How long from the time of a radar infraction in Scottsdale Az must they issue a citation. ?
3 attorney answers
It was sent to you within 60 days so now if you reject service by mail by ignoring the ticket, the agency has 90 days from July 26 to go to your house and give you the ticket personally. You will have to pay for the cost of service of about $50 if you want to take your chances that no one goes to your house on time. So do you feel lucky?
There will be two types of notices you could have received. The first is a notice of violation, which is basically a mailed ticket, and it would name you as the driver.
The second is a notice that states that a violation is alleged, but they are uncertain of the identity of the driver, and a request to identify the driver.
You have no legal obligation to respond to either type of notice, and certainly no duty to identify the driver.
If you got the second type of notice, basically asking who was driving, that can be easily ignored, because until they file a ticket against a driver, nothing will happen, and without a response, they probably won't know who to charge.
If you got the first kind of notice, then sending in the "Not Me" response WILL NOT help, as it usually results in a letter stating that "you cannot be excluded as the driver, and you are expected in court". Not only that, you have waived service -- that is, you are agreeing that they don't have to serve you and you will be in court to answer the charges (or pay the fine, or take defensive driving).
They have 60 days from the date of violation to creat & file the ticket in court, then they have 90 days from that date to get it served.
In Arizona, until you are properly served, the court cannot legally do anything. Personal service is effective if the defendant is personally served (that means, the process server says words to the effect that the documents are important legal documents, and they are offered to the defendant, and then left for the defendant). Personal service (on a substitute) is also effective, if it is at the defendant's residence, and the individual who is served is a co-resident, of suitable age and discretion. Residence, not mail box place.
It is not necessary that the person being served accept the papers, that the process server offered them and then left them for the person served when they refused to take them is usually enough.
If the service is at the residence of the defendant, and the person encountered by the process server is of suitable age (14 or older, usually) and discretion (not incompetent), then this would constitute substitute service, and it is valid, as long as the person is also a co-resident at that residence.
A worker (landscape maintenance, domestic, service and repair, etc.) who is not a co-resident is not a proper substitute for accepting service. A visiting family member who does not live there (even if they are an overnight guest), is not a proper substitute for accepting service.
Importantly, the rules state that service at THE HOME of the defendant, upon a person who LIVES WITH the defendant, is proper, if that person is OF SUITABLE AGE AND DISCRETION.
The real tricky part of this is that, if you are not properly served, but the court is told you were, then a default could be entered against you, your license could be suspended, and more, if you don't take action.
When challenging sufficiency of service, one must be very careful to only challenge the service, as raising any other issue could be deemed by the court as waiving service and accepting personal jurisdiction.
You should certainly seek out the services of a competent and experienced attorney to review this matter with you carefully, to challenge the service based upon the lack of proper service, all while avoiding waiving service or appearing generally, and all that to avoid unnecessarily being held responsible.
Your chances of success often improve with the assistance of an experienced attorney, but that certainly is not required.
-- Michael Kielsky
Counselor & Attorney at Law
Udall Shumway PLC
Mesa, AZ 85201
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Normally, citations must be issued within a year of the violation.
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