Traffic and Criminal Procedure: Infraction Procedures Regarding Bail, Fines, Fees, and Assessments; Mandatory Courtesy Notices; and Ability-to-Pay Determinations

In response to the Judicial Council of California’s directives, the Traffic and Criminal Law Advisory Committees authored this report which includes a proposal for three new rules, a rule amendment, and related commentary from stakeholders regarding their proposal. The recommended rules concern procedures for bail, fines, fees, and assessments imposed for infraction offenses; mandatory courtesy notices; and ability to pay determinations.

You can read the full text of the rules here.

  • Amend rule 4.105 of the California Rules of Court to require that trial court websites include a link to statewide traffic self-help information posted on the California courts website.
  • Adopt rule 4.106 of the California Rules of Court, which would establish uniform procedures for infraction offenses for which the defendant has received a written notice to appear and has failed to appear or failed to pay.
  • Adopt rule 4.107 of the California Rules of Court, which would require that trial courts send reminder notices to traffic defendants before their initial appearance. These notices must include: appearance date and location, whether the appearance is mandatory, the court’s contact information, warnings about potential consequences for failure to appear and failure to pay, notice of right to request ability to pay determination and payment alternatives, and so on.
  • Adopt rule 4.335 of the California Rules of Court, which would require courts to notify defendants of their right to request an ability to pay determination, and standardize and improve court procedures related to ability-to-pay determinations.
  • Repeal standard 4.41 of the California Standards of Judicial Administration, which currently provides recommendations regarding courtesy notices.
Judicial Council of California