Thursday, December 20, 2012

Confused about fees to appeal a speeding ticket?

The $25 fee to challenge a speeding ticket issued by an officer is clear enough.  The motorist can request a noncriminal hearing on the back of the citation and mail the citation, together with a $25 filing fee, to the registry of motor vehicles at the address indicated within 20 days.  See Mass GL c 90C, § 3[A][4], first sentence.  But the fee to appeal a finding of "responsible" at a magistrate's hearing is not so clear.  The Uniform Rules of Civil Motor Vehicle Infractions states at Rule (b)(3), "There shall be no filing fee for such appeal."  But the District Court's "Frequently Asked Questions" page, at #14, states, "You must pay a non-refundable $20 appeal fee to the clerk-magistrate's office before your appeal to a judge is heard."  Moreover, Mass GL c 90C, § 3[A][4], paragraph 4, states, "Any violator so appealing the decision of a magistrate shall be responsible for paying a fee of $50 prior to the scheduling of the appeal hearing before a justice."  The $50 filing fee is also referenced on the District Court's Filing Fees web page.