failure to appear Notices

If you fail to appear, the court will mail a Failure to Appear notice to the address noted on the citation. If mailed, there is a presumption that the notice has been received. There is no requirement that the court prove that you actually received the notice, only that it was mailed.

What are the Consequences for Failure to Appear?

If you fail to appear by the date listed on your ticket, the court will start a civil action against you. This civil action may include a $300 civil assessment, a wage garnishment and/or lien on your property. In addition, the court may notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (Vehicle Code §§40509.5, 40002.1), which may result in the suspension of your driver’s license and/or a hold on your vehicle registration.

If you feel the civil assessment should not have been imposed, you may submit a request that the court remove (vacate) the civil assessment. The judge will review the documents you submit and will either grant or deny your request. You are not entitled to a court hearing and the issue will not be addressed in court, unless the court orders a court hearing.

Questions About Failures to Appear

  • I am being charged a $300 civil assessment for failure to appear when I never received a courtesy notice letting me know how much I owe. How can I have this $300 charge removed?
  • The court is not required to send out courtesy notices, but does so for the convenience of customers. Courtesy notices are mailed to the address written on your traffic ticket. If you have moved and have failed to notify the court of the change of address, there is a good chance that you will not receive your courtesy notice. The fact that you have not received a courtesy notice does not relieve you of the responsibility to address your ticket.

© 2011 Superior Court of California, County of Riverside