Do it online — Clallam County District Court judge adding email option for contesting traffic tickets

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Drivers soon will have an easier way to contest a traffic ticket in Clallam County District Court 1.

Beginning Monday, District Court Judge Rick Porter will accept emailed statements for mitigating or contesting a civil traffic infraction.

The email option is intended to make traffic court more convenient and “accessible for everyone,” Porter said.

“We have this tremendous technology, and now we're going to put it to use so people will not be as inconvenienced,” he added.

Criminal citations such as driving under the influence still will require a courtroom appearance.

Clallam County District Court 2, which covers the West End of the county, is already using email for traffic infraction hearings. Forms are available at www.clallam.net/DC2.

Depending on the backlog in District Court 1, it can take an alleged traffic violator up to four weeks to get a hearing on the infraction.

Then he or she must wait in court for an hour or two — while missing work or other obligations — to explain why the ticket should be reduced or dismissed.

Porter said he will review the emailed declarations every Monday and decide whether or not to reduce or dismiss the ticket “within a couple of days.”

There will be no additional costs or fees for the email traffic court.

“I think it's a good service,” Porter said Thursday.

Emailed statements must be received within 30 days of the infraction.

They can be submitted beginning Monday on the District Court 1 webpage at www.clallam.net/DC1.

Click on “Infractions and Traffic Court” and follow the instructions for mitigation and contested infractions.

Porter said some jurisdictions are already using an email option for traffic infractions.

“I think it's becoming more common,” he said.

“It's so much more convenient.”

District Court 1 encompasses a large swath of the county from Lake Crescent to the Jefferson County line.

For those who would prefer to mitigate or contest their traffic ticket in court, Porter will still have traffic calendars in Port Angeles and Sequim.

The Port Angeles traffic court will be at 9 a.m. on the first and third Thursday of each month at the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St.

The Sequim traffic calendar will be at 1:30 p.m. on the second Friday of each month at the Sequim Transit Center, 190 W. Cedar St.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: January 02. 2014 10:38PM
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