California Continues Traffic-Ticket Reform, Issues New Rules on Notice and Ability to Pay

The 2017 rules are part of California's efforts to make traffic court fairer.

The California Judicial Council approved new rules that went into effect January 1, 2017, and that courts have until May 1, 2017 to implement. The rules are designed to “standardize and improve” court procedures and notice for defendants in infraction cases.

The rules require that:

  • court websites link to traffic self-help information
  • courts send reminder notices to traffic defendants before those defendants have to first appear
  • courts provide defendants who miss fine or bail payments a chance to be heard about ability to pay and inform them of the right to request payment relief.

For more on what the rules do, see the Judicial Council’s news release.