What Do I Do About My Court Date?

As you can see here, the Municipal Courts closed unexpectedly today, so they could sort out an AC issue. Wouldn’t really care except that I have a court date today. Or I did. As you can see, I’m confused. (More so than usual.) So lawyerly FBvians, help me out: what do I do about my court date?

(To help with your response: it was a ticket for an expired inspection sticker. I took a court date since they wouldn’t let me pay at the window, and the only other option was the walk-in magistrate, and I didn’t have the time or memory for that.)


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19 responses to “What Do I Do About My Court Date?”

  1. mlh says:

    Can you pay it online?

  2. Nurrin says:

    I don’t know what you can do about the court date, but I would like to say that I share your pain (if you had any I guess…) because just yesterday evening I also received a ticket for my expired inspection sticker. Sigh.

  3. Topham Beauclerk says:

    I got tagged by a county constable for an expired inspection sticker. On the ticket, the mail-in fine was $210, but when I went to the JP court with proof that I had gotten the inspection done, they (a) sent me to the pay window, and (b) charged $21. Maybe muni court handles these things differently.

    Regardless, I think there’s a problem if folks who don’t know better (because they don’t want to deal with the government, or can’t take time off work, or for whatever reason) get hit with 10 times the fine that someone with more time or knowledge must pay.(And no, I’m not arguing that I should have paid the $210.)

  4. Zac Crain says:

    Here’s the thing. I expected Topham Beauclerk’s scenario. (This isn’t my first rodeo; I have a problem with inspection stickers.) But. When I got to the pay window, with my receipt from the inspection, fully ready to pay $20 or whatever, they said they don’t do that, and then gave me my magistrate options. It’s kind of ridiculous it’s been almost a year over this, and god knows what to do now, since my court appearance was postponed.

  5. bbb says:

    You must have the worst luck on earth, to actually be pulled over by a Dallas Police officer. Now, there’s something that doesn’t happen everyday!

  6. amandacobra says:

    Same thing happened to me (minus court taking a breather that day) and I had to take an entire day off work to sit in the courtroom to wait for the judge to call me up to the bench. I had the proof that I had had gotten the inspection done (I’m really bad about inspection and registration) but when I got up there, the judge said “did you get it taken care of?” and I said “yes” and he said “here” and handed me a slip to take to the cashier’s window. At 3:30pm. So I could stand in line for 45 minutes. To pay $20 court costs.

    If skateboarding weren’t still a crime, I would totally ‘board as my primary mode of transport.

  7. Bill says:

    Don’t think that using a skateboard is a safe way to avoid a ticket. The bike cops at White Rock will give you a ticket for rollerblading or skateboarding anywhere on the east side of the lake on the road. It’s $200. Even the sections that are closed to motor traffic.

    The magistrate court thing is really a good deal. You can handle routine tickets for inspections, misplaced insurance cards etc, without having to go through the whole court process. Only took me 10 minutes.

  8. Zac Crain says:

    OK, if we could stay on message. Do I drop by there tomorrow when/if it’s open? Go by on Monday? Wait for a rescheduled date in the mail? Send them a photocopy, $20, and a Ziggy card?

  9. JB says:

    I don’t understand why we can’t do the registration sticker and inspection sticker all in one swoop. I always have one or the other go out and forget too. But what I suggest to do is get a camera with a time stamp, go to the courts building, hold the aricle up in the DMN that shows they closed today, and at the same time show yourself pulling on the door. (I suugest a good grimmace and pose with both feet on the door with 2 hands on the handle and the article tucked under your arm with just enough hanging out to be recognizable.) Then, get the photo developed, maybe notorized as well then go there when it opens tomorrow or Monday and show them that you really tried your best to pay it. They’ll proabaly pat you on the head and feel sorry for you and you won’t have to pay anything. Oh, and wear one of those hats with a propeller on top when you go.

  10. amandacobra says:

    I would think Cathy or Dilbert is far more apropos.

    I would go by tomorrow. There will probably be many people like you and it will be chaos but they will most likely be handing out some sort of information about rescheduling court dates. Godspeed.

  11. MIssing Dots says:

    No wonder all the of the apricots were gone.

  12. Bethany says:

    I don’t know, Zac, but I’m the paranoid sort. In your shoes, I’d like to be on record as many places as possible as having tried to do the right thing. You can leave an e-mail message here: http://www.ci.dallas.tx.us/forms/courts_mail_form.htm

    and I’d probably call one or all of these numbers and see if there’s at least a recording that gives some instructions:

  13. Who knows when you’ll have to go back, but I had to do a similar deal and didn’t even have to pay because the cop didn’t show up. It was completely dismissed without a fine.

  14. jrp says:

    easiest solution – keep registration, inspection up to date

    i know, i know, bills are a real pain in the ass and all, especially the ones with the deadlines, but just saying a little preventive maintenance goes a long way

  15. Zac Crain says:

    Don’t be that guy, jrp. Come on.

  16. H.H.A.S. says:

    NO WONDER I got an awesome parking spot in the garage I have a contract at across the street. Level 1!!!!

  17. jrp says:

    dude, i’m just speaking as a guy that’s had way too many parking/traffic violations over the years and spent way too much time, money, and effort getting things in order

    including a very similar scenario to what you had…about a year ago, i took a court date for a moving violation here in Dallas, only to have it rain that day and two judges decide not to come in and, well, let’s just say folks in line at the courthouse got a little upset, i was able to find a competent employee and simply got another court date

    i think you can expect to see your date rescheduled but you have to stay on them and make sure, which is the really pain in the ass part

  18. Zac Crain says:

    See, now we’re talking. That’s what I wanted.

  19. Darr says:

    come on….take care of your business…..I’m just a spare guy but I’m scared of those boys in blue. You’re my neighbor dude and I’d like to have a regular guy in the mayor’s office but you gotta take care of the basics…potholes and inspection stickers!