If an officer does not show up at an informal hearing (for a traffic violation) should the case be dismissed?

UPDATED: Apr 28, 2009

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If an officer does not show up at an informal hearing (for a traffic violation) should the case be dismissed?

I went to court to fight a traffic violation and the police officer that issued the ticket did not show up for court. There were approximately 20 other people fighting the same ticket. Since the officer did not show up the judge said we could pay the ticket and get the points or pay an extra $50.00 and have the points dropped. Shouldnt the ticket have been dismissed if the officer did not show and is it legal for the judge to ask us to pay an extra $50.00 so our points would be dropped. The judge also stated we could come back and fight the ticket at the officers convenience.

Asked on April 28, 2009 under Criminal Law, Michigan


GW, Member, Michigan and Hawaii Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Assuming the magistrate did not have advance notice that the officer was held up by an emergency, the magistrate should have dismissed the case without prejudice.

The court rules say:

(C) Appearance by Police Officer at Informal Hearing.
(1) If a defendant requests an informal hearing, the court shall schedule an informal hearing and notify the police officer who issued the citation to appear at the informal hearing.
(2) The attendance of the officer at the hearing may not be waived.
Except when the court is notified before the commencement of a hearing of an emergency preventing an on-duty officer from appearing, failure of the police officer to appear as required by this rule shall result in a dismissal of the case without prejudice.

Of course, if the case was dismissed without prejudice, that means it could be refiled, so you may have only won a delay.

I'm unaware of any provision that permits the court to waive points for money.



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