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Added 10-18-09

San Mateo Documents - Set # 2, Cont'd

2009 Appeals Decision - People v. Bullock

This case is an example of a foundational defense (see Defect # 10 - B on the Home page).

To my knowledge this is only the second favorable appellate decision, anywhere in California, regarding the legality of a cost-neutral contract.

  This decision is final but has not been published, so cannot be cited as precedent in other cases, except possibly in San Mateo County "cost-neutral" cities such as Redwood City*, Millbrae*, South San Francisco, Daly City, Menlo Park, and San Mateo*.  The general issue of which decisions get published, and which don't, is under study.  See for more information.

*On Nov. 16, 2009 the City of San Mateo removed cost-neutrality from its contract, sometime between Dec. 31, 2009 and Feb. 4, 2010, Millbrae removed cost-neutrality from its contract, and Redwood City removed cost-neutrality from its contract on Nov. 22, 2010.

Click on these links for the documents in the Bullock appeal (chronological order):

Appellate Judge Mark Forcum's Decision
Daily Post Article about Decision
Atty. Frank Iwama's Request for Publication
Court Notice:  Non-Publication of Decision
Daily Post Article about Non-Publication of Decision Article about Non-Publication of Decision

This is the compensation section from the original San Mateo contract (note that the City has amended the contract):


6.5. Cost Neutrality After an initial twelve (12) month period, if the total compensation paid to RedFlex pursuant to this agreement exceeds that portion of Fines received by Customer for Citations issued during the same twelve (12) month period, then RedFlex agrees to absorb, eliminate, or reimburse Customer for the excess expense thereby covering the cost for system operation so that the Customer achieves cost neutrality in accordance with the representation that the system(s) shall pay for themselves. This cost neutrality provision shall be applied for each twelve (12) month period for which the agreement is in effect in order to ensure cost neutrality throughout the Term of this agreement.



Fixed Fee of $6,030 Per Month Per Enforced Approach.

Cost Recovery

The Customer and the vendor agree to implement each red light photo enforcement system utilizing a controlled and phased methodology. Initial implementation will include up to 2 systems that will be deployed in the City. These systems will be utilized to (1) evaluate the economic feasibility of wide scale program deployment and (2) to develop surplus revenue that may be, at the Customer’s discretion be utilized to for sufficient cost recovery of additional systems. The initial systems will be subject to an introductory billing cycle that includes the acceptance, without penalty of invoiced payments for a period of 65 days past due not to exceed a total of three months.

At any point, upon mutual agreement between the City and the vendor, this phased methodology can include the implementation of additional systems and which are outlined in the terms of section 6.3 [sic] Cost Neutrality.

These materials may be freely copied and distributed, so long as credit is given to .

Many other cases and /or transcripts are available - see the Index to Transcripts, Briefs, and Court Decisions.

For more details about the City of San Mateo, see San Mateo's entry on the Camera Towns page.