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07 August 2013 @ 09:35 am
Ah, Fremont.  
I got a fix-it ticket on a passenger-side brake light recently. Okay.

Got the brake light fixed. Got the ticket signed by an officer who agrees - my passenger-side brake light now lights up. Now I just have to mail in the ticket and pay a $25 fee.


Clearly I should not mail cash. The officer had no idea who the check should be made payable to. She said nobody has ever asked her about that. The ticket doesn't say who it should be payable to. The web site gives no clue. There's a "pay traffic tickets online" thing, but this isn't a traffic ticket and the citation number isn't in their system -- it says it may take six weeks to get into the system anyway, and this is required to be taken care of in a month.

("So I should make it payable to 'City of Fremont', then?" "No," said the officer, "definitely not City of Fremont." Well, okay, so that answer isn't right, even if there's no listed right answer.)

There's a phone help line (open 8:30-2:30, weekdays only) that could presumably help me with this. I've been on hold for about 45 minutes as it tells me repeatedly to use all these other methods that don't work to find this out.

Google seems to think nobody else has this problem. There's a Yahoo Answers page about several *other* problems people have had.

Does everybody just mail cash? There's no way to pay with credit card on the ticket itself. Are the Fremont police so overworked that I'm the only guy with a fix-it ticket in department history? Everything else they do is traffic tickets, robberies and murders?

I kid. Apparently I can go to the courthouse and hope somebody there is capable of helping me. But based on the police department, ticket, phone help line and various web sites, I'm not feeling hopeful.

As a desperate, Prius-driving criminal with a dubious brake lights, I know I deserve everything the criminal justice system can do to me. But I'd like to pay my debt to society. Society just needs to tell me who that debt is payable to. Or take a freaking credit card. Or let me use the web site that desperate criminals with a speeding ticket can use.
JohnG: pic#40206231gomijacogeo on August 7th, 2013 05:35 pm (UTC)
Check payable to "Cash"?
Noahangelbob on August 7th, 2013 05:40 pm (UTC)
Apparently the right answer was "Clerk of the Court." I don't know enough about the law around checks to tell you if "bearer", "cash" or "carbon-based life-form" would have sufficed.
rbusrbus on August 7th, 2013 07:28 pm (UTC)
Last (speeding) ticket I got, it said on the county's website that they liked credit cards because it reduced their processing cost and simplified their paperwork. So, I happily sent 'em a check.
Anthony: woodpeckerterpsichoros on August 9th, 2013 04:56 am (UTC)
In my experience, the notice that comes in the mail has that information, usually in small type, somewhere very non-obvious.
Noahangelbob on August 9th, 2013 03:11 pm (UTC)
That would make sense. If I get a notice in the mail at some point I'll check that.
IANAL: avatarqueen_elvis on August 9th, 2013 04:58 pm (UTC)
I have just run into the same problem with a parking ticket. I had to call an 800 number because "who to pay" was not anywhere on the citation. Good job, guys!