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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
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trying to keep photo evidence out from camera violation

Resolved Question:

Hello, thanks for your post on evidence. I am trying to keep the "evidence" in a red light camera violation out of court contending that there is no witness to submit this evidence. I haven't seen the ticket but their might be a statement that some random officer submits the info on belief and testimony. The hearing is tomorrow ,10/10/13. Is their a rule of court regarding submitting evidence? and should that be submitted under a declaration under penalty of perjury? Any other means to keep this evidence out so the ticket will not have backing?

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

The rule for photo enforcement citations is found in Evidence Code 1552-1553, as follows:

  • 1552. (a) A printed representation of computer information or a computer program is presumed to be an accurate representation of the computer information or computer program that it purports to represent. This presumption is a presumption affecting the burden of producing evidence. If a party to an action introduces evidence that a printed representation of computer information or computer program is inaccurate or unreliable, the party introducing the printed representation into evidence has the burden of proving, by a preponderance of evidence, that the printed representation is an accurate representation of the existence and content of the computer information or computer program that it purports to represent.
  • (b) Subdivision (a) applies to the printed representation of computer-generated information stored by an automated traffic enforcement system.
  • (c) Subdivision (a) shall not apply to computer-generated official records certified in accordance with Section 452.5 or 1530.

 

  • 1553. (a) A printed representation of images stored on a video or digital medium is presumed to be an accurate representation of the images it purports to represent. This presumption is a presumption affecting the burden of producing evidence. If a party to an action introduces evidence that a printed representation of images stored on a video or digital medium is inaccurate or unreliable, the party introducing the printed representation into evidence has the burden of proving, by a preponderance of evidence, that the printed representation is an accurate representation of the existence and content of the images that it purports to represent.
  • (b) Subdivision (a) applies to the printed representation of video or photographic images stored by an automated traffic enforcement system.

 

Please let me know if I can clarify my answer or provide further assistance.

 

Hope this helps.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for your response but the question really had to do with submission of evidence. Does the "officer" at the computer have to submit some sort of declaration with the "evidence?" ...a sworn affidavit, or other sworn statement?

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.

No declaration/affidavit is required to present photo enforcement evidence at trial. The following comments are from the California Judges Traffic Court Benchguide:

  • The printed representation of computer-generated information, video, or photographic images stored by an automated traffic enforcement system (ATES) does not constitute an out-of-court hearsay statement by a declarant. Veh C §21455.5(e). These printed representations are presumed to be accurate representations of the information or images they purport to represent. This presumption affects the burden of producing evidence. Evid C §§1552(a)–(b), 1553(a)–(b).
  • As amended by SB 1303 (effective January 1, 2013), these code sections basically establish that ATES photographs are not hearsay, and thus no hearsay exception is required. Assembly Comm on Judiciary (SB 1303, June 26, 2012) p 9. The legislation resolves a conflict between two Second District Court of Appeal cases. Both cases have been granted review by the California Supreme Court in People v Goldsmith (S201443) and People v Borzakian (S201474).

 

 

That said, the officer would still have to lay a foundation for the admission of the evidence. This would include:

 

  • Ensuring that the equipment is regularly inspected.
  • Certifying that the equipment is properly installed and calibrated, and is operating properly.
  • Regularly inspecting and maintaining warning signs placed under paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Veh. C. 21455.5
  • Overseeing the establishment or change of signal phases and the timing thereof.
  • Maintaining controls necessary to ensure that only those citations that have been reviewed and approved by law enforcement are delivered to violators.
  • Identifying the date and time when the photograph was taken.
  • Testifying that the photo is a fair and accurate representation of the transaction or occurrence that it displays.

 

 

Hope this helps.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok, thanks....then when does the officer lay the foundation for the submission of evidence, on the ticket or at the trial? He/she obviously is not there. The judge just looks at the photos and says how do you plea? How can the foundation be there if the 6th bill of rights is not followed and not being able to question the witness.?


 


 

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
The officer must lay the foundation for the admission of the photo at trial. if the judge looks at the photos without the benefit of a witness, then in my opinion that act: (1) would be in aid of prosecution, which is grounds for a mistrial, because the judge is not a neutral decision maker; (2) violates the confrontation clause of the 6th Amendment, because there is no one to lay the foundation for the introduction of the evidence; (3) violates the rule that every item of evidence must be proved to be what it is purported to be.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

This is hitting the target...Thanks...You mention the rule,"violates the rule that every item of evidence must be proved to be what it is purported to be. " Can you please provide the California rule of court? if that is where the rule is set?


 


Where I am headed is that there is NEVER an officer at trial, people just pay the fine because they feel hopelessly caught on camera. I recently read an article where a class action suit is filed against the city of Victorville, CA for their traffic camera program. Don't have time to research that filing, that's why I bought into your services. THANKS SO MUCH so far.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34676
Experience: Retired (mostly)
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