How I beat a $700 ticket in 30 seconds in court
By Martin Hill



6/21/12: Attention Superior Court Of San Bernardino. Record logs reveal that your official ISP has visited this page "Multiple visits spread over more than one day" - at least four times since January. For goodness sakes, why don't you quit surfing the web, quit wasting our tax dollars, and do some work.

The purpose of this article is to illustrate to motorists, particularly in California, that it is very easy to challenge and beat all types of traffic tickets. I encourage everyone to do so. [Here are the latest examples of this:
- 81 year old man beats red-light camera ticket, newspaper credits with know-how
- Ca motorist beats fifth traffic ticket through the mail

Last November I got a ticket from a CHP cop for an alleged logbook violation. I was in San Bernardino County, on I40 going eastbound in the passenger seat of a commercial vehicle. My partner and I saw a big rig getting pulled over directly in front of us. The cop then pointed at us and made us stop too. My partner had allegedly bypassed an inpromptu commercial truck checkpoint which was being held at a rest stop. Neither one of us had seen any signs notifying drivers of this impromptu checkpoint. They do indeed set up checkpoints at rest areas from time to time, but I certainly didn't see any notifications of this.

Nevertheless, since I was in the front seat the cop, Officer Nelson, demanded to see my logbook (which he has a right to do if I am in the front seat of a commercial truck, even if I am not driving. (Please note that if you're not in a commercial vehicle and are not engaged in commerce, "the passenger is under no obligation to comply with a request for ID.") I do not know Nelson's first name since CHP has a policy of not revealing their officer's full names for some reason.

He issued me a citation for not having my logbook available. Before signing the ticket, I asked for the County Seat, which meant that the cop would have to drive to the courthouse in the city of San Bernardino, (approx. 100 miles away) instead of his local courthouse. Choosing the option for change of venue, The "County Seat" (the main courthouse of whatever county you're in when cited) is an option for all motorists in California if they live or work closer to the county seat than where the ticket is given. In my case, the city of San Bernardino, while not where I live, was many miles closer to where I live than in the middle of nowhere on I40.

The cop said he'd give it to me, but when he gave me the ticket to sign, he had not written the county seat courthouse on the line which contains the address of the court where you're promising to appear. I informed him again that I want the county seat, and he said he would change the address later.

Only a dope would accept such nonsense. Once a cop writes his local court address and you sign the ticket, there is nothing that would require him to give you the county seat after the fact. So I wrote "UNDER PROTEST 40502B" and signed it. This was just in case he did not transfer the ticket to the county seat courthouse later, I would contact the judge and demand the change of jurisdiction to the county seat, as is all motorists right under the vehicle code. [See my 2013 video regarding this matter: Lunatic CHP cops go berserk as female motorist successfully demands her rights under CA Vehicle code.]

After all, these cops love the law so much. Right? They love enforcing the law, they're "LAW AND ORDER" guys! That's what they tell us anyway. Well then they better adhere to their own damn laws just like we have to.

The true reason that pigs don't want to give you the county seat AS REQUIRED BY California law if you demand it, is because they don't want to have to drive out of their way. They want to drive ten minutes to their local podunk court, and inconvenience you. Too bad.

When the cop saw what I wrote, he became agitated and claimed that "Now I could charge you with any number of things". Well, since I've demanded the county seat for every ticket I've gotten in the past ten years, I knew this was nonsense. I didn't refuse to sign the ticket, I had just made a short notation of my redress of grievances in case the cop didnt change the venue to San Bernardino court later, as he had promised. I explained this to him and he accepted it, and we went our separate ways.

The first thing I did a week prior to my arraignment date was file an extension over the phone. An arraignment is simply a court date in which you plead guilty or not guilty. I got a few extensions over the phone, so it was 2011 by the time my arraignment date came around. I got a notice in the mail with the bail amount for this ticket. It was nearly $700! Obscene insanity!

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In California, everyone has a right to file what's called a TRIAL BY DECLARATION. This simply means that you have a trial through the mail. You can see copies of the form on this page. As I've explained in previous articles, my friend John Shanahan has beaten five tickets through the mail. We document each of his victories and post all the court documents. Courts will ask you to pay your bail along with your declaration. You can do this, but since I am a cheapskate, I never do it. I ask for an OR, otherwise known as an "own recognizance". In other words, a bail waiver. You assure them that you will show up at your court date without having to post bail. It is up to the judge whether or not he allows you to waive the bail. It depends on the city, but some courts even allow you to get a bail waiver at the clerk's window. It doesn't hurt to ask.

In my case, since I wanted a bail waiver, they demanded I show up in court in person for my arraignment and speak to the judge. So I did this and the judge gave me a bail waiver. I didn't have to pay the $700 bucks bail. I then asked for a trial by declaration. The great thing about this is that a trial by declaration, if you're found guilty you are entitled, under California law, to request a TRIAL DE NOVO. A Trial de novo ("of new", in Latin) is not an appeal, but rather a brand new trial, in person. So, what have you got to lose by doing it through the mail? Nothing. It seems that almost no one knows about this option, but it is very easy.

My trial date was set and both parties (defendant and prosecution) had to submit our declaration by July 1st 2011. About a week and a half before the due date, I printed out the form, wrote the words NOT GUILTY, and mailed it in. As you will see in the case of John Shanahan I mentioned above, if an officer (who is the witness for the prosecution) in your case does not submit his declaration, the case is generally dismissed by the judge for lack of prosecution, "in the interest of justice".

Around July 5th, I got something in the mail which said that the officer had not submitted his paperwork. However, he had also claimed that he had never been notified of the trial, and requested that the court give him more time to submit his paperwork. Without even notifying me, a traffic commissioner named W Charles Bradley held a hearing on this matter and granted the prosecution several additional weeks to submit their paperwork. Say what?! What kind of nonsense is that? Not submitting your paperwork on time is just like not showing up to court. If I, the defendant, had not shown up to court, do you think I could have gotten an extra month from the judge for another try?

So, in mid July, the cop submitted his paperwork saying I am guilty, and Commissioner Bradley ruled that I was guilty.

When I got the notice in the mail stating I was convicted, within 2 weeks I mailed in my form demanding my TRIAL DE NOVO. On that form, I notified the court of my intent to file an official complaint against Bradley for judicial misconduct. (that is an important point, as you will see later). A few weeks later I recieved notice from the court that my TRIAL DE NOVO was granted, that the conviction was therefore vacated, and a brand new trial was set for in person, in the San Bernardino Superior Court. [Do you understand now why I was so adamant about demanding the county seat almost a year prior? Now, the lying jackboot must drive almost 100 miles for court.]

Just to show how crooked they were, a month prior to my trial I sent in a letter (certified with return reciept) to the court politely requesting an extension on the trial date. After all, I, unlike the cop, had an actual legitimate excuse for my request. I was out of the state and it would be more convenient to reschedule. And remember, I requested an extension over a month prior to the trial date, not a week after the trial was over, as the pig cop did.

A few weeks later I got a letter from the court stating that my request was DENIED. I guess the serfs can not get extensions for any reason prior to a trial, but prosecution witnesses can get extensions for a trials that were already overwith a week ago.

When I went to court, the same Commissioner Bradley who had given a retroactive extension to the prosecution witness yet had refused to give me a legitimate extension, was the judge who was slated to hear my case. How charming. I waited in line with the hundred or so other defendants and eventually got herded into the courtroom.

As they called out all the names of defendants and corresponding officer witnesses, I realized that the officer who had given me the ticket was present in court. The trials began, and one after another, the commisioner ruled each defendant guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. It seemed that no matter what the defendants or their witnesses said, the commisioner (a government employee) ruled for the government and ordered the person to pay the fine. He had a particularly caustic and negative attitude toward defendants and tended to dismiss whatever they said. Granted, most of them did not present competent defenses to the charges. It was embarrasing to see how abysmal they had neglected to prepare. (One older gentleman, who had been seated next to me and was reading a book about archeology in South America, did win his case). This went on for over an hour and finally my case was called. Officer Nelson and I proceeded to stand at the bench before the judge. The judge started jibbering something, but I spoke up and told the commissioner "Before we begin, I would like to go on record requesting that you recuse yourself from this case".

His face contorted and he sneered "on what grounds!?" It took me less than 30 seconds to explain.

I replied, "I have already notified the court of my intent to file an official judicial complaint against you. They have acknowledged reciept of my notice. If you like, I can go into the details."

Since I had notified the court of my intent to file a complaint against the commissioner for his extremely innapropriate actions regarding the retroactive extension, he had no legitimate right to rule on any case involving me, as far as I was concerned.

An awkward hush came over the court as Bradley shuffled some paperwork and told me to go to a courtroom down the hall. Apparently he did not want me to air the details of my complaint in open court for all to hear. Go figure.

[NOTE: has an excellent page explaining how to Challenge (Disqualifying) the Judge in California Traffic Trials: If you want to get a different judge, there are three ways to do it. - including a Peremptory Challenge ("PC")(pronounced pur-emptory, not pre-emptory).]

I was sent to the courtroom of a very nice judge, Commissioner Michael A. Knish, the same one who I had appeared for at the arraignment of this case. It is very rare for me to refer to a judge as nice, but this judge Michael Knish actually seems like a genuinely nice and fair person. Officer Nelson and I waited over two more hours before we were called. This court was very busy, and was filled with cases of parents who were in court for kids with school attendance problems. One after another after another, the cases were heard as the minutes and hours ticked on. Tick. Tick. Tick. The officer had a stack of papers and files with him for my case. He seemed to believe he was well prepared, and also appeared irritated at the fact he had to wait so long. I thought that was funny. Well, he's a whore for the state, and wants my seven hundred bucks, so I'm making him work for it. He already drove over 100 miles to get here - hope he enjoyed it.

When my case was finally called, the judge started to address us but I began exactly as I had done in the first courtroom. "Before we begin, I'd like to request that this case be dismissed", I said. Surprised, the judge asked me to briefly explain why I think it should be dismissed. It took about 30 seconds for me to do so before he dismissed the case.

I told him that in my arraignment when I requested the trial by declaration, he himself had issued the order that our paperwork was due three days before the trial date of July 1st. I told him that I had submitted my paperwork long before that date, (showed him a copy) and I also showed him a copy of his courtroom's record from that day which stated, "OFFICER'S STATEMENT SUBPOENAED". "It says officer notified right here, and it has your own clerk's name on it", I said. I then told him of "the extremely dubious and completely unsubstanciated claim on the prosecution's part that the officer had not been notified of the trial by declaration." I then mentioned that commissioner Bradley had given them an extension after the trial date was passed, and even worse, without even notifying me at all, a blatant violation of due process. He looked over his paperwork and acknowledged that the papers in the original trial by declaration were due July 1st, and that I was not notified of any hearing regarding the prosecution's request for an extension. He also noted that more than 45 days had passed between the arraignment and the trial. Cases must be adjudicated within 45 days of arraignment, unless the defendant waives that right, which he noted, I had not. The judge then dismissed the case in the interest of justice. Officer Nelson seemed visibly annoyed at the outcome. The poor sap never even had a chance to speak one word in court! I thanked the judge, and walked out with a full wallet.

Update 7/29/14: One caveat, since this article is one of the most popular on my website and is visited by local, state & federal courts regularly: I thought I would add the story of what happened immediately following my victory, which I left out these details when I originally wrote the article. On the way out of the courtroom, I couldn't help but gloat to "Officer Nelson" and laughed, telling him "Ha! You can read about yourself on the internet!" The psycho replied by saying "Are you threatening me?" Now, when a cop implies under color of law that you are "threatening" him, that is basically a threat from him, implying that he is going to lay false charges on you just to screw with you. This actually happened to a friend of mine in 2010, whom, cops in a courthouse did not like. [See INFOWARS.COM, WeAreChangeLA Organizer Faces Terrorist Charge.]

This behavior on the part of "Officer Nelson" illustrates the psychotic criminality of these revenue agent pigs. I acted quickly, to avert false charges. Since we had just stepped out of Judge Knish's courtroom, I loudly said "WRITING ON THE INTERNET IS NOT ILLEGAL NOR IS IT A THREAT, WE HAVE WHAT'S CALLED THE FIRST AMENDMENT. YOU WANT TO TAKE IT UP WITH THE JUDGE? LET'S GO!" in earshot of the bailiff and everyone else. I immediately turned walking back into the courtroom, and spoke to the bailiff telling him I need to speak to the judge about the threats given by CHP Officer Nelson. The bailiff told me that since the hearing was over, I could not speak to the judge, but I outlined the complaint in detail and got the bailiff's name. I then called the CHP and spoke to Officer Nelson's supervisor, who listened to me and agreed that the officer had no valid claim just because he didn't like my sneering at him. I pointed out that if I wanted to, I could have rightly told Nelson FUCK YOU, since that is protected free speech in America too. Nelson's supervisor conceded that was true. I told him that Nelson shouldn't get his "widdle feewings" hurt just because I kicked his ass in court. These people are dangerous and constantly abuse their power.

Always remember to make these disgusting pigs work for your money. Make them prove their case, and invoke your due process rights. It is not difficult! Stand up for liberty!

Note: I am not a lawyer and do not give legal advice. I only share my experiences. See the full index of traffic ticket archives here.
I highly recommend the website, which is where I learned all of this stuff over ten years ago. I have beaten over ten tickets in court since then.

"But he said: Woe to you lawyers also, because you load men with burdens which they cannot bear and you yourselves touch not the packs with one of your fingers." Luke 11:46


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Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 TV Los Angeles, The Press Enterprise,,,,, Economic Policy Journal, FreedomsPhoenix, Haaretz, TMZ, Veterans Today, Jonathan Turley blog, The Dr. Katherine Albrecht Show, National Motorists Association,, WorldNetDaily,,, Dr. Kevin Barrett's Truth Jihad radio show,,, Los Angeles Catholic Lay Mission Newspaper, KFI AM 640,, Redlands Daily Facts, BlackBoxVoting, The Michael Badnarik Show, The Wayne Madsen Report,,, The Contra Costa Times, Pasadena Star News, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, L.A. Harbor Daily Breeze,,, Whittier Daily News, KCLA FM Hollywood, The Fullerton Observer,, From The Trenches World Report, and many others. Archives can be found at and DontWakeMeUp.Org.


Motorist puts police in their place at suspicionless internal checkpoint December 2, 2012 [Must see video- Featured on].

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