Philadelphia Traffic Court says goodbye

Traffic Court says goodbye – future of tickets says hello

English: Seal of the city of ,
English: Seal of the city of , (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Philadelphia Traffic Court, one of the few courts in America that is actually mandated in a state’s constitution, will soon be no more.  Many have focused on the corruption and back room deals that have plagued the court recently, but others, myself included, will miss the efficiency of traffic court.  There are very few courts that can say they actually focus or specialize on only one area of law.  You would be hard pressed to name over 5.  This gave the court the ability, in my opinion, and expertise, to handle matters efficiently under Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Code.

My clients were always appreciative that lists were called by those represented by attorneys first, and non-represented parties second.  No one wanted to spend their entire day in Philadelphia Traffic Court, and having a lawyer made sure that you didn’t have to.  It also made sure that negotiations could be readily reached.  The Judges were fair and acceptable to deals worked out between the City/police and the party.  Under the new scheme, judges will be no more. Instead, there will be non-elected hearing officers.  “Municipal Court will hire hearing officers to handle traffic cases,” says Erik Arneson, a Pileggi spokesman.  “There’s no set number, but we would anticipate it would be in the range of probably five to seven.  That’s the number of judges that Traffic Court had.”  What can one expect from a hearing officer? Only time will tell.

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