5-Mar-2010 (Fri)
Wherein the extortion for "sidewalk standing" is paid.

You may recall that last month, we got our second ticket for allegedly "blocking the sidewalk" (which we weren't). The previous ticket we got for that same bullshit charge became mysteriously invalid with no explanation of what exactly that means.

Well, David and Barry went down to the so-called Hall of Justice yesterday to try and deal with this second ticket, and were told: "It's not in the system yet, but you can pay it now anyway. It will be $169." (Paying it doesn't mean we can't still get a court date to fight it: if you dispute a ticket you have to pay it first anyway.)

In hindsight, it occurs to me that if they had waited to pay it until it was "entered into the system" we might have found that it would never actually be entered into the system, or that it would have again been mysteriously "invalidated". I assume that paying it has made it "real". But, whatever; they had already waited in line for hours to get this far. That isn't free.

Now that I think about it, I believe this is the very first "valid" SFPD citation we've ever gotten in the nine years that we've been open.

Also, photos are up of the recent Hubba Hubba, Bohemian Carnival, and Fog City Wrestling shows.

8 Responses:

  1. pavel_lishin says:

    I assume that paying it has made it "real".

    That might be a good thing; since you're the only club that seems to be interested in fighting this fight, you could set the precedent that having customers isn't a crime.

    Otherwise, they could continue harassing you with mysterious disappearing tickets.

    Alternatively, both the ticket and the money could disappear from the system. But that's too pessimistic to be an actual outcome, right? Right?

  2. ltharris74 says:

    You have to pay it before you dispute it?!? That sounds like something the old Soviets would have come up with.

    Edit: Come to think about it, everything about your predicament sounds like something the Soviets would have come up with.

    • latemodel says:

      Many things about American government sound like something the old Soviets would have come up with. To wit, the preface to my Lonely Planet Eastern Europe guidebook said something like,

      'It used to be that taking pictures of anything deemed strategic, like bridges and train stations, would get you thrown in jail. Things are considerably more relaxed these days, but you should still avoid photographing actual military installations.'

      Suffice to say, taking photographs of strategic installations such as bridges and train stations can be a very bad idea in the US these days.

  3. cattycritic says:

    I'm not sure how this works for things that are not traffic citations, but if it works the same way, your deadline to pay is extended until it "goes into the system."

    If that's the case then next time (hopefully there won't be one), you should be able to call the courthouse to find out ahead of time, and also find out when the new deadline to pay is. You might even be able to pay online (as I did with my traffic citation recently). It did mean a once a week call to the courthouse, but that was only 5 minutes each time. Better than 3 hours standing in line, for sure.

    If it's not applicable, then I at least hope this is helpful information for readers who've gotten traffic citations in SF.

    @ltharris74:
    You don't have to pay before you dispute it, IIRC - if you don't pay it you are promising to show up in court on the date specified, which is where you'd dispute it. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong (because I too would like to know for next time).

  4. So can we assume that Officer Dickwad is deliberately not putting these citations into the system?

  5. Jamie,
    In the future, should you receive another of these erroneous tickets... Wait for the club to receive a copy of said ticket in the mail before moving forward with payment, or protest. Like parking tickets and moving violations, they are supposed to send you another copy in the mail once it has been filed and processed, within a month on average.
    If you dont get this second ticket within a month, you can call and check on status of a ticket (citation #) before going in, and avoid this from happening in the future...

    • pavel_lishin says:

      Like parking tickets and moving violations, they are supposed to send you another copy in the mail once it has been filed and processed, within a month on average.

      Huh, I did not know this was a thing that happened. I mean, it makes sense - if some jerk pulls a ticket off your windshield, you might not know you ever received one - but hm.