All power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Lord Acton
Recently, I appeared in Santa Barbara County Superior Court to contest a traffic citation I received for running a red light on my bicycle.
To my dismay, I was informed by the judge the officer could not appear, so I would have to return several weeks later.
Heretofore, when an officer didn’t appear, the citation was dismissed, as seems appropriate.
On my summons to appear I am required to give notice 10 calendar days in advance of the court date if I cannot appear.
It is unbelievable, that now, without notice to the defendant, an officer may not appear for court and a defendant must then appear at a later date. It seems akin to double jeopardy.
This change in the law is a great burden to defendants. Having prepared, stressed and traveled to the courthouse, he or she must do so again.
To put the courts and the SBPD above suspicion, the practice of peace officers not appearing in court without notice to the defendant, while continuing their citation, should desist forthwith.
Clearly the scales of justice have been tipped against defendants.