2020 New York Laws
VAT - Vehicle and Traffic
Title 9 - Penalties and Disposition of Fines and Forfeitures
Article 45 - Penalties and Disposition of Fines and Forfeitures
1806-A - Default Judgment in Cases of Failure to Answer.

§ 1806-a. Default judgment in cases of failure to answer. 1. In the event a person charged with a traffic infraction does not answer within the time specified, the court having jurisdiction, other than a court in a city over one million population may, in addition to any other action authorized by law, enter a plea of guilty on behalf of the defendant and render a default judgment of a fine determined by the court within the amount authorized by law. Any judgment entered pursuant to default shall be civil in nature, but shall be treated as a conviction for the purposes of this section. However, at least thirty days after the expiration of the original date prescribed for entering a plea and before a plea of guilty and a default judgment may be rendered, the traffic violations bureau or, if there be none, the clerk of the court, shall notify the defendant by certified mail: (a) of the violation charged; (b) of the impending plea of guilty and default judgment; (c) that such judgment will be filed with the county clerk of the county in which the operator or registrant is located, and (d) that a default or plea of guilty may be avoided by entering a plea or making an appearance within thirty days of the sending of such notice. Pleas entered within that period shall be in a manner prescribed in the notice. In no case shall a default judgment and plea of guilty be rendered more than two years after the expiration of the time prescribed for originally entering a plea. When a person has entered a plea of not guilty and has demanded a hearing, no fine or penalty shall be imposed for any reason, prior to the holding of the hearing which shall be scheduled by the court of such city, village or town within thirty days of such demand.

2. The filing of the default judgment with the county clerk shall have the full force and effect of a judgment duly docketed in the office of such clerk and may be enforced in the same manner and with the same effect as that provided by law in respect to executions issued against property upon judgments of a court of record and such judgment shall remain in full force and effect for eight years notwithstanding any other provision of law.

3. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision one of this section, a traffic violations bureau or, if there be none, the clerk of the court, shall have two years from the effective date of this act to serve notice upon an operator or owner of a motor vehicle charged with a traffic violation who has not answered within the time specified and prior to the effective date of this act.

4. In the event a person charged with a parking violation does not answer within the time specified, a traffic and parking violations agency may, in addition to any other action authorized by law, enter a plea of guilty on behalf of the defendant and render a default judgment of a fine determined by the judicial hearing officer within the amount authorized by law. Any judgment entered pursuant to default shall be civil in nature, but shall be treated as a conviction for the purposes of this section. However, at least thirty days after the expiration of the original date prescribed for entering a plea and before a plea of guilty and a default judgment may be rendered, the traffic and parking violations agency shall notify the defendant by certified mail: (a) of the violation charged; (b) of the impending plea of guilty and default judgment; (c) that such judgment will be filed with the county clerk of the county in which the operator or registrant is located, and (d) that a default or plea of guilty may be avoided by entering a plea or making an appearance within thirty days of the sending of such notice. Pleas entered within that period shall be in a manner prescribed in the notice. In no case shall a default judgment and plea of guilty be rendered more than two years after the expiration of the time prescribed for originally entering a plea. When a person has entered a plea of not guilty and has demanded a hearing, no fine or penalty shall be imposed for any reason, prior to the holding of the hearing which shall be scheduled by the traffic and parking violations agency within thirty days of such demand.

5. If a motor vehicle which is owned by a rental or leasing company is ticketed for a traffic infraction, the municipality shall not enter a default judgement under this section against the rental or leasing company if, when the municipality sends the notice to the company, the company sends to the municipality within fifteen days a copy of the rental or leasing agreement covering that vehicle on that date with the name and address of the lessee clearly legible. If this information is not sent to the municipality within such fifteen day time period, the municipality shall proceed under this section to enter a default judgement and the rental or leasing company shall be liable for the traffic infraction.


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