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Iggy Awards
Iggy Award

Commissioner Carla Bonilla

Defendant was cited for CVC21655.5(b) preferential lane use (carpool lane violation).

At trial, in Sonoma County Superior Court, defendant moved for dismissal due to DA's non-compliance with discovery request per Penal Code section 1054.1. The motion was denied and the Commissioner would not compel enforcement of the discovery request.

Defendant cited the HOV lane and sign requirements found in the MUTCD and presented pictures of the signs, some of which were actually mounted backwards! The CHP officer stated upon further questioning that "the backwards signs mean that the lane has not yet been activated". Defendant suggested this might be because the required engineering estimate for HOV lane placement, per CVC 21655.5a, had not been recently performed.

Defendant then asked, "it [the HOV lane] has not been activated, yet enforcement is taking place?" CHP officer answered "yes." Defendant requested dismissal but was found guilty.

The Appellate Division reversed the decision, and dismissed the citation, due to "trial court error, by allowing the trial to proceed, without staying the action to allow proper evidence to be reviewed."

This is not the only case in which the Commissioner has apparently demonstrated a prejudice against evidence that got in the way of collecting a fine.

the Iggy

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