^
Keep New Times Free
4
| News |

Speed-Camera Court Crunch: 3,600 Cases Set This Morning at Justice Court

 

About 3,600 speed-camera cases are on the West McDowell Justice Court docket this morning at 8:30 a.m., and officials are bracing for hundreds of citizens -- at the least -- to appear in person.

"What we don't know is how many will show up," says Terry Stewart, justice courts administrator.

About 2,000 of the cases represent people who recently received state Department of Public Safety photo-enforcement tickets in the mail and have a court date set for this morning, explains Stewart, a former state Department of Corrections director.

It's safe to say few people from that group will come to the downtown court at 620 West Jackson, since they still have the option to pay their fines or wait to see if a process server shows up after they miss the court date.

The other group, however, consists of about 1,500 people who blew off their mailed citations, were served by a process server, and now have a hard court date set for this morning.

Many will probably choose to deal with their ticket by calling in, paying the fine, or signing up for driving school, Stewart says. On the other hand, many may choose to show up in court to request hearings or talk to court staff about their tickets.   

 

When we reached Stewart by phone this morning, he was on his way io work to see if any crowds had begun gathering. If hundreds of people turn out, "it's going to be a challenge," he says.

The court is prepared to bring in extra judges, if necessary.

West McDowell Justice Court typically experiences a high volume of DPS speed-camera cases, since it receives cases that stem from cameras on bustling central Phoenix freeways. But it's never seen anything like this before. (Tip of blogging cap to camerafraud.com, which is where we first learned about this).

The overall number of DPS camera cases has skyrocketed recently -- last month, West McDowell received more than 13,000 new ones. On top of that, high numbers of older cases that required process servers are just now coming due. Court officials hope this is some kind of "hump" that will soon pass and not the new norm. But no one knows for sure, Stewart says.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

 

UPDATE: The big crunch was a big bust. Crowd size was normal at West McDowell Justice Court. Stewart is getting back to us with more info -- we'll let you know what he says.

 

 

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.