If you do not agree with the citation, you may enter a not guilty plea by mail or by appearing at the clerk's office. The violation must be an infraction that does not require a mandatory appearance. The court trial will be set within 15 to 45 days. The officer who issued the citation will be present at the court trial.
To Request a Court Date By Mail (Infractions Only)
By mail, return the courtesy notice form with the “Request Court Appearance” and “Arraignment/Trial” boxes checked and signed by you, or your attorney on your behalf.
To Request a Court Date In Person (Infractions Only)
You may request a court trial date in person at the Traffic Division. You will be required to sign a promise to appear and will not be required to post the bail (fine) amount.
To Request a Court Trial By Written Declaration (Infraction Vehicle Code Violations Only)
If you wish to have your case considered on the basis of a written statement rather than a court appearance, you may request a Court Trial by Written Declaration. This option is available for vehicle code infractions only.
By mail, return the courtesy notice form with the "Request Court Appearance" and "Trial by Written Declaration" boxes checked and signed by you, or your attorney on your behalf. You must also include a check or money order payable to the Sutter Superior Court for the total amount of bail (fine) owed on your case. Once received, the clerk will mail you forms TR-200 Instructions to Defendant and TR-205 Request for Trial by Written Declaration to complete and return to the court by the due date.
In person at the Traffic Division, you must post the full bail (fine) amount with the clerk. The clerk will provide you with forms TR-200 Instructions to Defendant and TR-205 Request for Trial by Written Declaration to compete and return to the court by the due date.
If you are eligible for traffic violator school and wish to exercise the option to attend traffic violator school in the event the judge finds you guilty, you must also include the traffic school fee with your bail. If you do not elect to attend traffic violator school at the time bail is paid, you may not submit a later request for traffic school on the same violation which could adversely affect your automobile insurance
The officer who issued the citation will also be asked to submit form TR-235 Officer’s Declaration. The court will issue form TR-215 Decision and Notice of Decision and it will be sent to you by mail within 45 days.
If you do not agree with the Judge's decision after a trial by written declaration you may file form TR-220 Request for New Trial within 20 days of the date of mailing the Decision and Notice of Decision.
To Contest a Misdemeanor Citation
If you are cited for a misdemeanor violation that does not require a mandatory appearance, you may schedule an arraignment in person or by mail. Arraignments are scheduled on Mondays at 2:00 p.m. You must schedule your appearance for a Monday, no later than the prior Thursday at noon. At the arraignment, you may enter a plea of not guilty, at which time the judge will set a trial date and time.
The court does not hear pleas of guilty with an explanation, nor will judges reduce or dismiss citations without hearing both sides of the case. To schedule an arraignment by phone, the Traffic Division may be reached at (530) 822-3303.
Appeals (Infractions Only)
If you do not agree with the Judge's decision after a court trial you may file an appeal. Instructions for filing an appeal are provided in the Judicial Council publication Information on Appeal Procedures for Infractions (CR-141-INFO). Your appeal must be filed within 30 days after the trial court makes it judgment in your case or issues the order you are appealing. This deadline cannot be extended.
To file an appeal, complete the Judicial Council form Notice of Appeal and Record of Oral Proceedings (Infraction) (CR-142), sign it and return the original and one copy to the Court. Visit the Appeals page for additional information.