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California Rules of Court, Rules 4.106 and 4.335

If you are a defendant on a traffic/infraction ticket, you have the right to petition the Court to reduce or vacate the civil assessment or for a judicial officer to determine if you have the ability to pay your fine. For more information about the California Rules of Court, you may click here.

Reduce or Vacate Civil Assessment

You must ask the Court, in writing, for a review of your circumstances for failing to appear or failing to pay. You will have the option to have the Court make a determination based upon your declaration and supporting documents or request to appear before a judicial officer to be heard on this matter. Once received, the petition will be reviewed by a judicial officer who will determine if your failure to appear was for good cause.

Ability-to-Pay Determination

You may ask the Court for an ability-to-pay determination at sentencing or while the judgment remains unpaid. Your petition will be reviewed by a judicial officer to determine your ability to pay your fine.

The court may:

  1. Allow you to make installment payments;
  2. Complete community service to satisfy your fine;
  3. Suspend the fine, in part or in whole;
  4. Set the matter for a hearing; or
  5. Deny the petition.


The petition can be filed in person or mailed to the court location indicated on the citation. At the time you submit the petition, provide the Court with any supporting documentation you want the judicial officer to consider in making their decision. Once the judicial officer has made their determination, you will be notified in writing.

Information on how to fill out a petition form can be found by clicking here.

The petition can be obtained from any traffic court location or by clicking here.

A petition to reduce or vacate the civil assessment does not stay any order requiring payment of bail, fines, penalties, fees, or assessments unless specifically ordered by the court.

Art Showcased in
Los Angeles Courthouse Jury Rooms
"Zzyzx Road" by Chris Smith
2009 Juror’s Choice Award

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