Gotcha!

Corporations and governments can legally ignore photo tickets in the Valley, while the rest of us are expected to pay up -- or else

In Scottsdale, the court date will be less than a month after you receive the ticket. A process server will be assigned to the case about a month after that court date, with a new court date yet another month away. In that case, you can probably start relaxing about three months after you got the ticket. Again, verify your case on the above Web site as often as you like — doing so will neither tip the police off to your game nor count as proper service.

Process servers are supposed to follow rules.

They are not allowed to simply leave the citation on your doorstep while no one is home. The law says it must be given to either the defendant or a "person of suitable age" (usually interpreted as 14 or older) who also lives at the home. Provisions are made for uncooperative people like Cisneros, but AAA Photo Safety's Pickron said such cases are rare.

"They all have a story and a plan and a game, so when we come to that door, we are at a high disadvantage," he says. "We have to weed through all of the stories, all the garbage, to see if we can leave the ticket or not."

The server tries to make the best decision, knowing that a judge may review the service in court. If the vehicle in the photo is in the driveway and the server can see the defendant through a window, Pickron says, that's good enough. But if the server is looking for a man, he says, and a woman is behind the window but not answering the door, that isn't good enough — because the server can't establish who she is or whether she lives there.

"We don't think everybody's avoiding service," Pickron says. "But then there are times when all the lights are turned on at the house and the garage door's open — but all of a sudden the house goes completely black."

Yet there's no reason for the process server to risk his license by leaving the ticket even in that case, Pickron says. The server would move on to the next house in the area, and come back later.

Process servers work part-time, since their quarry is more often home in the evenings and on weekends.

Pickron says servers only go out to the address that matches the vehicle registration, and if that address is no good, they don't bother to do additional research.

Records show that dozens of photo-ticket defendants only have a post-office box listed on their vehicle registration. While MVD allows auto owners to put a P.O. box as their mailing address, the agency also requires a physical address.

But Pickron and police say the MVD doesn't always put the physical address on the registration. So that's another thing a ticket-evader can try — give the MVD a P.O. box, if there is one. It will probably reduce the odds of service.

All this said, being hunted isn't for everyone, nor is it always possible to put a plan in practice for avoiding service — particularly if you have roommates or a house full of teenagers. Somebody's bound to open the door at the wrong time.

But a reasonable strategy might be to go out more with friends and ask your spouse or live-in not to answer the door unless he or she knows the person knocking. (Not bad advice under any circumstance.)

Some people have lifestyles that make the game a breeze.

"If you're an airline pilot, and you're always out of town, you might get away with it," Pickron says.


One thing to consider is that the process server might cheat. Instead of following the law, he or she might throw the ticket at your doorstep while you're away. Quite possibly, a motorist playing the non-response game would not realize that had happened until after the MVD suspended his driver's license for ignoring service.

But just because you're bending the rules doesn't mean you have to let the process server do it. You can fight back.

Two years ago, Scottsdale resident Sherri Zanoff won her photo-ticket case on appeal after she proved she was on a plane to Costa Rica at the same moment a process server claimed he had handed her a ticket.

Such cheating doesn't happen very often. When it does, the public can file a complaint with the Maricopa County Superior Court. Presiding Judge Anna Baca reviews the complaints. If she decides they're valid, she'll schedule a hearing to find out what happened.

From a photo-enforcement point of view, this means that someone trying to avoid a ticket might get the person trying to serve it fired.

That's what happened last year after one of Pickron's servers went out to the house of Phoenix accountant Al Golusin to deliver a Scottsdale ticket.

Golusin was a bit cagey, even when New Times asked whether he'd received the initial mailing.

"Well, I don't know, maybe I did," he says. "But I can't remember receiving a letter or anything along that line. But if I had, I probably would have disregarded it because of my understanding of the law. I figured I'd just wait for the process server. That was my attitude. I was waiting for the process server."

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12 comments
dmsbayne
dmsbayne

Hers the deal, It is obvious that These cams are only for lining the pockets of those who are getting kick backs from the money made, ie. Scottesdale $800:000 in one year. If that is the case then fire two copes for every cam since we don't need them and they can eat their doughnuts at home. But most important is that driving should now be a right and to allow the MVD to dictate weather or not I can drive myself or a family member to the emergency room or to work or to get food for the babies is un American. Any one who believes that we shouldn't have the right to drive should get out of the USA. Its Big Brother just wanting to be in our business because its a drug to them. Do you realy think that those pics just go away. Does NSA mean anything. Get 30 or 40 of your friends with masks and coverd lic plates and all of you speed through a cam. Be safe though, and let the light show begin

forester74
forester74

I keep reading that after 120 days it is invalid.  And besides the city of Show Low is most likely not going to be connected with the DMV.  They only know the address associated with your vehicle.  After 4 months you are off the hook.

Seeley3
Seeley3

i need help i am moving to show low az. i was there 5 min. got to camera tickets .sent to me in new jersey. what do i do. i will eventually have to apply for az. licensce in 6 months.

greenspite
greenspite

Does anyone know if Arizona hires out of state process servers to go after arizona photo speeding tickets? I live in Florida, and got the photo ticket in Paradise Valley?

DavidKnows
DavidKnows

I don't understand, the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations have the political rights of people, so why don't they have the same legal consequences? Under the Citizens United decision they should be liable. Thank you, I just earned Arzona $5 million annually.

Jason Trenkler
Jason Trenkler

The whole thing is garbage, thank goodness that DPS is no longer using the photo radar vans.

goldnugg
goldnugg

I KNOW YOU CAN BE LEGALLY SERVED BY MAIL NOW BUT CAN IT BE LEGAL TO A MAIL BOX AT A AUXERLLY POST OFFICE???

beaner
beaner

Fuck the photo radar and west Mcdowell courts and lets not forget Judge Nap....ASSHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLE

Anonymous
Anonymous

Honestly, I don't think photo enforcement is a violation of an individual's rights. But the fact that you get charged $200+ with no warning notice sent makes it unfair in my opinion. They should send a warning notice for the first offense, and then like a $30 ticket on repeat offenses at the same location. That seems a lot more fair and would deter speeding, especially since a person charged would by then be surely aware of the speed limit.

Judy
Judy

Believe it or not, I was recently ticketed with photo radar on FLW while I was going 45 mph (the speed limit). The ticket I received said I was going 78 mph. I went to court, told the truth and paid $270.00 for my trouble of informing them that the machines are malfunctioning. I wonder, is this happening to anyone else?

Judy

Patti
Patti

I think the photo enforcement is a crock. It allows Scottsdale PD and DPS to be lazy in my opinion.

What type of analysis was done regarding the accidents on this particular stretch? Did the concept of vehicles going TOO slow and merging on the freeway play a role? And what about the concept of vehicles "cutting" over going too slow? All of these and other issues, I've experienced on this stretch of freeway and because of my alertness, was able to avoid the accident while the offending driver gets upset because I've honked my horn.

And what about the flashes? I can tell you, many of times, I've seen the flash, which has distracted my eyes from the road briefly, to make sure it wasn't me. That flash can be blinding at night.

I understand completely the concept of speed limits, however, the ONLY individuals affected by this photo radar are the ones that go more than 10 miles over the speed limit. NOTHING is done regarding those that can't even drive the speed limit or those that can't abide by any of the other road laws.

Am I angry? Yes! And yes, I was "caught" but the thing that gets me is the wording I received when I went to court to explain things. I can assure you, had there been an officer, one of the tickets would not be issued and the fact that the photo radar has a +/- 1 MPH accuracy issue and my "picture" indicated 76 MPH vs the 75 MPH, it seems to me, that +/- 1 MPH should be taken into consideration and when it's as close as mine was, to be quite honest, yes that would should have been dismissed, especially with the time of day, the amount of traffic and so forth.

To allow the corporate world to get off scott free while individuals, such as myself, be held accountable is unfair practice.

Billy
Billy

Yeah, just don't pay it... it goes away.

 
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