Personal Jurisdiction and Speeding Tickets
Before a court can do anything to you, it must first have jurisdiction.
Page 3 of 3
In most situations, you must personally appear to challenge a traffic ticket. If you were driving from New York to San Francisco along I-80, and got caught in Nebraska, you must likely return to the place in Nebraska where the ticket was issued if you wish to challenge it. This is incredibly annoying and time-consuming, but the alternative, allowing you to insist that a court of your choosing handle the case, is simply impracticable. If you challenge the ticket, the issuing officer must often appear to rebut your claims that the ticket was wrongfully issued. Imagine if every county had to shoulder the burden of flying the officer to San Francisco to deal with a minor traffic ticket.
So, the moral of the story is that you subject yourself to the power of a court in an area you physically enter because you are purposefully availing yourself of the protections of that place.
Thank you for listening to Legal Lad’s Quick and Dirty Tips for a More Lawful Life. You can send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that doing so will not create an attorney-client relationship and will be used for the purposes of this podcast only.
Speeding Ticket image courtesy of Shutterstock