Traffic citation, Summons and Accusation” at the top, it is not a violation that is reported to history and should be a civil ticket instead of a criminal ticket.”
- Georgia Attorney John A. Steakley wrote in September 2014, “Those a civil violations issued by an Arizona company demanding that you send money to Ohio for passing a school bus in Georgia.”
- Georgia Attorney John A. Steakley wrote in October 2013, “I’m going to differ from my colleagues and suggest you throw the ticket in the trash. It’s a private racket out of Arizona that convinced Cobb County to let them stick cameras on school buses around the county. Cobb gets only a small fraction of the fee. Most of the money goes to Arizona. Since they are a private company and not the police, they have no authority to add points to your license, revoke your license, suspend your license, or anything else. I seriously doubt they would pursue you civilly over $300, since they already make plenty of money off of people who are too scared to not pay.
- ViolationInfo.com provides an “Affidavit of Non-Responsibility” that automobile owners can complete and send in to contest their ticket. I advise against doing this until you speak with an attorney. By completing that document, not only does the driver acknowledge service of the notice, but also acknowledges ownership of the vehicle. Those are items the government would otherwise have to prove in court. So wait and speak with an attorney before responding to anyone in any way.”
- Georgia Attorney John A. Steakley wrote in August 2014, “Judge Fincher has recently ruled that CRIMINAL rights don’t apply. Judge Thompson is currently reviewing whether CIVIL rights apply (specifically to out-of-county residents). The County wants to give people neither criminal nor civil rights against these stupid tickets. What I have been doing is demanding full civil discovery (interrogatories, depositions, req. for production of documents, etc.) and rather than comply the county has dismissed them. They don’t want to put any effort into these cases. They just want to extort money from drivers and send it to a company in Arizona. (American Traffic Systems). It’s a rip-off, if you ask me.”
- Georgia Attorney John A. Steakley wrote in May 2015,”Don’t bother. Throw the “notice of violation” in the trash and ignore it. Ignore the next three they send you, too.”
Of all the AVVO contributors I read regarding ViolationInfo.com matters, I found the ones by Georgia Attorney John A. Steakley to be the most consistent, forthright, and reliable. However, keep in mind, ViolationInfo.com operates in many states, cities, and counties beyond Georgia. I found very few lawyers on AVVO discussing ViolationInfo.com notices beyond Georgia.
- “When Is A Summons Not A Summons?” By Attorney John A. Steakley
- Where School Bus Enforcement Cameras Operate in Georgia
- Georgia Amends Law on School Bus Camera Tickets, Introduces School Zone Speeding Camera Tickets
- The ViolationInfo.com Camera Ticket “Scam” in Georgia
- ViolationInfo.com’s Revised “Notice of Determination” (Fulton County, GA)