Photo Radar Appeal Cases
Issuing Ticket to Registered Owner Invalid

SCOTTSDALE - The ticket was issued to the registered vehicle owner and no one can certify with the slightest degree of accuracy or truthfulness that the person receiving the ticket is the actual driver. There is no human involvement in the certification process in violation of A.R.S.§28-1561. The traffic complaint failed to confer jurisdiction on the trial court. Defendant-attorney Craig Gillespie represented himself in the trial court. The fine was reversed and the complaint dismissed. Attorney Susan Kayler handled the case on appeal.

Download the Gillespie case here.

COURT SHOULD HAVE SET ASIDE WRONGFUL DEFAULT

SCOTTSDALE - The defendant appeared in court and attempted to set aside a default saying she was not the driver. The court refused to hear her evidence. She appealed and the higher court held that her evidence was enough to have set aside the default. The trial court erred in failing to set aside the default. The fine was reversed and the complaint dismissed. Attorney Susan Kayler handled the case on appeal.

Download the D'Agosto case here.

Compliant Filing and Certification Insufficient

STAR VALLEY - The defendant challenged the certification of the complaint as being insufficient in that the elements and facts asserted were not verified prior to the complaint's being signed and certified. The defendant, Michele Powers, acting pro per, cross-examined the State's witness as to the facts of the filing of the complaint but the Star Valley Court found her responsible. She appealed and Judge Peter J. Cahill of the Gila County Superior Court overturned the trial court's judgment finding that the complaint was not properly certified. The judge also commented on the presentation of evidence by the State. Fine reversed. Defendant handled her own case on appeal.

Download the Powers case here.

Improper Service

SCOTTSDALE - Ken Lind appealed this case himself when he learned EIGHT years after the ticket was filed that he had been defaulted. Scottsdale Court notified MVD eight years after the ticket to suspend his license! Mr. Lind asked the court to set aside the default judgment it had entered against him and also asked to see proof of service, also known as a Declaration of Service. The court did not have the Declaration of Service even though its notes said he had been served. Mr. Lind advised the court that he had not been served however the judge would not set aside his default judgment. Mr. Lind appealed and won! The appeals court said that the court MUST have proof of service before entering a judgment. Lower court REVERSED on appeal. Fine reversed/Cost of service of process reversed Defendant represented himself.

Download the Lind case here.

GROUNDLESS COMPLAINT

TEMPE - The defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss to contest jurisdiction saying that the ticket was not properly filed. At the hearing a police aide, who did not sign the complaint, testified that the name of the registered owner was checked and it matched a general description. The court found Gutenkauf reponsible at a hearing. The appeals court reversed and said that the Tempe court should have dismissed the case. The court decided that no reasonable grounds existed to issue the complaint because the procedure does not provide an adequate basis of determining whether a registered owner was the actual driver. Fine reversed Defendant handled his own case on appeal.

Download the Gutenkauf case here.

SERVICE OBVIOUSLY IMPROPER

SCOTTSDALE - Driver who showed the age listed on the Declaration of Service was not the same as her age and the time the ticket was served was 11:25 p.m. met the burden of showing that service was not made. It was more likely that the process server, who did not appear at the hearing, was less than truthful in his affidavit and the trial court erred in refusing to set aside the default. Fine reversed/Cost of service of process reversed Defendant represented herself.

Download the Carrubba case here.

FIRST CLASS MAIL IS NOT LEGAL SERVICE

SCOTTSDALE - YET AGAIN the Superior Court has to remind Scottsdale that a ticket sent in the mail has NOT been legally served. If a defendant calls the court to ask about the ticket, that does not constitute legal service. Lower court REVERSED on appeal. Fine reversed/Cost of service of process reversed Defendant was represented by attorney Brett Rigg.

Download the Ledbetter case here.

Certification Invalid and Service Faulty

SCOTTSDALE - Computer-generated ticket not enough to grant jurisdiction without proof of identification of driver. The court found the certification to be false and invalid. In addition the process claimed to serve the defendant who showed proof she was on an airplane at the time. Lower court REVERSED on appeal. Ms. Zanoff handled the appeal without an attorney.

Download the Zanoff case here.

COMPUTER TICKET WAS INSUFFICIENT

PHOENIX - Computer-generated ticket not enough to grant jurisdiction without proof of identification of driver. Without identifying testimony or presence of defendant, there was not sufficient evidence for judgment. (This is different from challenging jurisdiction. This case challenged the sufficiency of the evidence) Lower court REVERSED on appeal. Fine reversed/Cost of service of process reversed Attorney for Defendant on Appeal: David Burnell Smith

Download the Williams case here.

COMPLAINT NOT SERVED

MCDOWELL MOUNTAIN JUSTICE COURT - The court mailed a ticket to Ms. James who hired attorney Smith. Smith filed a Limited Notice of Appearance and a Motion to Dismiss to contest jurisdiction saying that the ticket was not properly filed and that his client had not been served. The court denied the motion and Ms. James was found reponsible at a hearing. The court said that when her attorney made an appearance to contest jurisdiction, Ms. James had accepted service. The appeals court said that only a signed waiver of service or actual service by a process server is valid and dismissed the ticket. The appeals court said that the court MUST have proof of service. Lower court REVERSED on appeal. Fine reversed Defendant was represented by attorney David Burnell Smith.

Download the James case here.

Ticketing the Registered Owner is Improper

SCOTTSDALE - The State's witness testified that he did not see the complaint before the computer signed it and that no one compared the photo from the photo radar camera with the photo on the driver’s license. He compared the photo-radar photo with the defendant’s face at trial. He said that an employee simply enters vehicle registration information into the system which prints the complaint with the computer-generated signature. The court said that since no one can certify with the slightest degree of accuracy or truthfulness that the person receiving the ticket is the actual driver the ticket is not valid. The fine was reversed and the complaint dismissed. Mr. Palermo handled his own case on appeal.

Download the Palermo case here.

Sending In Driver's License Avoids Default

SCOTTSDALE - In this case the defendant sent in a copy of his driver's license which showed clearly that he was not the person driving the vehicle at the time and date alleged in the complaint. The court defaulted him anyway. When he tried to set it aside the court refused. The appeal court said that the Scottsdale court abused its discretion in failing to set aside the default since the court could easily see that the defendant was not driving and he had complied with the request for the driver's license. Manifest injustice. The fine was reversed and the complaint dismissed. Mr. Know handled his own case on appeal.

Download the Knox case here.

Description of Person Served was Insufficient

SCOTTSDALE - The process server described the person served as a "white female." The court found that insufficient to show that a resident was served. In addition the server attached the papers to the door which is not legal service. Appeal court ordered Scottsdale to dismiss the ticket and refund the fine and cost of service. Ms. Ager was represented by attorney John Ager on appeal.

Download Ager case here.

Manifest Injustice Prevented if Default Set Aside

SCOTTSDALE - Manifest injustice resulting from Scottsdale Court's failure to set aside default. Defendant had moved and process server gave papers to her 17-year-old sister. MALE driver showed in photo radar picture. Attorney for State filed brief admitting defendant was NOT the driver. Certification of ticket could not have been valid. Appeal court ordered Scottsdale to dismiss the ticket. Ms. Panico handled her own case on appeal.

Download the Gillespie case here.

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