Unintended Consequences?

desperation cash grab

San Bernardino county encompasses 20,105 square miles with a population of 2 million. [Rhode Island covers an area of 1,214 mi2] San Bernardino Superior Court has closed its Chino courthouse and will close the Barstow and Needles courthouses later this year.* If you live in Needles, it’s a 212 mile drive to the court house in San Berdoo.

[Parenthetically, I wonder how much the increase in FTA fines will amount to….]


California residents who want to fight a traffic ticket from home or get copies of legal paperwork would have to shell out more money under Gov. Jerry Brown’s “austerity” budget plan for state courts next year.

…11 recommendations for increased costs or reduced services …[to] offset some $200 million in cuts …Brown proposes borrowing $200 million from courthouse construction accounts…

Yes. “Borrowing” capital to cover daily expenses with no source of income to replace it is always sound fiscal policy.

The fee to oppose a traffic ticket by mail in your home county would go to $50, bringing in $3.2 million more to the state.

If you want to question whether the gobt is correct in accusing you of illegal behavior, you must pay money to the gobt. Just to question. Not for any wrongdoing.


As an example, I recently received a “ticket” in the mail for improperly being in a HOV lane on The 91 in October. The 91 is a freeway in the LA Basin. Thing is, I haven’t been in that benighted basin in a decade. I called the number given and the gal told me there was no way she could read the license number on the photo — the only evidence against me. rly?!? So apparently someone there just looked up license numbers for that type of vehicle, chose one at random and sent out a ticket.

But to challenge that now would cost me $50. Some “encouragement” for accuracy.

The cost for clerks to search and retrieve multiple case files would go to $10 for every record searched. Clerks blame “data mining” companies for the need to charge more, but the bill would be footed by everyone.

The price for a paper copy of a court record would double, to $1 per page.

Courts would cut costs by eliminating some procedures, such as not collecting Social Security numbers on court orders for debt collection, not destroying records relating to marijuana possession, and providing transcripts of preliminary hearings only in homicide cases.

Green Justice.

But insofar as I can tell, the CA Commission on the Status of Women — which has never done anything for me — has received no budget cuts. So there’s that.


  1. DougM (Progophobe)
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 8:55 am |

    Sounds like a good place to use the “poll tax” argument.

    Innocent until proven guilty. Guilty until I see fifty bucks, pal.
    You know, baksheesh.
    Downright third-world, ‘fyaskme.

    What price justice?
    Dunno, but the ante is $50.

  2. Jess
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 9:46 am |

    It’s like eating your own body parts to keep from starving.

    I give California 3 years before the taxpayers revolt.

  3. Claire: rebellious pink pig with car keys - and a *cause*
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:34 am |

    The CA taxpayer is outnumbered by those who voted to raise his vig.

    …and the taxtakers.

  4. ZZMike
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:39 am |

    “… go to $50, bringing in $3.2 million more to the state.”

    Not the county?

  5. Colonel Jerry USMC
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 10:50 am |

    Send em a check for $50 that they can`t read. If they complain, tell em a nother check requires a $50 dollar deposit………

  6. Steve Skubinna
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 11:20 am |

    Once back on the East Coast I mentioned, in reference to the greater distances out West, that there are counties in CA larger than the state of New Jersey (8,722 sq.mi.). A coworker who was from New Jersey became very upset and angry at me for dissing his state. I asked what the problem was, no disrespect meant, it was simply a factual observation. There are, in fact, nine states smaller in area than San Bernardino County.

    Didn’t help, he just became angrier. I still don’t understand what his problem was – it’s like getting mad because somebody says “Benzine is a hydrocarbon.”

    What? Take that back, you bastard!!!!

  7. Posted January 16, 2013 at 11:44 am |

    Did I ever tell you about the time my brother pled “insanity” to a parking ticket. True story.

    He had a trailer parked in front of his house and the law said you couldn’t have any vehicles 24′ or longer parked on the street, so they wrote him a big, expensive ticket. So he went out and measured the trailer. Turns out it was 23′, 6″ long. So he goes to court to fight it.

    After arriving at 7:00AM to a large crowd of other people, he finally got to have his say at about 11:45AM. The judge asked him how he pled and he said “insanity”.

    Judge: Ok, I want to hear this one.

    My Brother: Your honor, I got up extra early in the morning, missed work, and I’ve been here for almost 5 hours to protest a ticket that I never should have had in the first place (he then produces pitchers, etc. showing that he was right). I must be insane!

    Judge: Not guilty!

  8. DougM (Progophobe)
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 1:01 pm |

    ^ Did he get his $50 back?

  9. mojo
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 1:33 pm |

    The only thing that Commission has EVER done is pay $109,000 bucks a year to six ex-legislators (women, of course) for attending 4 quarterly meetings, where they lunch.

  10. Freddie Sykes
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:07 pm |

    The Washington Monument Ploy. If you asked Interior to make a 1% cut in their budget, the first thing they will do is close the most popular monuments and the last is trim their diversity programs..

  11. Merovign
    Posted January 16, 2013 at 4:23 pm |

    Steve – they were from New Jersey. You needed more explanation?

    mojo – Nice work if you can get it. Which you can’t, you just pay the bill.

  12. The Digital Hairshirt
    Posted January 17, 2013 at 6:03 am |

    My brother successfully fought a speeding ticket by bringing in his best friend, Vic, as an expert witness to testify that he’s driven that stretch of Route 23 fuh yeahrs, ya Honuh, and there was no way my brother could have been going that fast. I think the judge let him off just in appreciation for the comic relief.

    As an attorney who formerly did the majority of my practice in San Bernardino county, I cannot tell you how glad I am that I left the state.

  13. Posted January 17, 2013 at 11:48 am |

    ^ As an attorney who formerly did the majority of my practice in San Bernardino county, I cannot tell you how glad I am that I left the state.

    And that pretty much says it all right there.