California Courts Will Now Let People Fight Traffic Tickets Without Paying Fine First

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California court leaders voted unanimously Monday to bar courts from charging drivers bail before they can challenge traffic tickets.

The emergency rule, adopted by the Judicial Council, takes effect immediately. Courts will have to change their notices to the public to say that no one will be required to pay upfront as a condition of a hearing on a ticket.

The Judicial Council, the policy-making body of the courts, took the action in a telephone conference that could be heard live on the court's website.

Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye called Monday's action "historic." She proposed the change three weeks ago, and in court time, the gathering of comment and the vote were extremely fast.

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