Road Law
But I gave it to my company…

By Jeff McConnell & James Mennella, Attorneys at law

Q. In 1997, I received several tickets for equipment violations and turned them into my company to pay. The other day I received a phone call from a collection agency about past due fines, warrant fees, and suspension due to a missed court date. I don’t think I should have to pay this as it was the company’s responsibility. How do I get out of this?

A. While the underlying equipment violations might be the responsibility of the company, the court is interested in the name that is written on the face of the citation. In your case, if your name is on the citation, it is your responsibility to make sure that the citation is paid or concluded with the court regardless of ultimate responsibility by a third party.

Because of the age of your citation and the fact that it is in collections, it is doubtful that the matter can be reset on the court’s calendar.

To recall the warrant, clear the suspension, and reinstate your operating privilege, the money will need to be paid as soon as possible.

If you wish to pursue an action against the company for any number of causes of action for their failure to pay the violations and the resulting costs/expenses to you, then you will need to pursue a civil suit. Depending on the dollar amount, this may be a small claims action or something worth hiring a lawyer for.

Q. I had a “fix it” ticket in California, and I gave it to my company. They fixed the problem and sent the information back to the court with payment. I received a suspension notice for “failure to pay” the violation and contacted my company about it. They said that the information they sent in was sent back as insufficient and they were working on it. What do I do now?

A. California has specific procedures for correcting “fix it” tickets. Even though your company is working to correct the problem, it doesn’t satisfy any deadlines imposed by the judicial system.

Any time your name is on the citation, you want to follow the matter until it is resolved. This holds true whether you have a lawyer or turned your citation over to your company. In this case, you would want to contact the court and see if the matter can be reset and suspension notice recalled.

Q. I received a notice of suspension from my licensing state for a citation I ignored in another state. I only have 15 days to take care of the outstanding citation or I will be suspended indefinitely. Can they do this?

A. Yes. Depending on the state you are licensed in, these matters are approached in several different ways. The most common is to suspend your license until the out-of-state matter is resolved. Other states will not let you renew your driver’s license until the out-of-state issue is rectified. Further, some states either don’t receive notice or don’t take action on the notice. It is not uncommon to be valid in your licensing state and still be cited for a suspension that is active in another state. LL

Send any questions or comments regarding transportation law to: Jeff McConnell and James Mennella, Road Law, 3441 W. Memorial, Suite 4, Oklahoma City, OK 73134; call 405-242-2030, fax 888-588-8983, or email roadlaw@att.net.

This column is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Land Line Magazine or its publisher. Please remember everyone’s legal situation is different. Consult with an attorney for specific advice on your situation.