V C Section 40255 Toll Evasion Administrative Review

Toll Evasion: Administrative Review

40255.  (a) Within 21 days from the issuance of the notice of toll evasion violation, or within 15 days from the mailing of the notice of delinquent toll evasion, whichever occurs later, a person may contest a notice of toll evasion violation or a notice of delinquent toll evasion. In that case, the processing agency shall do the following:

(1) The processing agency shall either investigate with its own records and staff or request that the issuing agency investigate the circumstances of the notice with respect to the contestant's written explanation of reasons for contesting the toll evasion violation. If, based upon the results of that investigation, the processing agency is satisfied that the violation did not occur or that the registered owner was not responsible for the violation, the processing agency shall cancel the notice of toll evasion violation and make an adequate record of the reasons for canceling the notice. The processing agency shall mail the results of the investigation to the person who contested the notice of toll evasion violation or the notice of delinquent toll evasion violation.

(2) If the person contesting a notice of toll evasion violation or notice of delinquent toll evasion violation is not satisfied with the results of the investigation provided for in paragraph (1), the person may, within 15 days of the mailing of the results of the investigation, deposit the amount of the toll evasion penalty and request an administrative review. After January 1, 1996, an administrative hearing shall be held within 90 calendar days following the receipt of a request for an administrative hearing, excluding any time tolled pursuant to this article. The person requesting the hearing may request one continuance, not to exceed 21 calendar days.

(b) The administrative review procedure shall consist of the following:

(1) The person requesting an administrative review shall indicate to the processing agency his or her election for a review by mail or personal conference.

(2) If the person requesting an administrative review is a minor, that person shall be permitted to appear at an administrative review or admit responsibility for a toll evasion violation without the necessity of the appointment of a guardian. The processing agency may proceed against that person in the same manner as if that person were an adult.

(3) (A) The administrative review shall be conducted before a reviewer designated to conduct the review by the issuing agency's governing body or chief executive officer. In the case of violations on facilities developed pursuant to Section 143 of the Streets and Highways Code, the processing agency shall contract with a public agency or a private entity that has no financial interest in the facility for the provision of administrative review services pursuant to this subdivision. The costs of those administrative review services shall be included in the administrative fees authorized by this article.

(B) In addition to any other requirements of employment, a reviewer shall demonstrate those qualifications, training, and objectivity prescribed by the issuing agency's governing body or chief executive as are necessary and which are consistent with the duties and responsibilities set forth in this article.

(C) The examiner's continued employment, performance evaluation, compensation, and benefits shall not be directly or indirectly linked to the amount of fines collected by the examiner.

(4) The officer or person authorized to issue a notice of toll evasion violation shall not be required to participate in an administrative review. The issuing agency shall not be required to produce any evidence other than the notice of toll evasion violation or copy thereof, information received from the department identifying the registered owner of the vehicle, and a statement under penalty of perjury from the person reporting the violation. The documentation in proper form shall be considered prima facie evidence of the violation.

(5) For a toll evasion violation that occurs on a vehicular crossing or toll highway where the issuing agency allows pay-by-plate toll payment, as defined in subdivision (e) of Section 23302, the officer or person authorized to issue a notice of toll evasion violation shall not be required to participate in an administrative review. The issuing agency shall not be required to produce any evidence other than the notice of toll evasion violation or copy thereof, information received from the department identifying the registered owner of the vehicle, and a statement from the officer or person authorized to issue a notice of toll evasion that the tolls or other charges and any applicable fee was not paid in accordance with the issuing agency’s policies for pay-by-plate toll payment. Any officer or person who knowingly provides false information pursuant to this paragraph shall be subject to a civil penalty for each violation in the minimum amount of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) up to a maximum amount of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500). An action for a civil penalty may be brought by any public prosecutor in the name of the people of the State of California. The documentation in proper form shall be considered prima facie evidence of the violation.

(6) The review shall be conducted in accordance with the written procedure established by the processing agency which shall ensure fair and impartial review of contested toll evasion violations. The agency's final decision may be delivered personally or by first-class mail.

Amended Sec. 3, Ch. 459, Stats. 2009. Effective January 1, 2010.