3 On Your Side

El Mirage wants fee paid for dismissed ticket

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

A photo radar ticket was dismissed because a car was registered to a West Valley man who wasn't driving, someone else was. So the ticket was tossed in 2012. Still, the City of El mirage wants its $144 and officials say they have every right to collect.

Photo radar cameras that once lined Grand avenue in El Mirage were removed two years ago after being banned by the state.

But although the cameras are gone now, try telling that to Chad Corson.

“This is a photo radar case that was dismissed in 2012, 6 years ago that's coming back to haunt me now.”

It was in July 2012 when Corson says he allowed a friend to borrow his Ford Focus. However, that friend got caught speeding by one of those cameras in El Mirage along Grand Avenue and Corson was mailed the ticket since the Ford Focus was registered to him. But Corson says since he wasn't the driver speeding, the ticket was never taken care of.

“He never told me that he got caught in the photo radar. I didn't know anything about it until afterwards it was during the day when it happened, so he maybe never even saw the flashes

As a result, El Mirage City Court sent a process server to Corson’s home who served paperwork demanding Chad to appear in court for that ticket. After Corson showed the court the driver in the ticket did not resemble him in anyway, the ticket was dismissed.

But six years later, Corson says El Mirage City Court is still harassing him for money.

"I'm completely innocent, I have a dismissed case by the officer six years ago."

Turns out, El Mirage City Court is now after Corson for that process server it sent to his house six years ago.

That $26 process server fee has now ballooned to $144 with late fees. And get this, unless Corson pays the $144, he won't be able to renew his registration with the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division.

"Figured everything was cleared up and then, now six years later, I can't renew my vehicle."

3 On Your Side turned to El Mirage for answers. City and court officials refused to talk to us on camera, but over the phone they said they have every right to collect the now inflated $144 processor fee. Tyler Allen isn't surprised.

"A significant amount of revenue comes from traffic tickets."

Allen is a Valley attorney and much of his work deals with traffic citations. He read us the state statute that allows cities to collect for processor fees even though the original ticket was thrown out of court.

"Failure to respond to the notice may result in official service that may result in additional fee being levied."

The keyword "may," meaning the court doesn't have to pursue money, especially after six years.

"In situations like this, it's very frustrating. The law needs to be changed, so if the ticket is dismissed the ticket and process service fee should be dismissed with it."

Corson says he's disgusted and claims El Mirage must be desperate for money and says he'll have to pay the ridiculous fee if he wants to renew his registration.

"The car is very important, it's my transportation to and from work. I need it to make a living."

Again, Corson finds it very interesting he's been able to renew his registration for the past five or six years and that El Mirage is just now pursuing him for money.

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Warren TrentWarren Trent is currently employed by KTVK/KPHO-TV in Phoenix, Arizona as an investigative and consumer producer for 3 On Your Side, a unit that earned a 2013 Rocky Mountain Emmy nomination for a report on expired tires and a 2015 an Emmy nomination for a report called "Mattress Madness."

Click to learn more about Warren.

Warren Trent
3 On Your Side

Warren previously did on-air reporting for the KTVK/KPHO-TV “Varsity Zone” sports show. Warren’s versatility continues to shine as he has worked on the assignment desk, as a news writer and as a field producer.

Warren is a seasoned television journalist whose progressive TV career began at 6ABC-TV in Philadelphia with "Action News," a favorite choice for millions of viewers for decades. While at 6ABC, Warren advanced through the ranks in unprecedented success as a sound technician, an assignment editor, a video editor, a sports producer, a bureau chief, a public affairs specialist and ultimately as programming producer. In his final role at 6ABC, Warren produced a top-rated, award-winning television news magazine show and also lead producer for the "High School Huddle" sports show. Warren has also been assigned to cover both global and national news stories.

In addition to broadcasting, Warren enjoys contributing to society as a mentor and volunteer. He is president of the Arizona Association of Black Journalists and a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

Warren has also volunteered by serving on the board of directors for Image and Attitude, a New Jersey-based nonprofit specializing in self-sufficiency for women and has also served on the board for The VIP Project, which supports autism awareness.

Warren says it is an honor to serve on the NATAS Board of Governors to work with a diverse group of professionals dedicated to honoring and assisting current and future journalists.

And one little-known fact about Warren is that he taught himself how to juggle as a hobby.

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