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2014 California Rules of Court

Rule 4.210. Traffic court-trial by written declaration

(a) Applicability

This rule establishes the minimum procedural requirements for trials by written declaration under Vehicle Code section 40902. The procedures established by this rule must be followed in all trials by written declaration under that section.

(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(b) Procedure

(1)Definition of due date

As used in this subdivision, "due date" means the last date on which the defendant's appearance is timely.

(2)Extending due date

If the clerk receives the defendant's written request for a trial by written declaration by the appearance date indicated on the Notice to Appear, the clerk must, within 15 calendar days after receiving the defendant's written request, extend the appearance date 25 calendar days and must give or mail notice to the defendant of the extended due date on the Request for Trial by Written Declaration (form TR-205) with a copy of the Instructions to Defendant (form TR-200) and any other required forms.

(3)Election

The defendant must file a Request for Trial by Written Declaration (form TR-205) with the clerk by the appearance date indicated on the Notice to Appear or the extended due date as provided in (2). The Request for Trial by Written Declaration (form TR-205) must be filed in addition to the defendant's written request for a trial by written declaration, unless the defendant's request was made on the election form.

(4)Bail

The defendant must deposit bail with the clerk by the appearance date indicated on the Notice to Appear or the extended due date as provided in (2).

(5)Instructions to arresting officer

If the clerk receives the defendant's Request for Trial by Written Declaration (form TR-205) and bail by the due date, the clerk must deliver or mail to the arresting officer's agency Notice and Instructions to Arresting Officer (form TR-210) and Officer's Declaration (form TR-235) with a copy of the Notice to Appear and a specified return date for receiving the officer's declaration. After receipt of the officer's declaration, or at the close of the officer's return date if no officer's declaration is filed, the clerk must submit the case file with all declarations and other evidence received to the court for decision.

(6)Court decision

After the court decides the case and returns the file and decision, the clerk must immediately deliver or mail the Decision and Notice of Decision (form TR-215) to the defendant and the arresting agency.

(7)Trial de novo

If the defendant files a Request for New Trial (Trial de Novo) (form TR-220) within 20 calendar days after the date of delivery or mailing of the Decision and Notice of Decision (form TR-215), the clerk must set a trial date within 45 calendar days of receipt of the defendant's written request for a new trial. The clerk must deliver or mail to the defendant and to the arresting officer's agency the Order and Notice to Defendant of New Trial (Trial de Novo) (form TR-225). If the defendant's request is not timely received, no new trial may be held and the case must be closed.

(8)Case and time standard

The clerk must deliver or mail the Decision and Notice of Decision (form TR-215) within 90 calendar days after the due date. Acts for which no specific time is stated in this rule must be performed promptly so that the Decision and Notice of Decision can be timely delivered or mailed by the clerk. Failure of the clerk or the court to comply with any time limit does not void or invalidate the decision of the court, unless prejudice to the defendant is shown.

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 2000, and July 1, 2000.)

(c) Due dates and time limits

Due dates and time limits must be as stated in this rule, unless changed or extended by the court. The court may extend any date, but the court need not state the reasons for granting or denying an extension on the record or in the minutes.

(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(d) Ineligible defendants

If the defendant requests a trial by written declaration and the clerk or the court determines that the defendant is not eligible for a trial by written declaration, the clerk must extend the due date 25 calendar days and notify the defendant by mail of the determination and due date.

(Subd (d) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(e) Noncompliance

If the defendant does not comply with this rule (including submitting the required bail amount, signing and filing all required forms, and complying with all time limits and due dates), the court may deny a trial by written declaration and may proceed as otherwise provided by statute and court rules.

(Subd (e) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(f) Evidence

Testimony and other relevant evidence may be introduced in the form of a Notice to Appear issued under Vehicle Code section 40500; a business record or receipt; a sworn declaration of the arresting officer; and, on behalf of the defendant, a sworn declaration of the defendant.

(Subd (f) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(g) Fines, assessments, or penalties

The statute and the rules do not prevent or preclude the court from imposing on a defendant who is found guilty any lawful fine, assessment, or other penalty, and the court is not limited to imposing money penalties in the bail amount, unless the bail amount is the maximum and the only lawful penalty.

(Subd (g) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(h) Additional forms and procedures

The clerk may approve and prescribe forms, time limits, and procedures that are not in conflict with or not inconsistent with the statute or this rule.

(i) Forms

The following forms are to be used to implement the procedures under this rule:

(1)Instructions to Defendant (form TR-200)

(2)Request for Trial by Written Declaration (form TR-205)

(3)Notice and Instructions to Arresting Officer (form TR-210)

(4)Officer's Declaration (form TR-235)

(5)Decision and Notice of Decision (form TR-215)

(6)Request for New Trial (Trial de Novo) (form TR-220)

(7)Order and Notice to Defendant of New Trial (Trial de Novo) (form TR-225)

(Subd (i) amended effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 2000.)

(j) Local forms

A court may adopt additional forms as may be required to implement this rule and the court's local procedures not inconsistent with this rule.

(Subd (j) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

Rule 4.210 amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007; adopted as rule 828 effective January 1, 1999; previously amended effective January 1, 2000, and July 1, 2000.

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