New Law In Arizona That Bans Alternative Service

A law that took effect January 1 stops the state from suspending a driver’s license in photo enforcement cases wherein an “alternative service” is used. The alternative service is a special court action that allows a process server to post the violation notice on the person’s front door.

Cities in Arizona that use the speed-and-red light cameras include Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler and EL Mirage but Scottsdale is the only city that makes use of alternative service to ensure compliance of its camera-ticket program. This means that the new law will only affect Scottsdale which is the state’s toughest photo-radar town.

The new law which is perceived to reward violators that dodge process servers is only the latest of the attacks on speed-and-red light cameras. Last year, state Attorney General Mark Brnovich released an official opinion that vendors like ATS and Redflex have to obtain private investigator licenses. The opinion managed to stop programs around the state for a few weeks while the vendors are completing paperwork.

The biggest problem of machine-generated tickets in Arizona is the ease with which they can be ignored. The traffic ticket must be handed personally to the violator by a process server. If the violation notice is mailed, the notice can be easily thrown to the garbage.

For years, Scottsdale has tried to fight back against the growing number of violators who do not open their doors to process servers even if the offender’s car is visibly parked in the driveway. The city has 90 days to be able to serve a ticket after a case has been filed in court; otherwise the case is dismissed by the court and the violator does not pay the penalty. On the other hand, if the violator is served with the ticket, he has to deal with the ticket as if it was received from a police officer and has to pay an extra $40 for the process server.

Serving a Legal Document has its share of challenges particularly if the violator is violent; however, there are process servers who can successfully serve court and legal documents at first attempt in accordance with specific instructions.