On the morning of Nov. 18, 2015, at exactly 10:13, I was pulled over after turning left out of a gas station. The police officer, a man by the name of Allen, could not have been nicer. He said I missed the sign that said NO LEFT TURNS—one I didn’t see, but one I’m relatively sure he wasn’t lying about. We chatted a bit, he gave me a ticket and even highlighted, near the bottom, this …
A. Pay a fine.
B. Schedule a court date.
Well, when I finally reached a human being, he told me I couldn’t do anything until the officer filed the ticket. Not only that—he said (nicely) this was 100-percent my responsibility; that under California law I was the one who had to check and check and check and check until the officer properly filed. And, ultimately, if I overlooked/missed his filing (which he could do any time before Jan. 6, apparently), I could have my license suspended, face a huge fine, etc. He admitted, in not so many words, that this is bullshit. “A lot of people complain,” he said. “But it is what it is.” He then stapled this to my ticket, and said I could check and see from my laptop when the officer files …
Again, that was several weeks ago.
Since then, I’ve checked.
I’ve probably checked 10 times, if not a bit more. Every single time, I get this …
Now, truly, I’m at a loss. You call the phone numbers, no human ever answers. I check the website, nothing new ever pops up. Do I simply move on with my life? Do I return to the window, so the clerk can shrug dismissively my way? It’s all ridiculously unfair, and strikes me as a way for the state to make money on the backs of people just trying to pay their damn tickets and go about life.
PS: A friend read this post, suggested I file for an extension. OK, solid idea. So I go to the link, and—yes, you can file for an extension. If you have an OC Pay number. Which you can’t have … if the officer hasn’t filed the ticket.