In November, my wife, Carla Frauenfelder, was driving home when a Los Angeles Police officer pulled her over. He ticketed her for making an illegal left turn.
The next day, with her ticket in hand, I entered the url for the website listed on the ticket (lasuperiorcourt.com). I wanted to pay the fine and sign her up for driving school so our car insurance rates wouldn't increase. The website couldn't find the ticket. I tried searching for it both by entering the ticket number and by entering my wife's driver license number. No luck. So I called the phone number on the ticket. The woman who answered said there was no record of the ticket. She said my wife would have to drive to the ticket office on Penfield St, in Chatsworth to take care of it.
So, my wife drove there on January 5th and showed the woman at the counter the ticket. The woman entered the ticket number and nothing came up. She scratched her head for a minute, and then noticed that the police officer forgot to write a date on the ticket. Apparently, that screws everything up.
The woman told my wife what the fine is (about $135), but told her that she could not accept payment for the fine, because the ticket is not in the database. My wife is not allowed to attend driving school, either, because the ticket isn't in the database.
The woman instructed my wife to call the court every day week, to find out if the ticket had been entered into the computer yet. Once it shows up, she is supposed to drive to the ticket office the very next day to take care of it. And once the ticket has been entered, she is going to be hit with a penalty and possibly a warrrant for her arrest, because once the information goes into the computer it'll see that she hasn't paid the fine yet, and it will be flagged as delinquent. My wife will then have to explain the situation to another helpful city employee.
My wife asked the woman how it long will take for the ticket to be entered into the computer system. The woman said she had no idea. My wife asked her if she is going to have to call every day week for the next several years. She shrugged and said "Well, it might take a week, it might take six months, I don't know."
My wife asked again if she could just pay the fine and have it apply to the ticket when it finally does show up. Woman: "Nope."
I'm at a loss for what to do here. If you have a good idea please email me and let me know if you do!
UPDATE: We ended up WINNING! Here's a follow-up post, and here's the thrilling conclusion.