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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 117358
Experience:  Attorney with over 24 years of law and traffic law
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This is a question specific to Phoenix, Arizona traffic law. I

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This is a question specific to Phoenix, Arizona traffic law.

I have a question about traffic law vs. actions in Arizona revolving the red light camera tickets.

I've read that in order for a red light camera ticket to be valid it must be personally served to you. Is this true? And I know that's not common practice because they're sent through mail.

So I would like to know what the options are with avoiding a ticket based on improper delivery or getting it dismissed.

If the car was registered to my father in a different state would they send someone out to serve him the ticket if that is law?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to providing you the information you are seeking.

Under Arizona law, photo citations issued by municipalities carry license points. Although private vendors may send citations through regular mail, motorists are under no obligation to send payment unless they receive personal service. See: TONNER v. PARADISE VALLEY MAGISTRATE'S COURT, 171 Ariz. 449; 831 P.2d 448 (AZ App. 1992).

However, there are some cities in AZ, such as Scottsdale, where the courts allow process servers to apply for "alternative service" such as leaving the notice at the residence and the courts have yet to dismiss the citations for improper service.

If you do not receive personal service and only mail service, you can ignore the notice, but you risk having it sent to civil collections and then have to fight it later on the lack of personal service and also you risk that some unscrupulous process server they employ will lie about making such service or applying for the alternative service.

The red light ticket has 90 days to be prosecuted and after that time they cannot prosecute as it is beyond the statute of limitations. Thus if you receive any notice after 90 days you can file a motion to dismiss based on the statute of limitations.

I am afraid though that these tickets are still a mess and controversial in AZ, because the cities are still pursuing collections in civil collection actions and it still forces people to get a lawyer to go to court to argue the service and seek the dismissal.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If the ticket is sent by mail to my father (the registered owner) and they ask him to identify who was driving the car and send him the information of the person, is he required by law to do so?

Thank you for your follow up.

Under AZ law, the owner of the vehicle is liable for paying the violation unless they identify the actual driver. While he is not obligated to identify the driver, this means if he exercises this right he is liable for the citation.
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