IRLJ 2.1 - Notice of InfractionComments for IRLJ 2.1 must be received no later than April 30, 2010.
GR 9 COVER SHEET
Proposed Amendment to Infraction Rules for Courts of Limited Jurisdiction (IRLJ)
Purpose: The suggested changes to IRLJ 2.1 (b) and 3.1 (d) will resolve an issue regarding the required contents of the uniform notice of infraction.
At present, IRLJ 2.1 (b) states that:
(b) Contents. The notice of infraction shall contain the following information on the copy given to the defendant, except the information required by subsections (2) is not required on a notice of infraction alleging the commission of a parking, standing, or stopping infraction:
(9) Any additional information determined necessary by the Administrator for the Courts.
The notice of infraction approved by the Administrator for the Courts now includes three separate spaces for the telephone numbers of the defendant—work, home and cell numbers. An issue has arisen in cases where the officer has failed to inscribe all three telephone numbers on the notice of infraction. Defendants are requesting that the courts dismiss their citations on the grounds that the word “shall” in IRLJ 2.1 (b) makes mandatory the inclusion of all three telephone numbers.
However, the infraction court rules are clear that an infraction should be dismissed only if there is prejudice to substantial rights of the defendant. At present, IRLJ 3.1 (d) states as follows:
Failure to include all three of the defendant’s telephone numbers will not usually prejudice the “substantial rights of the defendant”, because the defendant is already familiar with his or her telephone numbers and because that information will have no bearing on whether or not the defendant committed the charged infraction. However, it can be argued that the officer’s failure to include the numbers is more of an “omission” than a “defect” or “imperfection”. Therefore, the DMCJA suggests that the rule be amended to include the word “omission”.
Adding the phrase “subject to IRLJ 3.1 (d)” to the beginning of IRLJ 2.1 (b) will clarify that courts and parties should look to IRLJ 3.1 (d) for the standard to apply to decide motions based on the sufficiency of the information in the notice of infraction. Adding the word “omission” to IRLJ 3.1 (d) will clarify that the omission of information that does not prejudice substantial rights of the defendant is not grounds for dismissal of the infraction.
Finally, there appears to be a clerical error in IRLJ 2.1 (b), which refers to “subsections” (2). It is suggested that this be changed to “subsection” (2).
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