haven't already done so, please read the Inglewood section on the Camera
Inglewood, pop. 115,000, is just
east of LAX.
Some of Inglewood's tickets can be ignored. If your
"ticket" does not have the Superior Court's name and address on it, it
is what I call a "Fake Ticket." For more details, see the Fake
Ticket section on the Your Ticket page.
Inglewood's tickets are heard by
some of the same judges that hear Hawthorne tickets.
Ticket counts for Inglewood's cameras are available at: Inglewood Documents.
you fight your ticket and lose, the judges in the Inglewood
courthouse still will grant you the opportunity to attend traffic
school if you wish to. And, they will grant Second Offender
traffic school if you need it.
Arraignments for Inglewood
tickets are done Monday thru Thursday
mornings in Division 1.
Trials for Inglewood tickets are
held in the morning in Division 1, usually on the 1st
and 3rd Fridays of each month.
For more about
the buttons, see the
Looking South at Along Crenshaw at 108th, Nov. 2004 (Fire Station is on
Inglewood, Aug. 6, 2004
Trials: Crenshaw / 108th Tickets Thrown Out, But Only If...
On Aug. 6 I attended my first
trial session of Inglewood tickets. I learned that one judge
(of the two hearing Inglewood tickets) is throwing out all the
tickets at one intersection (Crenshaw at 108th) - while the other
will not. And, that those tickets are only being thrown out
if the defendant appears in court at an arraignment or at a
I learned that on Dec. 9, 2003 the yellows on [nearly] all of
left turn cameras were increased from 3.0 seconds to 3.6 [ late note,
made 11-10-04: during a Nov. 5 trial session, I found out that
the yellow for turns from Centinela onto Florence is 3.0 seconds], and
pre-Dec. 9 tickets from those locations were being thrown out by
one judge, but not by the other. But only if contested at a
Based upon my Aug. 6 observations, I
recommend that if you have a Crenshaw / 108th ticket, you take your
ticket to court - either an arraignment or a trial. [ And,
based upon my observations of Aug. 20 - see below - you should do
the same for pre-Aug. 19 ticket at Prairie / 111th. ] And if
you have a pre-Dec. 9 left-turn ticket, plead not guilty and take your
to trial. I also recommend that you not allow your
arraignment or trial to be heard by Commissioner John L. Mason -
file a Peremptory Challenge to remove him from your
case. See Challenges
for how and when to do that.
I also learned that the personnel at the Inglewood
courthouse do not appreciate having a citizen invade their
territory and provide defendants with information to help them
fight their tickets. I was thrown out of the building three
times in the week of Aug. 2 - 6 !
Here are the details of the Aug. 6 trial session.
Division 1 is the courtroom of Judge Lauren
Birnstein. The Division 1 calendar showed twenty-seven
Inglewood red light camera cases and six other matters. Six of
the red light camera defendants were on "O.R." - they had
not been required to post bail.
At 10:15 Commissioner John L. Mason, who was sitting in for Judge
Birnstein, announced that there would be a $30 fee added to any
fines paid later than the end of the business day.
Comm. Mason then talked about tickets at Crenshaw and 108th.
He said that the usual Div. 1 judge, Judge Birnstein, had been
dismissing all tickets at that intersection, but that he would
not. [Comm. Mason did not indicate why Judge Birnstein was
dismissing those tickets, but it could be because 108th takes a
"jog" at Crenshaw making it a confusing intersection, or it could
be because there was no 30-day period of warning tickets before
that camera went into operation.] Comm. Mason offered to
continue the Crenshaw / 108th cases to a later date when Judge
Birnstein would be able to hear them. He explained,
carefully, that the Crenshaw / 108th defendants would need to waive
their right to a trial within forty-five days in order for him to be
to continue their cases. All six defendants agreed to a
At 10:37 Officer Dean Young of the Inglewood Police Department
gave his standard testimony, which would apply to all of the camera
tickets. He explained the operation of the system: That
the car must be going at least 15 mph for the camera to trip, and
that it takes a twelve-second long video of the violation.
Officer Young also testified that the City had met its legal
(foundational) obligations, by holding a public hearing before
installing the cameras, publishing notices in local media, giving
thirty days of warning tickets (from 9-12 to 10-11-03) [but probably
not on camera installations made after the launch of the initial
group of cameras], posting the required warning signs, and
providing yellow phases meeting or exceeding CalTrans guidelines,
based upon Approach Speed. He then said that the People were
ready to proceed.
Comm. Mason asked Officer Young what the duration of the yellow
actually was. Officer Young replied that it was presently 3.6
seconds at left turns [late note, made 11-10-04: during a Nov. 5
trial session, I found out that the yellow for turns from Centinela
onto Florence is 3.0 seconds] and 4.0 on straight through movements,
that prior to Dec. 9 the left turn yellows were at 3.0, the minimum
suggested by CalTrans. He noted that the City had increased
the left yellows on their own accord.
Comm. Mason next asked Officer Young if the tickets at lefts with
less than 3.6 seconds of yellow (pre-Dec. 9) should be
dismissed. Officer Young answered "no," that all cities,
including LA, use 3.0 for their yellow phase for left turns [he
didn't mention that LA will not use photo enforcement on left turns
- see the LA section above, and Defect # 9, Churning, on the Home
Comm. Mason then began to hear the cases.
The first defendant was a woman who said that her case had been
continued three times, that the signal malfunctioned, and that
Judge Birnstein had ordered the police to go out and videotape the
operation of the signal, with the defendant present. Comm.
Mason, noting that testimony had already been taken by Judge
Birnstein, offered to move the case to another courtroom where
Judge Birnstein evidently was present. He also moved
the case of a man who had a ticket at the same intersection and had
also been to court previously.
The next defendant's ticket was at Prairie and 111th. The
police showed the video on a large portable movie screen that was
positioned so everyone could see it. The defendant said that
the intersection was confusing and as a result he mistakenly
stopped at the second set of limit lines. Comm. Mason looked
at the video a second time and dismissed the case, noting that
defendant's car had moved out of frame.
At 11:09 Judge Birnstein came in and took over the bench in Div. 1,
to handle the two cases that had been referred to her
(above). The female defendant provided two witnesses who said
the signal had malfunctioned. The defendant testified that it still
was malfunctioning. [Sorry, the name of the
intersection wasn't given.] Both police officers (Young
and his partner, Officer Simon Hollis) testified that it was
OK. Judge Birnstein said that she found defendant's
witnesses credible and that since the left arrow was not visible in
the photos, she had reasonable doubt about the violation.
The male defendant (at the same intersection) asked Officer Young
how long the yellow should be. Young replied that for left
turns, CalTrans advises that it should be at least 3.0
seconds. Judge Birnstein then offered him traffic school, and
he took it.
Judge Birnstein then left the bench, but returned a moment later,
saying that Comm. Mason was busy and that she would hear some more
She asked the next defendant if she wanted traffic school, or to
proceed with the trial. The defendant chose to proceed.
She told the judge that a man had been following her. The
judge asked her how close he was when she made her left turn and
what he looked like, then dismissed the case, ruling that an
emergency is a defense.
The next defendant had a pre-Dec. 9 left turn ticket. Judge
Birnstein dismissed it immediately.
The next defendant chose not to proceed, and to go to traffic
The next defendant told the judge, "Let's look at the photos if you
think that's me." The judge said she could see the
defendant's mustache and that she thought it was him. The
defendant changed his plea to guilty, took traffic school, and also
asked for and got 6 months to pay the fine.
The next defendant was ticketed for a left at Centinela and
Florence. She claimed that there had been an emergency, that
her passenger, who was present in court and was using a crutch, had
experienced a severe pain in his leg. However, she could
offer no document showing a hospital or doctor visit on the day of
the violation. Judge Birnstein said that the level of
emergency was insufficient, found the defendant guilty, and allowed
The next defendant was ticketed for a left from northbound Prairie
onto Century. He said that he had trouble getting the vehicle
into gear. Judge Birnstein looked at the video [which to me
looked like he accelerated into the red light] and asked him if he
wanted traffic school, or to proceed with the trial. He took
Judge Birnstein then left the bench, and Comm. Mason returned.
The next defendant whose name was called evidently had a case that
needed to be heard by Judge Birnstein. Comm. Mason asked the
defendant why he hadn't seen her. The defendant said he kept
raising his hand but was overlooked. Comm. Mason continued
his case to a later date when he could be seen by Judge
Birnstein. The defendant agreed to waive his right to speedy
The next defendant had a pre-Dec. 9 left turn ticket, at the left
from southbound Prairie onto Century. She had not received
the ticket in the mail, so had come to court in order to see the
video. After seeing the video, she did not offer a
defense. Comm. Mason found her guilty, offered her traffic
school and gave her six months to pay the fine.
The last defendant was ticketed for a left from westbound
Manchester onto Crenshaw. Her case was immediately dismissed
at the request of the police, without any explanation as to
The trial session ended at
Inglewood, Aug. 16, 2004
Arraignments: More Tickets Thrown Out
The Aug. 16 Div. 1 morning arraignment session calendar had fifteen
Inglewood camera tickets and two from Hawthorne. Judge
Birnstein was on the bench, and in her opening speech noted that
she would be dismissing all tickets at Crenshaw / 108th - of
which there was about six. She allowed a number of defendants
who pled not guilty to have O.R., and granted Second Offender
traffic school to one defendant who asked for it.
Inglewood, Aug. 17, 2004
Arraignments: Warning Signs Missing at Prairie /
After the arraignment session of Aug. 17, I drove around and looked
at some of Inglewood's camera installations. I noticed that
at Prairie and 111th, there were no warning signs on 111th on
either side of Prairie. They are required to be "visible to
traffic approaching from all
directions." See Defect # 4 on the Home
To document the absence of the signs, I took pictures down the
length of 111th near Prairie. They are posted
Inglewood, Aug. 20, 2004
Trials: Prairie / 111th Warning Sign
The Aug. 20 trials were heard by
Judge Birnstein. Officers Young and Hollis represented the
Approximately ten Crenshaw / 108th tickets were dismissed
immediately. (For why, see the Aug. 6 entry,
above.) At the same time, approximately 2 - 3 tickets at
Prairie / 111th were dismissed. If there was an explanation
as to why the Prairie tickets were dismissed, I didn't catch it.
The first three defendants to try their tickets had left-turn
violations at Century / Crenshaw. Two were found guilty and
were offered traffic school. One had her case dismissed
because the driver in the photo didn't look like her.
The fourth defendant had a ticket for a left turn at Centinela /
Florence. He was found guilty and was offered traffic
The fifth defendant had a ticket at Prairie / 111th. I was
not present for her trial, so the following is based on what she
told me about it. The judge apparently thought the yellow
seemed short (after watching the video) and so asked the officers
to time the yellow, which was supposedly set at 4.0, slightly in
excess of the minimum required in a 40 mph zone, 3.9 seconds.
The officers re-played the video and, using some kind of hand held
device, timed the light at 3.7 and 3.75. The judge then
dismissed the ticket, because the yellow was too short. The
defendant, rather than leaving immediately, asked the judge if she
could point something else out, and told the judge that while there
were warning signs on Prairie, there were no signs on 111th
Street. The judge asked the officers about that, and they
told her that the signs had been put up on 111th on Aug. 19.
The judge said she would be dismissing all tickets at that
intersection, including (possibly) retroactively. (See also
the Aug. 17 entry, above.)
There was one more defendant, but I have no information about his
(Inglewood trials are on the 1st and 3rd Fridays, so there was no
Aug. 13 trial session, and there will not be one on the
Inglewood, Aug. 23, 2004
Arraignments: Dismissals at Two Intersections
For the Aug. 23 morning arraignment session, Judge Birnstein was on
the bench and in her opening speech she noted that she would be
dismissing all pre-Aug. 19 tickets at Prairie / 111th, as well as
dismissing all tickets at Crenshaw / 108th.
Questions left unanswered:
1. Will the dismissals be retroactive to the beginning of the
program, or just tickets that haven't yet been paid?
2. Will the tickets dismissed be only those where the
defendant asked for an arraignment or trial, or will it be all
3. Will the Inglewood police department continue to issue new
tickets at Crenshaw / 108th, pending the planned re-design of the
signals? On Aug. 25 I called a captain at the Inglewood PD
(lower level staff had refused to comment) and asked him this
question. He said that, pending further review, the
department will continue to issue Crenshaw / 108th
Inglewood, Aug. 25, 2004:
Letter to City Council
On Aug. 25 I sent the Inglewood City Council a letter asking them
to stop issuing tickets at Crenshaw / 108th, and to refund all
tickets previously issued there as well as those issued prior to
Aug. 19 at Prairie / 111th. I asked that the matter be
agendized for the council meeting of Aug. 31.
Inglewood, Sept. 3, 2004
Trials: Officers are No Shows, Tickets Dismissed
The Friday Sept. 3 trials were heard by Judge Birnstein.
There were 38 red light cases on the calendar.
About 18 defendants were present and their cases were
dismissed. The officers did not show up as one was on
vacation and the other was ill. In the remaining cases
(about 20) where the defendant had failed to show up, their bail
was forfeited and a conviction was entered. Moral of
Show up for your trial !
(Inglewood trials are on the 1st and
3rd Fridays, so there was no Aug. 27 trial session, and there will
not be one on Sept. 10.)
Inglewood in a Nutshell
Traffic School After Losing at Trial
If you plead not guilty, take your ticket
to trial and lose, the judges in the
Inglewood courthouse will not not
away your opportunity to attend traffic
Did You Already Pay?
Even if you have already paid a pre-Dec. 9, 2003 left-turn ticket, any
ticket at Crenshaw / 108th, or a pre-Aug. 19, 2004 ticket at Prairie /
111th, you may be able to
get your money back.
You will need to go to the clerk's window and ask for a court date (but
avoid Night Court). You may be asked to fill out a one-page form
("Motion to Re-Open Case"); you
should then be given a new appointment in the courtroom. Once you
are in front of the judge, ask for your case to be re-opened, and
the matter dismissed. You should get your $341 fine back, but
probably not the traffic school fees.
Also see FAQ # 26.
Inglewood, Sept. 14, 2004:
Crenshaw / 108th Camera Disarmed
For a few days it was a rumor, but now we have confirmation that
the Crenshaw / 108th camera has been shut down pending the
re-design of the intersection. The shut-down date was Sept.
Inglewood, Sept. 16, 2004:
Arrested, Witnesses Needed
At 8:15 on the 16th, I was arrested for distributing
highwayrobbery.net literature outside the Inglewood
courthouse. If you saw the incident, please contact
Inglewood, Sept. 17, 2004 Trials: Threatened
with New Arrest;
Trials Mostly 'Continued'
I went back to the Inglewood courthouse the day after my arrest, to
watch the bi-monthly trials of Inglewood tickets. I got there
early, as I wanted to get literature to the people who were coming
in for their trials. The court order I allegedly violated on
the 16th says:
So I made a big sign and stationed myself forty-five feet
from the entrance and thirty-five feet from the exit.
(The lady in red is at the entrance, the guy in
very dark clothing has just come out of the exit, and I am at the
right edge of the photo, holding my sign.)
Ten minutes later,
they told me I could not be anywhere in the
Plaza. I probably would have been re-arrested were it not for
the presence of the reporter who took these photos. It was
getting near the time for the trials to begin, so I put my sign and
literature back in the car, got my note pad and went into the
courthouse to watch. There were no further face-offs with the
deputies. The trials were a disappointment,
Here are the details of the Sept. 17 trial
The Division 1 calendar showed thirty-eight
Inglewood red light camera cases and eight non-camera traffic
matters. When I went inside the courtroom I noticed that
Comm. John L. Mason's name plate was up on the bench.
At 10:07 Comm. Mason came in. He handled the "other matters"
first, then at 10:37 turned his attention to the camera cases.
He said that the usual Div. 1 judge, Judge Lauren Weis Birnstein,
had been dismissing all tickets at Crenshaw and 108th, but that he
would not necessarily do so - it would depend upon the evidence
presented to him. Comm. Mason offered to continue the Crenshaw /
108th cases to December when, he said, Judge Birnstein would be
back and able to hear them. Fourteen defendants agreed to a
Then there were two dismissals, one from a trial by declaration,
and one because the ticket was "issued in error."
Then Officer Young (Officer Hollis also was present) brought up
Prairie / 111th. He said that while Judge Birnstein's
position was to dismiss those tickets (because of missing signs),
he now had some law that would enable those tickets to stand.
Comm. Mason told Officer Young to show it to Judge Birnstein, and
proceeded to continue two of the four Prairie / 111th tickets to
December. One Prairie / 111th defendant said he would like to
have his trial today. (The trial never occurred - I don't
know what happened to his case. ) The fourth Prairie / 111th
defendant was not present, so his bail was forfeited and a
conviction was entered. The same fate - bail forfeiture -
befell six no-show defendants with Crenshaw / 108th tickets.
Then the trials began. Two defendants, one with a ticket for
a left turn on northbound La Brea at Century, and the other with a
ticket for a left turn on northbound Crenshaw at Century, argued
their cases, lost, and were granted traffic school. By then
it was noon, so Comm. Mason called for a recess until 1:30.
That announcement brought approx. three defendants up to the
gate. One said he had a trial at a different court at
1:30. He was given a continuance. Another defendant
said she couldn't wait, and elected to take traffic school.
Another defendant had a Crenshaw / 108th ticket which had not been
disposed of earlier, because a Chinese interpreter was
needed. The interpreter had recently arrived, so Comm. Mason
agreed to delay the recess and hear the case. Comm. Mason
asked the defendant if he wanted to continue his case to December,
to see Judge Birnstein. The defendant pled guilty and took
traffic school instead. I did not hear Comm. Mason tell the
defendant (via the interpreter) about Judge Birnstein's practice of
dismissing Crenshaw / 108th tickets, and I do not know whether or
not the defendant had found out about that from any other source or
if he understood enough English to have comprehended the earlier
announcement about it. Court then recessed for lunch.
Comm. Mason came back on the bench at 2:05. The first
defendant asked for and was granted a continuance so that he could
confer with a lawyer. The next defendant pled guilty and got
traffic school. The next defendant, who had a ticket for a
left turn at southbound La Brea / Century, lost and was granted
traffic school. The two remaining defendants did not return
from lunch, and their cases were forfeited.
Inglewood, Sept. 20, 2004
Arraignments: Judge Birnstein Still Here
Based on what Comm. Mason said during the Sept. 17 trials (above),
I expected that Judge Birnstein would be absent. But she was
present, and handled the morning arraignment session.
Inglewood, Sept. 20, 2004:
Advice about Prairie / 111th Tickets
If you have a Prairie / 111th ticket issued before Aug. 19, you can
avoid all visits to court by using a Trial by Declaration to fight
it by mail. See the Trial by Declaration section on the Your
Inglewood, Oct. 1, 2004 Trials: All Tickets
Dismissed; City Lawyer Argues about Prairie /
The Friday Oct. 1 not-guilty
trials were heard by Judge Birnstein. The calendar included
fifty-two red light camera cases, in two groups. There was an
a.m. calendar including fourteen camera defendants who had
previously appeared for trial before Comm. Mason, and had requested
that their cases be continued to a later date so that they could
appear before Judge Birnstein. I was un-aware of the 8:30
session, and by the time I arrived at 9:20, all of their cases,
which were tickets from Crenshaw / 108th, had been dismissed.
All fourteen defendants had showed up.
The 10 a.m. calendar included thirty-eight camera defendants. At
Judge Birnstein came back in. She immediately told all the
camera defendants present that their cases were being dismissed, at
the request of the police, because the evidence (the photos) wasn't
available - some kind of unspecified technical glitch. But
not all of the defendants had showed up. In the six cases where
the defendants had failed to show up, their bail was forfeited and
a conviction was entered.
I will say it again: Show up for your trial!
The next matter before Judge Birnstein was an appearance by
a lawyer from the City, who argued, based on the Truth-in-Evidence section
of the California
Constitution, that the pre-Aug. 19 tickets at Prairie / 111th
should not be dismissed. Judge Birnstein ruled against
him. The City can, of course, take the matter to the
Inglewood, Oct. 15, 2004 Trials: Most Cases
Continued; Defendant Shows No Foundation
The Friday Oct. 15 trials were heard by Comm. Mason. The calendar
included approximately thirty-five camera cases.
Comm. Mason started by dealing with the Crenshaw / 108th and
Prairie / 111th tickets. He offered to continue those cases to a
date when they could be heard, and presumably dismissed, by Judge
Birnstein. Nineteen of the twenty defendants agreed to
continuances. The new dates given those defendants were not on a
normal trial day (Fridays), but were actually arraignment days.
Comm. Mason said that Judge Birnstein would not be hearing the
Friday trials again until December.
After the continuances, eleven cases remained. Two of those
changed their pleas to guilty and asked for traffic school as soon as
their cases were called. Three argued their cases and were
quickly found guilty. (One of the three said a truck blocked his
view. Another said, "It's ambiguous - they changed everything,"
but didn't give any detail. The third was using an interpreter
and was found guilty before he had presented a defense.) All
three asked for traffic school and were granted it. Another
defendant argued her case for a while, then asked for a continuance so
that she could obtain documents regarding the length of the yellow
light. Two cases were dismissed at the request of the police.
Another case was dismissed because the defendant was a man and
the pictured driver was a woman. Another case, the first I have
seen for a motorcycle, was dismissed because the face-photo quality was
poor. Comm. Mason said, "I don't like the resolution."
The last case of the day was the most interesting. The defendant
asked Officer Young if there were "uniform guidelines." Officer
Young told her there was none. The defendant then made a motion
to dismiss, for lack of foundation. (See Defect # 10.)
Comm. Mason asked her the basis for her motion, and she said CVC
21455.5. Comm. Mason asked Officer Young, "What about that?"
Officer Young replied that he hadn't created any guidelines.
Comm. Mason tried to look at 21455.5 but at first could only find
a 2003 edition of the Vehicle Code, which did not contain the current
version of the law. Then he found that his desk copy of the Penal
Code contained the 2004 Vehicle Code, and he read that to himself.
Then he asked Officer Young why he didn't have the guidelines.
Some of the officer's answers were: "We haven't had a need
to create those - only Officer Hollis and myself operate this...."
"We're not sure what uniform guidelines are yet." The
discussion continued for a few more minutes, with Comm. Mason's final
comments being: "You'd better do something about that.
There should be a place where they [defendants] can go and find
the guidelines." Then he dismissed the case.
Inglewood, Nov. 1, 2004
Arraignments: Fourteen Crenshaw / 108th and Prairie / 111th
Judge Birnstein handled the Monday morning arraignment session.
She announced: "If you tell me you weren't driving the car that
day I will dismiss it today if I think it doesn't look like you or the
photo is so unclear that I can't tell."
A little later, she announced the names of fourteen defendants with
either Crenshaw / 108th or pre-Aug. 19 Prairie / 111th tickets, and
told them that their cases were being dismissed.
I didn't watch the rest of the session.
Inglewood, Nov. 5, 2004 Trials: Majority of
Continued; Of Cases Tried "Live" Two are Convictions, Eight are
The trials were heard by Comm. Mason. The calendar included forty
camera cases, nine of which were Trials by Declaration ("TBD").
Comm. Mason started by dealing with the Crenshaw / 108th and Prairie /
111th tickets. He offered to continue those cases to a date when
they could be heard, and presumably dismissed, by Judge Birnstein.
Fourteen defendants agreed to continuances. The new date
(Tuesday Dec. 7) given those defendants was not on a normal trial day
(Fridays), but was actually an arraignment day. At least one
defendant with a Crenshaw / 108th or Prairie / 111th ticket didn't show
up for the trial session, so his bail was forfeited and a guilty plea
the trials began. Officer Young requested that the first case be
dismissed. Later, I looked at that defendant's ticket, and it had
no photos at all - the spaces were blank!
The next ticket had a poor face photo. The judge commented (about
the poor photos): "It's not fair to (defendants), it's not fair
to the court." Then he dismissed the ticket.
There were six more dismissals because of poor photos. The
requests to dismiss were initiated by Officer Young. Five of
those requests were made after he had displayed the face photo.
One was made before he displayed the photo. During one of
these cases, Officer Young testified that the yellow for turns from
Centinela onto Florence is 3.0 seconds, not the 3.6 that we had thought
was the minimum time (for left turns) throughout Inglewood.
Two defendants, with face photos of medium quality (Grade 7 on this
website's scale of 1 to 10) were found guilty. One took traffic
school, but the other didn't ask.
Another defendant argued that it could be his brother driving.
The judge offered him a continuance (to a later Friday trial
date) so that he could bring his brother into court.
The last "live" defendant was
there for his Trial de Novo - a new trial after losing a TBD. He
questioned whether the camera was working properly, and said he wanted
to subpoena people from RedFlex. The judge granted a continuance
so that he could do so.
The remaining matters were TBD's - nine of them. Six evidently
were on tickets from either Crenshaw / 108th or Prairie / 111th, so the
judge continued them to Dec. 7. On the remaining three he
reviewed the videos (displayed on the screen by the officers), and
found them all guilty. Since the TBD defendants weren't present
to permit identification, the judge didn't discuss the face photos.
The Nov. 5 tickets were at the
following intersections. The Late Time, or
"duration," is in ( ).
Century / Crenshaw: 3 eastbound lefts (0.34) (0.63) (0.83), 1
northbound left (unknown);
Centinela / Florence: 1 eastbound straight (0.17), 1 southbound
Prairie / Century: 1 southbound left (0.30).
Inglewood, Nov. 19, 2004 Trials: Six Dismissed, Seven
Continued, One or Two Convicted
This session was very much like the Nov. 5 session. I hope to
provide more details in the near future.
Inglewood, Dec. 3, 2004: Ticket Counts Received;
Trial Session Too
Ticket counts for
Inglewood's cameras are now available at: Inglewood Documents.
I hope to write about the Dec. 3 trial session, in the near future.
Inglewood, Dec. 14, 2004: RedFlex to Pay Towards 108th
At the council meeting of Dec. 14 the city manager announced that
RedFlex had agreed to pay 1/2 of the estimated $60,000 cost of
remodeling the Crenshaw / 108th intersection. Their $30,000 share
would equal 4% of the $750,000 I estimate RedFlex earned for issuing
Crenshaw / 108th tickets. There was no mention of refunds to
Inglewood, Jan. 3, 2005 Arraignments: Comm. Mason
Dismisses Eight Crenshaw / 108th Tickets
For 2005, Judge Birnstein has been moved to another assignment.
As of Jan. 3, a new judge's name was not posted at the Div. 1 courtroom
door or on the court directory. Comm. Mason handled the
arraignments. There were eight Crenshaw / 108th tickets on the
calendar, and he dismissed all of them. He also indicated that he
would dismiss the Prairie / 111th tickets issued before Aug. 19.
Inglewood, Jan. 5, 2005 Night Court
Arraignments: Six or More Crenshaw / 108th Tickets Dismissed
On Jan. 5 Comm. John R. Johnson handled the night court
arraignments. There were at least six defendants with Crenshaw /
108th tickets. With regard to those tickets he stated, "I
understand there's a problem with that intersection so I am going to
dismiss it in the interest of justice."
Inglewood, Jan. 7, 2005 Trials: Nine Dismissed
(Including Crenshaw / 108th), Eight Convicted
No new Div. 1 judge had arrived to replace Judge Birnstein, so Comm.
Mason handled the trials.
No one elected to take traffic school without waiting for the judge to
Comm. Mason began by dismissing five Crenshaw / 108th (and/or pre-Aug.
19 Prairie / 111th) tickets.
Another case was dismissed because the person in the photo clearly was
not the defendant.
A cab driver's case was dismissed because his view of the signal was
blocked by two large trucks - which showed in the video.
Another case was dismissed because the officers did not have the case
file prepared and with them.
Another case was dismissed at the request of the officers - they said
there was a (unspecified) problem with the face photo.
Another defendant said a policeman had
directed him to get out of the way for an ambulance, so he ran the
light. He asked for his case to be continued so he could bring in
evidence of the ambulance call.
The first defendant to be convicted argued that he had heard gunshots,
so kept going rather than stopping. The officers did not display
his face photo, and the defendant did not bring it up, so we don't know
if it was of sufficient quality or not. He was found guilty.
Another seven defendants were found guilty. The
officers did display their
face photos, and they all ranged from "5" to "9" on my Photo Grading
scale. When one of the defendants questioned the length of the
yellow light for his left turn (which is claimed to be 3.6 seconds),
Officer Young testified that he field-checked it monthly using five
readings from a stopwatch, and that in April he read it at 3.61, and
again in May it was 3.61.
The cases tried Jan. 7 were at
following intersections. The Late Time, or "duration," is in
Prairie / 111th (before Aug. 19) or
Crenshaw / 108th: 5 tickets (dismissed), directions and Late
Century / Crenshaw: 2 eastbound lefts (0.64) (0.51), 2
northbound lefts (0.38) (1.75);
Centinela / Florence: 1 southbound left (0.83);
Prairie / Century: 4 southbound lefts (0.36) (0.43) (1.01)
(1.04), 1 northbound left (0.89);
La Brea / Century: 1 southbound left (0.71);
Prairie / 111th: 1 southbound thru movement (6.88).
The majority of the cases tried were for left turns, and of those left
turn violations, three (27%) would not have occurred if the yellow had
been set at 4.0 rather than 3.6.
Inglewood, Jan. 12, 2005 Night
Court Arraignments: Crenshaw / 108th Tickets NOT Dismissed
Night Court arraignments are every Wednesday at 5 p.m., and the judging
job rotates among all the judges in the courthouse. So, there is
a different judge each week. On Jan. 12, Comm. William Torres
handled the Night Court arraignments. There were at least three
defendants with Crenshaw / 108th tickets, but he did not dismiss those,
so the defendants had to plead not guilty and come back in a month, for
Inglewood, Jan. 21, 2005 Trials: Eleven Dismissed,
The trials were handled by retired Judge Eric G. Helgesen, on temporary
assignment from the Assigned Judges Program, San Francisco.
No one elected to take traffic
school without waiting for the judge to come in.
Judge Helgesen began by dismissing, at the request of Officer
Young, five Crenshaw / 108th (and/or pre-Aug. 19 Prairie / 111th)
tickets. (Later on in the trial session, there was another Crenshaw /
108th dismissal, for a defendant who had arrived a little late for the
court session.) Next, he dismissed four more Crenshaw / 108th
and/or pre-Aug. 19 Prairie / 111th tickets that were contested via
Trial by Declaration.
The eleventh dismissal came a little way into the trial session, for a
defendant who Comm. Mason had allowed to continue his case in order to
bring in more evidence. Comm. Mason had promised the defendant
that if he was not on the bench on the 21st, the case would be
dismissed. A telephone check was made to see if Comm. Mason was
available to hear the case, but he was not.
Nine defendants (including the one remaining Trial by Declaration) were
found guilty. The officers did not voluntarily display any of the
The cases tried Jan. 21 were at
following intersections. The Late Time, or "duration," is in
111th (before Aug. 19) or Crenshaw / 108th: 10 tickets
(dismissed), directions and Late Times unknown;
Century / Crenshaw: 2 eastbound lefts (0.61) (0.25);
Prairie / Century: 1 southbound left (0.27), 1 northbound left
(unknown - TBD);
La Brea / Century: 1 southbound left (0.34), 1 northbound left (0.21);
Prairie / 111th: 1 northbound thru movement (0.45);
Prairie / Imperial: 1 southbound left (1.37);
Manchester / Crenshaw: 1 eastbound thru movement (0.43).
The majority (six) of the cases tried were for left turns, and of those
turn violations, four (67%) would not have occurred if the yellow had
been set at 4.0 rather than 3.6.
Inglewood, Jan. 26, 2005 Night Court Arraignments: No
Consistency on Crenshaw / 108th Tickets
Court arraignments are every Wednesday at 5 p.m., and the judging
job rotates among all the judges in the courthouse. On Jan. 26,
Judge Lauren Weis Birnstein
handled the Night Court arraignments. There were at least three
defendants with Crenshaw / 108th tickets. Formerly, when she was
the daytime arraignment judge, it was Judge Birnstein's practice to
dismiss all Crenshaw / 108th tickets; but that was not what happened at
this Night Court session. To the first Crenshaw / 108th defendant
she said, "It's very unusual that you win on these red light camera
tickets, but at Crenshaw / 108th you might." The defendant took
the hint, and pled not guilty.
The next Crenshaw / 108th defendant had received his ticket in April
and soon thereafter paid it and made arrangements to go to traffic
school. He told Judge Birnstein that when he was about to turn-in
his traffic school certificate, he read a newspaper article about
refunds at "this intersection." (He didn't name
it.) After seeing the article, he decided not to not turn-in his
certificate, but instead go back to court to see if he could get a
refund. Following his explanation, Judge Birnstein dismissed his
I followed this defendant into the hallway. He told me that when
he was in front of the judge he had noticed that she was not mentioning
the name of the intersection, so he went along with that and didn't
mention the name either. He explained that he had thought that if
they named the intersection in the packed courtroom, the judge would be
in an awkward position - having required the previous Crenshaw / 108th
to go to trial.
The next Crenshaw / 108th defendant pled guilty and took traffic
school. She was given until October to pay the fine. I
followed her into the hallway and asked why she didn't plead not
guilty. She said she had pled guilty because for a not
guilty plea she would have had to put up the bail within a short period
of time, and she had no money right now.
Based upon the results of this Night Court session, and of the one of
Jan. 12, I recommend: If you have a
Crenshaw / 108th (or pre-Aug. 19 Prairie / 111th) ticket, go to a
morning arraignment, not Night Court. (I attended the morning
arraignments the next day, Jan. 27, and Comm. Mason dismissed all seven
of the Crenshaw / 108th and pre-Aug. 19 Prairie / 111th tickets.)
Inglewood, Feb. 2, 2005 Night Court Arraignments
On Feb. 2, Comm. Torres handled the Night Court arraignments.
were at least two
defendants with Crenshaw / 108th tickets, but he did not dismiss
those. One of the two pled not guilty. The other defendant
was initially unaware that his ticket was at Crenshaw / 108th, so he
pled guilty. Later, it appeared that he was going to try to
change his plea to not guilty.
I continue to recommend: If you have a Crenshaw / 108th or
pre-Aug. 19 Prairie / 111th ticket, go to a morning arraignment, not
Inglewood, Feb. 4, 2005 Trials: Two Dismissed,
Four (including two TBD's) Guilty
The Feb. 4 trials were heard by Comm. Johnson.
There were only six cases on the calendar, two of which were Trials by
The first defendant, who had a northbound ticket at Prairie / 111th
(after Aug. 19) and a Late Time of 0.67 said, "I can't see if it's me
driving the car." The officers showed the face photo to the
judge, who said, "It looks like you to me." The defendant didn't
raise any other defense, so was found guilty and granted Second
Offender traffic school.
The officers immediately asked that the next case be dismissed,
"...based on the quality of the evidence."
The third case was a left turn from eastbound Century onto Crenshaw,
with a Late Time of 2.80. The judge asked to be shown the face
photo, and said, after the officers had shown a blow-up, "I can't tell
if it's one and the same. Dismissed, in the interest of justice."
The last "live" case was a left turn from southbound Centinela onto
Florence, with a Late Time of 0.27. The defendant asked for the
face photo to be shown. After the officers had shown a blow-up,
the judge asked, "Is there any other photo besides this?" The
officers then brought him a photo printed on paper. The judge
then dismissed the case, saying, "I can't say that I'm convinced beyond
a reasonable doubt. It's not fair...."
The last two cases were Trials by Declaration. Both were found
2005: Appellate Decision May Apply
A late January 2005 appellate court decision (P. vs. Fischetti) could
affect thousands of tickets issued in Inglewood. It has already
forced another city to suspend the operation of most of its cameras,
for 30 days.
See Defect # 6 and Defect # 10, on the Home page.
Inglewood, Feb. 18, 2005
Trials: Thirteen Dismissed, Eight Guilty
Feb. 18 trials were heard by Comm. Johnson. It appears that he
the regular Div. 1 judge for the foreseeable future - his name is now
permanently up over the door. The City was represented, as usual,
by Officers Young and Hollis.
There were 28 cases on the calendar, none of which were Trials by
judge began by dismissing eleven tickets all at once, at the request of
the officers. Neither the judge nor the officers said why the
tickets were being dismissed, but I
believe that they were a mix of Crenshaw / 108th tickets, pre-Aug. 19
Prairie / 111th tickets, and tickets with blurry face photos.
Later on in the trial session, there was another automatic dismissal,
for a Crenshaw /
The first defendant to try her case didn't ask the officers any
questions, nor did she present a defense. Comm. Johnson asked the
officers to show the photo of the driver. He then found the
The next defendant claimed she had run the light to get out of the way
of an emergency vehicle. However, there was no ambulance or fire
truck showing in the 12-second video, nor did the other cars appear to
be pulling over or otherwise acting like they heard a
siren. She did not ask for the face photo to be
shown. She was found guilty.
The next defendant said the signal was yellow when she crossed the
limit line. The movie showed it was red, so she was found guilty.
The next defendant asked the officers if 30-days warning had been given
- but did not include the words "...at
Officer Young answered, "Yes." She then asked the judge if
he thought the photo looked like her. The officers then displayed
a blow-up of the face photo and the judge commented, "It looks like
you, even the same hoop earrings." She was found guilty.
The next defendant complained that there were too many cameras.
Officer Young explained that all of the City's cameras are located at
the fifteen most dangerous intersections in town. The defendant
did not ask for the face photo to be shown. She was found guilty.
The next defendant had had a continuation of his case, so that he could
get evidence of an emergency vehicle he claimed was behind him.
He was not able to provide any evidence, nor did he ask for the face
photo to be shown, so was found guilty.
The next defendant said it wasn't him driving the car. The judge
agreed, and dismissed the case.
The next defendant said the camera was broken. The officers said
it was working OK. She was found guilty. She did not ask
for the face photo to be displayed.
The last defendant said she was waiting for the car in front of her to
turn, and was delayed as a result. She was found guilty.
All defendants who ask for it were granted traffic school.
The cases tried Feb. 18 were at
following intersections. The Late Time, or "duration," is in
111th (before Aug. 19) or Crenshaw / 108th: up to 12 tickets
dismissed, directions and Late Times unknown;
Century / Crenshaw: 1 eastbound left (0.23), 1 northbound left
Prairie / Century: 2 southbound lefts (0.98, 0.38), 2 northbound
lefts (1.49, 0.41);
Centinela / Florence: 3 southbound lefts (0.86, 0.61, 1.21).
All of the nine cases tried were for left turns, and of those left
turn violations, three (33%) would not have occurred if the yellow had
been set at 4.0 rather than 3.6.
Inglewood, Feb. 23, 2005:
Night Court Arraignments
On Feb. 23, Judge Eudon Ferrell handled the Night Court arraignments.
were at least three
defendants with Crenshaw / 108th tickets, and one with a pre-Aug. 19
Prairie / 111th ticket, but the judge did not dismiss
those tickets, even though the defendants told him about the dismissals
being done by the daytime judges. All but one of those defendants
then pled not guilty, will have to post the bail and come in for a
trial. One defendant was allowed to continue his arraignment so
that he could come back and appear in Judge Birnstein's court and try
to get his ticket dismissed without having to go to trial.
I continue to recommend: If you have a Crenshaw / 108th or
pre-Aug. 19 Prairie / 111th ticket, go to a morning arraignment, not
Inglewood, April 15, 2005: Staff Report to City Council
This staff report contains a wealth of information,
including ticket counts for all cameras.
It will be heard at the April 19 city council meeting. Come and
See Also Set # 4 on the
Inglewood Documents page.
Footnotes: Footnotes are explained on the main Camera Towns page.
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