Traffic Tickets / Infractions Amnesty Program – Alameda County Superior Court

Traffic Tickets Amnesty Program – Alameda County – Starts October 1, 2015

Information sheet from Alameda County Superior Court’s website (with link to county form) HERE rcd_courthouse_OMuseumside

The following is some general information about the program —

WHEN?    One-time opportunity – beginning October 1, 2015, ending March 31, 2017

• Court order debt can be reduced by a significant discount, depends on income.
• Opportunity to get your driver’s license back.

WHO?    You may qualify to have your old, unpaid traffic fines and some state infractions — adult or juvenile — reduced by 50% or 80% if you meet the following guidelines:

IF —
1. The fine and any related fees were due before January 1, 2013;
2. You do not have any outstanding misdemeanor or felony warrants in Alameda County;
3. You do not owe victim restitution on any case in Alameda County; and
4. You have not made any payments on your tickets since September 30, 2015.

The benefits of paying your traffic tickets through the Traffic Amnesty program include:

• Any Civil Assessments ($300 charge added for Failure to Appear and/or Failure to Pay) will be eliminated.

• If your driver’s license was suspended due to unpaid tickets, the suspension will be removed and you will be eligible to have your license reinstated.

50% Reduction – Most people will be eligible for a 50% reduction of fines and fees.
80% Reduction – If you receive public assistance or are very low income, you may qualify for an 80% reduction.
If you have made payments on your tickets since June 24, 2015, you may still be eligible to have your driver’s license reinstated, although the amount of your fine will not be reduced.

• You will have to pay a $50 fee for participation in the Traffic Amnesty Program.
• The Department of Motor Vehicles will charge a $55 fee to get your license reinstated.

NOT ELIGIBLE: NO DUIs NO reckless driving citations NO parking tickets

Information sheet with steps of how to be considered for this program is HERE.



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Governor Signs Bill to Support County Law Libraries

CA SB 711 – support for county law libraries

Late yesterday California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed into law legislation by State Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis) enabling county law libraries to charge a fee to recoup for the cost of providing an array of modern services to their patrons.

County law libraries provide Californians with access to information about the state’s legal system, and have expanded the services they offer in order to address the modern needs of library users and the broader community. Senate Bill 711 adds services such as electronic delivery and other delivery services, educational programs, special events, and provision of supplies or food services to the list of services for which county law libraries are authorized to provide and charge.

“County law libraries are not supported by state or local tax dollars, and continue to experience diminishing operations revenues. In fact, over the past 5 years county law libraries have seen a nearly 32 percent decrease in revenue,” Wolk said. “This new law won’t solve this funding shortfall, but it will enable libraries to recover the costs of providing some of these services to the public and insulate them from lawsuits alleging they have no authority to charge a fee for these services.”

County law libraries are public libraries

SB 711 also defines county law libraries as public libraries, allowing the State Librarian, Greg Lucas,  to work with county law libraries and create partnerships among libraries throughout the state

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September Is National Library Card Sign-Up Month

September is National Library Card Sign-up Month.  It’s true.  The American Library Association’s website told me so.Customizable_Joe_Cool_PSA-800cropped

In honor of NLCSUM, below is information on the availability and use of Alameda County Law Library library cards.

Circulation Policy – Generally.

First things, first –  NOT ALL MATERIALS CIRCULATE.  It is a collection staff call because many titles are expensive and/or irreplaceable.  (But see Footnote 1 “Membership.” We are legal industry information specialists. We know all about legal footnotes.)  Items such as the older CEB practice guides and the legal practice management titles do circulate. Titles that circulate have date return slips fixed in the front of the title.

Those items that do circulate, do so for for seven days. (But see, once again, Footnote 1 detailing ACLL Memberships.)

Alameda County Law Library circulation policy furthers the mission and vision of the law library by permitting qualified individuals to become registered borrowers and to borrow materials from the law library pursuant to the book borrower rules set forth below.

Library cards are issued to “qualified individuals.”

There are four categories of qualified individuals, including:

  1. An attorney licensed to practice law and in good standing.
  2. An adult resident of Alameda County. Proof of Alameda County RESIDENCE will be required at time of registration.  Examples include –  current government-issued ID or utility bill showing individual’s name and an Alameda County address.
  3. A judge with chambers or an office in Alameda County or a retired judge residing in Alameda County.
  4. An elected or appointed federal, state, county or city public official with an office in Alameda County.

Registration Requirements

Everyone must:

  • Complete the registration form (name, address, phone #, an email address to send overdue reminders).
  • Present a photo ID
  • Purchase a library card.  $5 for the first library card.

FN 1 – Membership Fees –  Other Membership categories that allow a borrower special benefits.

Additional benefits for larger annual membership fees

Attorneys and Alameda county residents receive additional benefits by becoming a library member:

$50 The ability to renew books for another circulation period provided the item doesn’t have a hold placed on it.
$75 The above plus (a) the ability to check out non-circulating books within the last hour the library is open provided they return them within the first hour the library is open (The late penalty is five dollars per hour.)  (b) a 25% discount on copying and printing (the copying requires a Copy Card).
$100 The above plus a 10% discount on MCLE programs.
$125 All the above plus a 10% discount on conference room rentals.



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Pssst -Thanks for reading this entire blog post.  As your reward for being a detailed oriented, read-the-entire-document-before-signing type of person, I will confess something to you.  I did not first read about NLCSUM on ALA’s website.  None of the law libraries blogs or websites mentioned it.  My daughter told be about it.  She saw it on RuPaul’s Drag Race’s blog. (For mature audiences only.) Thanks, RuPaul, for spreading the word on the value of public libraries into the less traditional public library cultural spheres.  (nfm)





Who Pays? – Report On The Costs Associated With Incarceration – Oakland’s Ella Baker Center For Human Rights

The Oakland-based Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and a number of other community and civil rights organizations that work with incarcerated people have released a report finding that the costs associated with incarceration, such as traveling for prison visits, have pushed more than one-third of the families of the who_pays_-_meme1e_copy_for_websiteincarcerated person into debt.

Timothy Williams authored a recent article in The New York Times summarizing the findings of the report.

In all, researchers interviewed more than 1,000 former inmates and family members in 14 states and found that court fees and fines, phone and visitation expenses, and commissary costs frequently sink families deep into poverty.

Even public defenders are not always free. Most states permit courts to charge defendants who use public defenders — with costs sometimes rising to thousands of dollars, the report said. Other states charge defendants extra fees for jury trials.

The full report is available by using this link  – who-pays


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Dig Into New WLN Digital Resources At ACLL


Moving to digital – Thompson Reuters titles on WLN

Here at the Alameda County Law Library, the move is on to digital legal research resources.  Many titles published by Thompson Reuters are now easy to access using WestlawNext (WLN).  The paper version of these titles will remain on the shelf, but, going forward up-to date information will only be available by using WLN.  In addition to previously held titles, the current WLN subscription also provides access to additional Thompson Reuters  — titles ThompsonReuters_logoto which ACLL did not previously subscribe.  These include titles in developing areas of law, such as,  Advising e-Businesses, as well as, the standard,  Restatement of the Law (Second) and (First.) Both are now available on-line in full-text. 

But, but –  I love using the books!

Many agree with you.  It is the precipitous drop over the past few years in ACLL’s (and all California county law libraries’) main source of revenue — civil court filing fees– that requires budget planning and strategizing to provide cost-effective access to most patrons.  The resulthdr_illust_myAccount is changes to the collection.  ACLL is relying on WLN as the central resource for any Thompson Reuters titles except for a few basic California law titles.  On the plus side, the current subscription expands the downloading and delivery options for many titles.   You can email sections of the publications available on WLN in Word or PDF formats in addition to downloading to USB Flash drives.

Access – ACLL public computers or your device

WLN is available on ACLL’s public access terminals or by using your own mobile device at the library’s locations.  Access to WLN on our wifi is reached through the link on ACLL’s database page.  At the bottom of the page is the section with information and the in-library link to WLN.  It reads:


WestlawNext includes cases, statutes and regulations for all 50 states and the US federal cases and statutes; American Law Reports, American Jurisprudence and California Jurisprudence legal encyclopedias; California Litigation and Transactions Forms as well as all Rutter Group titles. KeyCite, a citation checking tool, is also available. Many West and Rutter print materials are now available on WestlawNext to replace print copies that the library has canceled. Jury Verdicts & Settlements replaces the Law Library’s subscription to VerdictSearch.

These links work only inside the law library from your laptop:

WestlawNext Patron Access Subscription Content Link for Main Account:

West e-Learning Center Training Resource Link from your laptop:

How can I find which individual titles are actually available at ACLL?

Not all titles that Thomson Reuters offers through WLN are available to ACLL patrons.  To find if the title is part of ACLL’s current subscription, you can search the  on-line catalog.

Here are the steps:

  • Access the ACLL catalog
  • WLN_title_search_catalog_2
  • At the bottom right under “Browse By Call number,  enter “Westlawnext” in the Call number field. Click Enter on your keyboard.
  • A results screen appears with 1177 entries listed.  These are all the titles available on WLN at ACLL.
  • WLN_title_search_catalog_4
  • You can now search for a specific title or topic by entering a keyword in the Search field box that appears above the list.  Click Enter. The image below shows a search for the keywords “legal malpractice.”  One record was found.
  • WLN_title_search_catalog_5
  • To view the full record, move your cursor over the Title and double-left-click. The entry is highlighted.
  • WLN_title_search_catalog_6
  • Click Enter
  • Review the results for your title
  • WLN_title_search_catalog_7


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